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The Flash: Cause and XS

"I trust you. You just gotta trust yourself."

While exploring his love life, Cisco finds time to complete the metahuman cure, but it's going to take 29 days to mature and be useful. Thankfully, Sherloque knows what to do: send it into the speed force. A plan so nutty it just might work, even though it means taking Barry out of the picture for a while.

Meanwhile, the Elongated Man has cracked open The Book of Ralph to help get Cisco back in the saddle. Hoo boy.

Apparently, Cisco has completed Ralph's 27 steps of getting his life back after his breakup. Ralph has been keeping track of Cisco's progress, and he's been keeping tabs on Camilla, like a stalker. It might seem odd, but this is how Ralph tries to take care of his friends. He loves Team Flash, in his own way.

It's always bad news when Cisco slicks his hair back. It's like the evil version of himself from one of the alternate realities emerging. Like Barry said to Nora, "You just gotta trust yourself."

Nora had every right to be worried about Barry leaving. A few moments after he stepped into the speed force Cicada kidnapped Iris. Nora sets up a rescue with Frost, but Cicada won't be fooled twice. Has any villain ever been so good at stopping team Flash?

Failing to save the day, Nora runs back time, just a bit, with a power we haven't seen much of. It might seem like this ability just arrived out of nowhere, but I'm pretty sure this is how she managed to punch the satellite with Barry. We saw him punch it alone, but then it happened again. I assumed that was artistic license at the time, but now I realize it was Nora's strange, unique power of turning back the clock.

It's a strange trick that Barry doesn't even know how to do. Not the same as gong back in time, because she can't run into her past self. And she's doing it by accident. We're accustomed to our superheroes like Barry and Supergirl being in total control, working with security and confidence, so it's fun to have a speedster actually struggling with their powers. She's really riding by the seat of her pants.

The real kicker is how each iteration is different. Chaos theory? Who knows. And Cisco starts to sense it. And it doesn't take long for Sherloque to catch on. This is a nice evolution on the Groundhog Day formula a lot of sci-fi shows use. We've seen it before, and without these twists the episode would get stale.

Watching Nora deal with the situation alone brings "Flashpoint" to mind, which shows us one of the not-so-fun side effects of being a speedster: sometimes you're alone. Just like "Flashpoint," we see Nora break down under the stress of trying to save everyone all by herself. No one else is fast enough to share the burden.

I'm not entirely clear on how they got Nora's powers to work differently at the end. Off-screen physics must have saved the day. But it was satisfying to see them take down Cicada without Barry, using logic and science. As usual, they just battled him to a stalemate before he flies away like Superman.

In the wrap up, Barry tells Nora there's "consequences to time travel" and gives her the same lecture Jay gave a few seasons ago. Does this seem hypocritical to anyone else? Barry invited Nora to stay in the past, which could have devastating effects on the timeline. (Imagine if she caused Barry to survive whatever kills him in the future. This would cause a paradox, since she would have no reason to go back in time.) Barry took her through the past to gather artifacts from previous seasons, even talking with people in the past, without taking into account what it could change. But now Nora's not allowed to turn back the clock (which is different than time travel) to save everyone?

Parting Thoughts:

-Is it just me, or has Cicada's voice lowered?

-Sherloque seems to have no trouble with chemistry, which is a shoutout to his inspiration, Sherlock Holmes, who says chemistry is "elementary." He's wrong, of course. I remember chemistry class. It was hard.

-Does Iris really need an office if she just needs a laptop to run her blog newspaper? Doesn't the rent on her office eat into any profits her website might be earning?

-For the second time, Barry is sidelined while Nora handles the action. As before, some people don't like this, but I think it's nice to change things up.

-Has Nora been awake for 52 hours?

-Nora has seen Electric Boogaloo 2? That's a deep cut.

Adam D. Jones is a writer, historian, and undefeated cat wrestler. He's also something of a time traveler himself, having recently written the wrong year when filling out a check.

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