8:15am PT by Sydney Bucksbaum
DC TV Watch: 'The Flash' Finale Kickstarts Season 5 With More Time Travel
Welcome back to The Hollywood Reporter's weekly DC TV Watch, a rundown of all things DC Comics on the small screen. Every Saturday, we round up the major twists, epic fights, new mysteries and anything else that goes down on The CW's Arrow, The Flash, Legends of Tomorrow, Supergirl and Black Lightning, and Fox's Gotham. Note: Arrow, Gotham, Legends of Tomorrow and Black Lightning did not air new episodes this week.
The Flash season four finale
Identity, revealed | After teases thrown in here and there all season long, The Flash finally revealed the identity of the Mystery Girl (Jessica Parker Kennedy) and why she was so seemingly obsessed and invested in Barry's (Grant Gustin) marriage and friends. In the final scene of the season four finale, she showed up to Joe (Jesse L. Martin) and Cecile's (Danielle Nicolet) welcome-home party to announce that she is Barry and Iris' (Candice Patton) speedster daughter from the future. While this is exactly what THR had predicted all season long, her announcement did come with a surprise twist: Her name isn't Dawn, as it is in the comics. She is actually Nora West-Allen, named for Barry's late mother, which adds a sweet, emotional touch to add to the new familial connection. As for why she traveled 30 years into the past, that answer will have to wait until next season, but her declaration that she made "a huge mistake" is a clear sign that season five is jumping back into time-travel storytelling. Time travel has been largely absent from The Flash ever since "Flashpoint," where Barry learned (with grave consequences) that messing with the timeline is too dangerous. But time travel is a major part of who The Flash is as a character in the comics, so bringing back that integral mythology is a move in the right direction for the series as long as the story doesn't get mired in the dark, dreary, depressing rut that came about as a result of "Flashpoint" last season. However long Nora sticks around in season five, kickstarting time travel once more as the team tries to figure out how to fix the timeline and any mistakes she made by going back in time to meet her parents in the past proves that Nora truly is her father's daughter. As for her twin brother from the comics? Looks like The Flash is going in a different direction and making Nora an only child ... for now. Hopefully the Tornado Twins will still make an appearance on the series in the future, either as Nora's younger twin siblings or just a younger brother Don.
Messy dynamics | As for why Nora popped up when she did over the past season, each scene she appeared in has more significance than viewers may realize. She previously showed up at Barry and Iris' wedding, buying Cisco (Carlos Valdes) and Ralph's (Hartley Sawyer) coffee at CC Jitters, accidentally spilling her drink on Harry (Tom Cavanagh) and Caitlin (Danielle Panabaker) and giving Joe a gift for his infant at the baby shower before running away at the sight of Iris. Let the speculation begin as to why those scenes in particular are so important to Nora's story and why she's been avoiding Iris at all costs until now, especially when she's wearing Iris' speedster jacket that she says Iris gives to her in the future. As for why she's so unfriendly to Caitlin, that one's obvious: Killer Frost will definitely make a return, and her relationship with Nora must be icy at best.
Another Wells?! | While Harry's brain was restored to a normal, functioning level in the season four finale, he didn't get his full brain power back. No longer a genius worthy of seven PhD's, he decided to leave Team Flash and go back to Earth-2 in order to fix his relationship with his daughter Jesse (Violett Beane). That doesn't mean Cavanagh is exiting the series, but rather The Flash is about to get yet another version of Harrison Wells next season. The most poignant moment for the character this season came when his brain functions returned to normal and he was finally in touch with his emotions at the end of the finale, so here's to hoping that the next Wells is just a normal person and not a wacky caricature like all the Council of Wells characters. Team Flash needs a mentor, not another "genius," and the revolving door of Wells is getting tired. Bring back Earth-1 Wells or bust.
