Thursday, December 6, 2018

The Flash Episode Guide: Season 5, Episode 8 - What's Past is Prologue

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


Team Flash comes up with a plan to stop Cicada, but it requires time travel and Barry showing Nora some parts of his life he'd rather not revisit. Meanwhile, Sherloque approaches Cisco with his concerns over Nora and Caitlin discovers a surprising asset to use against Cicada.


Every show that's ever had a clip show. Back To The Future (Ralph plays Huey Lewis' "Back In Time.")


Barry and Nora are running around the past in their civilian clothes with none of the usual problems when a speedeter runs above a certain speed (i.e. catching on fire.)

After the Speed Force Transmitter is broken, why doesn't Barry take it to Harry Wells before he lost his intelligence? (Well, we wouldn't get to have Thawne in the story otherwise...)

We are told that Cicada fought Supergirl and a number of other metahumans with no trouble. How is that possible if, as this episode suggests, his powers only work on metahumans created by dark matter exposure?  (Perhaps his meta-tech works on aliens and magicians as well?)

Flash Facts

The episode title comes from William Shakespeaere's The Tempest. Act II, Scene 1.

When Eobard Thawne meets Nora, he makes several guesses as to who she is. These include Jesse Chambers (maybe Lawrence) and Danica Williams.

Jesse Chambers was the real name of Jesse Quick in the comics, though her mother's maiden name was Lawrence and she did go by Jesse Lawrence for a time.

Danica Williams is the name of The Flash from Justice League Beyond.

When Thawne realizes Nora is Barry's daughter, he guesses that her name is Dawn. In the Pre-Crisis DC Comics Universe, Barry and Iris had twins - Don and Dawn Allen - who inherited Barry's powers and became known as The Tornado Twins.

The Gideon AI in The Time Vault in 2014 recognizes Nora West-Allen as XS and says that she is the fifth recruit for the rebooted Legion. In the original DC Comics Universe, The Legion of Super Heroes was rebooted for the first time in 1994 and XS (who, in this reality, was Barry Allen's granddaughter Jenni Ognats) was created specifically for the new team.


Nora suggests creating a weapon more powerful than Cicada's dagger, akin to a super-charged magnet. Cisco says they don't have anything that powerful as the old STAR Labs satellite was was made of a heavy-duty, micro-composite alloy.

What Nora's suggestion requires is an indestructible alloy with super-magnetic properties and the ability to negate dark matter.

Eventually, they realize they could make such a thing out of a piece of Savitar's armor, the Speed Force transmitter Zoom used to steal Barry Allen's speed and the exact same energy released during the STAR Labs Particle Accelerator explosion.

They then need to plant the item near the hospital where Grace Gibbons is resting so it will be accessible in the present. This is known as a time hack.

Nora tells Sherloque that the language in her journal is a special time language she invented that is used to record events regardless of changes in the timeline. That way, no matter what happens on her trip to the past, she'll be able to remember what she learned about her father.

Dialogue Triumphs

Sherloque: Look, as always, I respect your spirit, Barry Allen, but as long as Cicada has his dagger to dampen your powers, there's no stopping him. 
Barry: So let's destroy his dagger.
How are we gonna do that? Unless we have some kind of... power-dampening dagger power dampener hidden away in storage?
Cisco: We don't. But if we did, we'd come up with a much better way of saying that.

(As Barry and Nora begin to run around the pipeline building up speed to time travel, Ralph reaches over and turns on his music player.  "Back In Time" by Huey Lewis and The News begins to play. Iris, Caitlin and Cisco slowly turn to look at him with disapproval.)
Ralph: What?! When am I gonna get the chance to do that?

Thawne: You know what's funny about your dad, Nora? He hates me. Hates me with a passion. And yet ... a version of him, this Savitar, is a much bigger jerk than I ever was.

(Cicada is moving in on The Flash with his dagger. Everyone is downed except Caitlin, who had her gun knocked away. There is no one to stop him. Until...)
(Caitlin changes into Killer Frost in a second and unloads a full icy blast into Cicada, sending him flying into the side of a van, crumpling its wall.  Cicada picks himself up, looking confused as to why his dagger isn't working on this metahuman.)
Killer Frost: Let's dance, cricket freak.

(Nora stops running in front of a cell in Iron Heights prison in 2049. We see a figure looking at a video screen opposite the glass cell wall.)
Nora: We need to talk
(The figure shuts off the monitor and slowly turns around.)
Thawne: Yes, Nora.
(The figure steps out into the light, revealing himself to be Eobard Thawne, in the guise of Harrison Wells.)
Thawne: Yes we do.

