The Flash season 5 is building to a head, and the latest episode, "Godspeed", finally began to answer some key questions. Sherloque has exposed Nora West-Allen's greatest secret, the fact that she's been working with Eobard Thawne all along, leaving Team Flash reeling. With XS imprisoned in the Pipeline, they decide the easiest way to discover the truth is to read her journal.
What follows is one of the most fascinating episodes in the whole season so far. "Godspeed" is a glimpse into the Arrowverse's possible future, explaining how Nora discovered her powers and learned the truth about her dad. It explores the relationship between Nora and Thawne, revealing that all Nora's visits took place in a period of about half an hour. That's because Thawne is facing the death penalty, and he's about to be executed in brutal fashion. Whatever his true plans for Nora may be, it's safe to assume they involve escaping that fate.
The Flash's ongoing story of Cicada is sidelined for a week, in an episode that lays Nora's every secret bare and gives viewers their first look at a post-"Crisis on Infinite Earths" timeline. It even features Barry Allen's last message to his daughter, a recording that he made right before he disappeared during the Crisis. So let's take a look at the key questions raised by "Godspeed."
- This Page: Exploring the "Crisis on Infinite Earths" Timeline
- Page 2: Questions About Team Flash in the Present
9. What Message Did The Flash Leave For Nora?
The Flash has been setting up "Crisis on Infinite Earths" for a long time - ever since the pilot episode - but "Godspeed" at last gave viewers a glimpse of Barry Allen from Nora's timeline, moments before he vanished. Nora had never been told that her father was really the Flash, and only learned the truth when Gideon inadvertently told it to her. Herevealed that Barry had left one last, heartfelt message for his daughter in the event of his death or disappearance during the Crisis.
"Nora, I don't have much time," Barry told his daughter in his final message. "If you're watching this, it means you're like me. You have powers! It also means I wasn't there to help you learn how to use them. I wasn't there for a lot of things. Remember, my sweet Nora, always remember: I love you. I always will." Significantly, the background for the recording features a red sky; there's the sound of gunfire, and Oliver Queen can be heard yelling in the background. It's important to note that Nora's time travel has rewritten the timeline - the Flash now knows his daughter is destined to develop super-powers - but this is still the first time viewers have seen anything from "Crisis on Infinite Earths."
8. What Happened To All The Speedsters After The Crisis?
It turns out Flash wasn't the only speedster to disappear in the Crisis. In one intriguing scene, Lia's friend Nora suggested that ever super-speedster has vanished. "You know I'm equally a fan of our fleet-footed super friends," Lia noted. "I mean, honestly, if I could have ever met Jesse Quick, it's like, hello, new best friend. But there hasn't been a speedster in Central City since that crisis piece your mom wrote about, like, decades ago. I mean, Flash, Kid Flash, Jay Garrick, that weird purple speedster that just showed up one day. They're all gone." In the case of Jay Garrick, it's reasonable to assume he simply returned to his own alternate Earth - although it's also possible his Earth was destroyed during the Crisis. But it's impossible to say why the others have vanished.
The purple speedster is a reference to Iris, Nora's mom. In the episode "Run Iris Run," Iris got super-speed for a day, donned a purple costume, and manifested purple lightning. Appropriately enough, when Nora runs her lightning alternates between Barry's yellow and Iris' purple.
7. Who Is Godspeed?
Nora's first super-villain is the very first speedster to have appeared in Central City since the Crisis, Godspeed. In the comics, August Heart was one of Barry's colleagues in the Central City Police Department, who was struck by lightning in a Speed Force storm. Barry told August that he was the Flash, and the two became partners, working to bring in more rogue speedsters who had also been empowered by the Speed Force. Unfortunately, August gave up on the justice system and became judge, jury and executioner, taking up the Godspeed identity and killing speedsters. He became even more powerful than Barry when he learned it was possible to drain the Speed Force from another speedster.
Although the Arrowverse version is still August Heart, he's very different. He's one of Nora's contemporaries, who somehow stumbled upon the Velocity Nine serum and became a super-speedster. The effects of Velocity Nine are only temporary, and as a result he launched a crime spree stealing chemicals with which to create a more permanent version of the serum. That suggests this version of August Heart is a brilliant biochemist.
6. What Are The Similarities Between Nora's Origin Story And Her Father's?
There are amusing parallels between Nora's origin story and Barry Allen's. Just like her father, she gained her powers when she was struck by lightning; in Nora's case by a lightning blast from Godspeed, which deactivated the inhibitor chip her mother had implanted in her. There were a whole host of callbacks to Barry's origin in this hour of The Flash, with Nora being late at the start of the episode, the Poker Face song, and even Eobard Thawne's line - "Run, Barry, run." All these similarities come together to remind viewers that Nora West-Allen truly is her father's daughter, and every bit the hero he is. It's true that she's made mistakes, but the parallels serve to remind us that Barry did the same, most notably when he attempted to change time and save his mother's life in "Flashpoint." Barry and Nora are a lot more alike than her father would like to admit.
5. How Did Godspeed Learn About Velocity Nine?
The Velocity Nine sub-plot is a little strange. There hasn't been a speedster in Central City since the Crisis, which presumably means that the secret of the Velocity serums was lost for decades. How did August Heart rediscover Velocity Nine and make more? In truth, for all Godspeed's costume and design is a stunning one, he's a throwaway "Villain of the Week" for Nora to beat, and that backstory just isn't relevant to The Flash season 5. It's rather a shame.