The Flash 507 Review: “O Come, All Ye Thankful”
It’s Thanksgiving in Central City and that means time to focus on family. As is the case for many holiday-themed TV episodes, this one had a strong central theme: father and daughter relationships. Barry and Nora, Weather Wizard and Weather Witch, and Cicada and Grace (technically his niece, but now daughter after her parents died). So before I make a joke about daddy issues, let’s get into the details.
Nora’s Deep-Rooted Problem
Personally, I’m getting pretty tired of Nora’s whining and flip-flopping in regards to her parents, but this episode did reveals the true reason she’s having so many issues. As is the case in many grief-stricken individuals, Nora was projecting her feelings and not coming to terms with the real problem: her anger toward Barry for leaving her. She wanted so desperately to know her father that she didn’t stop and take time to notice that she was actually maddest at him for putting himself in a situation that took him from his family.
Nora finally is starting to understand the realities of being a hero and how much you have to sacrifice to be one. It’s not all excitement and bonding time. By episode’s end, she’s still struggling with coming to terms with her situation, but she’s at least seeing things fully. Barry is understandably so tied up in his life as The Flash that he can’t give it up just because his daughter asks him too. And that hurts. I think this episode did a good job in showing the perspectives of both characters and giving the audience those complicated feels.
Heir to the Weather Throne
This episode’s villain of the week was Joss Marden, AKA Weather Witch, daughter of Weather Wizard. She was also motivated by her father, but basically the opposite from Nora. She wants to kill her father, not save him. Weather Wizard is a pretty awful human, so, as the viewer, I get where she’s coming from a little bit. She wanted him out of prison just to throw a truck on him (which was one of the most humorous moments of the episode).
Weather Witch has her own tragic backstory, but she’s not very sympathetic. Her power is cool, though, and that helps in the special effects department. It was fun to see her storms brew and cause a lot of problems for the team. Despite all of the danger, and Barry pretty much dying for a few moments, I never saw her as the big threat because of Cicada’s presence in the episode.
We finally know who Cicada is: Orlin Dwyer, uncle/father who’s out for revenge. His niece-now-adopted-daughter, Grace, is the hospitalized girl Barry tries to visit, but is shooed away by Cicada’s nurse accomplice. This episode showed some important flashbacks and revealed why Cicada is targeting metas. He wants revenge for what happened to Grace the night of the Enlightenment. It’s a nice change of pace from previous season villains who were motivated by more selfish and/or evil endeavors.
Having Cicada be a tragic villain plays well with the heavy and complicated emotions being explored this season. The good and bad guys have faults that affect their actions and relationships. Barry is hurting his daughter with his need to be a hero. Cicada is hurting meta humans with his need for revenge (noble as it might seem to him). I’m eager to see how Team Flash will try to deal with this villain in future episodes. Perhaps they will even try to save him.
Most of this episode’s humor hinged on our three holiday buzzkills: Sherloque, Caitlin, and Cisco. It’s funny that Sherloque manages to turn Caitlin and Cisco into thankless grumps, but then Killer Frost of all people manages to get them back into the spirit of the season. These three have little to be thankful for, it’s true. All three have suffered from being a part of Team Flash (Sherloque less, though, since his misery is mostly focused on his life before the team). But despite the problems they’ve had recently, they all come to be thankful in the end.
I give this episode 8 out of 10. I think it was a solid entry and a decent holiday episode, but there have been better ones. It crammed a lot into the episode to fit the father and daughter theme. Despite Nora getting on my nerves, the episode did have some great emotional scenes, especially the one between Nora and Barry. And it was easy to love the touching, though a little cheesy, scene with Team Flash sitting down to a beautiful Thanksgiving feast.
What did you think of the episode?