The Flash: What’s Past Is Prologue review S5 E8

The timing of The Flash’s 100th episode couldn’t have been better. Unlike Arrow’s big milestone episode, What’s Past Is Prologue doesn’t have to juggle an anniversary and the annual crossover. In lieu of a clip show, The Flash came up with a pretty clever means of celebrating the past and how far the show has come.

Now that Team Flash knows who Cicada is, they just need to figure out how to stop him. Typically this would lead to another confrontation where Cicada whips Team Flash tail, but with the crossover pending, Cicada has to be removed as a threat…for a moment.

Interestingly, it’s Nora who comes up with the plan to stop the big bad — collect artifacts from previous Flash adventures to whip up a device to counter Cicada’s power dampener. To make sure Cicada won’t see Flash coming, they can do a time hack where they stash the item in the past and pull it out in the present.

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First off, have we learned absolutely nothing good comes from time travel? That should be the show’s motto instead of Run Barry Run. Time travel is bad, mmmkay? But for the sake of a 100th episode, I’ll allow it.

Sherloque rightfully seems suspicious of Nora. He’s always been and Nora suddenly having the perfect solution to deal with this problem seems a little too pat. Sherloque investigates the text in Nora’s journal and starts trying to crack the code shorthand she used.

With Nora in tow, Barry goes on a trip down memory lane checking out all of his Flash career lowlights. This is a fun way to celebrate the previous 99 episodes. Ralph, the show’s most improved character this season actually plays Back in Time. That was pretty funny.

I was glad to see the Time Wraith coming for them. It makes sense that somebody takes this don’t screw with time thing seriously. First stop they get some shards from Savitar’s broken armor.

If nothing else What’s Past is Prologue was a reminder of how great Tom Cavanagh has been in the series. He was playing a ton of Wells variations and Cavanagh has really made them feel like different characters.

But Thawne wasn’t the only bad guy who returned. Zoom made a surprise appearance and was all set to cause more tragedy for the Allen family. Zoom’s return was a nice surprise. He came thisclose to taking Barry out again if it wasn’t for that pesky Time Wraith. Next up, that special time when Barry needed Thawne’s help to fix a device.


This encounter was nice and creepy with a psycho vibe. Cavanagh really delivered in this scene as he slyly taunted Barry with knowledge of the future asking about the Tornado Twins. Nora kept spilling information to Thawne and seemed drawn to the Reverse Flash costume. It’s almost like she wants to screw with time.

Finally, it was back to the dawn of The Flash with the particle accelerator explosion. This was fun as it allowed for a cameo from DeVoe and Marlize with last season’s minor retcon. And Grace’s doctor happened to be the first responder when Barry and Wells/Thawne was brought in. It’s all connected.

Team Flash is now ready for the showdown with Cicada. It’s kind of funny how this trip through time was all fine and good, but Killer Frost proved to be the true edge they needed to send Cicada away.

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Nora notices her journal is gone and does a not so great job of playing it off to Sherloque. Maybe the most fascinating aspect of this season is Sherloque slyly trying to figure out Nora’s angle. He can very much be a goofball character, but there’s enough times in the season that Sherloque has proven his worth.

Sherloque had every reason to be suspicious as Nora zooms to 2049 and confronts Thawne in Wells’ body again. Apparently he’s a prisoner, but Nora has been consulting with him. For what purpose? Looks like we’ll have to find out come January after the crossover.

What’s Past Is Prologue did a terrific job of ending Cicada’s threat…for now, while setting up a new mystery and the return of Thawne.

Rating: 9.5 out of 10

Photo Credit: The CW