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‘The Flash’ recap: 5×11 “Seeing Red”

Barry reaches a breaking point.

The Flash season 5 episode 11, “Seeing Red”, aired 22 Jan 2019.

Remember the crossover waaaay back (last month) where Iris told Barry (or, Oliver whom she thought was Barry) not to be consumed by anger? And we were like, that’s a rather isolated comment? Well, all that came to a head this week as Barry nearly went over the edge.

The Cicada that broke the speedster’s back

With the CCPD watching Gracie 24/7, Orlin cannot visit her and has grown restless. Fortunately, the doctor (whose name I still don’t know – was it ever mentioned?) has found something for him to do. Since Spencer/Spyn tried to implicate him for a story, Officer Jones has become disgruntled with metas. He leaks the CCPD’s log of former metahuman arrests to Cicada, who hunts them one by one. In one instance, Norvok – Amulet’s old henchman – gets caught in the crossfire, but escapes.

When the Flash, XS, Elongated Man and Killer Frost try to intercept Cicada, the fight ends with the villain breaking Nora’s back, effectively paralysing her. The scene where Iris breaks (bad pun, oops) the news to Nora was well-performed by Candice Patton and Jessica Parker Kennedy. Iris is the rock in this family while Barry is just holding himself together. We see Barry slowly spiralling into anger and impulsiveness.

the flash
image: the CW

Cecile and Barry warn Captain Singh about the mole in CCPD. Cecile also contacts the feds to set up a protection program for the former meta convicts. Killer Frost seeks out Norvok to help the team gather the remaining metas on the list.

Snow vs Frost

Meanwhile, Caitlin is having her own Jekyll and Hyde problems. Killer Frost disagrees with helping Cisco make a meta-cure and keeps taking over to tamper with Caitlin’s work. While hiding in Amulet’s old lair with the metas, Ralph picks up on their fear and deduces that Killer Frost is scared Caitlin will take the cure, essentially diminishing her.

Anyway, with Killer Frost we finally learn a bit about Norvok, who up till this point was a character who was just…there. He was a zookeeper in the reptile enclosure until the particle accelerator explosion. The initial blast had broken the enclosures, releasing the snakes. He was pulling poisonous snakes off a kid when the dark matter wave hit him, putting him in this state.

Barry’s anger boils over

Empath Cecile was on a roll this week. Being the most aware of Barry’s hotheaded state, she kept him in check and called him out when she sensed his intention to kill Cicada. She tells Barry that he is being exactly like Cicada – driven by rage to kill because of his daughter.

She also senses Jones’ emotions and figures out, albeit belatedly, that he is the mole.

Cicada cuts off the transport copter’s landing plates (I think that’s what those bars are called) so it cannot land. The Flash fights him hand-to-hand while Ralph herds the metas out of the dampening zone. He has to get himself into the chopper and stretch down to carry the metas up one by one, because they don’t want to use him as a ramp.

Killer Frost manages to one-up Cicada and hold his dagger off with an ice blast.

the flash killer frost cicada
image: the CW

Barry regains his powers and starts beating the villain up brutally. He gets the man on the ground and is about to Reverse-Flash-vibrate-hand + lightning bolt combo on Cicada. Fortunately, Nora’s speedster healing finally completes its work. She rushes over before Barry deals the final blow.

Cicada gets away, but Barry hasn’t gone to the dark side.


Cecile and Captain Singh confront Officer Jones, after which Singh unknowingly remarks that Cecile might have well read Jones’ mind.

Caitlin regained the ability to talk to Killer Frost without the headband tech thingy while fighting Cicada. The two personalities make amends. Killer Frost reconstructs Caitlin’s work, and gifts her a sample of Cicada’s blood she obtained during the fight, which would accelerate progress towards making the cure.

Barry realises that this week he was a father angry because his daughter was hurt – exactly like Cicada. He thinks that if they manage to save Grace, Cicada might have a change of heart. Meanwhile, Orlin has set his sights on Nora, since Barry has been extremely careless all season long about referring to XS as his daughter.

the flash cicada
image: the CW

Elsewhere, Sherloque is still on Nora’s trail, unperturbed by an observant Iris’ warnings. Upon further analysis of Nora’s journal, he finds there are two separate sets of handwritings inside that are confounding the translation. As Tom Cavanagh stares into the computer screen, we have this AMAZING shot of his reflection staring back in the screen.


With Cisco holed up in somewhere in the tundra, it fell to Ralph to deliver quips this week.

  • “Snow and Frost are having creative differences.”
  • “Alright, everybody single file! Tuck your arms in!” (Adding to this line was the fact that Norvok reinforced Ralph’s instructions on the other metas.)

Also there was Captain Singh telling Cecile that “When Joe gets back, you two will be a force to be reckoned with.” He’s not wrong. I need more of Captain David Singh. I don’t know why, I just really love his scenes.

To see more of your favourite red-clad speedster, run over to the Flash Zone!

(featured image: the CW)


Ellen Ng

Ellen is a student, writer, professional daydreamer etc. Most likely to be found with green tea, but coffee has been an option as of late. Currently superhero-watching.

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