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Recap / The Flash 2014 S 5 E 22 Legacy

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Team Flash prepares for their final confrontation with Cicada II while Thawne puts one last gambit into motion.


  • Adult Fear: Barry and Iris end up losing their child.
  • Ain't Too Proud to Beg: The sadistic warden begs for his life when Thawne turns the tables on him.
  • All for Nothing: Barry decides to destroy the dagger to save Nora's life. This is all in vain, as she gets erased from existence later anyway.
  • Ambiguous Situation:
    • It wasn't clear if Cisco left Team Flash for good, partially due to rumours having circulated for months that Carlos Valdes would be leaving the series. After months of silence from official sources regarding these rumours, Valdes himself finally set the record straight at Comic-Con 2019, confirming he would be staying on the series.
    • Due to Nora's Ret Gone, it's unclear if her deceased best friend Lia's death is undone.
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    • Due to the focus on the changing 2019 date, it's unclear if the title about the Crisis didn't also change.
  • Ambiguous Syntax: Exploited: when finally meeting Ralph face to face, Thawne remarks that he should be dead. That isn't a preemptive death threat; prior to Flashpoint happening, Ralph was dead. As Thawne is also technically supposed to be dead/non-existent, it's unclear whether Ralph picks up on this or not.
  • The Bad Guy Wins: Thawne not only escapes his execution and goes free, but manages to cause further torment for Team Flash by creating such a change in the timeline that Nora is erased from existence.
  • Big Damn Heroes:
    • Nora and Barry stop Thawne from killing the prison guards by turning back time to prevent it.
    • Team Flash epically comes to Barry's and Nora's assistance against Thawne.
  • Big "NO!": Barry lets one out in Cicada II's lair when she's about to kill Nora.
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  • Bittersweet Ending: Grace wakes up from her coma, ensuring that her alter-ego of Cicada will cease to exist, Cisco gives up his powers, completely of his own volition (as he didn't want "Vibe" to be all he is remembered for), and is completely happy with it. But Nora is erased from existence and Thawne is once again free in the world. And it's confirmed that a flux in the timeline moved up the Crisis to 2019.
  • Body Horror:
    • It's hard to exactly describe Ralph's appearance after being blasted by the mirror gun, but it's an extremely unpleasant sight.
    • Likewise, Nora being erased from existence is not only a tragic moment, but visually disgusting—blue crystal patches gradually start appearing on her body that fly off, until finally her entire self transforms into these blue chips that scatter to the wind.
  • Book-Ends: Nora joined the action last year by joining Barry in a Megaton Punch to take down the satellite; in this episode, they use one against Thawne in the process of taking him down.
  • Brought Down to Normal: Grace and ultimately Cisco end up taking the metahuman cure.
  • But Now I Must Go:
    • Sherloque goes to be with Irene now that Cicada is gone.
    • Cisco does the same after taking the cure so he can be himself and not be Vibe.
  • Butterfly of Doom: It turns out destroying Cicada's dagger has massive consequences for the timeline. Aside from the obvious result of Thawne escaping his execution, it also erases Nora from existence, itself likely a corollary from the other timeline change: the Crisis On Infinite Earths has been moved up from April 2024 to 2019.
  • Call-Back:
    • Barry gives Nora the same speech Jay gave him after he stopped him from trying to fix Flashpoint (again).
    • Thawne notes that Ralph should be dead, which he was until Barry created Flashpoint.
    • Thawne also halfheartedly apologizes for the time he killed Cisco in an altered timeline. He mentions that Nora was a daughter in the same way he spoke about Cisco, saying that she taught him what it is to have a daughter.
  • The Cavalry: Just when Thawne is about to overwhelm Barry and Nora, the rest of Team Flash arrive to back them up.
  • Combination Attack: Team Flash combine their techniques to attack Thawne.
  • Cradle of Loneliness: Iris cradles Nora's time journal to her chest, as she weeps, after she loses Nora.
  • Cry into Chest: When Nora is erased from existence, Iris breaks down in Barry's arms and weeps, with her face tucked against his chest.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle:
    • Future Grace once again subjects Team Flash to this.
    • Thawne tries to take on all of Team Flash at once, and fails horribly.
  • Death Equals Redemption: Nora sees dying as her atonement for having been a Failure Hero.
  • Disappears into Light: Both Cicada II and Nora experience this when they are RetGoned.
