Sunday, June 9, 2019

The Flash Season 5, Episode 18: Godspeed

This week on The Flash we get a fair to middling episode that finally details Nora's origin story. Unfortunately it's marred somewhat by budget limitations, a MAJOR problem with the sequence of events of said origina and the waste of what could have been an awesome Big Bad for a future season/

On the plus side, this episode was directed by Danielle Pannabaker, aka Caitlin Snow. She does a pretty good job too, considering it's her first time in the director's chair. Too bad she didn't have some better material to work with.

As I mentioned above, there's a MASSIVE plot hole in this episode involving Nora becoming XS. I'll get into it in detail below, but basically this episode would have us believe that she learns how to time travel, Thawne teaches her his time language, she creates a costume and then visits various members of Team Flash in the past, all in the space of about half an hour. That seems unlikely.

For weeks before this episode aired, the internet was abuzz with the news that it would feature the debut of Godspeed, an awesome new speedster character from the comics. Fans of the show were beside themselves, anxiously awaiting the live-action appearance of the character.

Annnnnnd then he finally shows up, but he's a one-off villain of the week and is defeated by a tiny girl who just got her powers. Disappointing!

For some reason, many fans of The Flash were under the impression that Nora was a teenager, and were shocked when this episode confirmed the fact that she's well into her twenties. 

While I agree that Nora often acts like a whiny teen, anyone who thought she was one is reeeeally bad at math. Although we don't yet know her exact date of birth, it has to be sometime between 2020 (since Iris isn't pregnant yet) and 2024 (when Barry disappears in the Crisis. That would make her at least twenty five years old in 2049. And most likely older.

So what do we think about Thawne here? The episode goes to great lengths to make it look like he genuinely cares about his "little runner" Nora, and is attempting to atone for a lifetime of misdeeds. 

I honestly hope that's what's happening here, as I've always been a sucker for "villain redemption" stories. Given that this is Thawne we're talking about though, it seems unlikely. I have a feeling his attempts to turn over a new leaf are all part of an elaborate plan to escape and seek revenge on Barry.


The Plot:
Picking up right where we left off in the previous episode, Nora sits in the STAR Labs Secret Super Jail after Team Flash finds out she's been working with Eobard Thawne. In the Cortex, Barry and the others argue about what to do with Nora. Iris says they can't keep her locked up forever, while Barry says they can no longer trust her.

For absolutely no good reason, the entire Team turns on Sherloque when they find out he's suspected Nora of working with Thawne since she asrrived. He defends himself by saying he was gathering data before making an accusation, which is the proper procedure. Team Flash, especially Iris, doesn't see it that way. Ralph suggests Sherloque take a walk until everyone calms down.

Cecile points out that she never picked up on any deception on Nora's part (!), and she doesn't think there's anything malicious about her. Ralph spots Nora's diary, and says the answers lie inside. Barry tells him to read it from the beginning.

We then get a series of flashbacks detailing Nora's origin story. In 2049, Nora's working as a CSI at the CCPD (just like her old man!). She arrives late at a crime scene (just like Barry) and is scolded by her boss, Detective Frankie Curtis (again, just like Barry). She examines an abandoned delivery truck, and discovers someone stole benzene methanol and halothane. When she notices the truck's security system wasn't tripped, she suspects the culprit was a speedster.

At CCPD, Nora tells her friend & fellow CSI Lia that she thinks there's a speedster in town. Lia says that's crazy, as there hasn't been one in Central City for decades. She accuses her of being obsessive, noting that Nora's still trying to figure out the Cicada case. Lia analyzes the security footage and sees a flash of white lightning in it. She grudgingly admits Nora was right, but wonders why a speedster would be stealing chemicals.

That night Nora visits the Flash Museum, which reveals there was never a speedster who gave off white lightning. Nora gets a call from Iris, who's irate that she hasn't returned her previous calls. Lia then calls her, saying she sent the list of stolen chemicals to her old teacher, Dr. Bruce Bonwitt.

Nora and Lia visit Bonwitt at Ollins Labs. He tells them the stolen chemicals work on an extracellular matrix, but there's no way to tell what they're for. Well that was helpful. They thank Bonwitt for his time and leave.

