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For all the highs and lows that Barry Allen has experienced since becoming The Flash, the Season 4 finale dropped a whopper in the form of daughter-from-the-future Nora West-Allen, who is going to play quite a notable role in Season 5. When speaking with actress Jessica Parker Kennedy during press roundtables at San Diego Comic-Con, I asked her what Nora's personality would actually be like now that she'll be around on a more constant basis as the hero XS. Here's what she told me:
I think she's a lot like her father was at the beginning of this show. There's a dorkiness and a clumsiness and an ability to make mistakes and mess up. And her parents have to be like, 'Oh my god.' I think she's so keen to...she just loves her dad and wants to be like him. And in that, I think there's room for all sorts of mess-up adventures, and them having to try and pick up the pieces.
Well, I think it's safe to say one thing Central City doesn't need right now is an excitable mini-Barry Allen running around and changing up timelines anew. Then again, if there's anyone out there equipped with the tools necessary to keep Nora safe and free from making truly dim decisions, it's her currently confused father. Barry still hasn't perfected his own Flash techniques to the point where they're trite routines, but he can at least serve as a general mentor for Nora to learn from. And if she can get an education on how NOT to handle certain situations, that might almost be more important. For an example, rule numbers one through seven should be "Don't use time travel to fix any mistakes."
Jessica Parker Kennedy also confirmed to me that more answers about Nora's Season 4 appearances will be answered "quickly" when Season 5 kicks off, and since they were only filming the second episode when Comic-Con hit, it's definitely possible that we'll learn a lot more in the season premiere itself. Thankfully, it doesn't sound like fans need to worry about Nora's arrival driving a marital wedge between Barry and Iris. Though Nora and Iris apparently won't be getting off on the right foot. In Kennedy's words:
There isn't a rift between [Barry and Iris[. There's definitely something going on between me and my mom. You can see in the last episode. And that, you know, we'll figure that out and that gets explained. But I think in terms of their dynamic, they're solid. They're good. I think it's hard for Iris, because Nora is just like, 'Dad! Dad! Dad! Dad! Mom...' And so you know, that's always hard. But I think Barry supports her, and that encourages her. She's not like jealous of it or anything. I think she's just envious and wants to know what's going on.
That's probably the most understandable notion that's ever been expressed on The Flash. A new wife is troubled when another woman comes into her family's life and wholly envelopes the new husband with attention and adoration. It would be sticky enough if this were an adulterous situation, but this is a mother-daughter relationship, so there should arguably be a stronger connection between the two of them than the one shared with Barry. But there's some still-mysterious angle there that will initially see Nora being less than enthused by meeting her mother in the past. Will Iris somehow be responsible for the death of Barry and/or others in the future? We'll have to wait and see.
Showrunner Todd Helbing told CinemaBlend and other outlets another take on how Nora's presence skews things for Barry and Iris.
I think it's two-fold. A. The timeline. She clearly did something very wrong. And now that Barry's kind of on the other side -- he didn't do it this time, thankfully -- he gets to sort of be the person that spearheads how they can fix this problem. But it's a weird scenario we have when your kid who is your age essentially is dropped in your lap, and it's like how are we parents now? It's enough to be parents to a newborn, where [you think] 'Who is this thing? Well, we'll slowly get to know who this person.' But this is like, 'Hi, I'm a mixture of you guys.' . . . And [Kennedy] can play all the quirkiness of Barry from Season 1 in this very familiar way. It's amazing.
Jessica Parker Kennedy said that the creative team has a really strong hold on Nora's story, and have had a lot of it crafted for a long time, which speaks to how long ago we heard that Season 5 was being developed. I can't wait to see all the many facets of Nora West-Allen in the next batch of episodes.
The Flash will return to viewers with its newest superhero Nora "XS" West-Allen for Season 5, which is set to debut on The CW on Tuesday, October 9, at 8:00 p.m. ET. Be sure to check out the big new villain Cicada in the Season 5 trailer here, and then head to our summer premiere schedule to see all the shows that will be showing up before then.