We’ve been waiting three months for the inevitable to happen and it finally did: Nora’s secret came out in tonight’s episode, “Time Bomb.” And boy oh boy, Barry did not take it well and gave his daughter the ultimate form of grounding; a punishment he reserves for his enemies.
Frustratingly, though, the big reveal doesn’t arrive until the very end of the episode, which opens with a panicked Nora rushing to the future to get Thawne’s advice on what to do about Cicada II. However, Thawne seems genuinely surprised by this change in the timeline, telling Nora there’s only one thing she can do: tell her father everything. That’s the last thing Nora wants to hear, of course, because she knows how much her father hates Thawne. So, she spends the entire episode going back and forth on whether or not she should tell him. There’s even a metahuman case of the week that mirrors her struggle and gets into the dangers of keeping secrets from the ones you love in order to protect them.
See, Grace, a.k.a. Cicada II, decides she wants to use her journey to the past (via the Time Sphere the team built for Thawne in the season 1 finale) to murder the metahuman who killed her parents. Luckily, the team figures out Grace is going after her and finds her first. To their surprise, the metahuman is a mother named Vickie, who has been hiding her metahuman powers — the ability to make things go boom by touching them sort of like Gambit — from her husband and daughter because she believes she’s keeping them safe. Furthermore, it turns out that she didn’t mean to kill Grace’s parents. Her power accidentally activated when she touched the ATM and that’s what caused the explosion that killed them. Unfortunately, she didn’t realize that someone actually got her in the explosion.
Barry tries persuading Vickie not only to accept his and the CCPD’s protection but also to come clean to her family about her powers, but she refuses. Of course, Cicada II ends up attacking her daughter’s birthday party, her family finds out about her powers, and her daughter gets injured. In the wake of the attack, Vickie’s husband and daughter turn on her because she kept the secret. Nora believes this is proof that Barry’s advice was wrong, but Barry — who, praise Beebo, has learned from his mistakes — tells Nora that keeping secrets from your loved ones doesn’t keep them safe. “When you do that, you rob those people of making their own decisions,” he says. And I’ve never been prouder of our boy! One of The Flash’s consistent problems is that the characters keep making the same mistakes over and over, no matter how many pep talks they receive, but this moment is a clear and definitive sign of growth.
In the end, Barry’s right, too, because Vickie’s daughter forgives her after she apologizes for lying. Watching that happen convinces Nora that she needs to do the right thing and come clean; however, before she can do that, Cicada II shows up at the hospital and threatens to kill Vickie’s husband unless she surrenders. The ensuing battle is one of the strongest Cicada ones of the season, if only because the dagger chasing XS and Vickie through the streets was relatively frightening even though we followed most of it from a computer screen in S.T.A.R. Labs. Eventually, Orlin, who feels terrible about what his niece has become, shows up at the hospital to talk her down, but she simply kills him as a result, which we definitely all saw coming.
Next: Sherloque drops a bomb
After the success of Arrow, Barry Allen (a.k.a. The Flash) gets his own CW treatment in this comic-themed spin-off.