As Nora and Lia exit the building, a speedster zooms past them. They run back in and see Bonwitt lying unconscious on the floor. Suddenly a figure in an all-white suit appears, and announces he's the God Of Speed. He then fires off a blast of white lightning at Nora, knocking her across the room before zipping away.

Sometime later Nora wakes in the hospital, with Lia by her side. Lia sheepishly admits she called Iris, who freaked out when she heard Nora'd been attacked and is on her way to Central City. Lia also shows Nora a metal scrap the doctors found in her shoulder. Lia says the docs assumed it was embedded in her body during the accident, but she thinks it looks more like a microchip.

Suddenly Lia drops the chip, and Nora's body crackles with lightning as she zips across the room at superspeed and grabs it in midair. She then zooms out of the hospital, completely out of control. She crashes into the back of a laundry truck and looks at her hand, which is vibrating so fast it's a blur.

Back at CCPD, Lia and Nora test her speed. Lia notes that Nora got her powers after being hit by lightning, just like the Flash. She wonders what Nora's going to tell Iris. Nora says that after Barry disappeared, Iris freaks out anytime she even hears the word "meta," so she doesn't plan to tell her.

They then discuss the white speedster, who Lia dubs "Godspeed." Just then they get a bank robbery alert. Nora speeds to the scene, but she's still not in control of her powers and plows into a bank guard, allowing the robbers to get away.

Nora returns to CCPD, moping about her screw up. Lia tells her not to worry about it, as the robbers were eventually caught. Nora then turns her attention to stopping Godspeed, but has no idea how to go about it. She decides the best way to stop a villain is to think like one. 

Nora goes to Iron Heights Prison, where she asks to visit Eobard Thawne, aka the Reverse-Flash. She asks how he was ultimately defeated, saying it'll help with a current investigation. Thawne says she's a terrible liar, easily deducing that she herself is a fellow speedster.

Trevor Shinick, the main guard, enters and tells Nora her time's up and to beat it. For no good reason, Shinick then tortures Thawne by electrifying his cell. Nora sees this as she's escorted out.

The next day Lia tells Nora that she analyzed the metal fragment from her shoulder. She says it's a twenty five year old piece of tech from STAR Labs, designed to dampen superspeed. Lia says Nora's ALWAYS been a speedster, and the lightning simply fried the chip that negated her powers. Nora's gobsmacked by this revelation, and says there's only one person who could have done it to her.

Later Nora figures out that the chemicals Godspeed stole are unstable without dioxygen disulfide. And the only place to find that is Stagg Industries. Nora and Lia somehow sneak into Stagg to destroy the chemical before Godspeed can use it.

Unfortunately he shows up and poses dramatically. Nora chases him at superspeed, while Lia tries to open the dioxygen disulfide cannister and dump it out. Godspeed sees what Lia's doing and grabs her by the neck. He then vibrates his hand through her chest, killing her instantly. He runs off with the chemical, as Nora cradles Lia's dead body.

Cut to the present day, where Team Flash is still sticking their noses into Nora's journal. Iris says they owe Nora a second chance for some reason, and lets her out of the Secret Super Jail. She tells Nora she's giving her a chance to explain herself.

We then get more flashbacks, as Nora takes over her origin story. She sits home alone, moping about Lia. Iris arrives and says she heard about the death of her friend and is sorry. Nora shows her the dampener and asks if she knows anything about it. Iris plays dumb at first, until Nora says she knows what it does.

Iris then admits she had the dampener implanted to protect her, as she couldn't risk losing her too after Barry's disappearance. Quite rightly, Nora says it looks like she lost her after all, and speeds away.

Nora goes back to CCPD, where Detective Curtis tells her to take some time off to grieve for Lia. Nora says she'd rather try and catch Godspeed. Curtis mentions they found foreign DNA in Lia's wound (even though Godspeed wore gloves), which belongs to August Heart, a bio hacker. Nora pulls up his file and recognizes him as a patron at the Flash Museum.

Nora goes back to the Flash Museum and watches videos of various speedsters. She remembers that Godspeed's lightning started out white but eventually turned blue, meaning he's not a meta and his speed is artificial. She runs through the list of chemicals stolen by Godspeed, and realizes they're the ingredients needed to make Velocity-9— the chemical that gave Hunter Zolomon his speed.

