This week’s season five premiere of The Flash on the CW brought a more in-depth look at Nora West-Allen. The newest speedster on The Flash definitely has her father’s “mess with the timeline to see a parent” attitude. But she also brought news from the future.
We already knew from the Time Vault newspaper that a) there are still newspapers in 2024 (which people presumably read) and b) The Flash disappears in a crisis. The first paper, provided in season one by Eobard Thawne, has long teased a version of 1985’s mouthful title Infinite Crisis on Infinite Earths — along with the return of Hawkgirl, missing since season one of DC’s Legends of Tomorrow. The mentions of a “red sky” and the disappearance of Barry Allen are two of the mega-crossover’s hallmarks.
But for the first time we can see past that event to 2049 — where again, there are newspapers (!!!) and The Flash is still missing. There’s not much more about the incident that took (takes?) Barry out of the Flarrowverse, it’s enough for Norah to go back in time to get in some dad time.
While The Flash isn’t as egregious as LoT in its cavalier romps through the timeline — it does tend to wreak havoc with its own, sometimes forcing a very DC crisis like Flashpoint to reset and sprinkle in new powers. The questions we’re left with after this premiere are:
1) How long will Nora stick around in 2018?
Stepping out of the show for a minute, it seems pretty clear XS will be a season five fixture. But it’s unclear what impact she’ll have on the show’s future. Being an Allen, it’s obvious she won’t be able to keep quiet about the future — starting with the revelation that Gridlock was supposed to be a one-and-done enemy. Which brings us to the next question…
2) Who (presumably) killed Gridlock?
While it’s safe to say that in comic book media, no one’s dead until you see them killed (and even then, just check out Jason Todd, Stephanie Brown, Superman…) — it didn’t seem like the hooded villain wanted to tickle the baddie of the week. And based on the tease at the end of the episode — he’s out for meta-blood.
3) How reliable is the “soft events” advice from the Legends?
Wally calmed Team Flash’s time-anxiety by relaying a message from the Legends — that there are “soft” points in time that can be changed without much consequence. While everyone seems to have accepted that, no one on the the team seems willing to point out that the Legends themselves have rampaged through the timeline without much regard for the consequences (Beebo, anyone?). So how good is that intel, really? Will Gridlock’s late takedown have an effect later in timeline — and what will the consequences be?
4) Will Nora spill any more beans about the future of Team Flash?
She seems really want to impress Papa Barry, and giving away future info is certainly part of that equation. The question is, will she start to mess with more “fixed” events — and is the team willing to force her to head back to the future to avoid a potentially timestream-threatening event?
5) Is she friends with (or does she even know) John Diggle, Jr.?
The last we saw of the future Green Arrow, he was fighting in a dystopian Star City under a different name after the death of his father. The scene seemed like a throwaway timeline when it aired, since Diggle’s child was baby Sarah, but when the child’s sex was changed after Flashpoint, speculation popped back up about the future of Star City (and Oliver’s arm). Does the bubbly Nora West-Allen know her dark and brooding contemporary, or do Team Arrow and Team flash part ways after the clearly bleak events that seem to be in store for both?