BARRY’S BIG BAD IS BREAKING NEWS!

CHRIS KLEIN ANNOUNCED AS DC SUPER-VILLAIN CICADA FOR THE FLASH SEASON FIVE

BURBANK, Calif. (July 21, 2018) — After outthinking The Thinker, you’d hope that Barry Allen aka The Flash (Grant Gustin) might have some down time to contemplate his future with his new wife, Iris (Candice Patton). But with their speedster daughter from the future, Nora (new series regular Jessica Parker Kennedy), already grown and a part of their lives, they’ve now got to face Central City’s newest menace — the DC Super-Villain Cicada! Season five pits Team Flash against yet another formidable adversary, the show’s second non-speedster Big Bad, it was revealed by cast and producers at the show’s 2018 Comic-Con panel on Saturday, July 21.

Chris Klein (Election, Oz, American Pie) has signed on as series regular to play next season’s scourge of Central City, Cicada. A grizzled, blue-collar everyman whose family has been torn apart by metahumans, Cicada now seeks to exterminate the epidemic — one metahuman at a time.

The Flash returns for season five on Tuesday, October 9, at 8/7c on The CW. Based on the DC characters, the series is executive produced by Greg Berlanti, Todd Helbing, Sarah Schechter and Eric Wallace. The Flash is produced by Bonanza Productions in association with Berlanti Productions and Warner Bros. Television.

Cicada

Chris Klein

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Captain Comics said:

Also, I'm surprised to find out there's something the Wells actor can't do: A French accent. It comes off as a muddled, generic, made-up accent.

It occurs to me that he's from another Earth. Maybe that is a French accent on his planet.

I'm looking forward to the crossover event Elseworlds. Barry is Green Arrow and Oliver is The Flash!

Let's discuss last week's The Flash, shall we?

  • At the end of last week's episode, when Barry and Iris gang up on Nora -- at least that's how she would see it -- she moves in with Joe and District Attorney Cecile. Now it's two weeks later, and Nora is refusing to return Iris's calls. Then there's a burglary at the art museum, and the crook gets away with a stolen Monet on a motorcycle. Barry gives chase and stops the crook, but finds he's not carrying anything.

  • That's because he handed it off to another dude on a motorcycle. Nora, on their intercom, chimes in that she'll catch him -- and turns off Iris telling her to wait for Barry. Nora makes a rookie mistake: She stops the crook, but not his motorcycle. Barry arrives in time to save two pedestrians from the crash.

  • Back at STAR Labs, Iris makes a rookie mistake: She chews Nora out. Yeah, Nora had it coming, but she lashes out again; all Future Iris ever does is yell at her and stifle her, and she can't listen to it any more. Hurt, today's Iris walks out. Barry's been watching the whole time, and he says something somebody should have said a long time ago: “Y’know, Nora, I wish you would try to understand who your mom is today … stop seeing her as who she becomes in the future.”

  • Iris did sound like an old lady nag when she said, "I know you did not just cut me off, Miss Thing."

  • The villain of the week is Ragdoll. I understand the actor who portrayed him was a contestant on America's Got Talent who really is a contortionist. The way he moves wasn't special effects; that was all him.

  • Nora bonds with District Attorney Cecile, or as she calls her, "Mama Cecile." I suppose this means Joe and Cecile tied the knot in Nora's past, but has it happened yet in our here and now?

  • Nora starts griping about Iris, and Cecile is not having it. "Nora, this is the West house. In it, every West is given respect. Most especially, your mother."

  • Does Nora really not know what a screwdriver is? Or that it doesn't work without screws?

  • Cute shout-out to Irv Novick.

  • Iris and Barry join forces to track down Ragdoll, which means visiting some megabucks art patron at a swanky charity ball. Barry points out, "I look good in a tux." Iris sports a fire-engine red v-neck gown with spaghetti straps on the shoulders and a thigh-high slit, complemented with gold pumps, a diamond bracelet on her left arm, and dangly tear-drop earrings. Barry says to her, "You look amazing, by the way."

  • Iris did look amazing.

  • Did I say Iris looked amazing? Iris looked amazing.

  • Iris – who looked amazing – was also glum; Nora’s latest outburst rattled her. Not even the dance she shared with Barry helped. (He wanted to dance because they didn’t get to after their wedding. I half expected Felicity Smoak to butt in.)

  • Mama Cecile further bonds with Nora by telling her stories about Barry that aren’t in the Flash Museum archives. Nora is sure the museum has everything, but she’s drawn in by the stories about Barry’s fairness and kindness … and gradually realizes Cecile is relating stories about Iris. Cecile also tells Nora she isn’t getting to know today’s Iris, and hands her a scrapbook Joe has kept of Iris's life. Nice, although my first thought was, Shouldn’t Joe be telling Nora these stories? Cecile did make a passing comment about “when Joe comes back,” and off-screen, we know why Jesse L. Martin is absent.

  • There’s a little more forward movement on the mystery of Caitlin’s father front. And Cisco is forced to admit to her his powers are causing him pain as a result of his getting slashed on the hands by the dark matter dagger a couple episodes back.

  • Which poses a problem when Ragdoll kidnaps Barry, claps power-dampening handcuffs on him and ties him to a chair on the roof a high-rise building. Cisco can’t make a breach to get there. Sherloque has broken the portable dingus that makes breaches. Nora’s left her phone behind and doesn’t answer the call. (What teenager ever leaves her phone behind?) So what can they do? Ralph has an idea: stretching and swinging his way across town, with Iris on his back! (He says, “(I saw it in a comic book.”) It’s goofy, but it’s cool … almost Spider-Man-ish.