Nora returns to Iron Heights and asks Thawne how to defeat Godspeed. He says she can't, as once Godspeed activates the stabilizing agent he'll be unstoppable. He tells her to go home and forget about it. Shinick finds her in the cell and angrily escorts her out. Before she goes, Thawne agrees to help her.

Thawne contacts Nora (because all condemned criminals have the internet in their cells, dontcha know) and directs her to Central City University, where she steals the biometric converter that Godspeed needs.

Just then Godspeed (who must be following Nora around the city) shows up and demands the converter. Nora slaps a power dampening wrist band on him, negating his speed. Godspeed simply pulls out a syringe and injects himself with MORE Velocity-9, giving him enough speed to overcome the power dampener (???).

Nora then zooms out of the building, with Godspeed close behind. She calls Thawne, telling him she can't run forever. He says the only way to ditch Godspeed is to phase through a brick wall, and gives her the exact same instructions he gave to Barry way back when.

At the last second Nora loses her nerve and ducks into an alley, saying she can't do it. A frustrated Thawne asks her what she sees around her. She's near the Central City Citizen Media building. Thawne says the satellites on top of the building recalibrate every hour, sending out a microwave burst. She'll have to get Godspeed to follow her, run up the side of the building and hope he dashes in front of a satellite dish as it discharges. That plan's so crazy it just might work!

Nora taunts Godspeed, and sure enough he chases her again. She runs up the side of the media building, and he follows in close pursuit. She leaps past a satellite a split second before it fires. The pulse hits Godspeed, frying him and causing him to fall to the street far below. That was easy!

Nora returns to Iron Heights, where she tells Thawne that Godspeed's in custody. She says she wants Thawne to train her, but he says there's simply o time, as he's due to be executed in a little over an hour. He asks her how much she knows about the Flash.

Cut to the Flash Museum. Nora removes a ring from the Reverse Flash's costume, which luckily doesn't set off any alarms. She then uses it to open the Time Vault. It's now being used for storage, and inside she finds old Flash costumes and rings. She accidentally activates Gideon, who recognizes her. Gideon plays her a message from Barry, obviously recorded during the upcoming Crisis On Infinite Earths. In the message, he reveals he's the Flash and says he regrets not being there to train her.

Back in the present, she says all she wanted to do was meet her father, and Thawne was the only person in the future who could show her how to do so. Barry asks the others to leave, so he can speak with Nora privately. He asks how many times she consulted with him once she'd made it to the past. She sheepishly admits she saw him "five or six" more times (more like ten or twelve!).

Barry's enraged. He says he can kind of understand working with Thawne in order to learn time travel. But continuing to meet with him once she'd been reunited with her family is more than he can take. He tells her it's time for her to go home.

Barry then takes Nora to 2049 and tells her to stay, warning her that he'll feel it in the Speed Force if she tries to come back (?). He then coldly leaves Nora in the middle of the street.

Before returning to the past, Barry visits Iron Height and confronts Thawne. He says it's not enough that he took his mother from him, but now he's gone after his daughter too. He tells Thawne he's finally lost this time, and he's about to get what he deserves. Cut to the clock in Thawne's cell, counting down...


• Might as well start with the episode's biggest and most undeniable problem. Unless I am completely misunderstanding everything, there is something very, very wrong with the timeline of Nora's origin.

Near the end of the episode, Nora defeats Godspeed after receiving advice from Eobard Thawne. She then says there's still a lot to learn about being a speedster, and asks Thawne to teach her. He says he can't, as there simply isn't time. He then nods toward a digital display in his cell, which is counting down the minutes until his execution.

Note that the display reads 1:19:31. Less than an hour and twenty minutes before he's scheduled to die.

This would be fine if this was the point where Nora and Thawne's relationship ended. But it doesn't end here. Boy, does it not end here.

At some point after this exchange, Thawne must have changed his mind and begins teaching Nora after all. Let's take a look at all the amazing things she learns and does in that one hour and nineteen minutes.

— Thawne teaches Nora how to time travel to the past using the Speed Force.

