Season 5 of The Flash on The CW introduces Barry Allen and Iris West’s daughter, and the character is the worst thing to happen to the show.
Introduced as a cliffhanger in the Season 4 finale, Nora Allen-West (Jessica Parker Kennedy) appears from the future in an attempt to get to know her father more. Barry Allen (Grant Gustin) has disappeared in the future when she was a child, so she is allowed to stay in the past, despite the obvious negative impact it can happen to the timeline. But whatever, we don’t care about that anymore. Apparently.
The writing of Season 5 of The Flash takes a severe dip in quality given that the way that Nora is being written and her impact to the series, which is pretty terrible. There are elements of this storyline that is incredibly heartwarming and amazing to watch. Seeing Nora get to know her superhero father that she doesn’t remember, getting better insight into her estranged mother, and getting an inside look at what her parents loved each other, really tugs at the heartstrings at all the right moments.
However, Nora is being constantly written as an emotionally impulsive and short-sighted character, and it’s honestly getting annoying. Almost every episode since her introduction, she fails to listen to Flash during their superhero team-ups resulting in something going wrong. She then has to learn a lesson by the end of the episode. Too many instances of failed ‘I’ve got this’, is getting tiresome. And yes, some of that has to be in line with her character; an inexperienced superhero who is learning the ropes from her father. I get that.
But it feels like every episode this season, something new is going wrong with Nora. At first, it was her lies about the circumstances surrounding her arrival. She initially made it seem beyond her control, causing Team Flash to try to find a way to send her back to time. She sabotaged all those efforts, as it was revealed later that she’s here intentionally to spend time with Barry. So she basically wasted everyone’s time with her lies.
Following the resolution to that situation, it’s revealed that she has problems with Iris, (Candace Patton) due to their strained relationship in the future. Iris hid that Nora had powers at a young age, which Nora resents her for. So now there’s an emotional hurdle to overcome. Which we do. Great!
After Iris’ relationship with Nora is mended, she then proceeds to get angry at Barry for taking risks as a superhero, which will inevitably lead to his disappearance in the future. Resentful and bitter, it’s another thing that Nora has to be consoled about, as Barry imparts wisdom, leading to even more emotionally charged moments that, honesty, feel really forced at this point.
I get that these moments are all supposed to be teaching moments for the character, but there seems to be zero growth, either emotionally or behaviorally for Nora despite all these moments. The character never seems to understand or take to heart any of this wisdom, because the next time something happens, a new bad guy, an ethically questionable situation, she behaves just as impulsively and immaturely as she’s done from Episode 1.
The last episode saw her mistrust a recovering criminal in the Weather Witch, only to drive her towards a life of crime, instead of giving her a second chance. And the most ultimate of this go-nowhere story arc is that it’s now been revealed that Nora is working with Eobard Thawne, Reverse Flash, in the future, for some unknown reasons.
The biggest error in judgment that proves that there is absolutely no impact to her hanging out with Team Flash, as she’s learning nothing of their ideas, values or style of crime fighting, or even common sense living! At this point, Nora seems more the big bad of the season than the actual villain Cicada (Chris Klein). And unless the writers have a course correction somewhere in the second half of the season, I don’t know if I’ll keep watching.
The Flash is on The CW.
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