The Flash: 5.18 Godspeed
Who would have thought that the greatest villain The Flash has ever seen would have a soft side? For several episodes now the mystery surrounding Nora, her being mentored by her father’s arch nemesis, and the slowest ever countdown clock, have been teased. Godspeed, given the events the previous instalment climaxed on, clearly attempts to hit two birds with one stone, by not only depicting Nora’s origin and how she gets her powers, but also the how and why with regards to Thawne. Unfortunately, what’s produced is lacklustre and provides nothing new or original.
The opening sequence sees the team discussing what to do with Nora, now that she’s been put on super-daughter timeout. The reaction towards Sherloque was harsh and unwarranted; pushing him to the side and asking him to leave, not only diminished his importance to the team, but it felt like he was being treated unfairly for not telling them about Nora sooner. Not only did Sherloque express not wanting to make false or hasty accusations, Iris had previously harassed him about it. The dialogue here was rushed, limp and didn’t show any of the team togetherness we’ve come to love.
The vast majority of this episode takes place in the future, showing the events that led up to Nora’s partnership with Thawne and trip to the past. Frankly this is where the episode falls apart. Aside from the lack of originality, showing a socially awkward Nora working as a CSI for the CCPD with a boss who complains that she’s always running late (season one Barry much), the story offers nothing exciting and equally nothing that we didn’t already know. So much, like the discovery of her power dampener, is treated like a generator for suspense, a mystery, and yet this very situation has already been explained to us, and putting the story into visuals made no improvement.
The interactions between Nora and Eobard was another frustrating element, it felt forced and generated even more questions, like why, only after discovering her speed would Nora go to visit him, given her clear obsession with speedsters? Who was the other person to visit Eobard and when? How did he get captured? Why is he bothering to help her, what’s in it for him, or has prison simply made him soft? While their chemistry was electric, her origin story was overflowing with convenience and offered little in terms of eye popping entertainment.
Godspeed, as the villain, certainly looked the part and worked as nice counterpart to Nora’s first act of heroism, but the grumpy old man in me can’t help but sigh at the thought of ANOTHER evil speedster, and frankly, one that’s taken down far too easily. The final battle, while being generic, actually looked pretty cool. Given the obvious outcome (being a past sequence and all), there are no potential consequences and that robs the sequence of all stakes, not to mention it added nothing to Nora’s character whatsoever.
The final scenes, in which Barry tells Nora he can no longer trust her and sends her back to her time, were easily the most captivating. It had heartfelt drama, tension and most of all stakes that could easily impact the remainder of the season. Barry’s small encounter with an imprisoned Thawne was disappointing simply due to the level of screen time it had, but seeing the two together on screen gave me chills. As much as I would like to see the two duke it out, what about Cicada?
Godspeed told an origin that was riddled with information that we already knew. It did very little to service the build-up between Nora and Thawne. While this episode did generate anticipation for future instalments, it wasn’t the explosive encounter I was hoping for. I for one love well placed easter eggs and subtle call backs, but the forced nature, more or less recreating the best bits from season one, were a little too cheesy. It’ll be interesting to see what now happens with Grace-Cicada, assuming there’s more to tell around the whole Nora/Thawne situation. Hopefully next week will erase the disappointing nature of this episode and really amp up the excitement.