Team Flash is back this week’s episode of CW‘s The Flash “Gone Rogue,” and they’re back to full capacity for the first time in a while with the return of Cisco Ramon (Carlos Valdes). They’re going to need the extra help as Nora West-Allen/XS (Jessica Parker Kennedy) puts together her own version of the Young Rogues in an attempt to stop Cicada. But, of course, this really comes down to the family drama between Nora and her parents, Barry (Grant Gustin) and Iris (Candice Patton). There’s some great building on that central issue of Barry not being able to trust Nora because she’s been working with Eobard Thawne the Reverse Flash and a fairly satisfying conclusion.
The rest of the episode? Well, it’s decent, but it’s a little thin. It’s more of a fun diversion to fill up a week and move the plot forward just the tiniest bit in preparation for an upcoming season finale and final showdown. But let’s talk about it!
Yes, Nora puts together an unlikely set of “villains” to pull off a heist of experimental weapons (that she can use to take down Cicada, that the rest of the group can sell on the black market). First unlikely because their powersets are almost comical– Rag Doll, Weather Witch and the Bug-Eyed Bandit, (or”Bee Girl” as Cisco calls her in this episode). Also unlikely because these are some of the softest “villains” out there, and therefore have no problem following Nora’s directive of “no killing.”
This episode could’ve been a lot of fun, and it sort of mostly is, but it just never seems to quite take off. Instead, it’s spread thin as Team Flash splits up chasing several leads. Caitlin and Ralph end up investigating some of Caitlin’s father’s work, resulting in some cute bonding moments.
The core West-Allen family – including Joe and Cecile – chase down some leads, but mostly discuss the rift between Barry and Nora and how to fix it. It’s not bad, but mostly just seems workmanlike: designed to move the exposition from A to B without too much flair.
Most of the flair comes from returning champ Cisco, who ends up paired with Sherloque most of the episode discussing their individual relationship problems. There are lots of jokes, and they even seem amused at being kidnapped by the bad guys, pointing out how many times this has happened to them in the past. There’s a particularly funny bit with Sherloque not understanding emoji. But this is the biggest bright spot in the episode.
Secondarily to that, it was good seeing Barry and Iris talk things out. Barry’s giant blind spot/trigger when it comes to all things Thawne is a major weakness. and it seems like he’s finally figuring out that he may be able to question Reverse Flash’s motives but not his logic. It remains to be seen if this is all an elaborate setup or if Thawne really is trying to mentor Nora for reaosns of his own– perhaps to just prove that he is in all ways superior.
Next week we’re back with the penultimate episode of Season 5, “The Girl With the Red Lightning.” Obviously a reference to Nora and her powers as she draws them from the Negative Speed Force, it will be great to see where things go as the season moves to wrap things up and Cicada starts to put her final plan in place. Catch it Tuesday, May 7 at 8 p.m. ET/7 p.m. CT on the CW.
The Flash season 5, episode 21 “The Girl With The Red Lightning”: CICADA II MAKES HER MOVE — Team Flash is on high alert after Cicada II (guest star Sarah Carter) threatens to unleash a dangerous virus that would put all meta-humans at risk. Stefan Pleszczynski directed the episode written by Judalina Neira & Thomas Pound.