While Marvel’s efforts to continue producing new content for television has expanded across multiple networks and streaming platforms, comics rival DC is wading into these waters with its own streaming service. Whether or not it works, however, matters little as their small screen stronghold at The CW remains firmly intact. The initial success of the so-called Arrowverse there is due largely to Arrow, the series about Oliver Queen (Stephen Amell) that premiered back in 2012. It’s continued success, however, owes everything to The Flash, in which the titular Barry Allen (Grant Gustin) protects the people of Central City from his fellow meta-humans with his ability to travel so fast that, on multiple occasions, the timeline itself has been altered. Such is the case for The Flash season 5, which premieres this week on The CW.
What is The Flash season 5 about?
In seasons past, executive producer extraordinaire Greg Berlanti’s take on the Scarlet Speedster has often pitted its hero (and his many allies) against other speeders. Sometimes, these mysterious villains were even alternate versions of The Flash himself.
Thankfully, Berlanti and company finally abandoned this trope in season four, when Team Flash confronted Clifford DeVoe (Neil Sandilands), a meta-human also known as The Thinker. His primary feature was his ability to practically out-think everyone (as opposed to his physical speed), which gave last season something new for audiences to chew on.
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The Flash season 5 is no different, for instead of having Barry and company take on yet another speedster - or even another meta-human, for that matter - they’re tasked with stopping a figure known as Cicada. In the comics, Cicada, whose real name was David Hersch, was a cult leader who took it upon himself to murder everyone the Flash had ever saved. The television show’s version of the character will be similar, though with a more meta-human-centric drive.
The Flash season 5 cast
Played by American Pie actor Chris Klein, the series describes its adaptation of Cicada as a “grizzled, blue-collar everyman whose family has been torn apart by metahumans.” As a result, “Cicada now seeks to exterminate the epidemic - one metahuman at a time.”
So instead of targeting those saved by the Flash, it seems this take on the antagonist will be aiming to wipe out Allen and others like him. This includes he and Iris West’s (Candice Patton) daughter from the future, Nora West-Allen (Jessica Parker Kennedy), who is a speedster just like her father.
So yes, while The Flash has demonstrably improved the variety of its villains since the first three seasons, it seems the show’s penchant for disrupting the story’s timeline to a potentially confusing degree still poses a problem for viewers who might not have been following along from the beginning.
Yet The Flash nonetheless remains one of DC and The CW’s most enjoyable programs on television, a fact that likely won’t be changing anytime soon.
The Flash season 5 release date
The Flash season 5 premieres Tuesday at 8 p.m. ET on The CW.