  • Ralph and Iris confront Ragdoll – who gets around in very creepy way – and he pushes Barry off the roof!

  • Iris jumps off the roof!

  • But Iris has a plan – she unlocks the power-dampening cuffs and Barry’s powers activate and gets them to the ground without a splat!

  • Cisco: “Iris West-Allen, I know badassery when I see it, and that was raw, unrefined, cage-free, non-GMO badassery right there.”

    Caitlin: “You dove off a building.”

    Barry: “For me.”

    Iris: “Yeah, I guess I kinda did.”

  • Nora is impressed. And she and Iris have a heart-to-heart. Future Iris has always closed off herself and tried to make Nora afraid of the world; today’s Iris says I’m not and won’t be like that. Ask me anything. No secrets, no lies. And they look at the scrapbook and bond. Cool.

It was a very enjoyable episode. I get the impression that future-Iris will be different. Nora has definitely tweaked the timeline.

I don't understand why they are clumsily dancing around Jesse L. Martin's back injury. Why not say that Joe had a back injury and has checked into medical facilities to heal?   

It makes sense to me that, for now, they're being vague about Joe being gone, and why. They're probably hoping it won't be for very long (Get well soon, Jesse L. Martin!), but can't know yet how long it will be. So they don't want to box themselves in.

Plus, I think history shows it can be a bad idea to tie the fate of a TV character to the life of the actor. Like the dilemma that happens if an actress gets pregnant: Does that mean the character also gets pregnant? Sometimes it's yes, as happened on Superstore and Law & Order: Special Victims Unit this season.

But the cautionary tale is Married With Children. Katey Sagal got pregnant, so they wrote that Peg Bundy got pregnant. Sadly, Katey Sagal had a miscarriage. On the show, they backpedaled on the pregnancy and eventually wrote it off as her husband Al's bad dream. I think they've even gone so far as to keep those episodes out of syndication.

 

“Let's discuss last week's The Flash, shall we?”

Okay, let’s.

“I understand the actor who portrayed [Ragdoll] him was a contestant on America's Got Talent who really is a contortionist.”

Oh, I didn’t know that. But we watch AGT and I know exactly who it is.

“Nora starts griping about Iris, and Cecile is not having it. ‘Nora, this is the West house. In it, every West is given respect. Most especially, your mother.’”

Word.

“Did I say Iris looked amazing? Iris looked amazing.”

Agreed.

“…although my first thought was, Shouldn’t Joe be telling Nora these stories?”

My first thought was, “How does Cecile even know this stuff?”

“Iris jumps off the roof!”

FLASHFACT: Barry and Iris would have been falling at the same rate of descent; she shouldn’t have been able to “catch up.”

“I get the impression that future-Iris will be different. Nora has definitely tweaked the timeline.”

Agreed.

Jeff of Earth-J said:

“…although my first thought was, Shouldn’t Joe be telling Nora these stories?”

My first thought was, “How does Cecile even know this stuff?”

That was my second thought.


Jeff of Earth-J said:

“Iris jumps off the roof!”

FLASHFACT: Barry and Iris would have been falling at the same rate of descent; she shouldn’t have been able to “catch up.”

Well, yeah, it's not realistic, but ... I don't know, maybe there was some residual leakage of the Speed Force despite the power-dampening cuffs that attracted Iris to Barry like a tractor beam and pulled her in close enough to unlock the cuffs.

Do I get a No-Prize?

When I asked Tracy how Iris "caught up" to Barry, she straightened out her neck, put her arms at her sides and said, "She went like this."

Maybe you two can share your No-Prize.

I don't have anything to add to the Iris and Barry falling part. It's impossible, but sure. "She went like this." I'll buy it,.

I think skydivers can adjust their speed of fall like that, changing wind resistance.

Captain Comics said:

I don't have anything to add to the Iris and Barry falling part. It's impossible, but sure. "She went like this." I'll buy it,.

I'd like to say I appreciate the fine work Jessica Parker Kennedy has been doing as Nora. It's easy to see Nora as an annoying brat, but Kennedy brings out the eagerness, spunk and longing to belong that makes her endearing, not just irritating. 

Like the moment when Nora is looking at the scrapbook of Iris's life, and tells Iris that Future Iris would never speak of it. The look on her face sold me; Nora wanting to connect and at the same time afraid Iris would bite her head off, like Future Iris always does.

Well done. 

I agree. She's got a complicated job to do, and she's doing it really well.

That's great that they cast a contortionist for Ragdoll! If anyone watched The Americans, they also cast a contortionist for the woman who would be killed and stuffed into a suitcase in one of the middle seasons. (The gruesome scene was done using a mix of shots of the contortionist and an occasional mannequin body double, but the foley artist added sound effects of bones breaking & crunching whenever there was an unusual bend. The more you know!)

They seem to be pulling back on the powers of Team Flash for a while, and I'm happy with it. Teleportation kind of takes the joy out of someone being able to get to somewhere really fast!

As for mentioning Joe's back injury in the story, that's the simple way to do it -- though you'd expect a visit or two of Joe in the hospital, which means Jesse Martin would still have to work. But I think they're waiting to see how long he'll be gone, and then can come up with a better reason. I'm sure the writers can come up with a reason that opens up more plot doors, and gives Joe a little more character development in the bargain. Since they've been handed lemons, why not try to turn them into lemonade? 

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