“These computers are even slower than the ones at The Flash museum,” says Nora (Jessica Parker Kennedy). “Did you say Flash museum?” asks Cisco (Carlos Valdes). “Yeah, studied everything,” replies Nora who’s looking to Team Flash to help her get back to the future (or so she says) in the season five premiere of The CW’s superhero series, The Flash.
Season five episode one begins with Nora’s voice-over explaining she’s from the future, 30 years to be exact. She protects Central City the way her dad used to when he was The Flash. Her superhero name is XS, a nickname her mom gave her when she was young and did everything in excess.
Back at Joe’s house, Nora reveals her true identity to the gang. She tells everyone that when she helped Barry destroy the satellite something went wrong and now she can’t access the Speed Force to get back to her own time. Barry (Grant Gustin) is uneasy, not sure whether to believe she’s really his and Iris’ daughter.
Ralph (Hartley Sawyer) suddenly realizes time travel is possible, and Cisco is getting too drunk to really follow along.
Barry meets up with Captain David Singh (Patrick Sabongui) and is reinstated as Central City’s CSI. Singh warns Barry they never replaced him while he was gone so he has plenty of cases to get through.
Barry enters his office to find boxes of evidence. He begins to go through them when Nora speeds in asking what he’s doing. Barry tells her he wants her to stay at S.T.A.R. Labs, but she claims she can help him because she’s a CSI in the future – just like him.
Barry hears on the police scanner about a meta attack and realizes he doesn’t have a suit to use since his was destroyed when he destroyed the satellite. Nora surprises him with his very first suit from season one, explaining she took it from the museum. Barry tells Nora to stay put at the precinct and speeds off.
The Flash arrives to find a meta stealing money from an armored car and two guards tied up. Just as The Flash is about to take the meta down, Nora shows up in her XS outfit to help. That distracts Barry long enough for the meta, named Gridlock, to power punch The Flash through the sky and into the bay. Nora speeds over to her father who’s, justifiably, not happy with her at all.
Back at S.T.A.R. Labs, Nora apologizes profusely and is worried Barry’s mad at her or, even worse, disappointed in her. Barry and Iris calm her down and confirm getting her back to her own time is priority number one. Caitlin (Danielle Panabaker) and Cisco are going to work on the Tachyon device to help Nora get fast enough to return home.
Ralph comes in, excited to be revealing what he thinks is a huge announcement. He believes that since time travel is possible multiple earths exist too. His joy in the discovery fades as he realizes everyone already knows this. Caitlin asks him what he thought they meant when they said Harry’s from Earth-2. Ralph replies, “I thought you meant Earth, too.”
Iris takes Nora for coffee to do some mother-daughter bonding and to try to find out what their future is like. Nora seems uncomfortable and doesn’t want to mess up the timeline any more than she already has. (The thought of making Barry upset or disappointed in her seems to be a big concern.)
Iris discovers Nora is a CSI like Barry and that she and Nora are together as mother and daughter. Nora quickly suggests she should go check on Cisco and Caitlin to see if they need any help. It’s clear Nora doesn’t want to spend time with Iris.
Back at S.T.A.R. Labs, Nora wears the new Tachyon that should help her get enough speed, with the assistance of her dad, to travel back in time. So, father and daughter speedsters race off on the inside training track in an attempt to increase her speed.
Wally (Keiynan Lonsdale) comes back from visiting the Legends team with some news. Nora has negative Tachyons in her system and that’s why the Speed Force is rejecting her entry. Unfortunately, Barry and Nora find this out the hard way by being thrown back by the Speed Force when it opens.
Barry looks to Caitlin and Cisco to find a way to get the negative tachyons out or replaced. Iris asks to speak with Barry privately, wanting to know why he’s so determined to send Nora back. Barry says he’s afraid of the timeline being messed with, but Iris calls him out on that saying he changed the timeline himself with Flashpoint and also when he was trying to save her from Savitar.
Barry finally admits he fears they’re going to miss all the “firsts” they are supposed to have with Nora. He always wanted a family but now his whole life is out of order. He was hoping that having a family would be the one normal thing in his life.
Iris assures him having Nora here is special, that he’ll be a great dad, and that they will have all the firsts. As Iris is talking to Barry, something dawns on him and he tells her he needs to go check on something.
Caitlin, Cisco, and Ralph go to a scene of another crime committed by Gridlock but no one will tell them anything. Ralph suggests Killer Frost should appear and help encourage the silent masses to talk. Caitlin informs Ralph that Frost has been gone since The Thinker took over Ralph’s body and she hasn’t been able to bring her back.
