Four Times We Saw Nora Change the Past…and One Time We Didn’t

“My first Killer Frost and I go and Ruin it”

The next time we see Nora, it’s at the end of episode 4.15 “Enter Flashtime,” when she happens to interrupt a conversation between Caitlin Snow (Danielle Panabaker) and Harry Wells (Tom Cavanaugh). At first, it seems to be a continuation of Nora’s bubbly nature as she babbles about the irony of drinking coffee to calm her nervous “jitters,” much to the exasperation of Harry. However, her sudden seriousness when Caitlin and Harry leave clues us in to just how much more calculated this interaction was compared to her meeting Cisco and Ralph. From this encounter we learn two things: 1) Nora was referring to Caitlin and Harry when she said she was meeting people “for the first time,” which implies that neither Caitlin nor Harry remained on Team Flash in the future. 2) Nora’s not just on a “Meet My Parents’ Friends” historical world tour. It’s clear she trusts Caitlin and Harry much less she does Cisco and Ralph. Could Caitlin and/or Harry be partially responsible for Barry’s 2024 disappearance, hence them not being in Nora’s life and her resenting them? We know a new version of Harrison Wells will be introduced in season 5, so not much can be said in regard to his character, but it doesn’t bode well for the path Caitlin may go down in season 5 in her attempts to reconnect with Killer Frost…

 

“Time is Precious”

The final time we see Nora Allen ahead of her epic finale save and reveal is in episode 4.20 “Therefore She Is,” when she masquerades as a delivery girl to give Cecile and Joe a baby shower gift. In contrast to her happiness at interacting with Ralph and Cisco, and her cockiness in sabotaging a friendly coffee date between Caitlin and Harry, this is the first time we get an inkling that Nora’s plan isn’t quite working out the way she wants it to. She may just now be starting to realize the gravity of her mistake in meddling with time. If we assume that Cecile getting pregnant instead of Iris is the result of a timeline change, Nora’s oddly specific prediction of 21 days to Cecile’s due date could be because that’s when she was originally supposed to be born.

She tells Joe and Cecile that “time is precious, and right now is all we got…relatively speaking,” and hurriedly runs away when she hears Iris approaching. From this encounter, as with her previous ones, we can infer a few things. It’s now clear that Nora is actively avoiding interacting with Iris. This could just be because Iris warned her about timeline traveling and Nora is afraid of getting in trouble or having to face the fact that her mom was right. However, her teary face in the hallway before she speeds away may also imply something more desperate: the changes to the timeline have become so drastic that Nora may have erased her birth altogether. Instead of maybe being born a year or so later, Nora is never born at all, effectively making her a time remnant without a future to return to.

 

(Baby) Flashpoint

One major event in particular from episode 4.20 that may help to explain the reason for such a drastic change: Marlize leaves her husband. A running theme of The Flash season 4 parallels the Devoes to the West-Allens, supervillain couple to superhero couple. Both Marlize and Iris challenged each other over what they were “willing to do for your husband?”, and the narrative stressed that it was the strength of each marriage that made them formidable. The finale probably should have ended with Barry and Iris defeating both Clifford and Marlize. However, the butterfly effect of Nora’s original change in the beginning of S4 instead leads to a timeline in which Marlize leaves Clifford before the Enlightenment and subsequently helps Team Flash defeat her husband. In this reality, Devoe’s final revenge sends a satellite crashing down to Central City, Barry dies trying to stop it, and Nora is never born. Therefore Nora had to save Barry in the finale, not only to fix all of her previous mistakes, but also to ensure the possibility of her own existence. Nora finally reveals herself to Team Flash and her parents because her effort to change the future has turned into a situation she can no longer solve by herself.

 

Conclusion:

Nora Allen’s small change to save her dad and her future snowballed into a big change that put the future, and her very existence, at risk. Helbing hinted that Nora’s appearance this season would be connected to the S5 big bad, which many fans have speculated will be Cicada based on a recent casting call.  In the comics, Cicada is an immortal being who hates metas and has the ability to strip them of their powers. Is a future in which metahumans like Nora are hunted the future she set out to change? How will Team Flash not only help Nora save her future, but also solve the problem of the mini paradox Nora created when she saved her father? And when will Nora mention if she has a twin brother?! Fans may have a long time to wait for S5, but in the meantime, we have our theories to keep us entertained!

Do you agree with my theory on Nora Allen’s “big mistake”? Do you have a theory of your own? How do you think potential Big Bad, Cicada, fits into it all? What are you most looking forward to having answered. Let us know!

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