The Flash: Season 5 E4 News Flash review

News Flash had some positives and not so positive moments. The problems are the same ones that keep coming with Flash and the Arrowverse in general, but there was enough to still keep me invested.

One of the big positives is the writers aren’t taking forever to unravel mysteries this season. It only took four episodes to learn why Nora has been acting so nasty to Iris — future Iris planted a power dampener on her. On one hand Nora has some right to be upset. But since she’s not a teenager it’s frustrating that she hasn’t ever bothered to consider Iris’ point of view.

It took too long, but it was nice to see Barry finally stick up for Iris and have her back though it was odd that Nora still wants to stay in the past if she’s upset with her parents. Nothing is keeping her here.

It’s also annoying how XS has legit no experience as a superhero before she arrived in the past. How does she not know how to extinguish fire? Watching any highlight reel of The Flash or reading articles from The Flash Museum should have given Nora a veritable Flash cheat sheet. She really should be far more along on her speedster tricks than arriving as basically the Legion’s mascot with a cool costume.

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The writers had a better grasp of the comedy segments in News Flash. Iris’ ill-fated attempt at making breakfast was funny as was incompetent softball player Barry. Nerd alert: Barry really should be an amazing player now since he should see the ball in slow motion now and be able to adjust as needed. Or maybe I’m overthinking it?

This week’s Meta of the Week was Spencer Young (Kiana Madeira), a blogger who gained powers and is now creating news. This wasn’t so much a case of fake news since Spencer’s powers allowed her to set in motion events she would writer about.

Nora is defensive when Iris starts putting everything together because she’s got a crush on Spencer. According to Arrowverse logic, being raised by a single mother makes a character gay/bi.

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One of the most obnoxious traits of the Arrowverse shows involves the incredible 100% success rate of its LGBT characters. They never get shot down. Ever. Nora started geekily flirting with Spencer, who coincidentally is also into girls. We’ve literally never seen an instance in the Arrowverse where a lesbian/gay character gets shot down because their interest is either straight, in a relationship or just not interested.

And because it’s become a trend now for the Arrowverse, I’ll remind you the last census noted the LGBT population was 4.9 percent compared to 5.6 percent Asian and 17.8 percent Latino. The Arrowverse has a far different breakdown where there’s more aliens than Asians or Latino characters. This was even more noticeable on an episode where Cisco wasn’t around.

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That didn’t matter since Iris can pop the mini portals and stop XS from killing Flash. Seriously, how was that even remotely a contest? Barry is teaching Nora something new each week and now she’s capable of beating him down? At least Iris didn’t miss her shot. It didn’t make a ton of sense that Spencer wanted to use XS to drive up traffic on her site and then end the buzz by making her kill Flash.

The Ralph subplot was actually pretty good this week. He had a hunch about Cicada’s mask and did some investigating. I didn’t quite understand why Ralph felt the need to wear his Elongated Man attire, which just put him on Cicada’s radar. But hey, here’s for Ralph (and Sherloque) being useful this week!

Easily the biggest development this week was the reveal that The Enlightening didn’t just create new metas, but it also created meta tech. That’s a cool twist and one that should lead to a score of easily defeated one-off villains. At least their lack of prowess will make sense.

News Flash had some annoying moments, but the big reveal sets up some intriguing possibilities and explains Nora’s beef with Iris.

Rating: 7 out of 10

Photo Credit: The CW

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