The Flash: 5.04 News Flash
The Flash season five continues to focus more and more time with the West-Allen family, developing on the drama and hysteria caused by the arrival of Nora. This week Nora, finally opened up to Iris as to why she has been pushing her aside, opening more exciting plot develooments, though I could’ve done without the breakfast table and softball scenes, which felt forced, to unnecessarily intensify the drama. The divide that’s now been created, dampening the father daughter relationship was a nice move, will hopefully allow future episodes to will capitalise on it.
One thing this episode did phenomenally well was showcase the ability to better blend humour and drama. While you had the family feud and rivalry between Iris and the new villain this week (more on that soon), it was refreshing to see the budding relationship between Sherloque Wells and Ralph, squashing any concerns the last about there being two detectives on the show. Their chemistry together is superb; they share the limelight very well and the comedy bouncing between the two also works surprisingly well...I hate to say it but, I didn’t remotely miss Cisco.
Episodes leading up to this point have stuck with the villain of the week formula. They may have had little screen time, and been underdeveloped, but they served their purpose to further Cicada’s story along. News Flash mixes things up, concentrating a lot of time and effort to this week’s villain, Spencer Young, a journalist who once worked with Iris and seems to have Meta powers to control people, which she uses to further her career. There is certainly a degree of satire in this episode, reflected in how much we use, rely and trust social media news articles. But overall, the execution of the villain character was a little too cartoony.
The forced semi-professional relationship between Spencer and Iris was awful; they were fighting for attention which could easily take audiences out of the moment, especially when their confrontation has some nice sentiment about it. Thankfully, not all is lost in terms of villainy this week: the development of Meta-tech caused by the satellite debris last season opens up new and different avenues for the series to take. This is an interesting development I hope is properly capitalised on.
The Cicada storyline was also further developed, while still keeping a lid on the overall mystery. However I struggle to foresee how this character can be carried through the entire season, and I wonder if he is an intermediary villain. In the final sequence with him, we see he has a boost in power and scar on his upper right shoulder. Maybe it’s just coincidence but Nora too has a scar, from future Iris dampening her powers in the same place; perhaps the two characters could be interlinked somehow. Either way, from what we’ve seen, his character is excellent, drip-feeding back story and the showing of his current struggles really humanises him, allowing for more of a connection.
News Flash may not have broken new ground nor had a memorable and well executed villain, but what it did have was excellent continued story development and a superb blend of drama and humour. I thought they failed to capitalise on Cisco, his absence from this episode would have been far more impactful had the audience believed his character to have been killed previously. The future still looks bright for the The Flash, however the same may not be said for the West-Allen family.