“She lied to us, Iris. Since the first day she got here…about Thawne,” exclaims Barry (Grant Gustin) to Iris (Candice Patton) and the rest of Team Flash, obviously reeling from the reveal of Nora’s big secret about being mentored by the Reverse Flash, Eobard Thawne, in the opening scene of The CW’s The Flash season five episode 18.
Barry’s understandably upset about discovering Nora (Jessica Parker Kennedy) has been lying to everyone since she arrived. The rest of the team’s also in shock, with the noticeable exception of Sherloque (Tom Cavanagh). When he’s asked how long he suspected Nora’s secret, Sherloque admits since he first met her. His admission further upsets Barry and Iris and they vent their anger at poor Sherloque instead of where it belongs…at Nora, which Sherloque calls them on before he walks out of the cortex.
Iris wants to give Nora a chance to explain but Barry reminds her they can’t trust anything she says. Ralph (Hartley Sawyer) points out the truth would be in Nora’s journal. Barry tells Ralph to read it from the beginning.
Cut to Central City 2049 where Nora is late to the crime scene of a chemical truck robbery. (This scene is reminiscent of the first scene of Barry heading to a crime scene in the series pilot.) After looking over the area and doing some investigating, Nora believes the robber could be a speedster.
Back at Central City’s CSI Lab, Nora’s best friend Lia (Kathryn Gallagher) is a little concerned with Nora’s obsession with the one case The Flash never solved: Cicada. Nora receives a call from her mom and lets it go to voicemail.
The speedster Nora’s tracking was looking for special chemicals and so she and Lia visit a scientist who might be able to give them insight on the speedster’s interest in those particular chemicals. As she and Lia are leaving, they’re surprised by a flash of white lightning. They run back in and see a tall white speedster. “Oh God,” says Nora. “Yes, I am a god. The God of Speed,” says the white speedster. He then hits Nora with lightning, sending her crashing into furniture and leaving her unconscious before speeding away.
Nora wakes up in the hospital with Lia watching over her and claims she feels good. Lia informs Nora her mother called because she almost died. And it turns out while the paramedics were working on Nora they discovered a piece of tech inside her.
As Lia’s talking she accidentally drops the container with the device and Nora grabs it using her super speed without even realizing it. Nora speeds around, out of control and ends up crashing into a truck. (Again, another scene paying homage to season one when Barry first discovered his speed.)
Nora and Lia practice her speed at the lab. They hear about a heist taking place and Nora speeds off to play hero but since she doesn’t have control yet of her speed, she actually ends up being more of a problem for the cops than the robbers.
Nora feels bad about what happened and vents to Lia who’s supportive and encouraging. She also tells Nora that after more digging she discovered the tech that came out of her was made by S.T.A.R. Labs over 20 years ago and was dampening her powers.
Nora says the regular police at the CCPD won’t be able to stop Godspeed but she can if she learns how to think like a villain speedster.
Nora visits Eobard Thawne in prison to pick his brain. Thawne quickly realizes via his powers of observation that Nora is a speedster. He won’t help her or answer any of her questions.
Lia and Nora get another lead on what chemical Godspeed will steal next and decide to try and get to it first. As the two young women try to move the heavy container of the chemical out, Godspeed shows up and again knocks Nora down (but not out) with his powers. Godspeed then speeds over to Lia, takes the chemical from her, and kills her with a vibrating speed punch. Nora can only scream, “No!” as she watches helplessly. Nora cradles Lia’s lifeless body in her arms in anguish.
Returning to present day and Team Flash reacts to what Ralph has been reading about Nora’s origin story. Caitlin (Danielle Panabaker) believes Nora must have felt so alone, but Barry responds coldly, “She wasn’t.”
Iris heads to the pipeline, looks at a sulking Nora, and says, “Don’t make me regret this,” as she lets her out> They return to the cortex to tell the rest of Nora’s story to Barry and the team.
Back to 2049 where Nora is grieving the loss of her best friend. An older Iris walks in trying to be supportive and sensitive but actually comes off more like a nagging parent. Nora calls Iris out on Lia’s discovery of the tech inside her, and Iris admits having it put in her so she would never be a speedster. Iris isn’t apologetic at all, telling Nora she was protecting her from meta-humans and herself. Iris explains to Nora that she has lost so much she can’t lose her too. “Well, you just did,” replies Nora as she speeds off.
