It turns out the only thing keeping the Reverse Flash contained in his cell in the future was Cicada's (Sarah Carter) power-dampening dagger, and he'd planned all along for Nora to go back in time and destroy it so he could set himself free. That is a reverse time-hack to top all reverse time-hacks! Now, though, Barry (Grant Gustin) and Team Flash are faced with an impossible choice: stop Cicada from murdering thousands of metas, or set Thawne free in a helpless future.
"With Barry, he hates Thawne for what he did to his family, but if it comes to stopping Thawne or saving thousands of people, he's a good guy, so he's always going to choose the better of two evils... sort of put his own personal vendetta aside and save other people," showrunner Todd Helbing told TV Guide.
Making that choice, tough as it might be, is bound to have consequences, which could prove deadly for Team Flash. Redemption has been a big theme in Season 5, especially when it comes to Nora believing in the possibility of redemption for characters who may not be deserving of her faith. Now, we'll all have to deal with the fallout of Nora trusting Thawne, for better or worse.
"We talked a lot about this when we were breaking the finale episode and the back half of the season," Helbing said of the various redemption arcs this season. "It felt like our characters, one way or the other, there's a lot of [consequences] for Barry, and for everybody else... I'll say this, there's probably more consequences one way or another than we've ever done on the show."
Considering that the trailer for Tuesday's finale seemed to show Cicada stabbing Nora with her dagger as Barry looked on in anguish, these consequences could come in the form of a major character death. But we'll keep our fingers crossed for Nora, since The Flash has always been good at pulling a bait and switch. It may turn out to be someone else entirely on the other end of that dagger, so clutch your favorite characters close while you can!
This finale won't just finish off the Cicada story arc — it will also set up a storyline we've all been waiting for since Season 1. We've known for years that the Flash vanished in a crisis in the future, but Helbing says we're finally going to see a major development in that storyline that will carry us into Season 6.
"There's a big thing in this episode that tees up the rest of the Crisis arc for next season," Helbing teased. "We've been laying Easter eggs the back half of this season, especially, but there's no way you're going to miss this one."
The season finale of The Flash airs Tuesday, May 14 at 8/7c on The CW.
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