The Flash 5x02 "Blocked" Review
We’re starting this review off with me once again gushing about how much of a fan I am of the way this season is dealing with the “big” reveals. We were introduced to Cicada at the end of the premiere episode “Nora” and we see him once again at that start of the episode, detailing his takedown of the captured Gridlock. It’s nice to start the season off knowing exactly where you are, and The Flash continuing this theme in Season 5 is something I am completely down for. I’m also a huge fan of him just being some random person. We’ve never met Cicada before (that we can remember) and so his apparent Flash problem is a bit of a shock.
I just know that I am going to love Jessica Parker Kennedy’s Nora more every episode. This episode we watch her join her father as a CSI (a job that she apparently already does in the future). Nora is eager and ready to learn whatever she can from her dad and a bit confused by the lack of technological advances in the past. Watching her touching the cube without gloves and her confusion at Barry’s gentle reprimand was adorable fun and I can’t wait to see more scenes of these two playing off of each other.
I will admit that I am already a bit tired of Cisco moping over Gypsy. While I adored the character, she wasn’t around very often (due to her being from Earth 2) and so whatever connection we had with her was solely felt through Cisco. I understand Cisco feeling the loss very keenly, but I was perturbed that we spent almost all our time with Cisco (and Caitlin and Ralph) dealing with his breakup in an all-consuming way. It did at least serve some sort of purpose as the episode wound down, with Cisco using his lesson about learning to let go to help Caitlin process her issues with her father’s death certificate being forged. I also thought it odd that Cisco was seeking relationship advice or help from Ralph Dibny of all people, but I’ll let that rest.
Tying Caitlin’s struggle to commit to searching for her father into Nora’s very present desire to impress her superhero father was a clever ploy on the show’s part and further helped bridge what felt like a too isolated plot line (Cisco getting over Gypsy) with the main plot. I admit to not being very excited about seeing Caitlin deal with missing Killer Frost/not missing Killer Frost for another season but the material that she was given this week helped the dilemma feel genuine and I appreciated that.
The ending of this episode was great! I am loving Cicada as a villain. His introduction to Team Flash happening so quickly in the season (it’s rare we get an Episode 2 meetup) and his quick disposal of all of our main heroes was terrifying to watch and yet I was on the edge of my seat the entire time. Cicada doesn’t appear to have any special powers (outside of a Flash symbol that negates metapowers) but is an impeccable boxer. For Barry, who has always been able to rely on his abilities, it’s clear that he’s drastically outmatched when he can’t use that speed. I do wonder why Nora’s appearance (and her exposing herself as the Flash’s daughter) caused Cicada to stop his assault, and I hope this is something that comes up again very soon.
The Flash airs Tuesdays at 8/7c on The CW.