(WARNING! SPOILERS AHEAD FOR SEASON 5 EPISODE 13 OF THE FLASH!)
Barry and Ralph are in the criminal underground, but now how you would think. Nora is trying to cover her tracks with Sherloque. Iris gambles big to get a story for her new paper. That's just a few of the things that went down on this week's episode of The Flash. Let's take those one at a time.
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In their ongoing quest to stop Cicada, Team Flash discovers that there is a device that may help them do just that. To our surprise, Ralph is the one that knows how to track it down. Again, Ralph surprises us this season! He's become such a hero recently that I almost forgot that he had a bit of a shady pass. He uses those connections to track down what they need to a criminal fence named Goldface. What they end up finding is a black market for all sorts of weapons and various other things to assist criminals. Barry takes issue to a cop killer gun, and that draws unnecessary attention to them. This is when we get to see something that we never get to see, and that's evil Barry. Remember how uncomfortable it was when it was revealed that future Barry was Savitar? This doesn't quite rival that, but it comes close. Barry has to create a persona on the fly so they don't blow their cover (did I also mention, meta dampening cuffs?) The Chemist sounds like a pretty bad dude, and Barry delivers quite the convincing argument. Fast forward to them having to work for Goldface in a barter for getting what they came for. Ralph may have told Barry that the ends justify the means, but you had to know he was too much of a hero to let someone steal from a hospital. This leads to a thwarted plan and a showdown with Goldface, who just happens to be a meta. Stun guns don't seem to be working, but Barry's quick thinking leads Goldface to electrocute himself. At this point, I believe I said "WHOA" out loud. Did The Flash just kill a man? Luckily, by some miracle, he lives. I love Grant Gustin, but Harley Sawyer continues to steal scenes this season. When Ralph locks Barry in the truck to keep him from having to commit a crime, even if it was for the greater good, is one of my favorite moments of the season. I really hope they go back to that moment at some point. They don't get what they came for, but they did get the confidence they needed to know that they don't need their powers to be able to stop a meta. Whether or not that is a big moment remains to be seen.
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Speaking of an Allen doing things out of their comfort zone, the lies are starting to get a little deeper for Nora. She knows that it's only a matter of time before Sherloque Wells finds out what she is up to, and Eobard Thawne is not about to let that happen. He tells Nora to appeal to Sherloque's heart. So she orchestrates a meeting before Sherloque and the Earth-1 version of his wife. Turns out, this is one woman that Sherloque can't resist on any Earth. The first meeting doesn't go so well, so Nora takes it a step further. Imagine a gathering of ex-wives, not really much else I need to say. Nora believes this could actually HELP and she is wrong. The only mistake of the episode really does happen right here, when the writing team fails to give us a name for this team of ex-wives. Might I suggest, The Council Of Ex-Wells? Long story short, the plan works, but for reasons that Nora did not anticipate. It turns out, Renee Adler (Kimberly Williams Paisley) is a meta and that means a target for Cicada. Sherloque's focus is clearly shifted now on saving her and it's like the Nora issue no longer exists. It's hard to tell at this point of Thawne is trying to help Nora or manipulate her. I mean, it's Thawne, so the answer should be obvious. He clearly sees what we see in Nora and how desperate she is. That seems like something that Thawne would prey upon for sure. Still, my gut tells me that we may finally see an Eobard Thawn who wants to redeem himself and make different choices. I'm still sticking by my crazy theory from a couple of episodes ago that Thawne will eventually sacrifice himself to save Nora later in the season. I'm either going to end up being crazy or being right, there is no middle ground here.
Photo: Shane Harvey/The CW -- © 2019 The CW Network, LLC. All rights reserved
Another big moment from the episode comes courtesy of a huge risk from Iris. Her new paper isn't being very well received, so she wants to start writing about Cicada. Hey, it worked out for everyone when she wrote about The Thinker, right? Like any good reporter, she starts tracking down leads and eventually ends up getting the name of one of Dwyer's relatives who has a house that might be a great hiding place. I'm not sure if it took a lot of guts or it was an unnecessary gamble, but Iris goes to the address alone and gets caught snooping around inside. Her cover story was weak at best, but Dwyer did buy it for a little bit. Problem is, she does slip up and then it's on. Give Iris credit, she is able to hold her own and fight him off. She even ends up stabbing him in that wound on his chest. It may have been accidental, but she now believes she has found a weakness. She gets away, but so does Cicada before the rest of the team can get there. We heard more talk this week about giving the metahuman cure to Cicada to stop him. I talked about this last week, remember the pact that Caitlin and Cisco made about not forcing the cure? While I'm happy that the cure may finally be ready, I wish they would have addressed this tension right away in this episode. It's inevitable that the conversation is coming, but it seems like now would have been the time to do that. We don't get to see Cisco at all actually, but we do end up seeing a breach at one point. I'm not a huge fans of tension within Team Flash. I think it's so uncomfortable because I love these characters so much and I want to see them get along. To me, the key player in this whole thing is Caitlin. Things have been so good between her and Cisco lately, but she obviously wants to stop Cicada. I'm curious to see what side of this argument that she falls on.
While this episode might not seem important on it's surface, the more I dug deeper and thought about it, we learned a lot in this episode. A lot of perspectives changed, we got to see characters out of their comfort zone and even got to see Cicada get injured. Even as a viewer, I felt distracted from what Nora was doing! I had no idea how much anger and frustration that was being directed at her until seeing what was said about this episode. A lot of that is due to her proximity to Thawne, but is it justified at this point? I'm not sure that was can really answer that yet, but I can see where some fans are coming from. Do we really have a rehabilitated Eobard Thawn or is this his most elaborate plan yet? When will we reach the metahuman cure conversation? Where does Cicada go from here after they found his house? I don't think we'll have to wait long for answers.
What did you think of tonight's episode of The Flash?