REVIEW: The Flash, S5E10 – The Flash & The Furious

Given that “The Flash & The Furious” was filmed at the tail end of this season’s crossover, it stands to reason that star Grant Gustin would need a lighter load for the midseason premiere. The result was a spotlight on Nora (Jessica Parker Kennedy) and the insecurities she’s been harboring ever since discovering that her buddy Eobard Thawne (Tom Cavanagh) is even more villainous than she previously imagined. The episode also featured the return of Weather Witch (guest star Reina Hardesty) as a vehicle to explore whether or not some second chances are earned.

We love watching Mama Cecile work.

Despite its title, “The Flash & The Furious” did not feature that many car chases or tricks of the road – in fact, the climactic battle of the night took place in a mostly invisible car. But ‘furious’ could certainly describe Nora’s mindset after being betrayed by Eobard, or rather by her own failure to do a simple Google search. After Cecile’s (Danielle Nicolet) first day back to work was interrupted by a metaobject-aided car theft, the villain on trial wound up being kidnapped by Silver Ghost in the hopes of wreaking vengeance on those who ruined her life and branded her a criminal. Only this time around, Weather Witch wanted reform instead of vengeance and called out to the Flash for help.

With Barry uncontrollably vibrating – and hilariously catching up on Mick’s erotic novel – offscreen thanks to the unstable dark matter in Silver Ghost’s key fob, it was up to Nora to decide whether or not to be magnanimous. But having newly discovered that bad guys usually stay bad, she rejected Jocelyn’s plea and turned her into the authorities once more without doing much research. It took some of Iris’ (Candice Patton) superhuman understanding and Barry’s trademark pep talks to get XS to see she may have been a little too rash, which was a commendable feat on their parts because they had no idea why she was acting that way. In the end, though, their life lesson may have worked a little too well. With one minute to go before Eobard’s apparent execution, Nora decided to give him a second chance to prove he had good intentions and wanted to leave a legacy of more than mere bloodshed.

Many fans were probably scratching their heads at her choice, but I found myself drawn to the storyline. How can we know Eobard hasn’t repented? After all, even the precious few moments of screentime in which he was alone seemed to show him haunted by his own actions. Plus, if Crisis on Infinite Earths is coming, wouldn’t he want to prevent his arch nemesis from disappearing and taking his only reason for living along with him? No matter what, The Flash has never shied away from redeeming villains no matter how awful they are. And Barry had a point: if heroes don’t see the best in people, who will?

When Cisco cries, I cry.

Back at STAR Labs, Cisco (Carlos Valdes) was busy creating a metahuman cure once his hand was freed of the dark matter shards that had inexplicably been lodged there for months. Caitlin’s (Danielle Panabaker) concern over his desire to erase the metahuman gene led to an episode long standoff that probably took a few too many scenes to reach its inevitable conclusion. Some metahumans embrace their powers and some abhor them, so what it all comes down to is choice. Cisco should have the freedom to create a “cure,” but everyone should have the freedom not to take it.

Most of the scenes in this storyline felt like unnecessary filler, and worse they went against Cisco’s previous feelings as someone who was excited to use his powers for good. There’s nothing wrong with letting Cisco change, but when no work has been done onscreen to justify it, that change rings hollow. While the role reversal for he and Caitlin felt on the nose, it provided another opportunity for Valdes to display his immense talent as Cisco revealed his desire to start a family without the worry that he would one day disappear on them like Barry will.

Next week, The Flash seems to be getting back into the swing of things with the promos hinting at a metahuman-led fight against Cicada, and after that a peek into the future for Barry and Iris. While “The Flash & The Furious” was a bit slow for a midseason premiere, it did more firmly establish Nora and Thawne’s connection and set up the team’s side plot for the remainder of the season. Hopefully the following episode will kick off at full speed.

The Flash airs Tuesdays at 8/7c on the CW.