The Flash season 5, episode 17 review: Time Bomb


“Time travel sucks.” Minor spoilers for The Flash season 5, episode 17 follow.

On The Flash, even though Orlin Dwyer is cured, Team Flash must find where this new Cicada has taken him before she can cause any more damage to Central City.

Cicada, while Team Flash is searching for her, attempts to find a way to reverse the cure and grant her uncle his powers back.

The truth is revealed

With this new Cicada in the picture, it brings the full truth of what Nora’s been doing to the forefront of her mind, especially when Barry begins to lecture the woman that Grace is hunting about the truth. So, as she goes through the events of the episode, Nora is confronted by her actions throughout the course of the season. It’s never fully stated, but it’s obvious based on Jessica Parker Kennedy’s performance that this is the case.

One thing that’s great about Nora revealing the truth is that she comes to her own decision about telling it. Yes, she’s told by Thawne to tell Barry everything, but she doesn’t believe him. And then Sherloque discovers that Nora has been using Thawne’s language in the journal, so it feels like he’ll out her. Thankfully, she makes the decision to tell Barry about everything before this happens, even if she isn’t able to tell him after she decides, thanks to Grace.

It ends up falling back to the cliché of being forced to reveal your secrets before you can tell them yourself for Nora, but it’s at least a good character decision for Nora to decide before being forced. This is something that needed to happen several episodes ago, but at least it will make for an interesting third act of the season. This is also probably Jessica Parker Kennedy’s best performance of the season.

The new Cicada

Grace as Cicada is really interesting when it comes to being the new Cicada. It’s essentially a reverse situation with Nora coming back to the past. Nora and Grace are two sides of the same coin when it comes to time travel, they both want to come back and help their fathers. It’s an interesting dichotomy that it really feels that the show isn’t playing up enough at this point.

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By also adding extra motivation as to why Grace returned to the present, and why she even went to live with her uncle in the first place, makes her a very empathetic character. It’s hard to feel that empathy a lot of the time with Sarah Carter’s performance as Grace. It’s a bit over the top and fits with Chris Klein’s performance as Cicada, but this creates a bit of distance between the character and the audience, which is frustrating given that the character has great motivations. The episode does a better job of this at the end of the episode by making you feel for Grace, but it takes a while to get there.

Characters come and go

One of the biggest issues with this season has been its unfocused use of characters. Members of the main cast come and go with almost no rhyme or reason as to why they aren’t in the episode. For example, this episode has Ralph return to the fold and Caitlin nowhere to be found.

Once these characters are back in the picture though, they are often given stories that are lackluster at best and inconsequential at worst, and that’s exactly what happens again in this episode, which is incredibly disappointing.

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This week’s episode of The Flash has solid moments in it, but suffers from its poor use of its too many characters, other than Nora.