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TV Review: THE FLASH S5 E16 - 'Failure Is An Orphan'

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  • TV Review: THE FLASH S5 E16 - 'Failure Is An Orphan'

    THE FLASH S5 E16 – Failure is an Orphan

    This is the final showdown with Cicada… or is it? That is what we were led to believe going into the episode and the fact the team had the meta-human cure meant it was likely. Except they decided it had to be offered to the person, not used as a weapon. We know Green Arrow (Stephen Amell) would have at least three arrows full of this stuff in his quiver every night on patrol if he had it. But Flash (Grant Gustin) is a different type of hero and that is a big part of this episode, how the Flash has convinced many of his villains to change course by appealing to their better angels.

    The episode starts with Nora (Jessica Parker Kennedy) visiting Eobard Thawne (Tom Cavanagh) in the future and finding out that the timeline is changing and something or someone is trying to break through. That the final showdown between Flash and Cicada (Chris Klein) was imminent. Nora returns to find that Barry and Iris (Candice Patton) have a list of things they want to do with Nora before she goes back to her own time (after defeating Cicada) and also introduce her to the XS drink at Jitters. I wonder what happens if you get a drink named after you and you hate it? Can you show up and complain? While at Jitters they get an alert of a meta human crime and race off.

    At a chemical company we find a guy drinking acid and the hurling it out his hands. He gets away but the marks he leaves behind match an image from the final fight between Flash and Cicada (who took the photo?) and makes everyone think that tracking this meta, who Cisco (Carlos Valdes) dubs Acid Master (John Gillich) is the key. Acid Master aka Phillip Masters is a character from the comics who first and last appeared in Action Comics #348 before being retconned away by Crisis on Infinite Earths. They track him and find Cicada chasing him only to quick switch him with Killer Frost (Daniella Panabaker) who freezes the dagger to the wall, giving Barry a chance to appeal to Orlin about his legacy of murder and offer him the cure. The talk has no effect on him, and he attacks Barry and Killer Frost chases him off.

    Meanwhile Joe (Jesse L. Martin) and Cecille (Danielle Nicolet) talk with Dr. Ambres (Lossen Chambers) about Orlin and Grace. (Comic Easter Egg as we find Ambres got her medical degree from McNider U, a reference to Doctor Midnight). Cecille uses her abilities to tell that Ambres is lying about helping Orlin, but it throws Joe off who is used to using his gut to judge a questioning. Later, after some wise words from Barry, they try again and this time they’re able to not only find out how to contact Orlin but also learn that Grace is a meta-human (something we sort of learned in Memorabilia).

    Flash confronts Cicada again, this time talking about Grace and how she will fear the idea of someone like Cicada killing metas when she is one and that they can help her and him. This gets through to him and he agrees, threating to kill all of Team Flash if it doesn’t work. He also insists Ambres is there to stitch up his wound after he is cured. The procedure goes well until the power goes off and a different Cicada busts into the lounge, attacks Sherloque, Cecille and Nora then moves on and takes out the rest of the team before finding Ambres and Orlin. The new Cicada kills Ambres and takes Orlin and his dagger to go with the two kukris she already carries. She takes Orlin to a safe place and removes her mask, revealing she is an older version of Grace (Sarah Carter).

    Everyone is okay, but they’re left with a lot of questions as am I. How would an adult Grace get to this time? Does it tie into the upcoming villain Godspeed? Has Sherloque put all the pieces together about Nora? Does it feel like there’s been a shift in the season as we started off with “meta-tech” and Orlin’s powers seemed to be in the dagger to where he’s the meta now? And the trailer has Eobard telling Nora to come clean to Barry… how much damage is being done to the timeline? Plus, two things to note, Carter continues the CW’s tendency to legacy cast as she spent a few episodes on Smallville as Alicia Baker, the girl who used red kryptonite to marry Clark Kent. And it was announced that next season Todd Helbing will be moving on and Eric Wallace will be the new showrunner.