Last season on The Flash, Barry had a season-long battle against The Thinker, a metahuman who had the gift of extreme intelligence (unlike all the other past seasons’ big baddies who were speedsters) and was able to literally out-think Barry and Team Flash to carry out his sinister plans. In the season finale, the Thinker was thwarted when Barry was able to prevent the apocalypse by destroying a satellite repurposed to send mankind intellectually back to the stone ages. Barry was able to destroy the satellite with the help of another speedster. Throughout the season, the “Mystery Girl” would visit Barry on several occasions. The cliffhanger happened when the Mystery Girl reveals herself as Nora, Barry and Iris’ daughter from the future, and she made a mistake with timeline-damaging ramifications.
The season premiere begins, not with the “My Name is Barry Allen” intro we have been used to for the past 4 seasons. Instead, it begins with a new narrator, Barry and Iris’ daughter Nora. She begins the episode saying she’s the “fastest woman” alive. However, she’s not “The Flash,” she’s “XS” as he mother told her she was ecstatic growing up, and in the future, she’s the hero of Central City.
Continuing from where last season ended, Nora confronts Team Flash and Joe’s house explaining who she is and where she’s from. This being Team Flash, this isn’t completely out of the norm. The only person who really reacts is Cisco, who decides, it’s time to get loaded. Ralph, ever the clueless one realizes that time travel and multiverses (“manyverses”) exist, even though he literally was working with Harry from Earth-2 all last year. Nora remarks that since she helped Barry stop the Thinker, she has altered the timeline, something her father already has experience with. Unfortunately, now, she cannot travel “back to the future.”
Barry is no determined to get her back to her own timeline so that she doesn’t damage this current time. Of course, she can’t stop blabbing about future events (since they technically are her past). She tells them about the Flash Museum, King Shark and Gorilla Grodd are going to have a fight, and new metahuman adversaries as well. Newcomer Jessica Parker Kennedy plays Nora with an infectious sense of happiness and is already a welcome addition to Team Flash.
It wouldn’t be The Flash without a metahuman of the week. This week, we meet a bad guy who can absorb kinetic energy making himself stronger (and impossible to hurt as well) names Gridlock. Barry goes to try and stop him, but gets distracted when Nora tries to tag along to stop him. She’s already altering the timeline as she even told Team Flash that Gridlock is a minor villain who Team Flash only met one time and stopped him with ease.
It’s revealed that Nora is unable to run back to the future because of tachyons in her bloodstream that prevent her from entering the Speed Force. No matter how much Barry tries to find a way to get her sent back to her own timeline, she’s here to stay. Iris, intrigued with the idea of a full-grown daughter attempts to bond with Nora. They go to Jitters as Iris tries to get Nora to open up, but she’s hesitant. Nora seems more interested in spending time with her father. This is something that Barry picks up on as well. Barry confronts her later on and she reveals the truth, she traveled back to the past to get a chance to see her father. Remember that newspaper clip in Gideon’s vault saying that the Flash went missing in the crisis? Well, that future is still intact, and in Nora’s timeline, her father has been missing for 25 years. She actually has no memories of her father as a result. She could have traveled back to her own timeline anytime she wanted to. Her traveling to the past was all about wanting to meet her father. This softened Barry to the idea of sending her back as he knows this will be the only time he has with his daughter.
Just then, Team Flash discovers Gridlock is going to try to down a commercial airplane to absorb the kinetic energy and become even stronger. The only way the day can be saved is f Cisco teleports Barry, Wally, and Nora to the airplane when it’s about to crash (as the zero-g will remove all kinetic force and they can stop Gridlock) and then phase the entire plane so that it doesn’t crash through buildings on its way down. Nora is a new speedster and doesn’t know how to phase. Barry does his best Obi-Wan/Morpheus and talks her through it when they get on the plane. Remembering what Eobard Thawne taught him, Barry is now the wise mentor as he coaches his daughter into using her powers to help phase the airplane and save everyone.
With the day saved and Gridlock in custody, Barry decides that they don’t need to send Nora back to her own timeline just yet. She then decides to stay in an unknown lounge at STAR Labs. Caitlin, who’s still missing her Killer Frost persona gets some help from Ralph (as both of them didn’t have much to do this episode since we focused on Barry and Nora) who reveals to her that he father didn’t in fact die. However, not all is good and we now have a new bad guy on the horizon. As Gridlock is being escorted to prison, his police escort is attacked by Season 5 main villain Cicada, who seems to have an ax to grind with metahumans, as he kills Gridlock.
Next week, Barry trains Nora.