  • Disc-One Final Boss: Cicada II gets dealt with roughly half-way through the episode, with Thawne stepping up as the main threat for the second half.
  • The Dog Bites Back: Once Thawne is freed, he kills the sadistic guard that was torturing him for the past fifteen years. Until Nora and Barry reverse time and save them.
  • Doomed by Canon: Thawne maliciously tells Nora that no matter what she does the Flash will disappear as he is destined to.
  • Eureka Moment: Sherloque has one on how to fix Ralph's condition when Cisco mentions that he hasn't been this much of a mess since he first got his powers and that they used Muscle Memory to stabilize him. Sherloque then tells Cisco to blast him to achieve just that and it works.
  • Even Evil Has Loved Ones: Thawne admits that he truly did grow to care about Nora during his manipulations, and hopes she can survive with the Negative Speed Force.
  • Face Death with Dignity: Of a sort: Thawne makes it clear that the only way to prevent Nora from being erased is to go into the Negative Speed Force. Nora can't bring herself to do it, as that would meaning having the Negative Speed Force be a part of her and all of the anger that it implies. Owing to Barry's own lesson about consequences, Nora decides it would be for the best if she got erased instead.
  • Foreshadowing: When confronted by Team Flash, Thawne mentioned that at the moment, events were happening that would ensure he escaped. That being the Time Paradox that erases Nora catching up with her.
  • Genre Savvy: Kamillia notes that her knowledge of comic book tropes is what's helping her accept Cisco revealing that he's Vibe.
  • Godzilla Threshold: Defied by Nora. She doesn't want to become corrupted by the Negative Speed Force, she'd rather die as herself.
  • Good Angel, Bad Angel: In Grace's mindscape she sees two Orlins: one is Cicada I and the other is her Uncle Orlin, who realized his mistakes.
  • Good Thing You Can Heal: Ultimately, Ralph is able to weather the effects of being blasted by a device that can eliminate objects from existence, and no worse for wear.
  • Halfway Plot Switch: Quite literally: the dagger is destroyed and Cicada II is erased at around the halfway point of the episode.
  • Heel–Face Turn: Young Grace pulls one, with the help of Nora.
  • Hijacked by Ganon: Thawne becomes the main villain to face once Cicada II is erased from the timeline.
  • Hope Spot: It seems like Nora can be saved by tapping into the Negative Speed Force...only for her to refuse to do so, not wanting to become a monster like Thawne.
  • I Die Free: Nora decides to let herself be erased, as a good person, rather than letting herself be corrupted by the Negative Speed Force.
  • I Just Want to Be Normal: After an entire season, Cisco finally admits what Sherloque figured: he wants to give up his powers. Whether or not this means he's still part of Team Flash is not mentioned.
  • The Immune: Thawne reveals that the Negative Speed Force is immune to changes in the timeline, finally explaining why he keeps coming back again and again.
  • Internal Reveal:
    • Sherloque works out what Ralph realized last episode: Cicada's dagger is what was keeping Thawne locked up in Iron Heights and his atoner act he presented to Nora was just a facade.
    • Cisco finally tells Kamillia he's Vibe. She takes it very well.
  • Ironic Echo: Thawne takes great pleasure in throwing back many of the taunts the warden gave him when the situation reverses.
  • I Shall Taunt You: The Iron Heights warden decides to needlessly taunt Eobard, hanging his ring with the suit inside around his neck before attempting to execute him. If he hit the kill-switch earlier, Thawne might have died, though this being Thawne, it still might not have took.
  • It's All About Me: Thawne knew that if Cicada's dagger was destroyed Nora would be rewritten, but as long as he lives that's all that matters. Although in fairness to Thawne he did factor a way for Nora to avoid that in his plan, she just chose not to use it.
  • It's All My Fault: Nora feels responsible for everything that's happened, acknowledging that her father was right about Thawne all along, and intends to fix it after she learns she was nothing but Thawne's Unwitting Pawn.
  • It Has Been an Honor: Sherloque says as much to Barry, and implies it with Ralph before he leaves for his Earth.
  • Karma Houdini: Thawne gets away after Barry and Nora run into the negative speed force.
  • Know When to Fold 'Em: After Thawne is defeated by the heroes, he uses the moment of Nora's erasure from the timeline as a distraction to escape.
  • Like Father, Like Son: Barry lampshades this with Nora. She's just as trusting as he is and she made her own big mistake that has no easy fix.
  • Loss of Identity: Nora fears this if she goes into the Negative Speed Force to save herself. So she opts to go out as herself.
