Thursday, October 25, 2018

The Flash Episode Guide: Season 5, Episode 3 - The Death Of Vibe

For a summary of the episode guide layout & categories, click here.


The good news is that Team Flash has given a name to their new enemy. The bad news is that name belongs to the one villain that XS says The Flash never managed to beat and everything she knows about that villain's history seems to have been changed by her trip to the past. Worse yet, Cicada is now stalking Cisco and intends to put an end to Vibe for all time!


The Flash
comics of Geoff Johns (character of Cicada) and the BBC series Sherlock (character of Sherloque Wells, general humor of the episode and twists of the plot.)


Caitlin says that there are 14 million people in Central City. This would give it a population larger than New York City and on-par with Istanbul, which seems unlikely even accounting for the suburbs.

How did Caitlin know that all of the people who shared the meme of Ralph stuck in his eggplant shape were from Central City?

Iris is surprisingly blase about the fact that her daughter wants to frame an innocent man for a crime he didn't commit and imprison him illegally just so that it isn't her fault that a serial killer is on the loose - a fact that rightly bothers the law-and-order minded Barry, particularly since Nora is allegedly a CSI in the future!

Why didn't Cecile push the panic button before going downstairs to see what was happening to Joe? For that matter, why did she go downstairs at all if she was telepathically feeling his pain.


The chemistry between Danielle Panabaker and Hartley Sawyer makes the episode. I know they show's writers have already said they aren't giving Caitlin anymore romantic subplots and Ralph is meant to wind up with Sue Dearborn sooner or later... but watching the sweet moments between these two is sure to inspire a lot of shipping, even though we know it isn't going to happen.

Flash Facts

This episode offers us our first look at the interior of The Arrowverse version of The Flash Museum, which first appeared in the comics in The Flash #154 (August 1965). Financed entirely by donations from the people of Central City in honor of their hometown hero, The Flash Museum has been destroyed and rebuilt several times over the years, as villains have attacked it as a symbol of disrespect for The Flash or to reclaim their weapons, which became displays in the museum.

The Hall of Villains contains several items and costumes from earlier episodes. These include the costumes of The Reverse Flash, Savitar, Dr. Light, Amunet Black, Zoom, the Axl Walker version of The Trickster and The Thinker. We also see the sonic gloves of Pied Piper, Captain Cold's cold gun, Heatwave's flamethrower, the wand Cisco created to block Weather Wizard's powers, one of Captain Boomerangs boomerangs, the swords of the Samuraoid, the helmet Jay Garrick was forced to wear as Zoom's prisoner, the mask General Eiling wore while being controlled by Gorilla Grodd and the gauntlets Barry used to safely handle Vandal Savage's staff.

Nora says that in her time, the first victim of Cicada was a metahuman named Floyd Belkin. In the comics, Floyd Belkin is the real name of Arm-Fall-Off-Boy - a prospective member of The Legion of Super Heroes who had the unlikely power of being able to detach his arms from his body. He is a perennial favorite on lists of the most useless superheroes ever and was the first person to be officially rejected from The Legion in the post-Crisis Legion comics.

Nora says that nobody, not even"the League" was able to stop Cicada. This is almost certainly a reference to the Justice League.

Tom Cavanagh plays another new version of Harrison Wells - Harrison Sherloque Wells. Clearly based on the character of Sherlock Holmes, he is repotedly the greatest detective in the Multiverse. He is French or at least speaks with a French accent.

Cisco calls Sherloque Wells "Cumberbatch" at one point. This is a nod to actor Benedict Cumberbatch, who plays the role of Sherlock Holmes in the BBC series Sherlock.

When seeing Sherloque Wells' fee, XS shouts out the word "Shrap". According to Urban Dictionary, shrap is a new slang term used by teenagers which combines the words "shit" and "crap" to create an exclamation that they can use safely without getting into trouble with adults.

Sherloque Wells determines that Cicada is a man named David Hersch. In the original comics, this was the name of the man who became Cicada. It appears that this is not the case in The Arrowverse, however.

When Ciacada demands that Joe West summon Vibe, Joe says it isn't like he has some kind of Vibe Phone to call him. In the 1966 Batman TV series, Commissioner Gordon used a special phone line to summon Batman.

Cicada talks to Joe West about the importance of cherishing family. In the original comics, Cicada went insane after murdering his wife and became obsessed with resurrecting her through the ritualistic murder of people saved by The Flash.