(A Caption Box reads Earth-90 as we see the aftermath of a war and numerous people in costumes lying on the ground, dead. Eventually we come to a figure in a somewhat familiar red suit crawling on the ground toward a large book that is glowing purple. A figure walks over and picks the book up before he can reach it.)
The Monitor: 
You failed.
(The figure in red pulls himself up to his knees. It is The Flash. Not the Flash we know, but definitely The Flash.)
The Flash: (gasping) Why are you doing this?
The Monitor: You did this to yourselves. And now... all of you will perish.
(The Monitor opens the book and light pours from it. As he does so, The Flash stands and runs toward the camera, as a familiar theme to older comic book TV show fans plays, as we zoom in on his chest symbol....) 


Ralph and Sherloque determine that Orlin Dwyer grew up somewhere in the American Midwest, was in and out of the Juvenile Offenders program as a teenager and went off the grid before emerging in Central City a few years earlier. He works part time at Szrek Chemicals. His boss says he keeps to himself, is kind of a lonerand gave a fake address on his application. He was given custody of his niece, Grace Gibbons, after her parents were killed by a metahuman.

Cisco determines that the best dates for Barry to attempt to retrieve what they need are May 23, 2017 (The date of the final battle with Savitar where his armor was destroyed in 323), August 19, 2016 (the day Zoom drained Barry's speed in 218) and the night of the Particle Accelerator explosion. (December 11, 2013, as seen in 101.)

Sherloque asks Cisco about the code in Nora's journal. Cisco says Barry was writing in the same language when he left the Speed Force in 401, but Cisco was only able to translate one sentence of it - "This house is bitchin'." This turned out to be the first thing Nora said upon visiting Joe West's house in 423.

A Time Wraith shows up because there are three versions of Barry Allen at one point in time. Barry distracts it while Nora retrieves the piece of Savitar's armor they need.

Nora is stunned to see that Savitar was another version of Barry Allen and that Iris West killed him.

Nora sees Iris comforting a disheartened Barry after he's lost his powers.

Barry runs Harry Wells in STAR Labs. It is Barry who gives Harry the idea to try and track Jesse Wells by taking advantage of the fact that people from other Earths have different vibrational frequencies.

Barry stops Harry from destroying the Speed Force Transmitter.

Before Barry and Nora can escape into the time stream, Zoom senses them and chases after them. They are able to evade him and send the Time Wraith after him, but the Speed Force Transmitter is broken in the process.

Barry realizes they have traveled slightly further back in time, to the events of 217, when he traveled back a year to get training in going faster by Eobard Thawne when he was still masquerading as Harrison Wells.

Thawne repairs the Speed Force Transmitter for Barry and Nora. It is suggested by the way Thawne acts toward Nora that he knows who she is and is just playing dumb to that fact.

As Barry and Nora sneak around STAR Labs, they go past Grodd's cage.

Nora had no idea why Eboard Thawne was her dad's arch-enemy or that he had killed her grandmother.

Dr. Ambres is revealed to have been the doctor on duty when Barry Allen and Harrison Wells were brought into the hospital on the night of the Particle Accelerator explosion.

Barry vibrates the weapon they've created into the middle of a column in front of the hospital.

Cicada's command of his danger has a great enough range that he can affect it even after it has been vibed into space.

It is determined that Cicada's powers do not effect metahumans like Killer Frost who were created without being exposed to Dark Matter.

Cicada flees before Killer Frost can totally immobilize him.

Sherloque asks Nora about the code in her journal. She says it is a time language she invented that can be used to record events regardless of changes to the timeline.

Sherloque was able to translate one sentence of Nora's journal - THE TIMELINE IS MALLEABLE

Nora goes back in time to see Dr. Henry Allen and Nora Allen on their last night together.

Nora is revealed to have been using Gideon in The Time Vault to send her journal entries forward in time to someone else.

Nora goes forward in time to 2049 deliver a message personally to the person she is sending information to in the future. The person is revealed to be Eobard Thawne, still in the body of Harrison Wells, who is incarcerated in Iron Heights Prison.

The final scene on Earth-90 was also shown at the end of .S408.



The Bottom Line

Lackluster as a 100th episode and fairly flat as a mid-season finale. Everything of importance happens in the last 15 minutes and nothing really changes apart from us having a more specific idea of why Nora can't be trusted and how Cicada will ultimately be beaten. Still, that teaser for Elseworlds.... wow!

No comments:

Post a Comment