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The Flash Season 5: 12 Biggest Questions After Episode 17, "Time Bomb"

The Flash Time Bomb

The latest episode of The Flash, "Time Bomb," took a lot of twists and turns - and raised quite a few questions about the rest of season 5. This week's episode title was apt, as the entire hour is really about secrets that have been kept - in some cases for years - that finally explode to the surface. For Vicky, the meta-of-the-week, her secret superhuman powers threaten to tear her family apart when Cicada comes looking for her; for Team Flash, the long-anticipated revelation that Nora is working with Eobard Thawne breaks Barry's heart; and for Cisco, his refusal to tell Kamilla the truth about who he is threatens to destroy their relationship. Three separate time bombs, with one still ticking down towards The Flash's season 5 finale.

Meanwhile, the new Cicada makes her presence felt in a big way. Played by Sarah Carter, the new Cicada is terrifying in a way the old one just wasn't. Where Orlin kept getting beaten by Team Flash and barely escaped several times, Grace is able to take down the heroes with ease. Her "kill all Metas" mission is, in a sense, an amusing inversion of a classic superhero origin story. Instead of being killed by criminals, and thus targeting crooks, Grace's parents died when a Meta's powers triggered unexpectedly - and now she wants payback.

Related: Best Superhero TV Shows Of All Time

Meanwhile, Sherloque Wells gets to solve the mystery of Nora West-Allen. Like any TV detective, Sherloque cares more for getting the big reveal than he does for doing right by his friends and family, and he cruelly lays Nora's secrets bare before the whole team. Now, almost all the secrets are out in the open, and it's surely only a matter of time before Eobard Thawne's real motives in The Flash season 5 are revealed.

12. What Is Thawne's Motive?

Nora and Eobard Thawne in The Flash

Eobard Thawne's shadow has loomed over The Flash season 5 for a long time, with Team Flash completely unaware that he was once again manipulating their lives. So far, it's seemed as though his focus has been on defeating Cicada - on rewriting history so the murderous Meta-hunting vigilante was erased from the timeline. But why does Eobard Thawne view Cicada as such a threat? Grace's time travel appears to have ruined Thawne's plans, to the extent that he tells Nora to reveal her secret to Team Flash. In that scene, Thawne appears defeated, absolutely dejected, unable to figure out what other force is changing the timeline. When he decides Nora needs to tell her father everything, he seems broken. But was this really the case, or was he just manipulating Nora all along? Hopefully, the truth will soon be revealed.

11. Was Flash Overreacting When He Locked Nora Up?

When Flash learns the truth - that Nora has been working for Eobard Thawne all along - he reacts in an instant, imprisoning her in the Pipeline before she has a chance to explain. It's an entirely understandable reaction, given that Barry knows just how dangerous Thawne is, and he's suddenly facing the possibility that Nora is a weapon to be used against him. Barry Allen always tends to be trusting, and by allowing Nora so close to his heart he's put himself and his family at risk. And yet, it's impossible not to watch that scene with a sense of horror. Though Barry doesn't necessarily realize it, his instinctive reaction will forever redefine his relationship with his daughter.

Even more troubling is that Barry didn't take the time to consult with Iris about this. Realistically, the decision whether or not to trust Nora - whether to give her a chance to explain what's going on - should have been made by both parents. Will Barry and Iris be on the same page about this extreme reaction, or will they find themselves divided? It's not uncommon for parents to find themselves disagreeing over how to discipline a child, but this goes far beyond normal parenting.

Related: The Flash Theory: Nora Is [SPOILER'S] Daughter, Not Barry's

10. What Is The Link Between Nora and Grace?

The Flash Nora and Future Cicada

Team Flash will undoubtedly need to let Nora out of the Pipeline sooner rather than later. During "Time Bomb," Nora learns that she has some sort of psychic link to Grace, one that triggers whenever they're in close proximity to one another. This is a result of an earlier episode, "Memorabilia," in which Nora entered young Grace's mind in an attempt to rouse her from her coma. It's a fascinating touch that positions Nora and Grace as the perfect nemeses. The Flash season 5 seems to be building to a cliffhanger in which Flash must take on Eobard Thawne once again, while it will be Nora who ultimately defeats Grace.

There's a sense in which Nora and Grace embody a classic comic book trope, one that The Flash has long exploited; the most effective villain is a twisted mirror image of the hero. Both Nora and Grace are time travelers who came back to the present to meet their loved ones, and both young women are dedicated to continuing what they see as their father figure's mission. Now they even have a psychic link, reminiscent of Harry Potter and Voldemort.

9. Why Will Thawne Be Key To Crisis On Infinite Earths?

The Arrowverse is headed towards the "Crisis on Infinite Earths" crossover later this year, when alternate Earths will come crashing into one another. The Reverse-Flash is known to be a key player in this event, and "Time Bomb" hints at why that's the case. In one scene, Sherloque stumbles upon an old recording Thawne made, one in which he reveals his own unique relationship with the Multiverse. Thawne has discovered what he calls the "Source Code" of the Multiverse, something that doesn't change even when the timeline does. Where the timeline changes, he knows it; but how will he perceive it when realities collide?

Page 2: Flash Questions About The New Cicada

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