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Recap / The Flash 2014 S 5 E 16 Failure Is An Orphan

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Team Flash prepares for one final showdown with Cicada hoping they can convince him to take the cure and end his crusade.


  • Absentee Actor: Ralph is absent again.
  • Acid Attack: Acid Master has the power to shoot acid out of his hands. However, he has to consume massive amounts of acid to sustain himself. In their first fight, Flash temporarily neutralizes his powers by dousing his hands with sodium bicarbonate.
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  • All Your Base Are Belong to Us: Cicada II makes her entrance by assaulting S.T.A.R. Labs.
  • Armor-Piercing Question: Flash gets under Cicada's skin by informing him that Grace is now a metahuman and if that means he wants to kill her too.
  • Bait-and-Switch: The team sends Nora to Jitters, as there is apparently a metahuman attack going on there, when they actually just wanna show her the newest coffee, named after her, the XS-presso.
  • Bullet Catch: Cicada II doesn't just catch bullets, see No-Sell below.
  • But Now I Must Go: With Cicada's defeat imminent, both Sherloque and Nora prepare to depart for their respective homes. Though with the overall conflict still persisting by the episode's end, it's implied they will continue to stick around for a while.
  • Butterfly of Doom: Something that Eobard can't predict is forming a new timeline. Turns out it's Grace - aka Cicada II.
  • Call-Back:
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    • Nora cites several of Barry's past Kirk Summations to provide inspiration for one to give Cicada.
    • Dr. Ambres is revealed to have had a fiancé who was killed during Zoom's rampage.
  • Complete-the-Quote Title: It's based on the quote "Victory has a hundred fathers, but defeat is an orphan", which means that lots of people will be eager to accept praise for success, but no one wants to take responsibility for failure.
  • Continuity Nod:
    • When Nora was talking to Iris about the latter's list of things to do while Nora is still in the present, Nora mentions having a list of her own, with the exact same purpose: the various times in Season 4 where Nora showed up.
    • When Dr. Ambres asks if there have been human trials with the cure, Cisco and Caitlin briefly allude to last episode and testing it on King Shark.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: Cicada II utterly destroys Team Flash without breaking a sweat.
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  • Downer Ending: Cicada II/Grace from the future has come to the past to continue her uncle's legacy. She interrupts Dr. Ambres and Caitlin's operation on Orlin, kills the doctor, and kidnaps her uncle.
  • Dual Wielding: Unlike her uncle, Cicada II has two blades instead of one. And then it becomes three when she takes her uncle's dagger for her own.
  • Eureka Moment: Joe makes the connection between Dr. Ambres and Cicada — she's an ER doctor but she's constantly treating Grace, and nurses have noticed that large amounts of drugs (the kind that would be needed to treat Orlin's wounds) are missing from her ward.
  • From Bad to Worse: In Cicada II's first appearance, she singlehandedly curb-stomps all of Team Flash combined. And then she acquires her uncle's power-dampening dagger to add to her arsenal.
  • Hand Blast: Cicada II has them, and they can be used to restrain people too.
  • Heel–Face Door-Slam: Dr. Ambres is killed by Cicada II shortly after trying to make amends for her collaboration with Orlin.
  • Internal Reveal:
    • Team Flash learns that Grace is a meta, like her uncle. Orlin also learns it this episode.
    • In order to get Orlin to trust him, Barry willingly takes off his mask in front of him.
  • Jerkass Realization: After rudely blowing off her mom, who wants to spend more time with her before she leaves for the future again, Nora apologizes to Iris and promises to spend every available minute left with her parents.
  • Killed Off for Real: Cicada II kills Dr. Ambres.
  • Kirk Summation: Flash gives Cicada two. The first doesn't take, but the second one where he appeals to his love of Grace does.
  • Mass "Oh, Crap!": The entire Team Flash, naturally, when suddenly a second Cicada arrives.
  • Mythology Gag:
    • Thawne mentions Anthro and Kamandi when expositing his observation of the timeline from beginning to end.
    • Nora mentions Element X when asking about any new metahuman targets for Cicada.
  • No-Sell:
    • Cicada easily deflects Philip Master's acid powers.
    • Cicada II does this with Joe's gunshots, laser fire from Iris, ice blasts from Killer Frost, concussive blasts from Vibe, and thrown lightning from the Flash. Easily.
  • Nothing Is Scarier: How does Cicada II know exactly when and where to strike to stop a chain of events that if left undisturbed would've erased her from existence? We've no idea.
  • Not So Different: Barry tells Orlin that he is a father too and that he also would do anything to keep his daughter safe.
  • Oh, Crap!: Eobard is very freaked out when he realizes that after Flash's last encounter with Cicada, a new timeline is trying to form.
  • Power Incontinence: Philip Master, aka Acid Master, seems to have one, needing to consume massive amounts of acid to sustain himself.
  • Pride: Joe and Cecile get into a little confrontation, since Joe always prided himself with being good at detecting lies, which has now been made obsolete by Cecile's psychic powers. He gets over it after a talk with Barry.
  • The Reveal: Dr. Ambres' hatred of metas is fueled by her fiancé being killed during Zoom's rampage.
  • Samus Is a Girl: When Cicada II shows up, everyone mistakes her for the original Cicada, even referring to her as "he". It is only until the episode's end that she unmasks herself, revealing to not only be a woman, but Grace from the future.
  • Shut Up, Kirk!: Barry tries to convince Cicada to take the cure by appealing to his legacy, by asking if he wants to be remembered as a hero or villain. Cicada doesn't give a damn about that though.
  • Steven Ulysses Per Hero: Lampshaded when Cisco learns that Acid Master's real name is Philip Master.
  • Super Window Jump: Cicada II makes her appearance by bursting through the windows of the S.T.A.R. Labs lounge.
  • Talking the Monster to Death: The main premise of the episode is to get Barry to do this to Orlin. The first and seemingly only attempt by Barry goes horribly, but thanks to Joe and Cecile Barry is actually able to get another shot, which goes much better this time around.
  • Terminator Twosome: Nora came back to save her father and is trying to help him stop Cicada. Grace came back to prevent Team Flash from stopping her uncle.
  • This Cannot Be!: Everyone is baffled as to how Cicada can show up while Orlin's in surgery. Turns out it's Cicada II — aka Grace from the future.
  • Trash the Set: Cicada II utterly wrecks S.T.A.R. Labs in her attack.
  • Ungrateful Bastard: Adult!Grace murders Dr. Ambres despite everything she has done to help her and Orlin.
  • Unstoppable Rage: Orlin has so much rage inside him that it hurts Cecile to be around him.
  • Villain: Exit, Stage Left: Cicada once again takes to the sky during the first confrontation of the episode.
  • Wham Episode: Cicada II — Grace all grown up from the future — has come to the past to carry on her uncle's legacy.
  • Wham Shot: A second Cicada showing up just as Dr. Ambres is stitching up Orlin.
  • The Worf Effect: Cicada II utterly curbstomps Team Flash in her first appearance, worse than her uncle ever could.

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