Back from the dead | In the quest for the one thing that can separate Sam (Odette Annable) from her Worldkiller alter ago Reign, Supergirl (Melissa Benoist) is in for the biggest shock of her life. Based on the promos for next week's episode, when Kara and Mon-El (Chris Wood) take off for a deep space adventure to get the mysterious alien rock they need to defeat Reign they're going to find that all of Argo City, Kara's home on Krypton, actually survived the destruction of the planet. That means Kara's mother Alura (Erica Durance) has been alive all this time. On a season that has been all about Kara finding her humanity again, learning that her Kryptonian mother and people are still alive is a fascinating twist. What if she doesn't have to choose her humanity ever again and instead can lean into her Kryptonian heritage? How will this change Supergirl fundamentally as a person now that she's not the last daughter of Krypton? Obviously she won't stay in Argo City (because there would be no more Supergirl if so), but the season is nearing the finale. After defeating Reign and making sure that National City is taken care of and in good hands, could Kara fly back to Argo City and spend a good chunk of time there? If next season employs a long time-jump, Kara could decide to live with her mother and people for a long time. Actually spending time with a community of Kryptonians is what she needs, and it's not hard to imagine her giving up her life on Earth for that experience. But that could seriously affect her relationships with everyone back on Earth ... and Mon-El.
Speaking of ... | Now that Mon-El decided to stay in the past with Kara, it's clear that he's interested in rekindling their romantic relationship. But Kara is also clearly drawing some pretty definitive boundaries between them. She's spent so much time and effort in moving on and finally sees them as just friends. Going on an adventure through space and living through an emotionally fraught experience of reuniting with her presumed dead mother might lead Kara and Mon-El to share a passionate moment in the coming episodes, but "Karamel" shippers should be warned that this couple clearly isn't destined for a happily-ever-after. Especially if Kara chooses to stay with her mother in Argo City.
Mask on | Out of all the Arrow-verse shows, Supergirl's strength has always been in its ability to relate to prevelant, real-world issues through the lens of a superhero series. That was on full display in this week's episode when James (Mehcad Brooks) was blackmailed into revealed his identity as Guardian. While he worried about all the usual risks in revealing his identity as a vigilante, his situation came with the added worry of how the public would react to seeing a black man underneath the mask and how he'd be judged by the color of skin rather than his heroic actions. In an emotionally-frank-yet-poignant speech, James told a story about how he was put in handcuffs for the first time at the young age of seven because he was racially profiled by a cop, and Brooks' performance was so moving it was tough to remember in that moment that this was actually a comic book series. By the end of the episode, James and Kara were able to take back the leverage that was being held over James' head as blackmail and he didn't reveal his identity to the public. But hopefully this wasn't just a one-and-done story, because there is so much more to mine from James' complicated feelings about his identity as a black man vs. as Guardian and how National City would react to seeing his face underneath Guardian's mask.
Foreshadowing? | Does it feel like all this Kara and Lena (Katie McGrath) tension is heading towards a big season-finale cliffhanger where Kara reveals herself as Supergirl to her friend? In the second half of this season, Kara has been struggling with her relationship to Lena as Kara vs. as Supergirl. And their icy dynamic ever since Kara discovered Lena's kryptonite has bothered Kara in a big way. She keeps trying to fix her relationship with Lena while as Supergirl, which Lena can't understand why Supergirl is so obsessed with being her friend. As far as she's concerned, the two are just work aquaintances. The only way Kara can be friends with Lena as Supergirl is to reveal their history as Kara and Lena, and it seems like Supergirl is setting up a big identity reveal moment between the two women. Will that hurt Kara and Lena's friendship to learn that Kara has been lying the whole time, or will it fix Supergirl and Lena's relationship knowing that it's been Lena's friend underneath the cape this whole time? Unfortunately for Kara, probably the former.
Gotham will return for season five on Fox. Supergirl airs Mondays, The Flash will return for season five, Arrow will return for season seven, Legends of Tomorrow will return for season four and Black Lightning will return for season two, all on The CW.