Although The Flash has already established Cicada as its Season 5 big bad, that doesn't mean there can't be another one. That was clear when it was recently revealed some major villains would appear in the series' 100th episode, but is that the only time we'll see a past major villain make an appearance? We have reason to suspect Reverse-Flash is somehow pulling the strings in Season 5 and manipulating Nora towards some grand plot. Let's go over our reasoning.
The Timeline Alterations
Nora's arrival and interference have already been explained as the cause of the altered timeline, and that was a good enough explanation for fans until she got tripped up by Sherloque Wells. The great detective asked if Nora came to the decision to interfere with the satellite on her own, to which she hesitated before he let her off the hook. Clearly something or someone inspired Nora to interfere in that specific instance, but who?
Obviously, we're thinking Reverse-Flash. We know he's a big fan of altering time for his own gain, whatever they may be. Thawne may have encouraged Nora to help destroy the satellite which led to Cicada's early arrival, although we're not exactly sure why. What we do know is that Reverse-Flash is pretty well-versed in screwing with time, and if he's behind this, that interference could lead to some bigger trouble than what's already been caused.
But Why Nora?
It would stand to reason that if Reverse-Flash needed to travel back in time and alter an event to set a chain of events in motion, he could do it himself. He's far more experienced than Nora and has a better handle on his powers. That said, he's a villain with a deep seeded hatred for Barry, and what better way to get under your rival's skin that manipulating his daughter to do some evil bidding?
There's also the obvious fact that Team Flash could learn that Reverse-Flash interfered regardless of how hard he tried to mask his identity during the satellite incident. Sending Nora is a safer option because she would serve as a distraction, and would be an easy scapegoat as an inexperienced speedster who interfered in an event. Reverse-Flash might also be busy with other parts of a hypothetical plan elsewhere, hence his enlistment of Nora.
Couldn't Someone Else Have Trained Nora?
It's possible someone like Future Wally might've trained Nora, but with all of Team Flash well versed in the danger of changing the past and Iris apparently against Nora having powers, we find it unlikely friends or family would help. Reverse-Flash may be that mentor Nora needed and could've secretly trained her without Team Flash interfering. After all, he's done it once with Barry and would be one of few outsiders who know she's The Flash's kid.
Let's also not forget that Nora had only been a hero in Central City for six months prior to her arrival. That's weird, because she's apparently pretty good at time travel and appears to be in far better control of it than Barry when he first did it. How did Nora manage to pinpoint her arrival into the past when simple techniques like phasing are still new to her? Perhaps she had help from someone who does it a lot.
Why Would The Flash Feature Reverse-Flash In Season 5?
Another big clue that Reverse-Flash could be pulling the strings in Season 5 is his tease in Season 4 hinting he'd see Barry again. The moment came during "Crisis On Earth-X" where he told Barry he might have a different face the next time they meet. Unfortunately, he didn't pencil in a specific return date as well, so we have no idea when The Flash may show him returning.
That said, it wouldn't be crazy to think a villain teasing a return in Season 4 would turn around in appear in Season 5. Additionally, the line was meaningful enough for The Flash to include in a jam-packed crossover, so we're guessing it was some intentional tease these two heroes could meet again. That could happen via the upcoming crossover or possibly the 100th episode, but would a one and done appearance really warrant a tease a season in advance?
What Would His Plan Be?
Nora's newspaper teased new details playing into The Flash's future, one of them potentially being Crisis on Infinite Earths. With The Monitor being introduced in the "Elseworlds" crossover, it's possible The CW is preparing to introduce that storyline. This is important because the paper revealed Reverse-Flash has a sizable presence in whatever event inevitably leads to Barry's disappearance.
Barry's disappearance been known since the first future paper, as The Flash disappears following a big battle with Reverse-Flash. While Barry never returns, the fate of Reverse-Flash is unknown. In the hypothetical scenario where he vanished as well, Reverse-Flash has time remnants of himself placed across different periods. It's completely possible a time remnant of Thawne could be around to influence Nora, and this could be the beginning of a sequence of events that lead to Barry's disappearance.
What Does Cicada Have To Do With Any Of This?
Given Cicada's hatred of metas good and bad, we don't imagine he'd be a willing accomplish in this seemingly wild conspiracy theory. That said, Cicada may have been chosen by Reverse-Flash as a distraction because he's a notoriously hard villain to capture. Nora knew that from his bio in The Flash museum, so it would stand to reason a future Reverse-Flash would know that as well.
According to Sherloque Wells, Nora's satellite interference may have been what led to Cicada being a different person than he was on Earth 1. Provided that's true, and Nora did indeed receive the suggestion from elsewhere to interfere in that specific event, it does feel as though it was a maneuver to prevent the villain from being a quick capture. This could occupy Team Flash for a long while and allow Reverse-Flash to do whatever he wants without raising too many alarms.
So, is anyone else thinking Reverse-Flash has a hand in what's going on in Season 5? Fans can share their thoughts in the comments and catch new episodes of The Flash on The CW Tuesdays at 8:00 p.m. ET. For a look at what else is happening on television over the next couple of months, be sure to visit our fall premiere guide.