When it comes to being kept in the dark about plot details, The Flash's fanbase is well-accustomed to the silence, especially when it comes to each season's main villain. A different set-up is happening with Season 5's big bad, since we know his name is Cicada, we know he'll be portrayed by Chris Klein, and Grant Gustin recently offered up quite a few more details for fans to contemplate. Sometimes we're in the middle of a season before we get all that information. Now check out what Gustin had to say about Cicada and his introduction.
We learn pretty early on, which shouldn't come as a huge shock, that Nora being here actually has something to do with Cicada's arrival. . . . He can dampen other metahuman powers, and we don't know at first how he's able to do that. He's got an edge that no other big bad has ever had. We don't know who he is. He's mysterious. He's just kind of an intimidating, big scary man that can render pretty much all of these metahuman superheroes useless, more or less, in battle.
Let's unpack that first part. It definitely isn't surprising to learn that Barry's time-traveling daughter Nora plays a part in bringing Cicada to light. Whatever her big mistake was, the consequences were so severe that she had to go back to get her speedster dad's assistance. So it makes sense that her mistake-reversal actions would result in the biggest problem of all, which would presumably be the season's central villain. I can picture "Thanks a lot, Nora!" becoming this season's stand-in for the usual exclamation "Dammit, Barry!"
Moving onto the powers, it's interesting to hear how the live-action Cicada will be used in comparison to how the comic villain's origins were handled. As Todd Helbing put it to EW, the Cicada's backstory is a completely original direction for the villain, whose initial iteration led a group of cultists into killing Central City citizens who'd been saved by The Flash. Though I imagine Cicada will still be looking for victims to murder using his electrified lightning bolts, so some things may not be all that different.
While Grant Gustin didn't go into what happens when metahumans' powers are dampened by Cicada, it doesn't sound like an ideal scenario for anyone. Although there are far more evil metas than virtuous ones, so Chris Klein's baddie could inadvertently do some good for Central City by sapping any remaining meta-criminals of their powers. It wouldn't make Barry & Co. join his side or anything, but this show is known for heroes and villains that toe the moral lines.
The way that Cicada dampens powers might remind some fans of the way The Thinker was able to absorb and/or transpose metahumans' abilities. But Grant Gustin thinks of him as sharing the same kind of intimidating traits as another season's villain.
He comes on really hard and fast the first time we meet him, so right away there's an intimidation factor that's through the roof, similar to Zoom.
One of the biggest issues that a superhero can face is losing his or her powers, bringing them back down to human-sized capacity. Find out if Barry will have to face such odds when The Flash Season 5 debuts on The CW on Tuesday, October 9, at 8:00 p.m. ET. Remember to say hi to Kid Flash, too. And to see when the other Arrow-verse shows are more will be debuting, head to our fall TV premiere schedule.