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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. There have been a lot of news, castings and announcements all summer long about the new seasons premiering this fall, so this week we’re rounding up everything there is to know about The Flash season five…
Family reunion | Fans were given a huge glimpse into the trajectory of season five long before the season four finale even aired. By introducing the “mystery girl” (Jessica Parker Kennedy) as early as the Crisis on Earth-X crossover during Barry (Grant Gustin) and Iris’ (Candice Patton) wedding, speculation about her identity began flying wildly, with most of the guesses ending up pretty on the nose. She finally revealed herself in the season four finale to be Nora West-Allen, aka Barry and Iris’ speedster daughter who time-traveled from the future but made a “big mistake” in doing so, proving herself to truly be her father’s daughter. With Kennedy as a series regular in season five, expect a ton of West-Allen family drama on top of speedster/time-travel/changing the timeline drama. The Comic-Con trailer for season five also revealed that Nora’s speedster nickname is XS, given to her in the future by her father, and she’s hiding something from Barry and Iris (at least in the beginning of the season).
Slow but steady | Continuing the successful trend from last year, season five will introduce a decidedly non-speedster villain as the big bad. But just because he’s slow doesn’t mean he won’t present the biggest challenge yet for Team Flash. Chris Klein (American Pie, Oz) will bring to life the iconic DC Comics character Cicada, a grizzled, blue-collar everyman whose family has been torn apart by metahumans. Because of his own loss, Cicada now seeks to exterminate the epidemic — one metahuman at a time. Comic book fans know Cicada as religious fanatic/cult leader David Hersch, who believed he was connected to The Flash as he was struck by a bolt of lightning, allowing himself to absorb the life force of others. Cicada and his followers made it their mission to kill everyone that The Flash had previously saved by using lightning-shaped knives. But while The Flash‘s version will be different with Cicada not being a cult leader, his powers will still be a big threat for Team Flash. He could still have the same life-absorbing powers in the series that he does in the comics, meaning that Team Flash can’t even touch him. If you can’t touch a villain, how do you defeat him?
The more, the merrier | During Comic-Con, executive producer Todd Helbing revealed that “younger” versions of The Rogues will also be appearing this season. He didn’t announced which ones would show up, and the list of potential villains is extremely long. But the ones most likely to show up are younger versions of Captain Cold (previously played by Wentworth Miller) and Heat Wave (currently played by Dominic Purcell on Legends of Tomorrow). Barry already has formed connections with each former villain-turned-hero, so to meet younger and perhaps more villainous versions of them would be a treat.
Dress for success | With all these new (and younger versions of old) villains showing up this season, Barry is going to have to up his game if he has any shot of defeating them all. That means it’s time for a supersuit upgrade! Barry is finally going to get his Flash ring from the comics, and the new suit that comes along with it is Gustin’s favorite iteration yet.
The gang’s all here | Heading into the new season, there aren’t many casting changes to note. In fact, many of Team Flash’s members have been promoted to series regular, including Hartley Sawyer’s recently resurrected Ralph Dibny and Danielle Nicolet’s Cecile Horton. Tom Cavanagh will indeed return once more as a different character, but there’s no telling just what kind of Harrison Wells will show up this year. Hopefully, one a little more grounded than the Council of Wells.
But there’s some bad news … | The Flash may have just gotten back its humor last season, but funeral bells are already starting to toll. Helbing dropped a bomb on the Comic-Con panel that “there will be a lot of deaths this year,” maybe even a main character or two. It’s not hard to imagine that five seasons in, some longtime series regulars could be getting antsy and ready to move on in their careers. But are fans ready to say goodbye to any of the characters?
New face | The only other new casting as yet announced besides Cicada is that of Kiana Madeira (Sacred Lies), who landed the recurring role of Spencer Young aka Spin. The DC Comics character has been gender-swapped from the source material, making for an inspired twist on the original. Spin is described as a young aspiring social media influencer who seizes the opportunity to make herself famous when she discovers there is a new hero in Central City. Expect Spin to first appear in episode 4. And Veronica Mars alum Kyle Secor has been cast as the oft-referenced-but-as-yet-unseen father of Caitlin Snow (Danielle Panabaker). An extremely intelligent geneticist who has been MIA for decades, Dr. Thomas Snow will finally be introduced this season in a recurring capacity, and he will be “hiding a big secret” when he arrives. Fans remember that in the penultimate season four episode, Caitlin remembered a flashback from her childhood that her father knew she had metahuman powers long before the particle accelerator blew up, but she doesn’t know why or how. She’ll finally get answers about Killer Frost when her father returns, but who knows if she’ll be successful in saving her metahuman alter ego.
Crossover alert! | While not specifically about The Flash season five, some major crossover news was revealed this week. First, mark your calendars because this year’s epic crossover has been set: The Flash kicks things off Sunday, Dec. 9 at 8 p.m., continuing with Arrow on Monday, Dec. 10 at 8 p.m. and finishing with Supergirl on Tuesday, Dec. 11 at 8 p.m. (The Flash and Supergirl will swap nights temporarily for the crossover). Now for the exciting part: Tyler Hoechlin will return to reprise his role as Superman from Supergirl in all three episodes of the crossover. But wait, there’s more! The Arrow-verse will finally introduce his longtime love Lois Lane, and the iconic role is currently being cast. And don’t forget, with the crossover introducing Ruby Rose as lesbian superhero Batwoman with the potential to launch her own series, this year’s event is shaping up to be the biggest yet … despite its lack of alien invasions and nazis.
The Flash returns for season five on Tuesday, Oct. 9 on The CW.
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