REVIEW – The Flash Season 5 Episode 21 – “The Girl With The Red Lightning”

(WARNING! SPOILERS AHEAD FOR SEASON 5 EPISODE 21 OF THE FLASH!

Playing the long game typically isn’t a TV villain’s strong suit. They either don’t have the patience for it or it’s very poorly executed. Then there are the true masterminds that make you grit your teeth in frustration for not seeing what was right in front of you. Let’s find out how this is all tied into “The Girl With The Red Lightning”.

Team Flash is once again focused on stopping Cicada II. Sure they have the mirror gun to stop the dagger, but how are they going to stop her from using the atomizer to kill every metahuman in Central City? This is Nora’s chance at redemption, that is, if they let her. Remember, she still has that mental connection with Grace from being inside her head. She wants to use that to help find her and stop her. Problem is, Grace’s anger feeds into Nora’s negative speed force and red lightning goes everywhere.

Once again we see Barry and Iris being the protective parents. I’m a dad, so I get it, but I really thought that they were past this. What happens every time they try to bench Nora? She does something stupid that almost botches the entire operation and now it’s even harder to fix. It happens again, and yet they still seem surprised. Now Cicada II has everything she needs to complete the atomizer. Is it officially time to panic?

So they decide to go to the media to reveal the metahuman cure to try and save as many people as possible. They didn’t really think that one through, as now CCPD is overrun with scared, angry metahumans. Singh isn’t there, so Joe is in charge and he’s overwhelmed. He’s still Joe West, you knew he would figure it out eventually. Now who is going to figure things out at Star Labs?

Barry and Iris have their “let’s allow Nora to help” moment again, at about the same time they usually do in similar episodes. They decide to use their Reverse Flash trap from Season 1 to allow Nora to find Grace without her lightning getting out of control. A great idea, and Nora is able to get the job done. Big surprise, Cicada II is in the very spot that they gathered all of the metahumans, CCPD.


This sets up a showdown between Team Flash and Cicada II. For some reason I love those Killer Frost/Cicada II fight scenes. Sure it was a team effort, but I have to give Frosty the MVP on this one. Not only does she put up a great fight, she puts up an ice wall to allow Cisco enough time to diffuse the atomizer. Long story short, Team Flash saves the day again. So it’s time to blast the dagger and end this, right? So why is Ralph telling them not to do it?

This whole time, Ralph has been telling the team that something didn’t add up in the timeline. Something about this whole Cicada II thing didn’t add up. Nobody really takes him seriously because he’s not a scientist and, quite frankly, he’s Ralph Dibny. They forget that he is still a detective, and boy does it look like he’s right. Many twists and turns later, and we find out that Eobard Thawne is the one with the dagger. Blasting it was HIS plan all along. We see the dagger on Thawne’s chest just as they are beginning his execution in 2049. We don’t get to see how he gets out, but yes, this was the master plan coming full circle.

So Barry is ultimately right (again) when it comes to his trust issues. Thawne managed to (again) manipulate everyone to execute his escape and his endgame. This is going to be hard on Barry sure, but what about Iris and Nora? You can almost forgive Nora, a naive kid who just wanted to meet her dad. What about Iris? Sure she is an optimist, she is strong and she trusted her daughter. She also came face to face with Thawne and got played. I will be very interested to see if the show explores any emotional and interpersonal fallout from this whole thing. There also happens to be a danger when it comes to Thawne getting his hands on the cure now as well.

Don’t get me wrong, this was a great episode. These are frustrations we are supposed to feel as fans. If I don’t react, I must not be into the story. Well this episode certainly got a reaction out of me and it was great. I also wanted to mention the great chemistry between Sherloque and Renee Adler. Sherloque saving her by sending her to his Earth was a really nice moment in an otherwise intense episode. I expect double the intensity for this week’s upcoming finale. That review will be part of Episode 265 of our podcast on May 17th! See you in a flash!

Photo credits: Katie Yu/The CW — © 2019 The CW Network

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