The Flash season 5 episode 7 offered up some answers during this year's Thanksgiving special, but there are still a few questions remaining. A typical episode of The Flash is usually filled with more mysteries than one can shake a stick at. Yet most of this episode's plot was devoted to three separate stories involving fathers and daughters, as well as their relationship problems.
The briefest yet most powerful of these stories was told through a series of flashbacks focused on The Flash's season 5 villain, Cicada. In The Flash season 5 episode 7, viewers learn Cicada's real name and origin, as well as why he's been hunting metahumans. The episode's ending stinger also revealed Cicada's true name to Team Flash, as they finally tracked down their newest and most dangerous enemy while he was out of costume.
The Flash season 5 episode 7, "O Come, All Ye Thankful," also introduced a new villain in the form of Weather Witch. The estranged daughter of Mark Mardon (aka Weather Wizard), his daughter was revealed to be a storm-chaser who had acquired a piece of The Flash's meta-tech that allowed her to control the weather in the same manner as her metahuman father. Her efforts to kill Mardon for abandoning her as a child brought The Flash and XS into play. This led to an argument between the father-and-daughter hero team, as Nora West-Allen became fearful of Barry Allen dying now that she'd finally gotten a chance to know him, after Barry was nearly electrocuted to death by a stray lightning bolt.
Despite being more concerned with resolving mysteries than offering them, there is still a lot for viewers to unpack following The Flash season 5 episode 7, "O Come, All Ye Thankful." Here are some big questions fans are discussing.
Where Was Ralph Dibny This Week?
The Flash season 5 episode 7, "O Come, All Ye Thankful," explained Joe and Cecile West's absence from the episode by noting that they were spending Thanksgiving with Cecile's family. (It should be noted that Jesse L. Martin is currently on medical leave from The Flash.) Yet nothing was said about where everyone's favorite stretchable sleuth, Ralph Dibny, aka The Elongated Man, was spending the holiday.
One would think that Ralph would be up for the Friends-giving celebration, given his comments in the past that he doesn't really have any close friends or family outside of Team Flash. Of course, Ralph did make reference last year to a grandmother he always visits at Christmas. Perhaps his near-death experience at the hands of The Thinker last year made Ralph resolve to spend more time with what family he has left?
Why Was Cicada's Backstory From The Comics Changed?
The Flash's "O Come, All Ye Thankful" exposed Cicada's identity as Orlin Dwyer - the maternal uncle of the comatose Grace Gibbons. It was revealed that Orlin was awarded custody of his niece after her mother was killed by a random metahuman attack and that he did not handle the responsibility of parenthood well at first. After Grace told him that she hated him following a parent-teacher conference, Orlin became inspired to become a better man and to make a proper home for himself and Grace. The two were celebrating the one-year anniversary of Orlin's promise to be better at a carnival during the events of The Flash's season 4 finale, where Grace was knocked into a coma and Orlin was wounded by a piece of the STAR Labs' satellite. This shrapnel became his trademark dagger, which allows him to take away the powers of metahumans.
This is quite different from Cicada's origins in the original Flash comics. There, Cicada was a 19th century preacher named David Hersch, who was granted the power to drain the life force from others to extend his own lifespan after being struck by lightning. After learning how The Flash got his powers after being struck by lightning, the insane Hersch formed a death cult and began sacrificing people whom The Flash had saved so that he could use their energy to try and resurrect the wife he had beaten to death in a rage over a century earlier.
Presumably, the writers of The Flash wanted to make their version of Cicada into a more sympathetic figure. Villains are more interesting when they have depth and motivations that the audience can understand, even if those motivations are wholly driven by self-interest. Most would agree that the idea of a broken man avenging his family is a far more interesting and relatable concept than an immortal wife-beating lunatic gathering power to raise the dead.
When Did Dr. Ambres Learn That Orlin Dwyer is Cicada?
One of the few things not explained in the flashbacks detailing Cicada's origins is how his accomplice, Dr. Ambres, learned that Dwyer is Cicada. Presumably he went to her after he first murdered Gridlock in The Flash season 5 premiere, in order to have her look at the wound in his shoulder that didn't seem to be healing. While this seems a likely guess, it still would've been good if viewers had seen this key moment along with the first time Orlin summoned the Cicada dagger to his hand. Perhaps this scene will be revealed in a future episode?