Ralph apologizes and asks if there are any clues. Caitlin tells him about her vision with Vibe and how Frost was with her since she was a small child and that in the image her dad was also there. Ralph suggests talking to him but Caitlin tells Ralph her father’s dead. After a little more work, Caitlin and Cisco discover Gridlock gets stronger the more energy he encounters.
Barry finds Nora holding the first group picture of original Team Flash (Cisco, Caitlin, Barry and Dr. Wells aka Eobard Thawne). “What happens to me in the future?” he asks after realizing when she talked about living with Iris she didn’t mention him. Nora takes Barry to the time vault and shows him the newspaper headline about The Flash going missing in 2024. 25 years later he’s still gone.
“You never come back,” says Nora. She reveals she was born a few years before he disappeared. She has no memory of her father. Barry then realizes Nora isn’t stuck here; she came back to meet him. She has been injecting herself with negative tachyons so she wouldn’t be able to go back to the future. Barry asks her why and she admits she knew he would send her back right away. She wanted to stay for a while and get to know her father.
Cisco and Caitlin page Barry back to the main control room. It seems Gridlock, who they discover gets stronger with every energy he comes across, is on board a plane and plans on crashing it. Barry thinks that if he, Kid Flash, and XS all phase together on the plane they should be able to get the plane to phase with them through buildings. They should be able to safely crash land it on the bay.
Nora confesses she doesn’t know how to phase, and Barry assures her he’ll walk her thought it. Barry realizes he doesn’t have a suit and Nora gives him a Flash ring with a brand new suit inside it. Both Barry and Cisco are impressed with the technology and with the suit.
Gridlock causes one of the plane’s engines to fail. Barry, Kid Flash, and XS start running to pick up speed and Cisco heads to the rooftop to Vibe a breach to get them on the plane. The three speedsters go through the portal and end up on the out-of-control plane right after it loses its other engine.
Kid Flash knocks out Gridlock and places the power-reducing cuffs on him. Kid Flash and Barry start phasing while telling the passengers to stay calm. Nora shouts to Barry that she can’t do it. In a great scene and a homage to the first season (still the series’ best), Barry recites the speech Wells aka Thawne gave him the first time he had to phase, and it does the trick. Nora finds the ability and strength to phase with The Flash and Kid Flash, safely phasing the entire plane through a building and a bridge and safely bringing the plane down on the bay.
Back at S.T.A.R. Labs, Barry has a change of heart and decides to let Nora stay for a while. He uses the excuse that they should “make sure her powers are all working correctly.” In the meantime, Nora says she’ll crash in the lounge at S.T.A.R Labs. “What lounge?” asks Cisco. Nora takes them to the secret hideout and the team finds Joe (Jesse L. Martin) already there. It seems Joe has been using the lounge as his little nap cave since day one.
Ralph approaches Caitlin and Cisco about her dad. He reveals he had a friend look into her dad’s death certificate…and it’s a fake. Caitlin’s father is alive!
That night, Barry offers to take Nora out for ice cream as a father-daughter outing which she is thrilled by. As the two speedsters speed off to their favorite ice cream place, Nora’s voice-over picks up the story. She declares she’ll find a way to stop her dad from disappearing.
The episode ends with the now powerless Gridlock being transported to Iron Heights. The convoy’s stopped and he hears screaming outside the armored truck. The doors open and a cloaked figure stands there. The cloaked figure pulls out a lightning blade and walks towards Gridlock, declaring he’s going to kill him.
The Flash Season 5 Episode 1 Review:
Fast, funny, and jam-packed with information, season five episode one of The Flash is perhaps the strongest season premiere since the season one pilot. Jessica Parker Kennedy is perfect as Nora, Barry and Iris’ daughter from the future who absolutely adores her dad and has some major issues with her mom. Kennedy plays Nora with enthusiasm and energy as well as being just a little geeky the way Grant sometimes portrays Barry. She’s a welcome, fresh addition to what truly is the best ensemble cast on television.
The episode also paid homage to the first season with some very sweet and powerful moments, such as Nora holding the very first Team Flash photo and how Barry teaches Nora how to phase using the same great speech Dr. Wells aka Eobard Thawne used to teach Barry.
With Nora determined to save her father from his fate and a new deadly villain about to wreak havoc on Central City, Team Flash is sure to have their speedy hands full.
More on The Flash Season 5:
- Interview with Grant Gustin
- Danielle Panabaker Interview
- Jessica Parker Kennedy Interview
- Tom Cavanagh Interview
- Candice Patton Interview
- Hartley Sawyer Interview
- The Flash Season 5 Episode 2 Recap
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