The Flash: “The Death of Vibe” Recap – Season 5, Episode 3

12 Min Read
Grant Gustin in The Flash. Image courtesy of

Wow! This week’s episode of The Flash was a real nailbiter! Cicada has the team on high alert. Unfortunately, they don’t know much. But what they do know, they learn from Nora.

The episode started off with a flash-forward to 2032 as we see little Nora at The Flash Museum in what I assume is The Hall of Villains. She says no one knows who Cicada is, where he came from, or how he got his powers. What makes him scary is the fact that The Flash never caught him. She goes on to say that Supergirl, the Legends, the League, and even the Green Arrow tried to catch him, but no one ever did. (As an aside, I assume she’s speaking of the League of Assassins, as the Justice League has not been spoken about in any Arrowverse shows yet. However, it does seem odd that the Assassins would go after someone that is not a threat to them. The existence of the Justice League is an interesting possibility.)

What Nora also explains is that Cicada has shown up in the timeline much earlier. It is quickly becoming apparent that her little foray into time travel has made a bigger impact than they realized.

While the team works on a plan, Ralph heads down to a local mini-mart to stop a robbery in progress. This whole piece seems to be a huge joke as the robber is using a solar-powered weapon with a “zero-carbon-footprint” and gets mad at the cashier for putting money in a plastic bag when he said he brought his own reusable cloth bag. Ralph chooses to appear as a giant pear and knock the guy out when he comes closer to inspect. While the captives should be thankful, they instead take pictures of Ralph in his weird shape and post them online.

Nora thinks the team should contact Harrison Wolfgang Wells since, in her timeline, she knows they never tried that. To get a different result, she thinks, try something different. Unfortunately, Wolfgang says he’s far too busy to help, but he points them in the direction of someone who can – Harrison Sherloque Wells (who is French).

He quickly gets to work showing off his abilities of deduction, which is just a poor imitation of the skills of Benedict Cumberbatch’s character in Sherlock. He agrees to help the team for a substantial fee and says he already knows where Cicada is hiding. He asks Ralph to stay behind as two detectives would be one too many. Ralph is already feeling bad as his pear body has become a meme, which is not helping things. Thankfully, Caitlin lets him know that there is more than one mystery to solve and enlists him to help her.

The duo visits Caitlin’s mom and gets shut down. They know she forged the certificate, but she does not admit to it and assures Caitlin that her father is dead. With her mother stonewalling, Ralph decided they need to do a B&E to get what they want. The find a room labeled “File Room.” (Isn’t that convenient? It might as well have been the Room of Requirement.) What they find inside is a game that she and her father used to play where she was allowed to make up fictional compounds and elements while learning the periodic table. They also find a letter written to Caitlin from her father — a goodbye letter.

Barry and Nora head to the location where Sherloque has assured them Cicada is, because the villain is none other than David Hersch. They are able to take him down with little trouble. (That should have been the first clue that they had the wrong guy.)

After comparing David Hersch’s and Cicada’s shoe sizes, Barry learns they are not the same guy. Sherloque says that is impossible because it is always David Hersch. It turns out that he has solved this mystery 37 different times on 37 different Earths and that it’s always the same guy. This is when they tell him that Nora messed up the timeline. Sadly, all the money has been disbursed among Sherloque’s five ex-wives as alimony payments. He attempts to fake his own death, but he’s not the genius the last Wells was and they catch him before he can sneak off.

Doing a bit of research on his own, Cicada finds a connection between Joe West and Vibe, who he has decided needs to die. So while the team thinks they should be celebrating (except for Barry, who knows something feels off), Cicada is paying Joe a visit and demanding that he call Vibe. Cecile wakes up and sneaks downstairs into Joe’s line of sight. She prepares to press the panic button on her phone that would alert the team that something was up. Joe asks her not to via his thoughts, but when the baby cries, Cicada see her and she presses the button. Honestly, it was the right call. Cisco breaches into the room and gets tackled by Cicada right back into his breach.

Using their coms, Cisco is able to tell them that he ended up in a forest somewhere and he is running for his life, being hunted by Cicada. He can’t breach out because of his powers being affected by Cicada. (I didn’t even know he could do that without specifically using his dagger.) Without knowing what forest he is in, they don’t know where to look. Sherloque decides to help by asking what kind of trees Cisco saw, and then he asks him to be quiet so he can hear the sounds of the forest. Identifying the trees and bugs allows them to narrow down to a specific forest.

Cisco gets hit in the back with Cicada’s dagger that magically comes back to him, bringing Cisco’s body with it. He gets thrown to the side as Barry shows up, and he quickly loses his powers as well. As we all know, Barry has no fighting skills that don’t involve speed, which means he begins to get beaten to within an inch of his life by Cicada.

Nora gets an idea and runs off to join the fight. She manages to get a bolt of lightning thrown at Cicada, knocking him away from Barry and tosses an explodable fuse to Cisco. He throws the fuse at Cicada who manages to knock it right back at Cisco. The resulting explosion knocks Nora and Barry on their rears, while Cicada manages to use his dagger to create a protective shield. The leftover result is a crater with Cisco’s Vibe gear inside it. Content that Cisco is dead and realizing he is hurt, Cicada takes off into the sky. (Yes, that’s also a new magical skill he has.) The dagger lets him fly.

Thankfully, Cisco is not dead. Along with the explodable fuse, Nora also gave Cisco one of their breach buttons, which allowed him to escape without Cicada knowing. Now, they at least have knowledge that Cicada does not, and Nora finally didn’t screw up. Yay for her! She might have value after all.

Caitlin starts going through all the things they found in her dad’s file. At first, a lot of things seem like gibberish, but she soon realizes she is looking at a code based off the elements she had made up. The finished message reads, “Caitlin, come find me.” Perhaps her dad isn’t gone after all. It even seems like he might be spying on her, judging from the little clip they show of an unidentified man watching closed-circuit monitors that show her at the lab.

Joe gives Iris all that he can remember on Cicada, but he points out something else he notices. Cicada made comments about family and cherishing them. He has a feeling that whoever Cicada is, he may also be a father.  His hunch is proven right when we see him at the hospital visiting a young girl in a coma. We learn from the doctor that Cicada’s first name is Orlin. We also see a wound he has on his chest, one that the doctor knows about but cannot help. It may have something to do with how he got his powers. It appears the doctor may also be aware of his extracurricular activities. I’m assuming that’s Nora’s appearance caused something to happen to his daughter, and that is why he is on a mission to eradicate metas.

Since Sherloque will need a place to stay while he works on the new Cicada mystery, Iris suggests that Nora move in with her and Barry. She agrees and, despite it being her mom’s suggestion, she still only hugs Barry. Her dislike of her mother is starting to get a little weird.

Perhaps it has something to do with what Sherloque asks Nora. He asks if the decision to punch the satellite was one she made on her own or if someone talked her into it.

Whatever it was, it seems like we will be finding out next week. The promo shows an upset Iris crying about something her future-self did to Nora. What is even stranger, though, is Nora going after Barry. Take a look!

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By Crystal
Crystal joined the Nerds and Beyond team in 2018. Three years earlier, she tripped into the Supernatural fandom and decided to stay. It's where her passion for writing was reborn. Her free time is largely centered around creative writing (okay, it's fanfic), providing editing for others, and binging makeover shows. The DC Universe is her other fandom of choice and she lives for the crossover extravaganzas. The main joy in her life is her young son whom she homeschools and takes to Disney World as often as possible.
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