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The Flash: Nora

"My name is Nora West-Allen, and I'm the fastest woman alive."

The Thinker is defeated, Ralph is back, and the D.A. Horton's baby is adorable. Everything's on an even keel until the mystery woman finally reveals that she's Barry and Iris's daughter. Nothing will be the same.

Nora is a fan favorite, and it's easy to see why.

The writers did a masterful job introducing Nora. For a year, we've been wondering when she'd pop up again and pondering over that strange writing—not to mention her mysterious glances. One of the most fun parts of the Arrowverse is how well the writers think ahead to create huge stories.

Nora's not the only change in the air. Barry is a CSI again, and I couldn't be happier about it. His nerdy love for science has been endearing from day one, and I hated to see the show leave that part of him behind. It's a welcome return to form.

But The Flash is the best show because of the people, and everyone at S.T.A.R. Labs has got their own problems. Cisco is getting over Gypsy. (I'm glad they didn't gloss over that.) Cecile got to keep her powers even after the baby was born. (Poor Joe.) And Ralph is streets behind trying to learn about time travel and alternate earths. (I think "many-verse" is a pretty good name for it.)

I'll never get over how Caitlin looks like a million bucks while doing science. She's really stunning, but what sets her apart is her compassion. Science is her tool to help people, to improve the world, and she does it because she actually cares. This might not sound like a very interesting character trait, but how many kind and compassionate scientists do we see on screen? A lot of smart people are portrayed as cold and impersonal, as if they need to be detached in order to save the day, but Caitlin reminds us that science and medicine can go hand-in-hand with kindness and love.

Not only that, but when she's the only non-powered person in the room, she picks up a laser rifle and faces down the villain alongside everyone else.

It's good that she gets to shine a little in this episode, because I get the idea she's headed for a rough narrative.

And it looks like Barry just won't learn. He told Team Flash not to discuss the future with Nora. He's the one lecturing everyone about time travel ever since Flashpoint. And, of course, he's the one who wanted to know about his death and asked Nora to stick around. He just won't learn.

By the end, we've been nabbed by at least two great plot hooks.

For starters, Caitlin's father might be alive, and Killer Frost might be alive, too.

Second, our villain of the week, Gridlock, is being transferred to Iron Heights (in a contraption apparently designed by Christian Grey) when he's attacked by someone doing a desperate impression of Darth Vader.

Parting Thoughts

-I dig Joe's Thelonius Monk poster.

-The Flash museum still exists in the future! Someone named "Mr. Myles" is keeping H.R's dream alive. Everyone thought it was a waste of time when H.R. unveiled the museum while riding proudly on his segue, but he was on to something.

-Iris became an embarrassing mom really fast. She's usually the coolest person in the room, so it's a fun thing to see.

-Nora talks about the show like a fan, knowing every detail and throwing out crazy theories.

-For what it's worth, tachyon particles show up in science fiction a lot, but don't actually exist. As far as we know.

-Lacking their satellite, they have to track down bad guys the old-fashioned way. I love it. Hit the streets like an pulp fiction gumshoe. It's more fun than having the satellite do all the sleuthing.

-I'm basically a teenager, so I laugh every time Caitlin says, "Cisco vibed me."

-Nora can't phase yet, and says she can't do the things her dad can do. That's interesting. It always seems like Barry is special. There are other speedsters, but Barry might be a sort of Chosen One among them.

-They save the day with some pseudo-science and technobabble... BUT only after some real scientific problem-solving about electricity and aerodynamics. I dig it. I don't need my superhero shows to make all kinds of sense, but some grounded solutions go a long way in making things more fun.

-Gridlock's mask looks a lot like something a villain wore in the first episode of Highlander: The Series.

(We were supposed to pretend Richard Moll was under that mask. Good times.)

-The Lounge. Joe's half asleep in the space no one knew about. He's going to be sitting and not moving a lot in this season.

-Of course Joe's geeking out about Wally meeting Elvis. Fighting demons and saving Helen of Troy is fine, but Elvis Presley's guitar is the only story Joe wants to hear.

-Caitlin and Cisco appear to have trouble working their espresso machine. Remember that and feel better the next time you can't fix the time on your stove.

Final Analysis: The Flash and his friends solve crimes while a bigger mystery threatens to swallow them up. This is as good as TV gets. 5 out of 5 negative tachyons.
Adam D. Jones is a writer, historian, and something of a speedster himself, having recently managed to leap across the living room to cram a plate under his cat's mouth just before she vomited a lego.

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