Did everyone have a good Thanksgiving? Team Flash did! Well, they did after fighting with Weather Wizard’s daughter and saving the city. Just another typical day in the life of a superhero.
There was so much more to this episode though. In “O Come, All Ye Thankful,” we finally get the back story of Orlin and Grace. Let’s dive in.
Orlin is at the hospital visiting Grace, but we soon see that he is not the only one there. In the hallway, he can hear Barry asking Dr. Ambres about Grace’s parents. She points out that she has no family because her parents are dead. Being uncharacteristically trusting, Barry seems satisfied with that answer and moves on. Dr. Ambres warns Orlin that he should stay away for good, but we all know that is not going to happen.
In a flashback, the police tell Orlin that his sister and her husband were in an accident caused by a meta attack, and he is the next of kin for their little girl. (A ha! So, she is his niece!) Not really in a good place in his own life, Orlin isn’t exactly happy about this new little human that he has no idea how to care for.
After the trip to the hospital, Barry goes home to prepare for Thanksgiving. We learn that Joe and Cecile are celebrating with Cecile’s family. Honestly, Joe will probably appreciate a normal day. So, it’s just the West-Allen family, including Cisco, Caitlin, and Killer Frost, who can now openly communicate with her non-meta counterpart.
Iris and Nora are finally getting close, which is nice, but Iris has to bring it all down. She points out that every time Barry is a hero, she does not know whether or not he’ll come back. There’s nothing like forcing your child to face their parents’ mortality for the holidays. That’s A+ parenting, Iris!
Sherloque is completely flabbergasted by Thanksgiving. It makes no sense to him. When Caitlin tells him that the holiday is primarily about family, Sherloque admits that he has no family and calls the holiday cruel. In the next moment, an alarm goes off because of an anomaly: there is a massive electrical surge at the local power station. Nora and Barry are dispatched to deal with it.
The pair find lightning hitting all around a cold fusion core that, if hit directly, would blow up the whole block. Nora gets the workers to safety while Barry grabs the core. In this moment, he’s not fast enough and gets hit by lightning as he takes the core. The shock stops his heart. Nora find him dead on the ground, and Caitlin walks her through using her hands and lightning as a defibrillator. After many heart wrenching fails, it finally works. Nora is very angry, though.
Caitlin and Cisco attempt to invite Sherloque to their Thanksgiving dinner, but that backfires fabulously. Not only does Sherloque decline, but he points out that neither Caitlin nor Cisco have had a year with much to be thankful for. Cisco had his heartbroken and lost his ability to vibe without pain. Caitlin lost Killer Frost, and when she though she found her father, he turned out to be a meta-version who tried to kill her and all her friends. Oh, and he got away. They suddenly agree that the holiday does indeed suck.
In another flashback, Orlin is at Grace’s school because she called someone a “rat bastard.” When he complains about having to take off from work, she points out that he doesn’t even like his work. He would prefer to lie on the couch all day because when work calls him to come in, he gets mad and calls them “rat bastards.” (So we see pretty clearly where she picked up the language.) He explains to her that he is supposed to be the parent, but their ideas of parenting are different. She knows that parents are supposed to make the world better for their kids, and all he does is make everything worse. She tells him that she hates him and that he hates himself, too. This becomes a moment of realization for Orlin.
Since the last person to create a storm from nowhere was Mark Mardon (a.k.a. Weather Wizard), Iris, Barry, and Nora take a trip to Iron Heights to make sure he is still there. Mark, who is played by the brilliant and beautiful Liam McIntyre (Spartacus), is still there and has no more of an idea of what was going on than they do.
While Iris is with prison personnel to view security footage, Barry and Nora get to meet the person causing the issue. Joss Mardon, Mark Mardon’s daughter, shows up intending to kidnap her father. Before she can do anything, though, Barry grabs Mark from the cell and moves him to their pipeline meta-prison. Naturally, this does not make Joss happy, and she demands that they deliver her dad to her in the Plaza in one hour or she will destroy the city. When they speak to Mark afterwards, he says he had no idea that she was going to come try to bust him out. He and Joss’ mom split when he chose to focus on being a criminal. He hadn’t even spoken to his daughter in years.
In another flashback, Orlin brings Grace to a house that his cousin owned. It is run down, but if they fix it up, they can live there. Inside the place is also the bones of a large dollhouse. It’s a peace offering. He says while he works on the house, maybe they could work on the dollhouse together. Orlin says that she was right about how he hated himself. He vows to do better by her and give her all the things a kid should have. Thankfully, Grace forgives him and things begin to improve.
