The Flash: Time Bomb review S5 E17

With no new episodes of The Flash for another couple of weeks, I wasn’t rushing to get to Time Bomb, but the show has definitely stepped up a notch as it heads to the home stretch. The big question is will that be enough to make this season memorable? I’m torn as this season has really suffered from a lackluster Big Bad, Jesse L. Martin’s extended absence and Nora’s slow developing secret. By this episode all of those issues have been addressed making for one of the season’s more engaging episodes.

Nora goes to 2040 to talk to Thawne about her failure to prevent a second Cicada from surface. With his countdown nearing its conclusion, Thawne offers one final bit of advice to Nora – tell Barry everything. Even without a resolution to Thawne’s plan by the end of the episode, you’ve gotta figure this was Thawne’s endgame all along – having past Barry know his daughter would confide in him in the future. That’s a tasty bit of revenge.

Sherloque won’t need the spoiler as he’s cracking the final clues leading him to Thawne complete with a flash drive in Harrison Wells’ wheelchair. That definitely seems like something Team Flash shouldn’t have kept around as a souvenir.

the flash time bomb review - thawne

Hey, someone remembered Ralph is part of the team! If ever there was an indictment on Team Flash having too many members it’s how someone keeps getting sidelined each episode. This time it’s Caitlin (for most of it anyway). Well, if you’re going to track down Cicada II, better to have the detective than the science geek. But, Ralph’s focus this week is to force Cisco into bringing Kamilla into Team Flash starting with a gig at The Citizen with Iris. What an odd storyline. Sure, secrets are always a problem yadda yadda, but this was some questionable timing for such an Episode 9-12 kind of subplot.

Grace (Sarah Carter), meanwhile is trying to figure out how to get Orlin’s powers back. She’s hoping they can have an uncle/niece team-up to complete his mission of wiping out all metas. That mission seems a tad distorted if they both also have powers. Still, Grace is a far more interesting and compelling Cicada than Orlin. Too bad the writers took too long in getting to her. It also seems weird that Team Flash took so long to piece together her identity. It’s not like that was beyond the realm of possibility especially the same season where Flash’s daughter from the future is hanging out.


Grace wants to find her parents’ killer, a woman named Vickie Bolen (Catherine Lough Haggquist, Elysium). Vickie had no idea her meta triggering caused any deaths. Despite Barry, Joe and Nora’s warnings, she’s not about to go into custody while they find her. Barry got all righteous after learning Vickie hadn’t told her husband and daughter about her abilities. This is the same Tell No Secret Barry who let Patty Spivot walk out of his life because he wouldn’t open up?

OK, Barry did remember his old secrets caused problems, but he tells Nora secrets are like walls and you can’t really know people with walls. Grace comes for her reckoning on Vickie, who has Gambit object charging powers! Apparently Spider-Man is the only Marvel character they can reference as Gambit would make more sense. Initially, Vickie’s husband and daughter are all ‘how dare you keep these dangerous powers a secret!’ proving Nora’s point until they ultimately come around.

Grace grabs Vickie’s husband and offers an exchange, but Orlin wants her to stop so she kills him. I get that this was the eventual route for Orlin, but it was a little fast to have Grace go through all this to save him only to kill him the next week. I wonder why the abrupt change from the writers here as Orlin never got a chance to get developed further. His death would have been more meaningful two or three episodes from now. At this stage, he was just a poorly defined character that got killed.

the flash time bomb review - cisco, cecile and joe

Back at STAR Labs, Team Flash licks their wounds and plans the next step to stop Grace now that Caitlin is back. Nora is clearly acting weird so Sherloque seizes the moment by dropping the bombshell of her partnership with Thawne. The team is in shock, but Barry finally acts like The Flash and makes a quick decision — tossing Nora into the prison cells. That’s a pretty effective time out! Barry doesn’t have time for Nora’s lies and since he can’t trust her, he’s gotta sideline her while they take out Cicada II. I like this decision. He’s not gonna keep Nora in there obviously, but this was the kind of act first, think later we should see more of from Barry.

Time Bomb lived up to its hype of setting the stage for the final swing of episodes and finally make a major advancement on Nora’s storyline.

Rating: 8.5 out of 10

Photo Credit: The CW