Death has been a significant component this season on The Flash. Early on its Barry's disappearance and presumed death in the mysterious and impending Crisis that brought Nora to the present so that she could get to know her father. The villain Cicada also brought death to the series with his mission to kill all metahumans and while both of those parts of the story have shifted and changed a bit the specter of death has remained and tonight, it finally came for a member of Team Flash.
Spoiler's for tonight's Season 5 finale episode of The Flash, "Legacy", below.
Tonight's episode saw all the pieces of both the Cicada and Thawne storylines come together, specifically with Thawne's ultimate plan revealed. By stopping Cicada II by destroying the dagger in the present, it would eliminate the dagger's presence in the future. That's significant because in the future it's the dagger that has been strapped to Thawne's chest, dampening his powers so that he could be incarcerated until his execution. When the team realizes this, Nora (Jessica Parker Kennedy) takes the revelation particularly hard as it was Thawne's manipulation of her that brought them to this point where her father's greatest nemesis may soon be free again.
It's this sense of responsibility that prompts Nora to act and ultimately leads to her death.
Ultimately, the team manages to defeat Cicada II, but they have to destroy the dagger to do so. This frees Thawne and despite their best efforts to stop him -- something they almost accomplish -- every action has a consequence. The dagger's destruction begins to create a new timeline and, as a consequence, Nora begins to be erased from existence right before their eyes. Thawne offers a solution involving the Speed Force, but Nora ultimately decides to not go through with it as it would make the Negative Speed Force a permanent part of her. She chooses instead to accept the consequences and breaks apart, disappearing from the timeline in her parents' arms.
Nora's death in 2019 creates an interesting series of possibilities for The Flash. In the master timeline we know that Nora's birth takes places sometime before 2024 -- the year fans have known since Season 1 would be when the mysterious Crisis Barry vanishes in takes place. However, Nora's death in 2019 could create a situation where a grief-stricken Barry (Grant Gustin) and Iris (Candice Patton) opt not to have a child that they know they will have to watch die and while it's not exactly clear what impact that would have on the overall timeline as we know timelines on The Flash can be complicated, it is highly likely that the combination of Nora no longer existing and Thawne escaping could be exactly the prompt that brings the Crisis upon the Arrowverse a few years earlier than originally planned.
And the idea of big changes to Crisis as we've expected it has already been largely established thanks to last night's Arrow season finale. That episode revealed that Oliver Queen (Stephen Amell) did make a bargain with The Monitor (LaMonica Garrett) in "Elseworlds" to save Barry and Supergirl (Melissa Benoist) and The Monitor came to collect Oliver. Now it is Oliver who is believed to be dead and "Crisis on Infinite Earths" is still coming making everything we previously though we knew a big question mark.1comments
Of course, even if Nora's death isn't itself a reason why Crisis is arriving early it's still going to have a major impact on Barry. She is now the second Nora he's lost in connection with Thawne's machinations. It's not likely to be something the hero will recover from easily or even anytime soon -- if at all -- thus setting the stage for a potentially very different dynamic in Season 6.
Were you surprised by Nora's death in tonight's season finale? Let us know in the comments below.