FLASH SPOILER Review: Episode 5×04- “News Flash”

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The Flash (5×04)- “News Flash”
Written by:         Kelly Wheeler & Lauren Certo
Directed by:       Brent Crowell
We open on
the night of the Particle Accelerator Explos- Enlightenment (Sorry!
Force of habit! But as we see later in this episode the Satellite Crash has
become the Particle Accelerator Explosion 2.0 so it’s an honest mistake.) And
some idiot is running around livestreaming it on her phone before Nora saves
her and I’m so glad she ends up being our villain of the week because I hate
selfie video people.
Forgive the
old man moment but you kids look both beyond self-involved and beyond idiotic
doing it.

Back to
today and Iris is… a disaster in the kitchen. 
Too bad for her, because her plan to get closer to Nora is going as well
as her cooking. (I said in the live tweet but it needs repeating: Pancakes
should not crunch.)  But judging by Nora’s
now open contempt it was safe to say this episode was going to show us why Nora
seemingly hates her mother.
The gang
meets up at STAR Labs to discuss what they know about Cicada and how they can
crack the mystery of his identity. It seems that Ralph has a theory concerning
Cicada’s mask and he and Sherloque decide to chase it down.
Meanwhile,
Barry’s on the CCPD softball team but despite him being fast enough to probably
play all nine positions on both teams at once he has to Silver Age Clark Kent
it up.  Nora’s scrolling her phone and
she apparently has an app run by Spenser Young (our villain of the week) which
is great because a CCPD officer shows up with a bomb and tries to kill both
teams only to be stopped by XS but that’s probably… I skipping the pretense
because really her plot is pretty repetitive. 
Using her
tech power to manipulate the news cycle and XS a bigger hero because she has
some sort of crush that got tangled up in her ambition to be a famous reporter.
I know right, a reporter trying to manipulate the news? Crazy! That would never happen in the real world… Ha.. Ah-ha… *sigh*
There’s some
cool moments that come out of it like Barry being forced to run to Vegas but it’s
a pretty straight forward A-Plot.
Ralph and
Sherloque also have a pretty straight forward B-plot with the hunt for Cicada’s
mask.  They figure out his mask is most
likely an industrial protective mask, Ralph is discouraged when he learns it’s
a pretty common type of mask but Sherloque follows up and hits on the idea that
his distinctive breathing comes from an injury (most likely the wound we saw at
the end of last week.)
Now. It is
important to note that calling these plots straight forward isn’t a condemnation,
just an observation.  The original Star
Wars is a straight forward call to adventure story but it’s beloved because it
does it well.  I’m fine with this story
because this episode is good. Really good.
Most of that
is because of the character interactions. 
Cavanagh and Sawyer have chemistry in their buddy cop story and the
tension between Patton and Kennedy carries most of the episode until it finally
boils over and we learn that the reason Nora’s been so stand-offish with her
mother comes from future Iris deciding to inhibit her powers and never told her
she was a speedster and she found out on her own.
We don’t
have context of course but the two most likely reasons are A: Parental concern
over their daughter lacking control growing up that got out of hand or B: There
was some sort of danger in her developing her powers too early.
I’m more
likely to believe a mix of the two, perhaps Barry learns that you can only use
your speed for so long before you burn up or are absorbed into the Speed Force
or become too fast to ever slow down which would explain both why he disappears
and what Iris does but still because she doesn’t tell Nora in the future I’m
very much on Nora’s side here.
As a general
rule I am against hiding life-changing things from someone for their safety.
Quite frankly, that’s how serial killers are made…
Oh hi
Cicada!
Anyway, the
other big revelation of this episode is the Satellite has created a new Meta
problem.  Specifically, Meta-tech. this
will be a good twist on the meta-of-the-week trope so hopefully it’ll keep the
writing fresh.
I also like
that Wells gave credit to Ralph.  It’s a
tiny-character moment but a very welcome one.
Lastly, with
the news of Jesse L Martin taking time off due to a presumed back injury Joe’s
scenes have become crystal clear. He has move very little in his scenes and
most of them have him sitting rather uncomfortably on a couch.  I’m sure I speak for everyone at WOBAM
wishing him a speedy recovery.
So, four up
and four down.  This season really is
clicking along.  There’s no Flash this
week because of election coverage and like I said I’ll be in Japan the second
half of November and unable to review Flash right away so this is probably the
last chance we get to be together for a while so let me just say from the
bottom of my heart. Seriously, get the hell off my lawn you damn kids!

Things We Learned:
1)      Meta
Tech no exists which could allow anyone access to powers.
2)      Iris
is not a good cook.
3)      Cicada’s
injury is getting worse, most likely killing him.
4)      At
some point in the future Iris decides to suppress Nora’s powers and going so
far as to hide them from her.
Questions:
1)      Was
Barry involved in this cover up?
2)      Why
did they decide to suppress her powers and why did they hide them from her?
3)      How
much time does Cicada have left?
4)      How
much more Meta tech is out there?
Just another guy on the internet.