The Flash season 5 episode 7, “O Come, All Ye Thankful”, aired on 27 November 2018
Central City had sudden, unexplainable bad weather, but it was the father-daughter angst that almost rained on The Flash‘s Thanksgiving parade. Maybe almost literally, since one of said father-daughter pairs could actually control the weather.
Yep, that’s right. Weather Wizard has a daughter, the self-proclaimed Weather Witch. That revelation was the biggest surprise of the week. Even Mardon, the Wizard himself, wasn’t expecting his estranged daughter to pop in. To be fair, she wasn’t interested in a family reunion either, but revenge. Weather Witch, or Jocelyn “Joss” Jackam, wanted to kill her father for abandoning her and her mother.
A former storm chaser and meteor scientist, Joss got her chance at revenge when dark energy turned her weathervane into meta tech. Her weather staff was really cool, but the character herself felt too hammy. Then again, she was just a rudder for Nora to navigate her own daddy issues.
A family affair
It is Nora’s first Thanksgiving with both her parents, so Barry wants it to be perfect. Of course, he speaks too soon and things quickly get off to a rocky start. The speedsters respond to a sudden lightning storm at a power plant (later discovered to be Joss’ work). Barry is struck by lightning while moving a vulnerable nuclear core to safety. His heart stops.
Nora, who hadn’t approved of the plan to begin with, manages to revive him, but only after several long nerve-wrecking moments and speedster-powered defibrillation. The incident shakes her…to the core.
Thinking Joss is trying to break her father out of prison, Barry moves Mark Mardon to the Star Labs pipeline. Joss demands they bring her father to her by the end of the day or she will wreak havoc on Central City. To save the city, Barry hands Mardon over, only for Joss to drop a truck on him.
Good thing it was just a hologram of Mardon, then. During the encounter, Barry is zapped again.
Do it for the fam
A sullen Nora confronts Barry. She is upset that he keeps putting himself in danger when it eventually leads to his disappearance. She had projected her anger at him for sacrificing himself/leaving on others, Iris included. Nora asks him to give up being the Flash for the sake of their family.
True to her word, Weather Witch attacks an airport. The only way to counter her power is for Barry, wielding the old weather wand, to channel the lightning through his body. Nora realises she couldn’t ask Barry to give up his heroics at the expense of all other civilians.
“By the beard of Zeus, she’s making a tornado out of lightning!” – Cisco
After defeating Joss, Barry tells Nora that while he wanted to save everyone at the hanger, he was most concerned for her. He explains that he fights as the Flash so his own family can be safe.
Ugh, the colonizers!!
Apparently, Thanksgiving is not a holiday in Sherloque’s Earth. Not that he is interested in celebrating anyway. He has no family or friends, despite his many affairs. Cisco and Caitlin try to convince him to join the festivities. He drags them into his funk instead by reminding them how the past year had not been kind to any of them.
(Cisco also has a point about colonizers.)
The three almost skip out of Thanksgiving dinner with the West-Allens. That is, until Killer Frost takes hold of Caitlin and insists she wants a hearty dinner after being unconscious for a year.
The more emphatic story this week though is Cicada’s backstory, finally told in full.
Contrary to what the show had us believe, Gracie is not Cicada’s daughter, but niece. Orlin Dwyer gained her custody after losing his sister and her husband to a meta attack. At the time, he was in a rut, hated himself, and got into drunken scuffles. He was not prepared to care for a kid, and even tried to resist it.
However, having Gracie eventually helped Orlin reform. He pulled himself together and together the two built a home. The night of the enlightenment, he took Gracie to the fair to reaffirm his commitment to her.
Sadly, his world was soon shattered again. DeVoe struck and Nora punched the satellite. In the chaos, Orlin was impaled in his shoulder by the lightning-shaped shrapnel. Gracie was knocked out, and has been in coma ever since.
Orlin’s anger at metahumans stewed as he sat by Gracie’s bedside, with only meta-focused news and an equally bitter doctor for company. In his rage, he managed to attract the shrapnel like Thor summons his hammer, and vowed to make metas pay.
The mystery unmasked
It isn’t too hard to find stories trying to humanise their big bads, but by introducing Orlin early on, The Flash has made him a villain that viewers can truly sympathise with. Now, it comes down to how they tie his story to Barry’s. Tonight, their plots barely interacted. His past may have just been a footnote to the hour if not for its emotional gravitas.
Following Ralph and Cecile’s lead, Barry tries to visit Gracie at the hospital to meet Cicada. The doctor (correctly, we now realise) tells him Gracie’s parents are deceased to lead him away from Orlin. She then orders Orlin to stop visiting Gracie or rish exposing himself.
Orlin however gives in to the holiday spirit and brings Gracie flowers. Too bad for him, Sherloque predicted this and had Cisco monitor the hospital CCTVs. In visiting Gracie, Orlin gave his identity up to Team Flash.
Next week: The Flash hits 100 episodes!
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(featured image: the CW/DC comics)