— Thawne teaches Nora his special "time language," which uses symbols that are somehow immune from temporal change. Apparently once something's written down in this language, it won't change even if the past is altered.

— Nora creates her XS costume, which is based on the purple & white leather jacket Iris wore in Run, Iris, Run. Note that Nora didn't just throw on her Mom's old jacket & call it done. If you zoom in, you can see she modified the jacket by adding a panel festooned with time language symbols! Her costume pants contain a time language strip as well.

— Nora then used her new-found time travel powers to go back to 2017, where she posed as a waitress and witnessed her parents' wedding. 

— She then appeared in Jitters sometime later in 2017, where she interacted with Cisco and Ralph. A bit later she appeared there again, and had an encounter with Caitlin and Harry. Still later, Nora posed as a delivery girl and gave Joe and Cecile a baby shower gift.

— After that, Nora (as XS) traveled to 2018 on the night of the Enlightenment. She helped Barry destroy The Thinker's satellite, which significantly altered the timeline. 

— The day after the failed Enlightenment, Nora appeared at the West house, where she revealed her true identity to Team Flash and told them she'd make a "big, big mistake."

— After being accepted by Team Flash and becoming one of them, Nora returns to 2049 to seek Thawne's advice several more times before his execution.

Whew! See what I mean! That's a good year's worth of events that were somehow accomplished in less than an hour and twenty minutes. MUCH less. I know Nora and Thawne are both speedsters, but c'mon! 

As I said, there's something very wrong with the timeline of events here. There's no way in hell Thawne taught Nora all this stuff in the time he had left.

• At the beginning of the episode, Team Flash is still reeling from the revelation that Nora's secretly been working with Eobard Thawne. Cecile attempts to defend Nora, saying in all the time she's been around she never sensed her lying.

WHAT? Cecile's telepathic powers must be on the fritz then, because Nora's done nothing BUT lie, deceive or withhold info since she arrived. Remember all the suspicious looks she gave everyone when she first appeared in Season 4, and then earlier this season? All the time language jottings in her secret journal? Sneaking back to 2049 for clandestine meetings with Thawne? Those were ALL lies in a sense.

• For some reason every member of Team Flash turns against Sherloque after they find out he suspected Nora of lying from the moment she arrived. They're all transformed into unpleasant assholes as they treat him like dirt, and all because he did his job properly. Their reactions were baffling, unfair and wayyyyy over the top.

To make things worse, Sherloque did nothing wrong! Apparently Team Flash is pissed because he secretly investigated Nora for months, but didn't tell anyone about it. But that's exactly what he was supposed to do. He did everything correctly and by the book. As Sherloque himself says, you don't condemn someone until you gather the proper evidence. I guess maybe he should have pointed at her and shouted, "J'accuse!"

 I get that Team Flash is upset, but they're WAY out of line here, and blaming the wrong person. In fact he'd be completely justified if he immediately went back to his Earth and told them all to f*ck off.

• Then to cement the fact that they're all assholes, Team Flash grabs Nora's journal and reads it.  Privacy, guys!

• The bulk of this episode takes place in Central City in the year 2049. This is a discount future though, as the city looks a LOT like it does here in 2019.

We get a couple of futuristic little touches, like these hilariously tiny cop cars that look like their top speed's about fifteen miles per hour.

And there's this goomer, wearing an incredibly impractical pair of holographic goggles. For some reason, these glasses project images in midair, instead of on the inside of the lens. Who thought that'd be a good idea? With a setup like that the whole world could see what you're watching! Good luck viewing porn on them!

Note that Nora mentions "hover taxis," but predictably we never see any evidence of flying cars. This is a budget-friendly future, dontcha know.

Other than those few flourishes, there's little or no evidence we're looking at the future.

• Nora's origin story mirrors that of her father's very closely.

In this episode, Nora, who's a CSI, is late getting to a crime scene. Barry did the same thing way back in the Pilot episode.

Nora's struck by lightning, which fries the power-dampening chip in her body, revealing that she's been a speedster all along. In Pilot, Barry's struck by lightning and becomes a speedster.

Nora's knocked unconscious by the lightning and wakes in the hospital. Lia plays her favorite song Poker Face in hopes it'll help her wake up. In Pilot, Barry's knocked unconscious by the lightning and wakes in the hospital, to the strains of the same exact song.