Kolins Woods - the woods Cisco accidentally teleported into - is a nod to Scott Kolins, an artist famous for his work on The Flash and co-creator of Cicada.


The robber uses a high-tech gun that is solar-powered with a zero-carbon footprint.

Sherloque claims to build a psychological profile of Cicada and determines who he is based on census data cross-referenced with the location of the attacks so far.

Forensic evidence later links Hersch to several anti-government bombings.

Nora says that Sherloque was vaporized into ash after a fusion cell in The Pipeline went critical after being improperly placed in its cradle.

Cisco determines that Sherloque faked his own death in The Pipeline based on the fact that the cells run in a redundant cascade circle - if one blew, the whole Pipeline would have exploded. He also tastes the "ashes" and determines that they are ground up tea leaves - darjeeling and oolong.

Sherloque determines that Cisco accidentally teleported to the Kolins woods based on his description of it having pine trees and ash tees along with the sound of field crickets.

Dialogue Triumphs

Cisco: This is a waste of time. Thank you very much for coming, Cumberbatch-
Sherloque: I'm sure you would like it if I took my leave, right? Could have more time to recover from your recent heartbreak.
Cisco: What are you talking about?
Sherloque: Subcutaneous under-eye bruising, which indicates you've been crying. Flaky skin, which indicates dehydration, probably from alcohol consumption. Alcohol plus crying can only mean one thing - you have been dumped.
Cisco: Wrong, detective! I haven't been dumped!
Sherloque: Oh no?
Cisco: It was a mutual decision, okay? Cynthia and I, we reached a decision together as a team!
Sherloque: (shrugging) Of course.
Cisco: Okay, and I haven't been sobbing. In fact, I can't remember the last time I cried about it. Excuse me.
(Cisco hurriedly leaves the room as Sherloque raises his hand as if to say "See?")

(Cicada is asking Joe to bring Vibe to him.)
Joe West: He's just a masked do-gooder who shows up at crime scenes.
Cicada: (drawing his dagger) This could be a crime scene.

(Ralph and Caitlin are in Ralph's car.)
Ralph: Listen, Caitlin, I'm sorry.
Caitlin: For what?
Ralph: For... all of this. Just I - I felt like a complete joke after that hostage thing and then... Sherloque shows up and everyone swoons over his so-called "master detective-ness." You were nice enough to invite me along and... I pushed you into that, and...I'm really sorry.
Caitlin: Ralph, this thing you pushed me into gave me something I never had before.
Ralph: Your first felony?
Caitlin: (smiles) No. Closure. It may not be pretty, but I finally know the truth. And that means everything. So for my buck? You're the best detective a girl could ask for.


It is revealed that STAR Labs is the site of The Flash Museum in 2032.

XS says that Cicada never got defeated in her timeline and that nobody knew who he was, how he got his powers or where he came from. 

XS says that Supergirl, Green Arrow, The Legends and even "The League" (presumably The Justice League) all tried fighting Cicada but none of them could manage to defeat him.

XS says Floyd Belkin was Cicada's first victim in the history of her future and that never killed Gridlock or Block.

This confirms that Block did wind up dying after being taken to the hospital in 502.

Ralph single-handedly stops a robber with a high tech gun by disguising himself as a giant eggplant.

Herr Harrison Wolfgang Wells (The Harrison Wells of Earth 12) was last seen in 421.

Herr Wells, who is usually rude to Ciscio, actually likes The Flash, XS and Iris.

Harrison Sherloque Wells is reportedly the greatest detective in the Multiverse. He is French or at least speaks with a French accent. We are not told what Earth he is from originally.

Cicada uses the Internet at the public library to research Vibe and sees him in several pictures with Joe West.

Sherloque Wells determines that Cisco suffered a heart-break based on evidence that he had been crying recently and was dehydrated from drinking too much.

Sherloque also determines that Barry is a speedster based on the wear and tear on his shoes. He notes that Barry favors his right heel when he stops and that Nora does the same thing. He also says that Nora mimics her mother's body language more and determines that Iris had a tattoo on her shoulder that she had removed - presumably the name of a former lover.

Sherloque's fee is expensive enough that it requires Barry sell some of his STAR Labs stock to pay him. It is also high enough that Nora says it is a lot of money in her time.

Sherloque hears Ralph's footstep pattern and says that he is either a tall, sensitive man or a frightened baby giraffe. He calls Ralph "little baby giraffe" for the rest of the episode.

