REVIEW: The Flash, S5E20 – Gone Rogue

It’s impressive that Eobard Thawne did not make an appearance on The Flash this week, seeing as “Gone Rogue” hinged entirely on his plan and what various characters thought about him and it. Nora (Jessica Parker Kennedy) broke bad after accessing the negative Speed Force and immediately went about collecting her own band of Rogues for a mission so evil she couldn’t come to Barry (Grant Gustin) or Iris (Candice Patton) about it, leaving the team chasing their tails when it came to both her and Cicada.

The West-Allens to the rescue.

Chasing tails is what a lot of “Gone Rogue” felt like, which Cisco (Carlos Valdes) even called out with a line about wild goose chases. It’s hard to image that The Flash only has two episodes of the season left when the majority of this hour was spent on Nora’s teenage rebellion – nevermind the fact that she’s 25 – which was only revealed to be a cover for yet another Stop Cicada plan in the last few minutes. It’s a good thing that her merry band of criminals had some gems in it, with Weather Witch and the first season’s Queen Bee bringing some comedy (not to mention actual family trauma) with them and Rag Doll once again horrifying audiences with his contortion skills.

Nora’s plan involved sneaking into a weapons manufacturer by dressing as military and then stealing their high-tech guns to sell on the black market, with the added caveat of no killing. Except, of course, what Nora really wanted was to find the object that would render Cicada’s dagger useless – and what her teammates wanted was to betray her at the first turn and force The Flash to reveal his identity to the four people in the world who still don’t know. And if they get to kill Nora in the process, so be it. It’s a good thing Joe’s (Jesse L. Martin) paternal wisdom worked on Barry after he and Iris fought once more over Nora’s actions and Thawne’s intentions, or else her family wouldn’t have come to the rescue. But thankfully they did, and the Westallen family saved the day just in time for Barry to admit that maybe Iris and Nora had a point and they could trust Thawne’s machinations when it came to stopping Cicada. Not only that, but Iris got to show off that right hook of hers when she faced off against Ragdoll.

Every Ralph needs his Sue.

Overall, the mystery of Nora’s alignment was underwhelming, but it did lead to some nice family moments – if only the show would stop forgetting that Iris should be receiving her daughter’s affection and gratitude nowadays. I also hope that Nora apologizes to Cisco for kidnapping him and Sherloque (Tom Cavanagh), forcing him to hack Spencer Young’s phone, and threatening to phase through him as a fear tactic – but that might be too much to hope for. Besides, Cisco’s probably busy now pondering the questions Sherloque threw at him. Why hasn’t he told Kamilla he’s Vibe yet? Is it because he doesn’t trust her enough to be part of his life as a hero, or is it because he no longer wants that heroic life? Whatever he decides, he better stay on the show after.

In the meantime, Caitlin (Danielle Panabaker) and Ralph (Hartley Sawyer) took a trip back to her father’s lab to look for clues as to why Grace absconded with the cryo-atomizer. For a long while, they find nothing but introspection, but it’s actually rather touching. Ralph did his best to draw Killer Frost out using his guide on mourning after his guide on romance worked so well with Cisco, and once he was successful Caitlin turned the spotlight back on him. When questioned why he didn’t work his magic on himself and maybe find a girlfriend or a life, he admitted he didn’t think he was cut out for love. It was a sad statement and a very sweet moment, undercut by how he proved himself right two seconds later when he assumed Caitlin was into him just because she tried to comfort him. Thank goodness it doesn’t seem The Flash will go don that romantic road, as “Gone Rogue” appeared to be hinting at Sue’s eventual arrival instead.

Aside from the West-Allens gambling their future on trusting Thawne, the one other bomb “Gone Rogue” dropped was that Grace had indeed stolen Cisco’s failed metahuman cure prototypes and was planning to use the cry-atomizer to weaponize them into a metahuman virus. Which meant Barry and Nora had to stop her before she murdered every meta in town via biowarfare. A pretty dramatic turn of events, but one that would have come much sooner in the episode.

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