When it comes to time travel, it appears the metaphorical apple doesn't fall far from the speedster tree on The Flash.
After an epic takedown of DeVoe (Neil Sandilands), Barry (Grant Gustin) and Iris (Candice Patton) settled down to celebrate the birth of Joe (Jesse L. Martin) and Cecille's (Danielle Nicolet) new baby. After a pretty foreboding line from Iris about the two of them being next in line to be parents, who should turn up but the Mystery Girl who's been not-so-subtly visiting the team from the future all year?
She showed up in Iris' Flash jacket and revealed her self to be... Nora Allen (Jessica Parker Kennedy), Barry and Iris' daughter from the future!
To help us break down yet another time traveling twist ending, TV Guide spoke to showrunner Todd Helbing about Nora's mission and the impact she'll have on the team in Season 5.
What can you say about why Nora has traveled to the past and what that "huge mistake" she made is?
Todd Helbing: Next season we'll sort of explain the times — why she chose those times to come back to visit — and then ultimately what the mistake is. I'm sure, as you can imagine, meeting your daughter who's essentially the same age as you would have some emotional reactions. With Barry and Iris, as you saw in the finale, Iris made that comment, "We're next," and Barry seemed a little apprehensive about jumping into having children so early. Then, less than a minute later, he meets his future daughter, so yeah, it's a little shocking to them. Just as Barry's learned all the lessons that he learned from time travel and the consequences of it, it's going to be interesting for him to be on the other side of it when he learns about what Nora's done and what problems are coming because of it.
As you begin breaking Season 5, is it fun figuring out this father-daughter, mother-daughter, Team Flash-daughter dynamic?
Helbing: Yeah, The Flash is so much fun in that regard with all our relationships because we get to introduce them and explore them in different ways. So it's not just the typical, "you have a baby" and there's the trials and tribulations of not knowing how to be a parent. These guys are jumping into parenthood as adults with an adult. So they missed a lot of the bonding and sleepless nights and just getting to know your child as a baby — they missed all that stuff. They jumped right to meeting somebody as an adult, so for us, it was how do we play these first introductions in a new way? So it's been a lot of fun.
How will Nora's appearance change Barry and Iris' relationship with each other?
Helbing: I think we're going to play with a lot of the real emotions when you have a child and how that changes your relationship, when you're parents. My wife and I have gone through this with our two boys, there's parent you and then there's you you. There will be parent Barry and parent Iris and then Barry and Iris. Also, the different philosophies of being a parent. When you're on the same page and when you're not on the same page and when you figure out that you need to be on the same page to be effective. It's going to be compounded, this issue, because they're now parents to an adult. So they didn't get that learning curve that most parents get.
Obviously comic book fans know the Tornado Twins are Barry and Iris' canon children, but are you guys planning to incorporate them at all?
Helbing: Right now, we haven't really talked about that specifically. As always, we take what's been done in the comics and try to twist it a little bit or sometimes we take parts of things here and there and sort of merge them together. I'm not going to rule anything out (we also love to do Easter eggs, so there might be some hints of things here and there), but I'm not sure it's going to be a direct translation of [that] story from the comics.
Can we expect some parallels in Season 5 between Joe and Cecille as new parents and Barry and Iris as new parents?
Helbing: It's funny because Joe has raised two kids, and then he was the father of Wally (Keiynan Lonsdale) when he discovered he had a son. He keeps becoming a parent in new ways. Some of his experiences with Wally, meeting Wally as an adult and how you can step into that role, is certainly going to influence Barry and Iris, but Joe's going to be dealing with his own version of it at the same time. They're going to be on two literally different timelines. I think we'll get a lot of the Joe-Barry, Joe-Iris, "Joe Dad Speeches" as we call them.
What can you say about Caitlin's quest to bring Killer Frost back out and how the knowledge that she's always had her powers will affect that?
Helbing: It completely changes her thinking about her powers and obviously where they came from. It's the main mystery for her next season, and it's going to lead her down a path that she certainly did not expect to walk down.
Another great twist from this finale is that Ralph is alive! Will he return as permanent team member next year?
Helbing: Yeah, that was always the plan — kill him and then play his death for real, then ultimately find out that he's still alive in the body that DeVoe's inhabited. We love Hartley, and we love Ralph, and there's a tremendous amount of Ralph Dibney stories that we haven't tapped into from the comics yet that we certainly want to do, so it's going to be great to have him around... He's grown a lot this season, and I think there's some more growth to happen with him.
You guys had your first non-speedster villain this year, do you plan to go with another non-speedster for Season 5?
Helbing: We did three speedsters in a row and with DeVoe, he was so different but the accumulation of powers on top of his capabilities mentally were fun, but I think yeah, next year we're going to have a non-speedster villain. To me, what's the most interesting about villains are not the meta human qualities but the human qualities, so I think we did pretty good with DeVoe and Marlize, and I think we can do that again with our new villain for next season.
Have we seen the last of those Easter eggs from the Season 4 premiere where Barry was babbling future lines of dialogue or are there more reveals to come?
Helbing: We paid off most of them. I think there's one or two that weren't in the finale that, either in the first of second episode [of Season 5], we'll certainly comment on.
The Flash will return on Tuesdays this fall on The CW.
(Full Disclosure: TV Guide is owned by CBS, of of The CW's parent company.)