THE FLASH Season 5 Episode 12 Review: Memorabilia

After resolving to save Grace last week, Team Flash’s attempt to wake her from her coma took a turn for the cerebral as they entered her psyche itself. The way her mind is set up echoes what we saw in the Thinker’s head last season, with each memory being tied to a physical location that characters can return to rather than playing out like a movie. 

That’s not the only similarity either, as Grace creates a sort of Cicada boogeyman to hunt down Nora after realizing she is a meta. In theory, I quite like the idea of hardening back to the classic horror trope of the demonic little girl, especially since it lets an active character rather than a tragic victim, but the execution was a little too hammy, and the Grace-Cicada shade never felt very threatening as a result. The story was significantly hampered by the visuals they used to distinguish memories from the real world. The dark green-gray colors of Grace’s memories at least worked as creepy mood lighting during her murder attempt; having a purple filter over everything from Nora’s mind made it feel like Iris and Barry were trapped in a terrible music video from the early 2000s rather than peaking at the future. 

Even with that element working against it, Barry and Iris’s journey still managed to finally lay to rest the Nora/Iris feud in an emotionally satisfying way. It would have been all too easy to cast Iris’s cold parenting as just another change the West-Allens to make to the timeline, this less straightforward route gave Nora the chance to do some self reflection about how missing her dad affected all of her major life relationships. 

Nora has trouble taking responsibility for her actions, so it was a significant to see her admit her resentment of Iris was down to her own loneliness and needing to take her anger out of someone. Playing it this was still gives the West-Allens the same motivation to fight for a happier future, while still staying true to the compassionate and kind woman Iris has always been. 

There is an exciting new label Iris gets this episode, and it’s that of entrepreneur. This development is a great way to continue developing her role as a journalist, while also giving her the independence that wasn’t always present during her time at Picture News. Plus anything that makes the world of The Flash feel bigger than the walls of STAR Labs is a win in my my book. 

Ralph and Cisco also got to go off said campus for their boys’ night this week. It never fails to amaze me how Ralph continually gets rewarded for reaching the bare minimum of decency, like buying drinks after tricking a friend into going to a singles event, but thankfully the outing wasn’t solely a pat on the back. 

Not only does the meta cure look to finally look to be in sight after Cisco’s breakthrough, but it looks like Vibe might just have a new beau. Carlos Valdes is hard not to root for as a romantic hero with his big brown eyes and down-to-earth attitude, but I do find myself feeling a little trepidatious nonetheless. All of Cisco’s previous relationships with characters like Lisa Snart, Kendra Saunders, and, most recently, Cynthia, have followed the same routine of copious build up to a romance before fizzling almost as soon as they properly star and ultimately not going anywhere. The last thing he needs to fall into the same trap as Caitlin, where any hint of flirtation is seem as the harbinger of doom. Regardless of whether or not his relationship Kamilla works out, I hope it gets to be a fully realized story rather than another “what if”. 

I’m also growing increasingly curious about what it will be for Sherloque once Nora’s secret is revealed. While he has done a fair amount of snooping where Nora is concerned, this week he actively manipulated her into a situation where her life would be at risk by baiting her going in alone, all so he could confirm a suspicion. I can’t imagine Barry or Iris taking that well, regardless of any hurt Nora’s betrayal will cause. We might be looking at a team breakdown from a lot of different angles.

Written by Kaitlin Roberts, THE FLASH Beat Writer

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