FLASH SPOILER Review: Episode 5×08- “What’s Past is Prologue”

The Flash (5×08)- “What’s Past is Prologue” 100th Episode
Written by:         Todd Helbing & Lauren Certo
Directed by:       Tom Cavanagh
In case you’re unaware of the significance, traditionally when shows reach one hundred episodes they are made available to syndication meaning that local stations can buy the rights to previous seasons to air locally.  Traditionally this is where a lot shows become truly profitable to the studio as most shows ride that razor’s edge between success and cancelation.
What this means in this age of seasons going up on Netflix as the shows go along is unclear to me but that’s not why you came here.
Speaking of tradition, most shows mark the occasion in one of three ways.  First, continue on as though it was just another episode because you’ve been here before.  Second is the clip show, you know lock a couple characters in a room and have them flash back to previous episodes to review what you’ve done so far to celebrate your successes.  Then there’s going big with an important episode that shakes things up for the show going forward.
So where did the Flash go with their one hundredth episode? Somewhere between two and three.  This was a big important episode that used time travel to act a bit like a clip show.
The team put together a plan to neutralize Cicada’s powers using a piece of Savitar’s suit, the device Zoom used to take Barry’s speed and Dark Matter from the Particle Accelerator and then place the device at the hospital in the past before Cicada arrived.
From there Nora and Barry travel back to pivotal moments in the series.  First stop; Season Three.  This moment goes relatively smoothly but the Time Wraiths are out and about so tension is already starting to ratchet and it doesn’t help that Nora sees Iris kill Barry’s time remnant.
Next stop Season Two and Zoom, and after a confrontation between Barry and Harry things start going south when Zoom shows up to try and chow down on our two time travelers he even follows them into the Speed Force but luckily the Time Wraiths show up to take him away but the problem is they damage part of their tech in Season One.
To add an extra degree of difficulty, there’s already a time traveling Barry Allen here in Season One… Season One is getting crowded.
Barry decides that the timeline is pretty fubared already so let’s go talk to Season One “Harrison Wells” aka Eobard Thawne. He reacts to them a lot like he reacted to the other time traveling Barry from Season Two.  Fury fueled with the knowledge that he doesn’t succeed in getting home.
Next stop, the Pilot to get that sweet, sweet Dark Matter and after all that trouble it’s nice that things start to turn in our heroes’ favor.  Sure Eobard kind of suspects they’re there but he’s got a city to blow up and a series to kick off so he’ll have to deal with Barry and Nora another day.
After they witness the Accelerator explosion from the safety of the Time Vault Barry and Nora drop off their gizmo and head back to Season Five to fight Cicada and…
It almost worked! Almost! Unfortunately, almost isn’t good enough and Cicada manages to get away!  Still, they know that it’s possible to kick his ass and even better Caitlin’s Powers aren’t affected by Cicada’s dagger so that will have to do for now.
MEANWHILE! Sherloque has been investigating another mystery.  It seems he’s taken notice of Nora’s Journal and the time traveler’s language she uses to write down her adventures in.  It just so happens to be the same language Barry wrote in when he first returned from the Speed Force last season so it’s a safe bet that mystery isn’t solved. But Sherloque has already deciphered something from either Barry’s writings or Nora’s: “The Timeline is Malleable.”
Pardon my language but: No Shit, Sherloque!
Finally, what time traveling one hundredth episode would be complete without a trip back to the night Eobard murdered Barry’s mother. Fortunately they had to use a lot of special effects this week so we doesn’t
visit the moment of her murder but we do get to see Nora (Sr.) and Henry being lovey dovey while Barry and Nora (Jr) watch from down the street.
Did I say, finally? I forgot to mention that there’s an epilogue and it’s not good.  Nora is sending information from her journal to someone in 2049 and it’s not just anyone. It’s Harrison Wells!  And judging by the music it’s probably our old buddy “Harrison Wells” aka Eobard Thawne.
Then there’s a teaser for the crossover but I think I’ve made my level of interest in that more than clear, don’t you?
Really fun episode here.  We got some plot. Some characters. Some old friends revisited and even some fun fan service all wrapped up with some questions to whet the appetite for more!
I think I like the reinforcement of the series overall theme, Barry’s life is all locked in the moment he was struck by lightning and he became something more which means to me that before all is said in done he’ll have to revisit that moment at least one more time and close the circle.
But before that we’ll have to solve the mystery of Nora and just what she and future “Wells” are doing?   Are they trying to save Barry? Or are they trying to save the Timeline? Or is it something else after all, Nora is a part of the rebooted “Legion of…”
“Legion of” what?
Legion of Superheroes?  Why would the Legion be rebooted?
Legion of Doom perhaps?  Wouldn’t that be a kick in the teeth?
So, it seems to me that to solve this mystery first we’ll have to take care of Cicada and to do that we have to get through the crossover and to do that I have to finish this review.
What scoreto give an episode like this that seemed to hit all my happy buttons?  I wonder…

Things We Learned in “What’s Past is Prologue?”:

1)      Nora is working with someone in the year 2049 and that is the reason she both traveled to the past and keeps a coded journal.
2)      Caitlin’s powers are not affected by Cicada’s weapon.
3)      An alternate Barry Allen and the Justice League have been defeated by the Monitor on “Earth-90.”

Questions from “What’s Past is Prologue?”:

1)      What are Nora and “Wells” conspiring on?
2)      Is that a Harrison Wells or is it Eobard Thawne?
3)      Have they changed the Timeline in any significant way with this trip through time?
4)      How much has Sherloque been able to decipher from Nora’s journal? What will he find and what can we learn from what Barry wrote upon his return from the Speed Force?

Just another guy on the internet.

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