The Flash’s season five premiere (“Nora”) was equal parts funny and touching. Mad props have to be given to Jessica Parker Kennedy, for her wide-eyed turn as Nora, Iris and Barry’s daughter. (Confession: I loved her on The Secret Circle, and I’m still mad that show got canceled. Don’t judge me.) Earnest, self-depreciating (“I’m not responsible. I’m just selfish and really, really bad at being a speedster. … I don’t even know how to phase yet.”), and eager – there was a sweetness to her, an innocence. That could have come across as trite, but it was really well done. When it was revealed she essentially grew up without a father (love that the newspaper came into play again), it was heartbreaking. Between her pain and Barry’s tears at the revelation, the connection between the characters was fantastic. Nora faking an issue with her powers just to spend time with her pops was touching. It was relatable, wanting time with someone who is important on a personal level. There’s always someone we want one more minute with, someone we want to make more memories with. The show tapped into that deftly, as Nora pulled on my heartstrings often with a single look. For a speedster who “grew up and became the impossible,” it was fascinating to see where her fault lines lay: her confidence. But it turned out that she just needed a little guidance. I loved the callback to Barry learning how to phase, while he was teaching Nora how to do it. (My only issue is that her speedster name is kind of…terrible? But whatever. It can’t rain all the time.)
I found it interesting, too, that Nora seemed to resent her mother slightly, shunning her in the present day and implying their connection in the future is somewhat…strained. I mean, Barry had a point that “She could Marty McFly herself out of existence,” but Iris craved that connection from the start. West-Allen’s positivity and curiosity, her levelheaded kindness has always been an asset. There was a different tenor to her sweetness in this episode, a hopeful vulnerability. Like mother, like daughter, I suppose.
Now, let’s talk about the humor, which is always one of my favorite aspects of the show (the writers are incredible). Cisco quipping that he shouldn’t “drink and vibe” made me laugh out loud. The knock on the last Indiana Jones movie was priceless. Ralph painfully explaining the concept of multiverses, like an overzealous golden retriever, cracked me up. He is a precious cinnamon roll, who I adore—and not just because he helped Cailtin discover her pops isn’t dead! (I’m excited to meet her dad at some point, y’all!)
It was nice having Wally back, even if he’s heading back to Legends. And oh my god, Cecile maybe retaining her powers is a nice twist—but probably not for Joe. Speaking of, I want to know how he hid a whole LOUNGE where he took naps, for YEARS, without anyone stumbling across it. And when did Papa Joe have time for naps? Lord knows, he won’t now, with a tiny human in his life.
Stock up on coffee, dude. And pass me a cup, while you’re at it.