TV Review: 'The Flash: The Girl With The Red Lightning'
Photo: Jeff Weddell/The CW — © 2019 The CW Network, LLC. All rights reserved

“You showed me how to use my powers. You taught me how to make the right choices. And right now, I am choosing to face this risk.”


After spending the vast majority of her time on the show intimating a teenager in a twenty-something’s body, Nora West-Allen finally channeled her inner hero (and, by extension, her inner adult).

Playing from behind as Cicada 2.0 seems to always be a step ahead of them, team Flash lays out just how catastrophic the casualties will be if she is able to power up the stolen atomizer and combine it with the rough form of Cisco’s meta-cure. Unable to track her down, the team decides that the best approach is to get ahead of her by offering the refined cure to the metas of Central City. Though this would eliminate their powers, it would also protect them from Cicada’s poisonous plan. But there’s still that issue of how to stop the seemingly unstoppable villain—especially when they discover her expanded plan to attack not just Central City but the country and then the world. But how can they track her down when everything they’ve tried has come up bupkis?

Enter Nora.

For the first time, Nora comes across as her own person…and a true hero. (Photo: Jeff Weddell/The CW – 2019 The CW Network, LLC. All rights reserved)

Though briefly touched on a couple of episodes back, the idea that Nora still shares a psychic connection with Grace aka Cicada 2.0 ever since traversing her 10-year-old coma-version back when they were trying to stop the original Cicada, is expanded. Understanding that this may be the team’s only chance to discover Cicada’s location, Nora takes the chance to actively pursue that connection using the Cerebral Inhibitor. It’s a gamble, both to her and the team but unlike past instances where she stamped and whined about not being heard, Nora faces her parents like the adult she is.

There is no pleading for them to let her in, instead, she tells them in no uncertain terms that, while they may be her parents, this is her decision, one that she will attempt with or without their permission. It’s the first time during her entire run on the show that Nora West-Allen exhibits the strength, the will, and the courage of a hero. She knows she’s putting herself at risk but accepts that danger for the greater good. It’s something Barry has done countless times over the years and, despite it being their daughter in danger’s crosshairs, both he and Iris accept Nora’s decision…one that works to a tee as she discovers exactly where Cicada is primed to set off the device: the CCPD.

Remember that part about the team disseminating the cure to any willing metas in the city? Well, Joe’s idea was to have the CCPD as the vaccine hub and it worked; dozens upon dozens of metas arrive, ready to take the cure in order to save them from Cicada’s plan. Unfortunately, that gathering is exactly what Cicada wants: a treasure trove of dark energy she can siphon from the metas in order to super-charge the atomizer and expand her nefarious scheme. But the team has the Mirror gun, right? The one thing that can banish her dagger into the ether, rendering her powerless. Only, there’s a catch to that.

The Sherloque/Renee pairing was a lost opportunity where we could have connected more with our supporting characters. (Photo: Katie Yu/The CW -2019 The CW Network, LLC. All rights reserved)

With such an ensemble and power diverse cast, one thing The Flash sometimes does is forget the strength of its players for long stretches of time. His silliness aside, Ralph Dibny has always been a very good detective but his talents have rarely been used. This week, however, he’s in rare form; he breaks down the inconsistencies of both Thawne’s plan and the mystery of Cicada 2.0 killing in the future despite not having the dagger. What he realizes a second too late is that this dagger has been a part of Thawne’s plan from the beginning. So caught up in believing it was a remnant of the satellite, the truth of its shape—that of a lightning bolt—was quickly forgotten. We’re harshly reminded of this fact as everything falls into place at one time: Barry fires the Mirror gun at the dagger, Ralph figures it all out and, in 2049, Thawne is prepared for his execution. It’s that last part, with his restraints off, that we see the space where his lightning bolt crest resides, one that mirrors Cicada’s dagger perfectly. By doing the only thing they could to defeat Cicada, team Flash has inadvertently played into the hands of the Flash’s greatest villain.

Flash Facts

  • I will say it: I didn’t see that coming. For much of the season, I’ve pissed and moaned about the terrible villain that is Cicada. Both versions—Orlin Dwyer and the future Grace Gibbons—are uninteresting, poorly written, and wholly over-the-top (in the worst way possible) with their motivations. But, as it turns out, they were merely pawns for the true antagonist, Eobard Thawne. While I’m not sure how things will turn out in the finale, if this has been his master plan all along, it someone mitigates the frustratingly boring nature of the Cicadas. Somewhat.
  • Following up on my earlier points about how this show sometimes forgets the human aspects of our supporting cast in favor of plot, Sherloque and Renee’s screen time is another reminder to that time crunch. These two work so well together and it would have been such a treat to see more of this pair throughout the season instead of the blink-and-you’ll-miss-it moments they shared. The same could be said for Cisco and his gal Kamilla. Hell, cutting Cicada out of a few episodes and showcasing some adventures with these significant others would have taken this season up a notch in my book.
  • Cicada bias aside, it was pretty interesting to see that the hate and anger Nora felt was tied more to her connection with Grace/Cicada than originating from herself. And yet, the question I have is whether this emotional connection spans through space-time? If it’s a quantum entanglement then I guess that would be the case. The only disappointing part of that is lessening Nora’s emotional reaction to Barry abandoning her.

What did you think of the episode? Let us know below!