The Flash, Season 5, Episode 3, “The Death of Vibe”
Say what you will about this season of The Flash, but it can’t be accused of slow-playing the plot. It’s not running through story at breakneck speed, but the pacing is better than it has been in years. It’s amazing how much we’re willing to gloss over a show’s flaws when we aren’t rolling our eyes, saying “Get on with it, already.” Here’s everything you need to know about the latest episode of The Flash:
What’s the scoop: Hey, the gang is all back together, with the addition of “master detective” Harry ‘Sherloque’ Wells. They call him in from the multiverse because Nora says in her timeline, Cicada is never captured, so they feel like they need all the help they can get. This Wells is a bit of a tool, but he does track down an anti-government nutjob, for a hefty fee, of course. It turns out that guy was in fact, Cicada on a few dozen other earths, and this Wells has been coasting on that knowledge for years. Thanks to Nora’s presence, the timeline has shifted, and Cicada is still on the loose.
Meanwhile in B-plot Land: We get a little more with Ralph and Caitlin. Ralph is jealous that Team Flash sought out another detective to track down Cicada. Caitlin remains loyal to Ralph in her search for the truth about her father’s death. They break into her mother’s company and discover some of her father’s old notes, a periodic table game she’d play, and a suicide note addressed to her. The note saddens and relieves Caitlin, in equal measure. Of course, that’s not the end of things because the notes are nonsensical until she figures out they are a coded message, and the periodic table is the cypher. She spells out the message: “Caitlin, come find me.”
What about the action: Cicada is out to remove Vibe from the Team Flash equation, and he’s going to use Joe as the bait. Joe weathers Cicada’s torture, knowing that calling in Team Flash will do more harm than good. It’s not until Cecile, whose powers have been coming and going since having the baby, is able to read the stress in Joe’s thoughts and she alerts the team. Cicada immediately pushes Cisco through his breach, into a forest. He has to dodge and describe his surroundings to Wells so the speedster cavalry can come to the rescue. Flash does arrive, but it doesn’t take long for Cicada to get the upper hand. Nora takes a second to consider the situation, and uses some tech to make it look like Cisco was blown to kingdom come, enough for Cicada to move on. In fact, it’s a ruse Nora improvised. As far as the world knows, Vibe is dead and Cisco is in hiding.
What’s next: In the stinger, we learn that quality time with dear old dad isn’t the only reason why Nora went back to the past, and changed history by helping with the satellite. Her other reasons may be significantly more sinister. (My guess is that Cicada sent her back and is threatening Iris in the future, which explains a bit bout Nora’s behavior).
Last impressions: The Flash has found a nice rhythm in the first part of this season. The writers aren’t clobbering us with comedy, like last year. There’s just enough levity to keep the tone light, despite the seriousness of the situation. Having Tom Cavanagh back in the rotation is also nice; Wells and Cisco sparring is always fun. They’ve managed to find enough for everyone to do, as well, without making the episodes feel cluttered. We learn that Cicada is a father whose daughter is in a coma, and has some magical shoulder wound that won’t heal right. Important things to remember as the series moves forward. I don’t expect The Flash can maintain this pace and tone over the course of 20-plus episodes, there is always filler in a long season. However, if there are more episodes like this one, Season 5 is shaping up to be a grand adventure.