(An aside here— Nora must be into oldies. From her point of view, Poker Face is a whopping forty one year old song!)

— The first time Nora uses her superspeed, she zooms off out of control and crashes into the back of a truck. Barry did the exact same thing in the pilot episode.

— Thawne attempts to teach Nora how to phase. He did the same thing (disguised as Harrison Wells) to Barry in the pilot.

• Nora arrives at a crime scene and examines a van labeled Dayton Labs. In the comics, Steve Dayton was the superhero Mento (not Mentos), a member of the Doom Patrol.

I'm sure this little shoutout had nothing to do with the fact that The Doom Patrol TV series is currently airing over on the DC Universe streaming channel.

• Nora finds an Affinity 4000 Security Camera in the Dayton Labs van. She takes it to her colleague Lia, who gushes over it, saying, "God, I wish CCPD would spring for one of these Affinity cameras. I mean, trillion FPS, captures light in motion..."

Wow, a camera that can record a trillion frames per second. Sounds pretty impressive, right? Wrong! Right now in primitive old 2019, we have a camera called the T-CUP, which can capture a mind-boggling TEN TRILLION FRAMES PER SECOND. 

So why's Lia, who lives in 2049, so impressed with one that's ten times slower? Whoops!

• All of the Flash memorabilia in Nora's office is readily available here in 2019 from your local comic shop.

• Nora sees flashes of white lightning on the Dayton van's security footage, and suspects a speedster robbed it. Lia's skeptical, saying, "I mean, Flash, Kid Flash, Jay Garrick, that that weird purple speedster that just showed up one day. They're all gone."

Note that we've not yet see a "weird purple speedster" on the show. I'm assuming this is some foreshadowing on the part of the writers, and he (or she!) will pop up in Season 6.

• Nora's obsessed with the idea that there's a speedster running around Central City. She then goes to the Flash Museum to "research" the various colors of lightning generated by known speedsters.

For the record, the lightning colors are:
Yellow: As generated by good speedsters such as the Flash, Kid Flash, etc.
Red: Generated by evil speedsters, like the Reverse Flash, Black Flash and The Rival.
Blue: Generated when a speedster artificially boosts their speed, as Hunter Zolomon did with Velocity-9.
Purple: Generated by the Accelerated Man. Nothing more is known of this color.
White: Generated by Savitar, and now Godspeed.

• In the Flash Museum, Nora watches videos of both Zoom and Trajectory in action. Note that these videos look identical to the scenes we saw on the show. Why, it's almost like the Museum somehow took footage from actual episodes and used them in their exhibits! Amazing!

• Once again, Robert Picardo provides the voice of Dexter Myles, curator of the Flash Museum.

• For some reason this episode is a gold mine of references, featuring numerous businesses pulled from DC comics.

Nora and Lia meet with Dr. Bonwit of Ollins Labs. Believe it or not, both Bonwith and Ollins are from the comics. They first appeared in Firestorm (Vol. 2) #19.

When Nora first gets her powers, she speeds out of control, zooming out of the hospital and crashing into a laundry van labeled Gambi And Sons.

This is a fun little callback to Pilot, in which Barry first tested out his newfound powers and crashed into the back of a Gambi Cleaners laundry van. Apparently at some point in the future, Gambi's sons join the family business!

By the way, in the comics, Paul Gambi was a tailor who whipped up costumes for the Flash's Rogues Gallery.

Later Nora and Lia somehow sneak into Stagg Industries

Yet another reference to the comics, and the Arrowverse as well. On The Flash, Stagg first showed up in The Flash Season 1 episode Fastest Man Alive.

Nora visits the Tracy Brand Building on the Central City University campus. 

Tracy was an honorary member of Team Flash, and helped take down Savitar in Season 3. She first appeared in I Know Who You Are.

Lastly, Nora hides from Godspeed in an alley. Thawne asks her what she sees around her, and she rattles off several buildings, one of which is Choi Enterprises

This is likely a reference to Ryan Choi, who designed the ring that contains Barry's Flash-suit. In the comics, Ryan Choi was the third Atom.

• When Nora and Lia first encounter August Heart, he calls himself the God Of Speed. This causes Lia to shorten his title and dub him "Godspeed."

