‘The Flash’ Season 5 Episode 3 Recap and Review: “The Death of Vibe”

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The Flash Season 5 Episode 3 Recap

Grant Gustin, Carlos Valdes, Candice Patton, Hartley Sawyer and Danielle Panabaker in ‘The Flash’ season 5 episode 3 (Photo by Robert Falconer © 2018 The CW Network)

“We never catch him,” says Cisco (Carlos Valdez) to Nora (Jessica Parker Kennedy) as she tells them everything she knows about the meta serial killer known as Cicada in season five episode three of The CW’s The Flash.

As the episode begins, it’s 2032 and little Nora is giving herself a tour of The Flash museum. She spent time in the section titled “The Hall of Villains” and that’s why in 2018 Nora can tell Team Flash about Cicada. It seems he’s the scariest enemy her father ever went up against because he was never caught. Supergirl, the Legends, and even Green Arrow all tried to stop him but they never did. Cicada’s identity is still a mystery in Nora’s time.

That’s not all, however. Nora traveling back in time and helping Barry to destroy the satellite is messing with the timeline more than anyone thought because Cicada’s meta human killings are happening earlier than they should, and his victims are completely different.

As Team Flash discuss how to catch Cicada quickly, Nora reveals she thinks she knows how to defeat him. Her idea: to bring in a Wells from another Earth to help them. They didn’t do that originally, so she’s convinced it will make all the difference. She suggests Herr Wells which makes Cisco groan, but Team flash is willing to try.


Cisco brings Herr Wells (Tom Cavanagh) but unfortunately he’s too busy to help. Instead, he offers the coordinates of Sherloque Wells, a brilliant detective who can help them.

Sherloque arrives and impresses the team, minus Cisco, with his keen sense of observation. Cisco remains convinced this is a bad idea. Sherloque informs Team Flash, after a much too quick glance at their intel, he knows who Cicada is and here to find him. Not wanting to work with another P.I., Sherloque tells Ralph (Hartley Sawyer) he must stay behind. This works out great for Caitlin (Danielle Panabaker) who enlists Ralph to help her talk to her mother about her father’s fake death certificate.

Over at the Central City Library, Cicada researches his new meta-human target…Vibe.

Caitlin and Ralph visit her mom, Dr. Carla Tannhauser (Susan Walters), who doesn’t appreciate Caitlin bringing up her father’s death or the fact she only visits when she needs something. She lies to Caitlin and tells her that her father is dead, warning her not to be obsessed with the past.

Shortly later when Caitlin and Ralph are alone, Ralph admits he thinks Carla was lying. He also reveals he knows how they can get the information they need about Cait’s dad.

Sherloque has sent The Flash and XS to David Hersh’s residence, which is more like a shack, after naming him as Cicada. The Flash and XS enter the shack and Sherloque warns them there will be a booby trap. XS speeds over and deactivates it just as Sherloque informs them the booby trap is a decoy. Multiple additional bombs rise up and just as they’re about to explode, The Flash speeds Nora out of the shack. Father and daughter barely miss being killed by the explosions.

XS apologizes, and The Flash races off and tackles Hersh as he’s trying to make a run for it.

Barry tells Nora that Hersh is anti-government but they didn’t find his lightning-shaped dagger or any evidence of his two victims. Nora’s convinced he’s Cicada and believes they should celebrate his capture.

Joe (Jesse L. Martin) is at home when he’s paid a visit by Cicada who tells the detective he wants him to call Vibe. Joe lies and says he doesn’t know him, and Cicada shows Joe a newspaper photo of Vibe and in the background is Joe. Joe argues that Vibe helps fight evil meta, but that he doesn’t have him on speed dial.

Meanwhile, Ralph and Caitlin break into her mother’s office and find the file on Caitlin’s dad, Thomas. Caitlin starts reminiscing about games and word puzzles they would do together and that her dad let her make up her own elements table and code of things that didn’t exist yet. While looking through the file, Caitlin finds a letter from her father saying goodbye to her. Sad but satisfied she has found the answers she was looking for, Caitlin and Ralph head back to Central City.

Over at S.T.A.R. Labs, Barry shuts down the party telling Nora that Hersh is not Cicada and that the facts prove it. Sherloque continues to insist Hersh is because Hersh is Cicada on 36 different Earths and Sherloque has caught each one.

Cisco realizes Sherloque has played them. He’s also overcharged them a hefty fee as a detective for an easy payday. Team Flash demand the money back, but Sherloque has already spent it on alimony. Nora continues to insist Hersh must be Cicada, convinced they should put him in the pipeline until he talks.

Barry uses his new parenting skills to tell Nora to calm down and put a pause on things. He doesn’t think she’s following the evidence like a CSI would, and if she’s going to act this way she needs to sit this one out. Nora speeds off to pout.

