This week’s episode of The Flash season 5 was all about father figures. Yes, even more than every other episode of The Flash.
Each episode of this season has done a great job of peeling back layers, allowing Nora West-Allen to further explore her complicated relationship with her parents. This week it struck her for the first time that Barry Allen willingly chooses to be a hero. After he nearly dies, she realizes that he puts being The Flash above his own safety. She brings up new feelings of resentment and, of course, they talk things out so it’s all okay.
The formula of Nora being upset by a new facet of her relationship with her parents, followed by a discussion and reconciliation is nothing new. It’s been the backbone of this season. But, once again, it’s done well and feels very sweet.
The other plotlines in the episode dragged a lot more. The meta of the week was Joss Mardon aka the Weather Witch. She’s the daughter of Mark Mardon, the Weather Wizard. She demanded his release from Iron Heights. In a twist, it turned out that she wanted him released so that she could kill him for being a bad father. This turn was the best, most distinctive part of the episode. It was also a nice parallel to Nora addressing her previously unexplored resentment towards Barry.
In the weakest plot of the episode, flashbacks showed how Orlin Dwyer came to be Grace Gibbon’s guardian. It revealed that he’s her uncle, not her father as previously assumed. It also showed how he was reluctant to care for her at first, but became a strong parent.
The episode gave a lot of screentime to Orlin but none of this felt relevant. The fact that he’s an uncle and not a father is a pretty small detail. Overall, each scene just showed that he cares for Grace, which we already knew. It seems like the only point of this backstory is to highlight that he had close human relationships, which was already reasonable to assume. It didn’t truly shine any light on his motives, which still boil down to simple unjustified hatred for all metas.
Also check out my review of last week’s episode of The Flash season 5 .