I get the name, but it doesn't make a lot of sense if you think about it. "Godspeed" is an expression of good will, usually said to someone at the start of a journey. "I wish you godspeed, good sir!" It's an odd thing to call a supervillain. It's like calling him "Happy Trails" or something.

• Godspeed first appeared in The Flash comic in 2016. In the comics, August Heart was a colleague of Barry Allen. Heart's brother was killed by a criminal who went free when incriminating evidence was destroyed by the lightning that turned Barry into a speedster (got all that?). 

As Heart tracks down the criminal who killed his brother, he's hit by lightning from a "Speed Force storm," whatever that is, and becomes a speedster himself. The storm turns dozens of other Central City residents— including many criminals into speedsters. Barry and August round up the "dishonest" speedsters before they can cause any trouble.

Later a mysterious speedster who calls himself "Godspeed" appears on the scene. He kills the bad speedsters and steals their powers for himself. Eventually Barry discovers Heart is actually Godspeed.

Disillusioned with the justice system, Godspeed becomes judge, jury and executioner, killing more and more speedsters and taking their powers. He becomes so fast he can literally be in two places at once, making it extremely difficult for Barry to defeat him.

There's about ten thousand more words I could write on his origin, but that'll do for now. 

• Nora wakes in the hospital after being blasted by Godspeed's lightning. Lia tells her she's lucky to be alive, as she was hit with five BILLION joules of electricity (how Lia determined that is left to our imaginations).

Five billion joules sounds like a lot, and it seems like Nora should have been turned into a raisin. Turns out that the average lightning bolt contains... five billion joules of juice! And people have survived being hit by lightning, so... you win this one, writers!

• Nora figures out that Godspeed needs dioxygen difluoride to stabilize the chemicals he's been stealing. She and Lia then sneak into Stagg Industries, find a barrel of the chemical and attempt to destroy it so Godspeed can't steal it.

Yeah, here's the thing... the idea of dioxygen difluoride being used as a STABILIZING agent is patently ridiculous. It's one of the most violently reactive substances in existence! It reacts with virtually every chemical there is! It even reacts with ice! 

It's known as "FOOF" among scientists, not only because that's what its chemical formula spells, but because that's how it explodes when mishandled. Most scientists refuse to touch the stuff or even be in the same lab with it!

• I'll probably get blasted for saying this, but whatever. Late in the second act, Future Iris finally shows up. Despite the fact that she's sixty years old (current Iris is thirty, and this episode takes place thirty years from now), she looks virtually unchanged. The only visoble signs of aging are a few streaks of gray hair. She doesn't even have any crow's feet, but corn's sake!

I guess it really is true that "Black Don't Crack!"

• I loved the scene in which Nora asks Iris if she knows anything about the dampening chip, then speeds across the room to give her a better look at it. Wow! Something about the calm, deadpan way Nora acts in that scene gave me chills. Well done!

• After Nora visits Thawne for the first time, Shinick activates a switch and tortures him. I'm a little unclear as to what exactly's happening here. Is Shinick electrocuting Thawne? Or is he somehow painfully drawing his Speed Force energy from him? The chamber fills with what could be red lightning, which is the Reverse Flash's signature color.

• By the way, about this torture scene... Shinick begins shocking (I guess?) Thawne before Nora's even hustled out of the prison. Thawne screams out as he's either electrocuted or has the speed force drained from him.

Nora then goes back to CCPD, where Lia tells her the chip was dampening her powers, and she's been a speedster her entire life. The two of them then sneak into Stagg Industries, where they encounter Godspeed. He kills Lia in front of Nora. Sometime later, Nora's moping in her apartment. Iris arrives, and Nora confronts her about the chip. Nora goes back to CCPD, where Detective Curtis tells her Godspeed is really August Heart. Nora goes to the Flash Museum to do more research.

Nora then returns to the prison, where we see SHINICK IS STILL TORTURING THAWNE!!! Jesus Jetskiing Christ! At least one full day passes between her visits to the prison. Possibly longer. Did Shinick really stand there shocking the sh*t out of Thawne that entire time? Or did we happen to see the beginning of one torture session, and then come in on the tail end of a second sometime later?

