THE FLASH Season 5 introduces us to yet another speedster, Nora West-Allen. Picking up from where season 4 left off, Nora reveals that she is from the future and she made a mistake by helping him eliminate the satellite as it has now begun, yet another, alternate timeline. This season brings back a lot of great elements from previous seasons: alternate timelines, a new speedster to work alongside Barry, and a villain whose plan is as mysterious as his loyalties – and an unfortunate one – the most annoying version of Harrison Wells to date. However, this season manages to break its formula just enough to give us the quirky show that we’ve grown to love, while not being the same song over again.
While THE FLASH has given us speedsters for the team to train before, they’ve always learned alongside Barry. Nora, however, forces Barry into more of a mentor role, one previously held by Wells. It’s a nice role change that diversifies this season from it previously formulaic Wells-helps-Barry-figure-something-out-about-his-speed-to-defeat-the-current-villain pattern.
They say talk about the nice things before you criticize, right? Then let’s talk about the other stand out from this season – our behind-the-scenes villain. While Cicada was the fifth season’s “main” villain, threatening all metahumans, Cicada falls into the standard type of major THE FLASH villains. Do they a) want to destroy the Flash because he did (or they think he did) [blank] or do they b) want to destroy the city/metahumans just because?
Even the threat of Cicada being the villain-who-got-away and the fun twist that the writers threw in mid-season was not enough to draw focus from the return of an oldy-but-goody from the past – The Reverse Flash. The best part about Eobard Thawne’s return is that up, until the finale, THE FLASH’s writers kept us guessing about his true loyalty. He returns as a mentor from the future of Nora, and, like Barry, he seems to genuinely care for her when she is under his tutelage. Unlike Barry, however, there is no Flash-sized hate to turn Thawne against his pupil, or is there? Just when you think you have it figured out, everything changes.
How many versions of Harrison Wells are we on now? Just curious. We have Harrison-who-is- Eobard, Earth-2 Harrison (or, sorry, Harry), H.R. Wells, the writer, and then we have the entire council of Harrisons. And just when we thought that Steve-Jobs-knockoff-Harrison was the most annoying version in existence, THE FLASH gives us Harrison Sherloque Wells. Oh yes, Sherloque. This not-as-intelligent-as-his source-material Sherlock Holmes knockoff is French, complete with the worst attempt at an accent we’ve heard since Nicholas Cage in Con Air. And just when we think he can’t get any worse, he continuously corrects other characters when they call him “Shelock”, because –ock and –oque sound so different.
The finale of THE FLASH Season 5 sets up for some interesting possibilities for the future. We have the appearance of the mirror gun, used by Earth-2’s Mirror Master, as well as some other loose ends that could lead to interesting storylines an villains. It would certainly be cool to see more of the Rogues Gallery appear as major villains in the series.