Back at Joe’s, Cicada has him tied up in a chair and threatens his family. Still, Joe refuses to call Vibe. Cicada claims he doesn’t want to hurt a family man but he will if he has to. Cicada uses his lightning dagger to begin to torture Joe.

Iris (Candice Patton) tells Barry that Nora is just trying to fix her mistake because she feels guilty about it, just like he did when he created Flashpoint.

Barry finds Nora and confesses he knows what she’s going through. However, if she really wants to fix her mistake she needs to slow down and think the problem through to come up with the right solution.

Back at Joe’s, he’s still being tortured by Cicada who compliments him on being able to take so much before warning him he’ll eventually give in. Cecile (Danielle Nicolet) wakes up and comes downstairs to see what’s going on. She’s about to activate the distress signal to Team Flash when Joe nods his head no. This is when the baby cries and Cicada looks over and sees Cecile. She activates the alarm as Joe yells, “No, it’s what he wants!”

Cisco sees the alert and breaches over to Joe’s. Barry also speeds to the rescue. Vibe breaches into the room and Cicada immediately pushes him back through the portal, with both landing in a forest. Barry speeds in and Cecile tells him, “He took Cisco!”

Cisco, powers dampened, is on the run with Cicada hunting him. Iris and Sherloque talk to Cisco through the intercom and Sherloque asks him to describe the trees. Cisco continues running as he describes the forest, and Sherloque notices the crickets in the background. With that information, he’s able to figure out which forest Cisco is in.

The Flash speeds over to save him but when he gets there his powers are dampened. A fistfight breaks out between Cicada and The Flash, and Cicada easily has the upper-hand. Back at S.T.A.R. Labs, Nora uses speed time to think through what she should do. She reasons it out and then tells Iris she knows how to help.

XS enters the forest and throws lightning, hitting Cicada which weakens him. Nora gives Vibe a lethal tech device from the pipeline and he throws it at Cicada, but Cicada sends it right back at Vibe. It explodes, and it looks like Vibe has been blasted to death. Cicada returns his attention to The Flash, but he’s interrupted with a message and flies off. (Yes, that’s right, he can fly.)

Barry stumbles over to where Cisco had been standing and is horrified to discover his best friend’s been incinerated. Fortunately, a portal opens and Cisco appears. It turns out Nora helped Cisco fake his own death by using a portable breach device so that Cicada would believe he won.

In a very touching scene, Barry grabs Cisco and hugs him tightly.

The Flash Season 5 Episode 3 Recap

Tom Cavanagh and Candice Patton in ‘The Flash’ season 5 episode 3 (Photo: Robert Falconer © 2018 The CW Network)

Back at S.T.A.R. Labs, Sherloque agrees to stay and help Team Flash catch Cicada because he’s intrigued with the mystery of who he may be. And, also, they won’t let him use the breaching device. Iris suggests Nora move in with her and Barry because Sherloque will need the extra room in S.T.A.R. Labs. She agrees.

Caitlin reads her dad’s note and realizes it’s really a cipher. She deciphers it and it discovers the message: “Caitlin come and find me.”

Joe talks to Iris and tells her he thinks Cicada – whoever he is – must be a dad because of the way he kept talking about family.

Speaking of the serial killer, Cicada’s at the hospital visiting his daughter who’s in a coma. Her doctor calls him by his real name, Orlon, and tells him he needs to stop what he’s doing. Cicada refuses.

In the final scene, Nora’s looking for her purse and Sherloque tells her it’s on the table. He asks if her when she helped her dad destroy the satellite and changed the timeline did she act on her own accord or did someone tell her to do it. Nora looks surprised, but Sherloque waves his suggestion off and tells her to enjoy dinner with her family.

The Flash Season 5 Episode 3:

Suspenseful, funny, and at times dark, season five episode three titled “The Death of Vibe” reveals more about the main villain this season as well as the discovery that Caitlin’s dad is alive and has been hoping she would find him for who knows how long.

The stand-out performance goes to Tom Cavanagh who, once again, injects some much-needed humor into the episode as the great detective Sherloque Wells. He steals every scene he’s in as the smart but not-to-be trusted detective who now owes Team Flash for services nowhere near rendered. It’s Cavanagh’s chemistry with the entire cast, and the different personalities of the multiple Wells he portrays, that makes the show that much stronger and more entertaining.

With Vibe playing possum, Caitlin about to begin her quest to find her father, and Nora still keeping secrets from everyone, it looks as though Team Flash is in for a very tough fight.

GRADE: B

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Kevin Finnerty

Professional film critic since 2003 and a member of the San Diego Film Critics Society. Host of “The Movie Guys” radio film review show from 2007 through 2013. Film and television critic for Showbizjunkies.com and a movie buff since 1973.
Kevin Finnerty
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