The Flash season 5, episode 12 review: Memorabilia


“That’s not the only reason was it? She was protecting her secret.” Spoilers for The Flash season 5, episode 12 follow.

In order to help catch Cicada, Team Flash brings in a new piece of technology to help speed along the process of waking Grace up in a coma.

As they enter into the machine though, Nora fears that Barry will witness her memories of Eobard Thawne, so she goes into Grace’s mind by herself only to get stuck there.

The memory machine

The best parts of the entirety of season 5 of The Flash have definitely been the Allen family drama and the Cicada conflicts, so to have both functioning in conjunction here is the best-case scenario for this season. Nora’s fear of her being found out is an intriguing mindset for the character to be in and it makes for a conflicted viewing. As much as we care about Nora at this point, there’s also the fact that she’s involved with Reverse-Flash, so at some point that has to be found out by Barry and Iris.

This creates a very conflicted viewing experience for this episode because there’s the urge to keep Nora safe and let her decide when to come clean with everyone, but she needs that push to begin to reconcile her mistakes. Even her decision to go into Grace’s memory alone is a great mistake, which leads to the revelation that Grace has heard everything that Cicada has been saying throughout the season and that she is just as angry as he is and will eventually follow in her uncle’s footsteps.

While this episode creates several conflicted emotions about Nora’s fears and mistakes, for Iris and Barry, it’s simply sad. They see the struggles of Nora as a young girl which brings her conflict with Iris and Barry full circle. It’s not something that’s just been stated, her pain and longing is now seen which gives credence as to why she would turn to Eobard Thawne in the future. And seeing Iris’ struggle with how she treats her daughter, or at least Nora’s perception of her treatment, after the looming date of Barry’s disappearance is heartbreaking.

Cicada in the future

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While in Nora’s memories, Iris and Barry come to realize what their daughter went through during her childhood, but there’s also the revelation that Cicada will continue on even after Barry disappears. This is something that presumably was already known because it was stated that he was never caught, but actually seeing the myth of the Cicada in the future makes Team Flash’s fight against feel all the more futile. As much as it feels like Team Flash is banging its head against a wall when dealing with Cicada, this episode reveals that at least the first Cicada will be caught, leading to the name Cicada becoming a legacy title, much like The Flash.

That isn’t a bad thing though because Cicada is a great villain that actually makes Team Flash feel vulnerable, probably the most vulnerable they’ve felt since season 1. There are also a couple nice Easter eggs when demonstrating how devastating Cicada has been to Central City, namely the namedrop of The Red Death, who was introduced in Dark Nights: Metal.

Cisco and Ralph go to a bar

Easily the worst part of this episode is Ralph and Cisco’s time at a bar. It felt completely like an unneeded aside that was just there so that Cisco and Ralph, after having not been in select episodes, could have screen time. It does pretty much nothing. It’s boring and, for the most part, uneventful.

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Despite a B-plot that feels completely wasted, The Flash crafts an intriguing episode based in the mindscapes of Grace and Nora.