  • Make Wrong What Once Went Right: With her bomb negated, Cicada II decides to fix the Time Sphere and go back to when the Particle Accelerator exploded and release what remains of her virus there, killing all metahumans as soon as they get their powers in the first place. Fortunately, she never gets that far.
  • Megaton Punch: Nora and Barry finish off Thawne with a combined supersonic punch.
  • Memento MacGuffin: The Time Diary is all that's left of Nora for Barry and Iris.
  • Me's a Crowd: Thawne creates a speed mirage during his fight with Barry and Nora.
  • My God, You Are Serious: Kamilla's reaction after Cisco confesses to being Vibe.
  • Neck Snap: How Thawne kills all the guards save the one abusing him.
  • Never My Fault: Cicada II says her family was "taken from her", even though she killed her own uncle.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!: When Nora first let Cicada's name slip in the Time Vault during the mid-season finale, Thawne hatched his entire plan.
  • No-Sell: The cure doesn't work on present Grace because of the shrapnel in her head negates it...until the dagger's destroyed.
  • Pet the Dog: Thawne apologizes to Cisco once again, and also tells Nora that he honestly took a liking to her and offers her way to avoid being retgoned by using the Negative Speed Force (though she doesn't end up taking it).
  • Post-Final Boss: Thawne is the final enemy faced by the heroes this season but, at this point, he's considerably less of a physical threat than Cicada II.
  • Put on a Bus: Jessica Parker Kennedy departs here, with Nora scheduled to return for Crisis.
  • Rank Up: Singh is given the job as police chief and he promotes Joe to captain.
  • Reality Ensues:
    • Once Team Flash is assembled in front of him and they are fully prepared, Thawne doesn't actually stand a chance. Their coordinated teamwork is enough to get the upper hand.
    • Singh had already figured it out for a while now that Barry is the Flash. He is a seasoned detective, after all.
  • Ret Gone:
    • Grace plans to do this to all metahumans, planning to travel back to the day of the Particle Accelerator explosion and spread the virus there.
    • Happens to Adult Grace after Young!Grace agrees to take the cure, preventing her from ever growing up to become Cicada II.
    • Happens to Nora when the timeline is rewritten, preventing her from being born because Barry will disappear before he and Iris can conceive a child.
  • The Reveal:
    • Singh reveals that he knows that Barry is the Flash.
    • It's subtle, but Thawne's statement that the Negative Speed Force protects its users from changes to time explains how he survived Eddie killing himself and his appearance in Crisis on Earth-X. This has nothing to do with his time remnant from the second season of Legends of Tomorrow, as that was created as a result of Flashpoint.
    • And the biggest reveal is how deep Thawne's manipulations went. As established, after Crisis on Earth-X, Eobard wound up in the year 2034, where he was captured and imprisoned. Fifteen years later, towards the end of his imprisonment and near his supposed execution, he struck an accord with Nora, who wanted to know more about her father, who had disappeared in 2024. In the course of these visits, Thawne taught Nora how to use her newly-discovered powers to travel back to see her dad as a young man, eventually helping him with stopping DeVoe's Enlightenment. However, that played right into Eobard's hands as it resulted in the creation of Cicada, having gotten the information about him from Nora at a later point in her timeline. With the very dagger Cicada uses being the source of negating Thawne's powers, he ensured that the dagger would be destroyed in the past thus restoring his powers.
  • Sadistic Choice: Team Flash when they learn that destroying the dagger also means Thawne will escape. They try to Take a Third Option by curing Grace, but the dagger prevents the cure from working and Barry ultimately destroys it when Cicada II is about to kill Nora.
  • San Dimas Time: Thawne just barely avoids his execution when the dagger is erased from existence in 2019 by the mirror gun, even though the events leading up to it aren't changed.
  • Secret Secret-Keeper: Turns out Captain Singh has been in on Barry's secret for an unspecified while now.
  • Season Finale: The show's fifth.
  • Sequel Hook:
    • Thawne tells Barry he'll meet him again in the next "crisis"; The Stinger basically flat out clarifies his remark by having the Crisis be moved up to 2019.
    • Ralph Dibny is holding a folder tagged Dearbon. Dearbon is the maiden name of Ralph Dibny's wife, Sue, in the comics.
