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TV ReviewsThe Flash Season 5 Episode 16: Failure is an Orphan Review

Ariba BhuvadMarch 14, 2019

For our review of the last episode of The Flash, click here.

Synopsis: With the meta-human cure ready to use, Barry and the team must figure out a way to subdue Cicada long enough to take it; Killer Frost steps in to help with the plan; Joe eases back into work; Nora isn’t happy about her dad’s plans to stop Cicada. (CW)

Writer: Zack Stentz

Director: Viet Nguyen

Rating: TV-PG

Running Time: 43mins

Airs: Tuesdays at 8pm on Space (Canada)/The CW (United States)

After a season of Nora trying to help her parents change the future, this episode brought us to the moment that Barry was going to go up against Cicada. Unfortunately, in the future, Eobard Thawne warns Nora that another timeline is trying to get in the way of her plans so whatever she is doing, she has to do quick.

This means that Cicada needs to take the cure STAT, however, making that happen will be easier said than done. At first, Cicada is completely against the idea of taking the cure because Barry approaches the conversation as the Flash. It is not until he takes off his mask and talks to Cicada, father-to-father, that he is able to get through to him and get Cicada to agree to the cure.

Meanwhile, Joe is finally back and diving headfirst into the cases and work that has gathered in his absence. He’s a bit confused when Cecile joins him to question Grace’s doctor because he feels useless in front of her mind-reading ability. But after a pep talk with Barry, Joe realizes that he’s just being egotistical and that if he and Cecile work to their strengths, they can do anything–and they do! After learning who Grace’s doctor is, they interrogate her regarding Cicada’s location and learn more than they bargained for–Grace is a metahuman, but Cicada has no idea.

With the Cicada chapter quite possibly coming to a close, Iris is getting sentimental about saying goodbye to Nora. She makes up a list of things she wants them to do as a family before this happens, but Nora is too wrapped up in the Cicada situation to notice. However, when she realizes that Iris is just trying to savor every moment they have left together, Nora promises her they’ll do just that.

After Cicada agrees to take the cure, he is brought into S.T.A.R. Labs for the procedure and demands that Grace’s doctor be there as well. After Caitlin injects him with the cure, it appears that his powers finally go away but nothing still seems off. He’s unconscious and as his powers go away, a hooded figure breaks into the lab. Is that…Cicada?

Whoever this new Cicada is, doesn’t need the blades to hurt people and proceeds to fight up against Team Flash. In the scuffle, Dr. Ambres is killed and the new Cicada takes away the unconscious Cicada in the process. In the post-episode scene, it is revealed that Cicada 2.0 is actually Grace (presumably from the future). So, what now?

Maybe this was the disruption in the timeline Thawne was referring to, or maybe its something else entirely. I’m not sure if I’m honestly excited either way because Cicada has been yet another villain that just didn’t make the season exciting. It’s another villain that just is dragged along the entire season and nothing epic comes from it. I’m holding out hope that the end of the season rounds out in a way that feels satisfying, but I’m not feeling too optimistic at the moment.

Score: 6.5/10

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