Warning: spoilers ahead for Episode 17 of The Flash Season 5, called "Time Bomb."
Cicada was announced as the next big bad on The Flash way back in the summer before Season 5 premiered, but recent episodes have seen Chris Klein's Orlin Dwyer lose his status as the biggest and baddest baddie of the season. Now, after the events of "Time Bomb," I have to argue that it's time for The Flash to move on from Cicada and shift the focus to Nora and Reverse-Flash. Here's why.
Let's start with what happened on the Cicada front. For the first 55 minutes or so of the episode, it seemed like the biggest twist had to be the confrontation between Orlin Dwyer and adult Grace Gibbons. Dwyer was cured from his metahuman status in the previous episode, and he was no longer the Cicada he once was. Unfortunately, his loving niece Grace received some Cicada powers of her own, and hers are far stronger and more telekinetic than his.
As Cicada 2.0, Grace is obsessed with avenging her parents by striking back at metas, and she travelled back in time to battle the good guys of Central City. When she had Team Flash at her mercy, her uncle showed up to try and talk her down. Grace realized that he would stop at nothing to keep her from traveling down a dark path, and rather than taking that as motivation to stop hunting people, she just went ahead and killed her uncle. R.I.P. Cicada 1.0.
Yes, Chris Klein's Cicada is dead, and Cicada 2.0 ran off after killing her uncle. The good news is that she didn't kill any members of Team Flash after taking down Orlin; the bad news is that she's in the wind and more powerful than Orlin ever was. Also, she's from the future, so she has technology and knowledge at her disposal that Team Flash (with the potential exception of Nora) may not be familiar with. Will The Flash spend the next six episodes pitting Team Flash against Cicada 2.0?
Well, it's possible, but my fingers are crossed that The Flash will move on from all things Cicada. While I was a big fan of Cicada earlier in the season, the plot of Nora's scheming with Reverse-Flash has become far more interesting, and the latest Nora bombshell proves to me that there's more to be mined from her plot than from Cicada 2.0.
The truth has finally come out on the Nora front. After Sherloque spent most of Season 5 digging into Nora's secrets on the sly, he finally found a piece of evidence that made it undeniable that Nora had help in her time travel exploits and that help came from none other than future Eobard Thawne, a.k.a. Reverse-Flash.
Sherloque founds some clues in Team Flash's evidence archives when he was looking into Thawne's time pretending to be Earth-1 Harrison Wells, and he found his way to the Time Vault for a chat with Gideon. There, he found a recording of Thawne writing on a board and coming to the familiar conclusion that "The timeline is malleable."
Between Sherloque's familiarity with the phrase after reading Nora's time language and Gideon's handwriting analysis, it became clear that Thawne was 100% the man helping Nora from the future. Sherloque didn't sit on this knowledge for long. In the final minutes of the episode, when the majority of Team Flash was in a celebratory mood, Sherloque finally pressed the issue in front of everybody.
Even as Nora begged him to stop talking, he walked the rest of Team Flash -- including Barry and Iris, who were visibly appalled -- through what Nora had been doing, and Nora's guilt was all over her face. She couldn't answer when Iris asked her to refute Sherloque's words, and Barry realized that it was all true. Nora began to say that she tried to tell them the truth, but Barry grabbed her and ran them both into the pipeline, where he stashed his daughter in one of the power-dampening cells.
Something tells me Barry just realized that Nora is an adult, even if she is his daughter! She screamed after him that she's sorry she lied to him, but Barry simply said that he's sorry she did too, and he turned his back and walked away. Nora fell to her knees and broke down in tears.
As heartbreaking as it was to see Barry and Iris realize the depths of their daughter's betrayal -- even with the best of intentions -- and Nora break down, it does set the stage for The Flash to finally delve into the deal between Reverse-Flash and Nora. Reverse-Flash has arguably been The Flash's most compelling and frightening big bad to date, and Tom Cavanagh is always unnerving in the role.
Nora's involvement with Reverse-Flash is simply more interesting and bound to have more far-reaching consequences than anything that could go down with Cicada 2.0, who didn't even debut in full villainous form until the seventeenth episode of the season. I vote for The Flash to wrap up the Cicada arc and spend as much of the rest of the season as possible on the fallout of Barry's beloved daughter joining forces with his most-hated nemesis. Hey, maybe Nora could learn her lesson just in time to co-star in a spinoff!
The promo for the next episode proves that the show isn't going to just jump back into Cicada danger or man-shark vs. telekinetic gorilla-esque shenanigans. Take a look:
Going by the footage in the promo, Barry isn't going to be inclined to forgive his daughter any time soon, which is understandable. Much as he loves Nora, he's only known her for a short amount of time, and he made it clear to her what Reverse-Flash did to their family. For Barry, she probably had every chance to turn away from her arrangement with Reverse-Flash.
Iris seems more inclined to defend her daughter, which is contrary to what their future relationship seemed to be back in the beginning of the season. The rest of Team Flash undoubtedly has some thoughts as well. Reverse-Flash did harm to almost all of them, both emotionally and physically. Cisco even has memories of being killed be Thawne when he was impersonating Harrison Wells.