Back at her lab Nora’s informed by her boss they were able to analyze the DNA left by the speedster who killed Lia. His name is August Heart. Nora does some more digging at The Flash museum and realizes Godspeed’s lightning is turning blue like Zoom’s. He has been stealing the chemicals to try to make a stable version of Velocity 9. This discovery prompts Nora to visit Thawne again.
At first, Thawne refuses to help. But when she tells him Godspeed killed her best friend right in front of her, it seems to soften Thawne. (Is he reminded of what he did to Barry’s mother?) Thawne changes his mind and decides to help Nora catch Godspeed.
Using his cell’s one-way phone, Thawne coaches Nora. He has her speed up the side of the Central City Citizen Media building and across its rooftop with Godspeed chasing her. Thawne has Nora run in front of the satellite dishes and he gets hit by microwave pulses, knocking him out enough for the police to take him into custody.
Nora goes to see Thawne again and asks him to train her claiming he’s the only one who hasn’t lied to her. He tells her he can’t because his time on Earth is coming to an end, motioning to a countdown clock. “How much do you know about The Flash?” Thawne asks.
The next scene is of Nora rummaging through S.T.A.R. Labs, which has long been abandoned, and discovering Gideon. Gideon asks if she’d like to watch the video Barry recorded for her. Nora does and it appears to have been shot during a crisis. In the video Barry tells Nora if she’s watching it that means she’s a speedster like him. “I’m sorry I wasn’t there to help you learn how to use your powers. Remember my sweet Nora, I love you,” says Barry.
Back in present day, Nora wants her dad to understand her motivation. “I just wanted to see you, dad. Thawne showed me how.” Barry asks everyone for a minute alone with Nora. After Team Flash leaves, Barry asks how many times she went to see Thawne. She confesses it was five or six times. Barry says he understands why she came back to meet him and Team Flash. He can even understand her turning to Thawne for help, but he can’t condone her going back to him when she could have just reached out to them – especially after she learned Thawne killed Barry’s mother, her namesake.
“I don’t trust you, Nora. I can’t have anybody here with us that I don’t trust,” says Barry. “What are you saying?” asks an upset Nora. “It’s time for you to go home,” answers Barry as he speeds her back to 2049. “Please don’t do this, dad!” pleads Nora but Barry’s mind is made up. He warns her if she time travels again, he’ll feel it in the speed force. “Goodbye, Nora,” says Barry as he speeds off.
The final scene is with Thawne in his prison as he hears Barry speed in. “One wasn’t enough, you had to try to take my daughter from me too…My DAUGHTER!” yells Barry. “I knew you’d react like this, always so emotional. That’s why I had her keep this from you,” replies Thawne. “You can’t blame the little runner, Barry. She just wanted to spend some time with her dad. Don’t hold that against her,” says Thawne.
“You always thought you were so much smarter than us, Thawne, but you lost. And now you’re finally going to get what you deserve,” says Barry as he speeds off. The countdown clock is at 9:57 and ticking down.
The Flash Season 5 Episode 18 Review:
Suspenseful, tragic, and reminiscent of season one episode one, season five episode 18 titled “Godspeed” shows the origin of Nora becoming XS as well as the story behind her becoming Eobard Thawne’s speedster student – all because she wanted to live up to (and meet) her father, The Flash. Once again Jessica Parker Kennedy is center stage as Nora as she discovers her powers and the truth about her father who she never knew. What makes it work is transporting the show to 2049 Central City, a sleek and brighter version than the current day Central City.
Applause and accolades must be given to Danielle Panabaker who directed this episode and did an amazing job bringing the “vibe “and feel of the first season to it. Most impressive were the scenes between Nora and Thawne in 2049 and the final scene between Thawne and Barry. Here’s hoping Panabaker directs future episodes of the series.
With Barry banishing Nora back to her own time and Team Flash not aware of his decision, things are most likely to get heated between Barry and Iris which in turn will put unnecessary stress on the team.
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