The Flash (5×12)- “Memorabilia”
Written by: Sam Chalsen & Kristen Kim
Directed by: Rebecca Johnson
So we go from an episode with a title that plays on a popular film series to one that is nearly a triple entendre (Seeing Red because the Flash wears red, it’s slang for going mad with rage and a nod to the Emotional Spectrum) to an episode that when doing a title search tricks you into looking at Flash March. These people are sneaky.
We open with Nora explaining to Eobard (and the audience via Voiceover) the mounting frustration she feels hiding whatever she and he are trying to accomplish with her trek through time before a cute little ice skating scene with Team Flash. About the only importance of this scene is recap and introducing that Iris has a chance to expand her blog into a real newspaper (Are you sure about this plan, Iris? Even the Big Newspapers are going bankrupt.) When someone in Ralph’s office building goes the way of the dodo.
Then it’s time for Sherloque to introduce our (almost literal) plot device for the episode. Some interdimensional tech that will allow them to enter Grace’s mind and bring her out of her coma. There’s a safety issue, Sherloque believes that entering someone’s mind is dangerous and therefore they should only go in pairs and the two best candidates are Barry and Nora. However, there’s a risk in traveling in pairs that they could see their partner’s memories as a side effect.
With Nora secretly working with the guy from the future that killed Barry’s mother in the past, that’s what we in the know call “A big problem.” Good news though, that leaves everyone pretty free so Ralph enlists Cisco’s help to track down a lead on Cicada.
So it should come as no surprise to anyone that Nora sneaks into STAR Labs in the middle of the night and uses the machine on her own. Nor should it come as no surprise that Grace is caught between obsessing on the night her parents were killed and trying to fixate on an idealized version of life with Uncle Orlin. Lastly, if you’ve been watching this show you should totally see Iris and Barry go in after her and end up in Nora’s memories.
Meanwhile, Ralph and Cisco are chasing down the Cicada lead and it turns out the lead was about “Sickada” a metal band that plays the bar regularly. Things get weird for Cisco when Ralph starts ordering drinks, then they get even weirder when it turns out it’s Ladies’ Night. But Ralph didn’t bring Cisco to play wingman for him, nope! Nice Guy Ralph brought him to play his wingman! He’s noticed that Cisco’s diving into this cure project with a little too much passion and figures that maybe if he tried to move on from his break-up with Gypsy that he might not be in this doom spiral he seems to have been in all season. Ralph’s a good guy, better than Cisco probably deserves with how pissy he’s been this season.
In Nora’s memories, Barry and Iris learn that Cicada was never caught and came back to kill again after Barry disappeared and after seeing how strained Iris’ relationship with her daughter is in the future Iris is feeling pretty broken about the possibility of changing the future. That’s when she tells Barry she doesn’t want to start her newspaper and it’s not because Print News is dead rather because the only name available is the Central City aka the same paper we’ve been looking at since the pilot. Good news! They’re being chased by Thawne’s suit- Wait that isn’t good news! You know what this means…
Bad News! Back in Grace’s brain it turns out that Grace is something of a racist when it comes to metas and she’s trying to protect her uncle from Nora. Which means Nora is in real trouble when Cicada shows up… Well, sort of because this Cicada looks an awful lot like a blonde woman to me. (Maybe it’s Mena Suvari and American Pie is part of the CW/DC Universe!)
Good news! Caitlin and Sherloque are ready to help!
Bad news! They’re back in the lab to help with the mental activity dampener.
But good news! They have a plan, by finding perception gaps (memories that have been altered by our emotions) they can find the portals and both Barry and Nora know which memories to find to get out. Barry gives Iris the Barry Allen Pep Talk ™ and they see that while Iris may not be a bad mom in the future she is a sad mom and that might be where her problems with Nora in the future stem from. They escape Nora’s mind and get Nora out of Graces and the day is saved.
The next morning, Caitlin and Cisco have learned that the reason the trip went haywire is that Graces has a piece of the satellite lodged in her brain still. When the subject of why Nora went into Grace’s memories Sherloque seemingly defuses the situation but it’s pretty clear that if he hasn’t put it all together already when Barry tells him that Nora’s memories were protected by Thawne’s suit that fabled “2+2=” equation is now on the board.
In the wrap-up, Barry, Iris and Nora celebrate her launching the Central City Citizen in her new office. Nora even reveals that Iris has changed the future by launching the paper two years early.
So… That covered a lot huh! Cisco has the path to the Cure, Iris and Nora’s relationship in the future now has more context, Nora’s secret alliance with Thawne is on the brink of being exposed and Grace is probably not going to be helpful to the Team.
We’ve also learned that the changes to the timeline are starting to stack up. Not only has Cicada shown up early but Iris has started her newspaper early. The real question is if these changes are for the better or not.
As for Grace, so remember how the Cicada in her memories is a blonde woman? It’s pretty clear that Grace grows up to take over her Uncle’s mission of killing all the metas in the future right? It makes sense because there was almost no way they could Spider-Man 3 Cicada’s storyline (letting him live cause he’s not a bad guy just a frustrated father) at the end so there has to be something the Team can fix by the end and hopefully that’s Grace.
This was a really good episode and even better it covered a lot and I think we all know those are the episodes that make me happiest.
Things We Learned in “Memorabilia”:
- Grace has a shard of the satellite lodged in her brain giving her some sort of abilities and a growing personality issue.
- The Central City Citizen has been founded.
- Cisco has met a woman named Kamilla Huang. (Thus far I haven’t found any counterpart for her in the comics but that doesn’t mean anything. It is notable that she’s an aspiring photographer so she and Iris could work together down the line.)
- Dexter Myles (Played by Voyager’s Robert Picardo) is the curator of the Flash museum in the future. (True in the Comics as well.)
Questions in “Memorabilia”:
- Does Grace grow up to become Cicada?
- What is Nora and Thawne’s plan?
- Is Nora attempting to undo the Red Sky Incident?
- Will that trigger Next Year’s Crossover which was already revealed to be Crisis?