Did The Flash Just Reveal Reverse-Flash As The Real Big Bad Of Season 5?

the flash reverse flash the cw
(Image credit: Image courtesy of The CW)

Major spoilers ahead for the 100th episode of The Flash, called "What's Past Is Prologue."

The Flash has officially hit its milestone 100th episode, and unlike sister series Arrow, the big episode didn't fall in the middle of a gigantic crossover event. Instead, the majority of the episode was focused on Team Flash finding a way to stop Cicada, which meant finding a way to get rid of his power-draining dagger. Barry and Nora went on a quest through the past to put together the pieces of a dampener for the dagger, which sent them back to the eras of Savitar, Zoom, and Reverse-Flash, and new clues having to do with none other than Nora West-Allen may point toward Reverse-Flash rather than Cicada as the Season 4 big bad. Here's why.

Barry spent a great deal of his and Nora's time in the past trying to keep Nora from coming face to face with Reverse-Flash, but they had no choice but to visit him after a piece of their device was smashed and Thawne was the only person who could fix it. In a fantastic performance from Tom Cavanagh back in his first Flash role, Thawne immediately processed that the Barry who turned up in the Time Vault was a Barry from many years in the future, and he even deduced that the young woman who came with him was his daughter.

Nora was surprisingly cavalier about meeting Thawne, even knowing that he ranks as Barry's arch-nemesis. Barry didn't understand why she wasn't reacting more extremely to Reverse-Flash of all people... until he discovered that she didn't know what Thawne had done to him. Apparently, whoever stocked the Flash museum in Nora's timeline left out the little detail that Thawne had murdered Barry's mother with the goal of breaking Barry's spirit and never becoming the Scarlet Speedster.

This reveal devastated Nora and -- as was later indicated -- not just because she suddenly learned that the woman she'd been named for had been murdered. The final scene of the episode (aside from a tag that has aired on the end of the latest episodes of Supergirl and Arrow to promote the "Elseworlds" crossover) saw Nora speed her way to 2049 to meet a mysterious somebody.

As it turns out, that mysterious somebody is almost certainly Eobard Thawne in Wells' body, locked up in a future prison. Now, I say "almost certainly" only because the episode didn't explicitly name him, but there's no way The Flash would have spent the episode subtly building to a connection between Thawne and Nora only to reveal that she's secretly working with the Wells of Earth-17 or Earth-47 or any other Earth. Besides, the sinister vibration sound effect always associated with Thawne played over the scene. Yes, Nora is almost certainly working with Thawne.

Or should I say, Nora is almost certainly working for Thawne, against her best intentions? Bless her heart, but Nora has not shown the best judgment in the series, and the multiverse would probably be better off if she's just stayed in her own time rather than mess with the whole timeline. Thawne is a genius who successfully manipulated a lot of brilliant people for a long time.

Something tells me that even if Thawne is behind bars in 2049 as he seems to be, he's the one in control. Oh, Nora.

the flash 100th episode nora the cw

(Image credit: Image courtesy of The CW)

The episode provided more clues to Thawne and Nora's connection than just Nora's sketchy reactions and that final meeting at the end of the hour, and they came courtesy of Sherloque. Now, I have not been Sherloque's biggest fan due to my lingering love of the Harry version of Harrison Wells, but he's really shown off his investigative skills in sussing out something going on with Nora.

The rest of Team Flash hasn't even picked up on something being suspicious about Nora. Sherloque noted something was off for the first time earlier in the season, when he asked if Nora came to the decision to interfere with the falling satellite in the Season 4 finale (which in turn resulted in the creation of new metas, including Cicada) on her own. She hesitated before claiming that the idea was her own, and Sherloque clearly didn't buy it, although he did let the matter go... for a time.

In "What's Past Is Prologue," Sherloque got his hands on Nora's journal, which is filled with those bizarre symbols Barry was doodling and Cisco was attempting to translate back after Barry emerged from the Speed Force. He asked her about it, and she was clearly uncomfortable that he had it. Still, she explained that the symbols are a time language that can be used to permanently record events so that they're not forgotten even if the timeline changes.

Sherloque admired her work, then asked where she learned it. She claimed that she created it herself, but her actions seem to tell a different story. After taking her journal back, she wandered to the Time Vault to upload some new info into Gideon before saying that she wanted to send a personal message. Nora amended that, saying that she would deliver the message herself, then zipped to 2049 and told the imprisoned Thawne that they needed to talk. Thawne has been the recipient of her messages all along. Nora, Nora, Nora.

As much as Cicada has been presented as the main villain of Season 5 and has proven to be a huge threat to Team Flash, he pales in comparison to a Reverse-Flash with the means to infiltrate their ranks again. Even if he can't physically infiltrate their ranks at the moment, he could have an agent unconsciously working on his behalf in Nora. She's a sweet young woman who only wants to get to know her father, and those pure motives could be her downfall.

That said, it's possible that Nora learning what Thawne did to her grandmother will fracture their relationship and put an end to their work together, even if only temporarily. We'll have to wait and see. Unfortunately, we may have a while to wait. The final episode of The Flash before winter hiatus will be the first leg of the gigantic "Elseworlds" crossover, which kicks off with The Flash on Sunday, December 9 at 8 p.m. ET in Supergirl's usual time slot. Be sure to tune in to see Batgirl in the flesh as well as learn if Monitor's introduction is the first step toward a "Crisis On Infinite Earths" arc.

Laura Hurley
Senior Content Producer

Laura turned a lifelong love of television into a valid reason to write and think about TV on a daily basis. She's not a doctor, lawyer, or detective, but watches a lot of them in primetime. CinemaBlend's resident expert and interviewer for One Chicago, the galaxy far, far away, and a variety of other primetime television. Will not time travel and can cite multiple TV shows to explain why. She does, however, want to believe that she can sneak references to The X-Files into daily conversation (and author bios).