CW’s The Flash returns with a solid season premiere. Following the show’s arguably best season, The Flash kicks off season five with a new West-Allen. Most of “Nora” revolves around… Nora, the time-traveling daughter of Barry and Iris. This episode provides a fun one-off conflict that integrates Nora into Team Flash. It’s a pleasant adventure that sets up The Flash’s fifth year.
“Nora” picks right up from the season four finale, with Nora coming home. She reveals that she’s time-traveled, but can’t return to her time. The majority of this episode deals with Barry and Iris reckoning with meeting their not-yet-born daughter. The Flash has done time travel many, MANY times, so nothing in “Nora” is particularly groundbreaking. However, it is nice that it’s not Barry messing up the timeline for a change. And considering it’s such a common plot point, the fact the episode isn’t head-bashingly boring is an accomplishment on its own.
The episode also features some solid performances to keep it moving. The star is Jessica Parker Kennedy as Nora, a.k.a. XS (so her meta name is extra small?) Not only is she the spitting image of what a Barry-Iris child would look like, but she’s got fantastic energy. The way she plays the overwhelmed time-traveling child really centers the episode well. Grant Gustin and Candice Patton also play the confused, caring parents well. None of the other regulars get much shine in “Nora,” aside from some goofy Hartley Sawyer-Ralph Dibny moments. But as the episode is called “Nora,” the fact Nora is the standout works perfectly well.
The plot of Flash’s various suits was pretty amusing, but had a somewhat bummer ending. As with every season, Barry gets a new suit… but this new one is bad. Obviously, the problem isn’t with the body-shaming some fans got into with Grant Gustin. The fact that The Flash is moving away from all the leather is also a smart move. However, this new suit is a little flappy, like it wasn’t made for Gustin. Also, the neck flaps don’t match the rest of the suit, and it’s super distracting. Considering this suit will probably stick around all season, the fact it’s so unnerving doesn’t bode well.
One thing that makes the weaker moments forgivable is the fact this is a season premiere. There’s so much table-setting that needs to happen when a show kicks off new storylines. Those new storylines are the strongest elements of “Nora,” so the episode is an overall success. From the strong debut of Kennedy’s Nora, to the peculiar cliffhanger introducing a new villain, “Nora” will please fans who have been waiting for The Flash’s return.