Ralph's most recent case involved tracking down a stolen Chevy Impala.

According to Caitlin, there's 14 million people in Central City. Apparently 500,000 of them have reposted the meme of Ralph getting stuck in his giant eggplant shape.

Caitlin's mother is seen for the first time since 305.

Ralph says that Caitlin's mom is a really good liar after she denies having anything to do with the forged birth certificate and demands Caitlin drop the matter and stop looking into the past, saying that obsessing over the past nearly ruined her father.

Sherloque Wells determines that Cicada is a man named David Hersch, who is living in a rural home with a booby-trapped workshop.

Cicada shows up at Joe West's house looking for Vibe.

Caitlin's father's name is revealed as Thomas Snow.

Caitlin used to play a game with her father where he taught her The Periodic Table but let her make up her own elements and compounds. This included an element called Nerdonium which made people smart.

Caitlin and her father used to catch bugs in the backyard and look at the constellations with a telescope they built together. She credits him with teaching her so much about science and life.

Caitlin and Ralph find a suicide note from her father among her mother's files about Thomas Snow.

David Hersch's boot size is three sizes smaller than that of Cicada. He also doesn't have a Dark Matter aura indicating he's a metahuman.

Sherloque Wells has accused 37 men named David Hersch on 37 different Earths of being Cicada. He did come up with a psychological profile for the first one but just "skipped to the end" when it came to the other 36 cases.

Sherloque has been married seven times. He has five ex-wives. His fourth and sixth wives are the same woman. He pays a lot of alimony and already spent Barry's fee on paying it.

Sherlocque blames Hersch not being Cicada on Nora's altering the timeline.

Cicada has the power to inflict extreme pain on a person through red lightning channeled through his dagger.

Cisco says that Sherloque smells vaguely of poutine.

Sherloque tries to escape by stealing one of Cisco's dimension-traveling devices, like the ones he built for Supergirl and Citizen Cold.

Sherloque says that escaping to another world was how he escaped his fourth/sixth ex-wife.

The security code on Caitlin's mother's file room is Caitlin's birthday.

Cecile's telepathy allows her to feel Joe's pain while she is asleep.

There's 14 million acres of forestland in the state Central City is in.

The closest forests to Central City are Black Forest and Roanoke Forest.

XS uses her powers to speed up her thought processes so she can think of a way to fight Cicada and save Barry. She winds up throwing lightning at Cicada and using a fusion cell from STAR Labs to create an explosion that makes it look like Vibe blew himself up. Cisco is able to escape the explosion by using his breach-making device.

Cicada also has the power to jump very far or fly.

As far as Cicada and the world are concerned, Vibe is dead.

Sherloque agrees to stay until he pays back the money he charged Barry and Iris and help to find Cicada. Mostly because Cisco's teleporters are all safely hidden away.

Barry and Iris move Nora into their loft.

Sherloque moves into STAR Labs.

Caitlin determines that her father's suicide note and work notes are a cipher to be used with her periodic table. The resulting message reads CAITLIN COME FIND ME.

Someone is watching Caitlin through STAR Labs security cameras.

Joe says he thinks Cicada is a father, based on the way he talked about cherishing family and not wanting to hurt a family man.

Cicada's real name is Orlin. He has a daughter in the hospital who is in a coma.

The doctor monitoring Cicada's daughter knows that he has a wound on his shoulder that is not healing. She tells him that he can't keep doing this and has to stop. He says he can't until he is finished.

Sherloque asks XS if it was her idea to act when Barry was punching the STAR Labs satellite or if someone asked her to do that. She seems confused by the question until he says that of course she did. She looks nervous and he does not look convinced. 


Flash Museum, Central City - 2032.

The Bottom Line

Not bad, overall, but not outstanding either. There are outstanding moments, however, which more than offset Barry giving another, younger speedster a hypocritical lecture about thinking things through and not jacking with the timeline.

Your enjoyment may be limited to how amused you are by watching Tom Cavanagh riff on his Harrison Wells character with yet another wacky-accented variation. The Barry/Nora/Iris triangle is getting increasingly tired but the introduction of Sherloque throws an interesting wrinkle into the proceedings. Strangely enough, there doesn't seem to be much of Cisco in this episode despite the main plot largely being devoted to him. Yet somehow, Caitlin and Ralph researching her drama proves to be the most compelling part of the episode, though that may largely be due to the performances.  

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