Season 4 of The Flash was disruptive, but as usual, the new season brings new problems.
We ended last season by learning that Nora is actually Iris and Barry’s daughter from the future. Following up on that, she adds that she, too, is a speedster named XS, a nickname she got from Iris because she was always doing this in excess, including screwing up.
Nora admits that she helped Barry destroy the satellite the night before. Unfortunately, something she did went wrong. Now, she can’t go fast enough to open the speed force and get back to her own time.
Ralph seems to have either forgotten a lot or never learned much. The fact that time travel exists is kind of blowing his mind. His excitement seems to upset baby Jesse, but Cecile says that Jesse just said she was hungry. This is how she realizes she can still read minds, a fact that Joe is not enthused about. It is unclear how a newborn has a concept of hunger outside of the feeling to be able to express it, but The Flash has never been big on making sense.
The team takes Nora to S.T.A.R. labs and watch her run. Barry and Iris are not on the same page about having Nora around though. Iris thinks it’s fantastic, but Barry worries that Nora could change the future or possibly erase herself from existence.
A few tests by Caitlyn and Cisco prove that Nora is their daughter and that she does have the speed force in her system. It’s then that the team realizes that Cisco had a little too much to drink at the party and is currently trying to process his breakup with Gypsy. Totally fair since right after that happened, they had to save the world. Doesn’t leave a lot of time for accepting that a serious relationship has ended.
Barry has Wally take Nora’s blood sample to The Legends with hopes that, worst case scenario, they can give her a lift on the Waverider. Meanwhile, he heads back to the police department to get reinstated as a Crime Scene Investigator. He also has a huge backlog to take care of. Nora shows up offering to help since she’s a forensic scientist, as well. Barry has to point out, once again, that she cannot mess with anything here due to the possible damage to the timeline.
Since Nora can’t seem to understand that for some reason, when Barry gets a call to stop a meta robbing an armored car, she shows up to watch. Her presence distracts her dad who then gets knocked out into the bay, effectively ruining his second suit.
Nora tells them that she didn’t think it was a big deal since it was only “Gridlock,” a nickname that hungover Cisco scoffs at.
After a quick demonstration from Ralph about how there are multiverses, something everyone already knew, they decide to use the tachyon absorption enhancer to boost the speed force in Nora’s cells. Barry will be able to wear a similar one that will transfer tachyons to her to help. That goes on the back-burner though while they try to find out who Gridlock is.
Nora and Iris go out for coffee and to try to connect, but it doesn’t go very well. Iris starts feeling as if she had no impact on her daughter’s life.
When they all meet back at the lab, Barry and Nora head into the particle accelerator tube to race into the future. When the speed force opens though, it rejects them. They’re sent flying backward and left with some bump sand bruises.
Wally arrives with bad news. It turns out that the tachyons in Nora’s blood sample where negative tachyons, basically anti-speed force that slows you down. They can’t take her on the Waverider either. According to Wally, if negative tachyons come anywhere near the Waverider’s time drives, it will vaporize the ship. Seems like a bit of an overreaction.
Watching the news, they see that Gridlock has struck again. Without their satellite being taken down by Devoe, they are left with the news being their source of information, a source that is usually a few steps behind.
At the Gridlock crime scene, Caitlyn tells Ralph about how Devoe took Killer Frost from her, but how she’d also been meta as a child and that her father knew. With him being dead, she had no leads to find out more. Using a dark matter reader, Cisco points out to both of them that Gridlock’s dark matter level has increased. They figure out that he absorbs kinetic energy. So, anything done to him simply makes him stronger.
After a talk with Iris, Barry has a realization and confronts Nora about what happens to him in the future. She shows him headlines from the future that say The Flash is missing. Nora said he never returns. This is also when she admits that she had a device on her which was causing the issue of her not being able to go home. She just wanted to meet her dad and spend time with him.
The team tells Barry what they learned about Gridlock and Cisco realizes that he was the one who came up with the name, of course. Searching for Gridlock’s cell phone, they find him at the airport, on a plane. Crashing the plane would give a huge surge in energy, so the team knows they need to do something.
That is exactly what Gridlock plans. The first engine goes out and Caitlyn points out that without the other engine, the pilot won’t be able to avoid the buildings as the plane falls. Nora, bearer of all future news, reveals that Barry had once phased a plane and he could do so now. He doesn’t believe he can, but thinks between himself, Wally, and Nora, they might manage it. The two problems being Nora hasn’t learned to phase anything yet and Barry doesn’t have a suit. Once again, Nora has the answer for the second problem – the Flash ring.
When the second engine goes out and the plan begins to fall, they have a small window of time where there will be zero G’s in the plane. No friction means no kinetic energy meaning Gridlock will be powerless.
Cisco opens a breach and sends the three speedsters onto the plane, just in time to put meta cuffs on Gridlock. Barry, Wally, and Nora try to phase the plane, but she can’t do it. Barry gives her a rousing speech that had been told him to by Wells. Together, they manage to phase the plane and everything inside of it so that it passes through buildings and a bridge, finally landing in water. I’m not sure how it didn’t phase through the water, but I guess that is neither here nor there.
With the tachyon absorption advice fixed to negate the negative tachyons in Nora’s blood, she can go home. Now though, Barry thinks she should stay. I mean, who needs an uncorrupt timeline?
Joe talks Wally into going back to the monastery if that’s what he really wants to do. This is how we end up losing Keiynan Lonsdale who said he was leaving the Arrowverse.
While the team was busy, Ralph was working on his own mission. He presents Caitlyn’s father’s death certificate. It was signed by a medical examiner who doesn’t exist, meaning the death certificate is a fake. Is Caitlyn’s father still alive?
While Barry and Nora run out for ice cream, Gridlock is on his way to prison. Unfortunately for him, the truck gets stopped. We get our first look at Chris Kline’s Cicada. This big bad with his lightning blade has it out for metas and plans to kill them all.
It seems like next week’s episode would be a good time to address what happened to Gridlock, but the trailer makes it seem like training Nora will be the focal point. Here’s hoping they get a heads up before it’s too late.