Research about Joss shows that she is a delinquent-teen-turned-storm-chaser. She kept a blog that shows her at various locations with extreme weather. In one photo, she is seen on top of a van labeled “Weather Witch.” Cisco begrudgingly allows the name. (This makes sense really since her father is the Weather Wizard.) Nora realizes the weather vane in one of the photos is what Joss’ staff is made from. Security footage from Iron Heights reveals that a satellite shard is embedded in it. So, now they know she is not a meta; she just has meta-tech, like Spencer Young’s phone. While the phone was easy to take away, a literal lightning rod that Joss does not want to part with will be a different story.
They decide they have to give her what she wants. Barry and Nora meet up with her with Mark Mardon in tow, but things get a little crazy. She knocks Barry and Nora aside with her lightning and somehow manages to land a Hummer on top of her dad. She is super thankful to them for helping her get revenge on her dad, who she says was “a selfish dick who abandoned his family.” As she starts to walk away though, the truck falls over and Mark stands back up. We see that he was a hologram, one being controlled by Iris. Naturally, Joss is not happy about this and vows to burn the city to the ground. One way or another, she will kill her father, even if she has to kill everyone in the city in the process.
While getting back up from the lightning attack, Nora starts yelling at Barry. She is mad at him for constantly running into danger and not caring about her or Iris. She does not want to lose him again. She suggests that Barry stops being The Flash. That would guarantee a change of the timeline. Then she would not have to face losing him all over again. He tries to explain that people need The Flash, but she says she needs her dad.
The next flashback is a year after the last one. At the carnival, Orlin tells Grace that, because of her, his life is a million times better. Unfortunately, this moment is when The Enlightenment hits. When the satellite explodes into pieces, people are running and screaming, and fireballs are falling from the sky. Orlin grabs Grace’s hand and tries to get her to safety, but a piece explodes right in front of them. The blast knocks Grace unconscious, and this is the very moment that Orlin ends up with a very familiar jagged piece of metal sticking out of his chest. Despite his own injury, he manages to get Grace to the hospital before passing out.
The team finds Joss at an airport, so Barry goes out to stop her. She seems to just be standing on the tarmac collecting lightning while people scramble around her. He rescues all the people, but he still has no idea what to do about Joss. Cisco suggests he use Mark’s weather wand. Nora takes it and goes to join her dad.
Joss is done messing around though and begins to create a lightning tornado — yes, a lightning tornado! Cisco says the wand will suck up the lightning but that the electricity will travel through Barry’s body. After approval from Nora for what will be a death-defying feat, Barry attempts to dismantle the tornado. Once it is taken down, he takes all that energy and hurls it at Joss who shoots lightning at him at the same time. A blinding light fills the area. Once it dims and the smoke clears, Barry appears with Joss in cuffs.
Caitlin, Cisco, and Sherloque are content to drink away their Thanksgiving, calling their group “The Thankless.” The guys get a shock when Killer Frost shows up. She calls out the boys for being losers and suggests that, instead of drinking and eating terrible food, they drink and eat amazing food with people that actually care about them. They tuck their tails and admit she had a point before following her to the West-Allen loft.
Barry pulls Nora aside to talk about what happened at the airport. She stops him and says that when he hesitated to save those people because of her, she felt awful. She finally understands that sometimes to be a hero, you have to sacrifice yourself to save others, even if it means giving up your family. He explains that he runs into danger for her and Iris. He does it to keep them safe because he loves them. They hug, and all is well between them.
While they have a good Thanksgiving, Orlin visits the hospital again despite Dr. Ambres’ warning. The last flashback shows Orlin at Grace’s bedside right after the attack. Dr. Ambres is telling him that, because of the extent of brain hemorrhaging, Grace might never wake up. Orlin starts to blame himself, but the doctor blames the metas. Watching the news reports about metas, Orlin begins to grow distressed. His wound begins to pulse, and the piece of metal that was removed from him comes flying to his hand. That is the moment he makes a new vow. Every meta will die.
After dinner, the team is called back to the lab, and Sherloque explains that if Grace did have any family, perhaps that family would want to visit her on the holiday. Through reviewing video footage, they see that one man has come to visit her, every single day. That man is Orlin Dwyer, a.k.a. Cicada.
Next week should be fun. For The Flash’s 100th episode, we will be seeing some familiar villains. Barry will be traveling through the past to find the key to defeating Cicada in the future. I currently canot follow that logic, but hopefully next week’s episode will help. Then, five days later, we will be getting The Flash on a special night, as it kicks off the Elseworlds crossover.
We’ve got a lot to look forward to! Check out the promos below.