Spoilers lie ahead for the eleventh episode of The Flash Season 5, titled "Seeing Red."
Although The Flash has gotten pretty dark at various points in the five seasons so far, the good guys of Central City have been less inclined to kill than the good guys over in Star City. Team Flash has spent Season 5 looking for a way to stop Cicada without killing him, and "Seeing Red" may have seen Barry figure out the way to do it, but not before he spent some time seriously wanting to permanently end the supervillain.
"Seeing Red" was a rough one for poor Nora. As was teased in a trailer for the second half of Season 5, Nora had her back broken after an encounter with Cicada in a scene so brutal that it would have been truly horrifying on a character other than a quick-healing speedster. Despite the knowledge that his daughter would recover -- and having recovered from a broken back himself -- Barry all but snapped in his anger, alarming Cecile when she realized he wanted to kill Cicada.
Since this is The Flash, nobody seemed to be on Team Kill Cicada, even though Cicada had been murdering metahumans all season long, had just seriously injured Nora, and showed no signs of stopping of his own volition. As in years past, the ultimate goal of the good guys is to stop their big bad without ending his life. The problem this year is that Cicada's dagger has the ability to sap metas of their powers, with the exception of Caitlin. It's also very handy for stabbing, slashing, and as we saw in "Seeing Red," taking down helicopters if thrown the right way.
Team Flash hasn't been able to defeat Cicada by force. Luckily, the episode ended with Barry coming up with a way Team Flash might be able to talk Cicada out of his murder spree. As he and Iris reflected on the scare with Nora's injury and how they couldn't imagine caring about anybody more than their daughter, Barry came to the realization that Cicada's status as a dad himself could be key to his undoing.
Again, since this is The Flash, Barry's instinct was not to suggest using Grace Gibbons as a hostage or leverage against Cicada. Instead, he came to the conclusion that perhaps the good guys will be able to get through to Cicada and stop him from murdering metas if they wake young Grace up from her coma. Cicada's spree is motivated by his belief that metas are responsible for Grace's injuries; could he see the light if metas fix Grace?
I tend to want Team Flash to just bite the proverbial bullet and kill off their supervillains of the year for the greater good, but I could actually kinda seeing this attempt to win over Cicada working. As awful as Cicada has been and as much as he is the guy responsible for doing the actual killing, Grace's nurse has been egging him on with the killing of metas. A bunch of metas undoubtedly wouldn't have died if she hadn't pointed him in a certain direction. Would Cicada have simply retreated to Grace's side once the initial fury wore off, if not for the whispers of the nurse?
We'll likely never know that, but perhaps Barry and Co. could take Cicada down if they wake up Grace and separate him from the nurse. Tune in to The Flash on Tuesdays at 8 p.m. ET to find out what happens next with Team Flash and Cicada. Next week looks like it will take place at least partly in Nora's mind, so Reverse-Flash may be a bigger concern than Cicada in that episode. Only time will tell this midseason.