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The Flash Season 5 Episode 17 Recap Secrets and Bombs

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first_img Top Movies and TV Panels to Keep on Your Radar for SDCC 2019’The Flash’ Season 5 Finale Recap: 2 Big Bads and 1 Pre-Crisis Stay on target After last week’s episode ended with a new Cicada showing up to complicate things, it’s not surprising that this episode’s metahuman-of-the-week is more of an afterthought. At this point in the season, there are more important things to deal with than one-off comic book fights. The title “Time Bomb” is pretty clever here. Literally, it refers to a metahuman’s superpower. She can charge the atoms in anything she touches, causing it to explode sometime later. What this episode’s really about though, is the characters who’ve been traveling through time this season. And how all that time travel blows up in everyone’s faces.The new Cicada, who we know is Grace, takes her uncle to a remote cabin in the woods to recover. He wakes up in an unfamiliar place with a strange woman watching over him. She immediately reveals herself to be Grace. She apparently never got the shard of Dark Matter out of her head, and that’s given her powers surpassing even Orlin’s. She wants to continue the mission that she and her uncle apparently started in the future: Kill every metahuman. Orlin is clearly horrified by this. Somehow, he never imagined that being a bloodthirsty serial killer would turn his niece into the same thing. Well, the show never presented him as the smartest supervillain.Carlos Valdes as Cisco Ramon, Jesse L. Martin as Detective Joe West and Danielle Nicolet as Cecile Horton — Photo: Katie Yu/The CWSo now there’s an even more dangerous, more determined, and more powerful Cicada on the loose. And she has her first target. We’re only on her first full episode, and we already have better justification for her actions than we ever got for Orlin’s. To be fair, a lot of that’s because of the work Orlin’s stories did, but Grace at least has a direct reason to hate metahumans. One accidentally overloaded the particles inside an ATM, not realizing it would explode the next time someone touched it. That next person happened to be Grace’s parents. It happened right in front of her. Yeah, that’ll mess a kid up.Thankfully, the show doesn’t spend too much time catching its characters up to things we already know. Sometimes it’s fun to be one step ahead of the characters on the show, but The Flash has rarely been able to pull it off. Instead, it gives us a Vibe-assisted mystery solve that ends up being kind of fun. If you’re a fan of the part of mysteries where the investigator pores over clues and pieces together what happened, this was the episode for you. There’s a lot of investigation here, and while they don’t find out anything we don’t already know, it’s fun to watch them piece it together anyway. It helps that it happens fast. Only a few minutes into the episode, Team Flash figures out exactly who the new Cicada is and who she’s targeting.Sarah Carter as Cicada II/Grace Gibbons — Photo: Sergei Bachlakov/The CWThey show up, in their official CCPD capacity at first, at a kid’s birthday party. It’s for the daughter of the woman the new Cicada is targeting. That’s where they find out the woman has kept her ability a secret from her family. She wasn’t even aware that accidentally charging the ATM killed anyone. Her abilities don’t stay secret much longer, though. Nora and Grace have some sort of connection, allowing Nora to see when Grace is about to show up. XS and The Flash get all the kids to safety before Grace gets there, but they can’t fight this new Cicada. She immediately immobilizes them with blasts of energy. It takes the mom turning a soccer ball into a bomb to distract Cicada, allowing Flash and XS to escape with everyone. Unfortunately, her daughter gets caught in the blast.The secret almost tears the family apart. As the daughter recovers in the hospital, she’s too scared to even look at her mom. The dad is pissed that his wife has been lying to him for years. The danger of keeping secrets is the big moral of the episodes. It’s what ties all the disparate storylines together. Even the comedic romance subplot, where Ralph tries to bring Cisco’s newly “social media-official” girlfriend into the fold, touches on it. Ralph keeps pushing for Cisco to reveal more about her work, and Cisco gets understandably angry at him for interfering. Ralph does have kind of a point, though. Team Flash is a big part of Cisco’s life. He won’t be able to keep it from her forever. The sooner he tells her, the better it will be for their relationship. (In that case, I hope he tells her soon. They’re so adorable together.)Carlos Valdes as Cisco Ramon, Danielle Nicolet as Cecile Horton, Jesse L. Martin as Detective Joe West, Candice Patton as Iris West – Allen — Photo: Katie Yu/The CWCicada shows up at the hospital and takes the dad hostage to force her real target to come out. This is exactly the moment this family stopped mattering. (I’m sure they had names, but the episode was so not about them it’s easy to forget completely what they are.) XS rushes them to safety, and the dad gets away when Cicada drops her knife to blast The Flash with energy. Ironically, he ends up getting saved by Orlin. The original Cicada’s rehabilitation is one of the more impressive aspects of this episode. It was intelligently set up by last week’s story, and you can see his horror build as he realizes who Grace has become. He drops his gravelly villain voice to beg Grace to stop. He insists that he was wrong to hate metahumans. She’s too far gone, though. She stabs her uncle in the back, and it’s a surprisingly affecting scene. In a single episode, The Flash made me care about the death of a character who, until this point, was a fairly tedious big bad. The show really is back at the top of its game.The big reveal of Nora’s secret is also a great piece of suspense. At the very beginning of the episode, she returns to Thawne in the future to ask just WTF is going on. Thawne says he didn’t plan for another Cicada to show up. (Which, given that Grace travelled back in time using Thawne’s time bubble machine, I don’t buy. I’m betting Thawne pit Nora and Grace against each other for his own purposes, but we’ll have to wait and see.) He urges Nora to tell her father everything. That probably would have been a good move somewhere around 17 episodes ago. But hey, secrets blowing up in people’s faces is practically a Team Flash pastime at this point. We spend the entire episode waiting for her to tell Barry what’s been going on. Every time she tries, they’re interrupted by something. At the same time, Sherloque has pieced together exactly who she’s been working with. It’s all a matter of who spills the beans first, and time isn’t on Nora’s side.Jessica Parker Kennedy as XS — Photo: Sergei Bachlakov/The CWSherloque reveals everything he’s learned to a stunned Team Flash, while Nora begs him not to. As long as she waited to say anything, it really couldn’t have gone any other way. That’s what makes the scene extra heartbreaking as Nora futilely begs Sherloque to stop. Even worse is watching Barry’s trust in his daughter disappear. He puts her inside the lab’s prison cell and turns his back on her. “I’m sorry I didn’t tell you.” “Me too.” Oof, that stings.This was easily one of the best, if not the best, episode of the season. Everything it did worked. It even made good on elements from passed episodes that weren’t so successful. If you’d told me back in January that I’d feel anything other than relief from Cicada’s death, I wouldn’t have believed you. But they were able to instill real emotions and empathy for the character in a very small amount of time. And that ending. It’s the perfect gut punch to leave us on as the show goes on hiatus for a month. We won’t get to find out what happens with Nora, and what Thawne is planning until at least April 18. If only The Flash could make the month go faster.The Flash airs Tuesdays at 8 p.m. on The CW.Previously on The Flash:The Flash Season 5 Episode 16 RecapThe Flash Season 5 Episode 15 RecapThe Flash Season 5 Episode 13 Recaplast_img read more