  • "Shaggy Dog" Story: Nora's entire motivation for coming to the past and interfering with the timeline was to ensure Barry does not disappear in 2024. Not only does Thawne reveal that the event will happen regardless of any timeline changes, Nora's interference actually accelerated it from happening in 2024 to 2019. To rub salt into the wound, she effectively erases her own existence as a result.
  • Spanner in the Works: Ralph jumps in front of the mirror gun to thwart Thawne's plans.
  • Stable Time Loop: Thawne was able to set up his plan to send Nora into the past to help Team Flash stop Cicada and escape execution because Nora mentioned the goal when they met in the past.
  • The Stinger: In the future databases, the date for the crisis is moving a few years back, now bound to happen in 2019.
  • Strange-Syntax Speaker: Ralph's language center is a little messed up after getting stabilized.
  • Sword over Head: Cicada II does this with her uncle's lightning dagger when she's about to kill Nora with it. Barry takes this narrow moment of opportunity to shoot the dagger.
  • Take a Third Option: Nora tries to do this by trying to wake up Present!Grace and take the cure. It doesn't work when her future self arrives with the dagger, disrupting the cure's effects.
  • Taking the Bullet: In order to prevent the destruction of Cicada's dagger, Ralph runs into the mirror gun's line of fire, tanking both its blast and getting the dagger stabbed into his back at the same time. He survives, although the mirror gun's blast leaves him in a horribly disfigured state for a while.
  • This Is Reality: Kamilla assures Cisco that life isn't like the comic books.
  • Timey-Wimey Ball: Nora is erased from existence. Except afterwards Nora's journal continues to exist. Following the Legends of Tomorrow rules of time, this means the timeline has not yet been permanently set. Cue Crisis. Not to mention the San Dimas Time example above, which really strains how Thawne's plan even worked if the events around it are entirely rewritten. Though it should be noted that her diary was written entirely (as least as far as we're shown) in the "time language", which is supposed to be impervious to changes in the timeline. It's possible this extends even to its writer erasing herself from existence.
  • Title Drop: Thawne mockingly tells Nora that Barry's legacy is his Doomed by Canon status.
  • Tragic Keepsake: Nora's time journal. Iris breaks down in tears when she spots in the S.T.A.R. Labs Cortex, clutching the diary to her chest. Later on, when she's joined by Barry in the Time Vault, Iris reflects on the fact that despite, Nora being erased from existence, the diary remains in tact.
  • The Un-Reveal:
    • Although Caitlin and Killer Frost both approve of the costume Cisco made for them, what it looks like isn't shown to the audience.
    • The precise date of the Crisis is never revealed; the camera closes in on the year before the article's complete date stamp is shown.
  • Vibro Weapon: Thawne as usual, preparing to pierce his vibrating hand right through the abusive guard's heart, before Barry and Nora reverse time.
  • Video Will: Nora leaves one in her Time Diary for her parents to find. There, she thanks them for making her a hero.
  • Villain: Exit, Stage Left: Thawne, as per usual. After being defeated by the heroes, he lets them know that the only way to save Nora from being RetGoned is to take her into the Negative Speed Force, and then uses this moment of crisis to escape.
  • Villain Forgot to Level Grind: Thawne was a dangerous Big Bad in the first season due to being a speedster faster than Barry. But now when faced up against all of Team Flash with their powers and advanced weaponry and gadgets, he's no match and is very quickly defeated. Though in fairness he was up against the entire team which he hadn't actually done before. The trope is subverted when he was up against just Barry and Nora, as he outpaced them and even pulled a few tricks he hadn't done before such as his speed mirage acting completely independently and going in different directions, meaning Thawne would have to be going ultra fast even by speedster standards just to be going back and forth and still being ahead of Barry and Nora.
  • Wham Episode: Cicada is defeated, Joe is promoted to Captain, Thawne is free, and Nora is erased after the dagger is destroyed and Barry's disappearance has been moved up to 2019.
  • Wham Line: More for Barry and Joe when Singh calls Barry "Flash."
  • Wham Shot: The Stinger sees the future newspaper detailing Flash's disappearance being altered due to a time flux: the date changes from 2024 to 2019.
  • You Are Better Than You Think You Are:
    • Barry encourages Nora when she beats herself up over having been played by Thawne.
    • Nora successfully appeals to Young!Grace's inner goodness.
  • You Are in Command Now: With Singh becoming the Chief of Police, Joe is promoted to Captain.
  • You Can't Fight Fate: Thawne taunts that no matter what, Barry's destiny of disappearing during the Red Skies Crisis cannot be altered.
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