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Warning! The following contains spoilers for the first three episodes of The Flash Season 5. Read at your own risk!
The Flash practically exploded out of the gate with Season 5, and our heroes are already struggling with how they're going to defeat Cicada. We've learned several details about the new villain so far, but it seems that every reveal has only inspired more questions that have been "bugging" us about Central City's serial killer.
Here are the biggest Cicada questions and curiosities we're currently obsessing over, and ones we're hoping The Flash answers as the season continues. Here's hoping we all make it to the end without hearing that sound.
What's The Extent Of Cicada's Powers?
At first, Cicada merely seemed like a big dude who could dampen metas' powers, enabling him to kill them with his bolt dagger and hand-to-hand combat skills. We've since learned he can bring his dagger back to him at will, and he can either fly or jump extremely high into the air. Have we seen everything, though, or are there more of Cicada's powers that we don't know about?
Conversely, does Cicada have a meta-specific weakness? In both encounters with Team Flash, the villain cut and run after short battles he mostly dominated. We haven't seen Cicada in an extended fight yet, which means we've never seen if that dampening ability has a time limit, or if it takes a physical toll on him. That factor may be a key to bringing the villain down, provided Team Flash can find someone capable of pushing him to his limits.
How Did Cicada Previously Evade Being Captured?
Nora revealed that Cicada is one of spookiest villains The Flash ever faced, mainly because he was never captured. Barry's future daughter revealed Team Flash failed in their attempts to defeat him in her future, as did the Green Arrow and "the League." (But the Justice League, or what?) That impressive list of heroes to overcome, combined with Sherloque's declaration that he'd caught dozens of other dimensions' Cicadas, makes us super curious about how Earth-1's Cicada avoided getting caught.
After all, one would imagine a non-meta hero like Oliver Queen could have an advantage against Cicada due to his lack of powers to dampen. Evading capture from that many heroes does take more than physical strength, which probably means Cicada will be difficult to outmaneuver intellectually, on top of using his powers. Cicada doesn't strike us as the exceptionally clever type like Clifford DeVoe, however, so maybe he had some help in the future staying a step ahead of the heroes?
What's With Cicada's Mask?
Cicada's mask definitely gives him the supervillain vibe of The Flash's most dangerous foes, but is it just for show? We've seen him unmasked and outside of his suit, so we can assume it's not constantly vital as a form of life support. In fact, the mask makes his breathing sound ragged and insect-like, so why would he wear it when he's fighting metas?
It's possible the mask is a source of Cicada's power. We haven't seen him do anything superhuman without it, so maybe this get-up supplements his abilities in a way similar to the villain Bane. Of course, it also might just be a way of creepily concealing his identity, which is crucial, considering Team Flash is pretty good at identifying criminals. (Until they start listening to Sherloque Wells, that is.) Whatever his reason, we doubt the mask is purely aesthetic. It likely fulfills some need the villain has.
Was "David Hersch" Merely A Throwaway Easter Egg?
Harrison Sherloque Wells revealed that he's captured Cicada on many different Earths, and that in each instance, the killer has always been David Hersch. For those unaware, the New Earth Cicada had also started life as David Hersch in the comic book world. So The Flash intentionally misled studious viewers by making the villain someone else entirely. Was it just a throwaway easter egg, or is there a story-specific reason David Hersch isn't Cicada on Earth-1?
The Flash already hinted Nora's meddling probably changed Cicada's identity, but then why hadn't Sherloque Wells ever been utilized for his "genius" intellect in Nora's future? Plus, how would Nora's actions completely alter who ended up specifically becoming Cicada? There might be a much deeper mystery at play here, one that implies a larger force (or villain) that could be manipulating the timeline(s).
How Does Nora Play Into Cicada's Arrival?
As hinted at by Sherloque Wells, The Flash may be tying Cicada's changed identity and early arrival to Nora taking down that satellite with an unsuspecting Barry. That could be true, as the plot thickened greatly when XS failed to convince anyone that the decision to interfere wasn't necessarily all her own. Did an outside (speed) force prompt Nora into choosing that exact moment to change something? If so, who or what was it?
It's possible another time-meddler like Reverse Flash may have tricked Nora into intervening, although we have another theory. Remember those unexplained symbols Barry was writing in Season 4? And how Nora was seen with a notebook that contained them? Perhaps she decoded that...message?...and it provided the inspiration to go punch a satellite. Even if that wasn't the case, those symbols still haven't been fully addressed and we have to think they'll be brought back up in some way in Season 5.
Why Is Cicada Targeting All The Metas?
One thing that has been clear since even before _The Flash _Season 5 started: Cicada is not a fan of metahumans. It was revealed back at San Diego Comic-Con Cicada's family was torn apart by metas, so to speak, which has prompted his mission to exterminate them one by one. That's all well and good, I suppose, but what happened that gave him such an ax to grind?
We're assuming Cicada's grudge against metahumans is tied to the reason his daughter is in a coma. That would give anyone suitably villainous motives to go over the edge, but it does little to explain why he's blamed metas above any other factors. For story reasons, we're guessing his origin is somehow tied to Barry, although Cicada doesn't appear concerned with immediately killing the speedster. Is it because he learned Flash is also a father?
How Did Cicada's Daughter End Up In A Coma?
We know Cicada's daughter is in a coma, and that metas played into it in some way. The popular theory amongst The Flash fans seems to be Cicada's daughter was injured in some meta-related accident, possibly the one that wounded him. Central City has no shortage of those, either. If that were the case, it would be easier to see how the villain wants to exact widespread revenge for what happened to his daughter.
That said, Cicada appears to be a meta himself, which may complicate his mission. Perhaps his own powers caused his daughter's coma, which resulted in some twisted aggression rooted in self-loathing? Or maybe Flash set up the event that created his powers. Cicada can't take himself out, at least not while his daughter is still alive,, so he redirects his aggression on all other metas instead. It's not the most logical explanation, but it's not as though metahumans are wildly logical individuals.
Does Cicada's Daughter Have Powers?
Maybe it wasn't Cicada or other metas that caused his daughter's state. What if the girl did it to herself? Perhaps Cicada's daughter had gained access to her own powers, and accidentally injured herself and others in the family while attempting to use them. Here's an even crazier theory, what if Cicada's daughter is telepathically the one instructing him to kill metas?
Cicada's motivation to kill is tied to his daughter, sure, but does he believe killing metas will improve her condition? Could his daughter have some way of communicating with him that's led him to believe that it's actually helping? That sounds too dark for The Flash, so maybe she just needs an organ transplant or something, and he needs a meta who can spawn lungs. Whatever the case may be, we're excited to see how Cicada and Barry's respective fatherhoods and familial relationships develop in Season 5.
Who Was That Doctor?
The Flash introduced a new character who appeared to be the doctor in charge of caring for Cicada's daughter. This character was immediately interesting because she appeared to be aware of Cicada's identity, his habit of killing metas, and his unhealing wound. That doesn't seems like something a normal person, let alone a medical practicioner that's sworn to protect lives, would approve of. So what's her deal?
It wouldn't be surprising to learn Central City has amassed some anti-meta citizens over the past few years. Even then, few humans would be ok with carrying on with a known serial killer in casual conversation, regardless of the Hippocratic Oath. There's certainly something strange about this doctor and her connection to Cicada. We're not quite ready to say she's on the same villainous page as the Season 5 big bad, but she's certainly not making herself look any more innocent by keeping his secrets.