• Nora discovers August Heart is Godspeed, and examines his file.

Nora: "Says he was kicked out for testing tachyon stimulants on coma patients."
Detective Curtis: "What the hell's a tachyon?"
Nora: "A particle that moves faster than light."

OK, I get that Curtis is a cop and not a scientist, but Jesus, tachyons seem like pretty basic knowledge to me. Especially for someone thirty years in the future. Remember when Nora bragged about studying neuro-regeneration in her fifth grade STEM class?

• Note that according to August Heart's file, he hasn't been born yet! His date of birth is August (what a coincidence!) 10, 2021!

Note that apparently at some point in the next thirty years, America begins using the British date format, listing the day first, then the month.

• Godspeed begins chasing Nora through the streets of Central City, and she can't shake him. She calls out to Thawne, who tells her the only way to elude the evil speedster is to phase through a wall. He then gives her nearly the exact same speech he gave to Barry the first time he ever phased, way back in the Season 1 episode Tricksters.

For the record, here's 2049 Thawne's pep talk: 
"Nora, listen to me. Listen to my voice. Breathe. Breathe. Feel the wind on your face. The ground beneath your feet. And the lightning. Its electricity surging through your veins. To your nerve endings from the crown of your head to the tips of your toes like an electric shock you never want to end. You're part of something greater now, Nora. You are part of the Speed Force and its power, its power is yours to use. Now do it."

And here's 2015 Thawne's speech:
"Breathe, breathe. Feel the air. Feel that wind on your face. Feel the ground beneath your feet lifting you up and pushing you forward. And the lightning, Barry, feel the lightning. Feel its power, its electricity pumping through your veins, crackling through you, traveling to every nerve in your body like a shock. You’re no longer you now. You’re part of something grater. You’re part of a speed force. It’s yours. Now do it."

They're not quite the same, but they're pretty darned close.• Thawne then gives Nora a second pep talk, telling her "Run, Nora, Run." This is of course is a variation of what Thawne/Wells (and several others) have said to Barry many times over the course of the series.

• With Thawne's help, Nora discovers the Time Vault inside the Flash Museum, aka the former STAR Labs. Inside she activates Gideon, who plays her a message from Barry, which reveals he was the Flash. Nora's gobsmacked to discover her dad was secretly her number one meta hero.

How the hell could she NOT know he was the Flash? It's not like he kept it much of a secret when he was alive. He whips his mask off in practically every episode. At this point I don't think there's a single series regular who doesn't know who he really is.

So how the heck can Nora be the only one who doesn't know? Did Iris scrub her home of every single trace of the Flash?

• By the way, in Barry's message you can just make out a red sky in the background. This obviously means he recorded it during the upcoming Crisis On Infinite Earths, which has been foreshadowed since Season 1.

• In the third act, Barry tells Nora he sort of understands her turning to Thawne for help to learn how to use her powers and travel back in time. But he can't abide the fact that once she was here, she 
KEPT going back to Thawne rather than ask him for help.

He's got a valid point! Why DID she keep going back once she had a legitimate support group?

• Barry tells Nora he can't trust her and takes her back to 2049. He tells her if she tries time traveling again, he'll feel it in the Speed Force.

Um... what? Since when is that a thing? Has Barry always been able to sense time travel activity? I'm gonna say no, and chalk this up as a massive retcon.

I suppose I could be generous and say he doesn't normally feel time travelers, but he's gonna be on the lookout for them from now on.

• Barry definitely has a flair for the dramatic. When he strands Nora in 2049, he leaves her standing right smack in the middle of a bright spotlight! 

Maybe he's a fan of Mr. Bean?

This Week's Best Lines:
Meh. Not a lot of 'em this week.

(Lia tries to come up with a name for Nora once she becomes a speedster)
Lia: "Go get 'em, Flash Woman. Lady Flash. Hot Flash. Not that one."

Nora: "Okay, we're gonna workshop that later."

Thawne: "You need to work on your lying. Nora. Your shoes are new. But your soles are worn. You have singe marks on your sleeves and singe marks on your pant legs, but most of all, your cheeks are flushed with windburn. Oh, I know that windburn. I can still feel it. You're a speedster."

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