THE FLASH “Failure is an Orphan” Review





Is it all that surprising that The Flash both gets rid of and brings back Cicada in a handful of minutes?

Not really; when the show basically tips its hand at the very beginning with a conversation between Nora and Thawne, declaring that today will be the day that Flash finally defeats Cicada.

To the show’s credit, it does use some cute diversions to delay the inevitable hitting the fan. I enjoyed what little we got to see of Barry and Iris taking Nora to Jitters to see the new coffee named after her. The West-Allen family stuff is very good in this episode, and a nice contrast to the Queen family drama going on in Arrow, as Barry and Iris may find themselves running out of time to go through all the big milestones with their daughter that they don’t fully get to do in the future. (Does Nora need to learn how to drive? That’s a question that came to mind when Nora read off that list.) It’s some good human drama that Candice Patton sells incredibly well, and she must’ve had a good teacher in Jesse L. Martin. It’s been a long time since we’ve gotten to see Joe be a cop, and he’s in fine form here as he and Cecile become a power couple of cop and lawyer.

Likewise, I liked that the show went deep in its history books to show how Barry can get through to Cicada to take the metahuman cure. There’s some deep cuts in there from the series’ history, deeper than the obvious pull of referencing when Barry could get through to Snart in the early days. The first attempt to convince Cicada didn’t go well, so it makes sense that Barry does so again as himself, even if that means he has to disclose his secret identity yet again to someone who is hellbent on killing him.

Of course, it’s in the final stretch of time that everything hits the fan. Cicada gets the cure, but then another Cicada shows up, guts Dr. Ambres, and takes Orlin away. Who could it be except, well, a now grown up Grace, fresh from the future and with a suite of powers all of her own. This episode reveals that the shrapnel in her head has made her meta, which is part of what prompts Orlin to take the cure. What’s more surprising is that this actually is surprising? I thought that Nora would’ve told the others after spending time in Grace’s head, since the kid very clearly said that she would follow in the footsteps of her uncle.

This doesn’t take away from what is a pretty good episode of The Flash, but merely presents a weird gap in logic. Chris Klein’s tenure as our Big Bad for the year has been all over the place but there was something fitting about his arc being “closed off” in this fashion. Now it’s time to see what his successor can do.


Additional Notes

  • The sight of Grace Cicada reclaiming her uncle’s dagger was very well done, I must say. That entire showcase of her powers and skills I very much enjoyed, and her pair of kukri blades will no doubt make her worse than her uncle.
  • The show’s next season will find a new showrunner in Eric Wallace, who’s been an executive producer on The Flash for the last handful of seasons.
  • It’s apparently not hard to get a drink named after you in Central City, huh.
  • Next week, Nora finally tells her parents she’s been working with their most hated enemy. That’ll go over well.