In 'The Flash' Season 5 Episode 4, 'News Flash,' Superhero Clickbait Incites Blog War

If there's one lesson to learn from The Flash, it's that you don't travel back in time (more than a few years) without a good reason. It's been fun to watch Barry run around with is future daughter no questions asked, but the jig is up. The Flash Season 5 episode 4, "News Flash," explains the whole thing. Spoilers ahead.

Last episode, the new Wells (a.k.a. Sherloque) confronted Nora about why she really traveled back in time three decades. He asked if someone influenced her to come. That someone could have been a brother (such as the Tornado Twins), but the real reason is much more devastating. Nora claims her whole life was a life. Iris supposedly put a suppressor chip in her chest to prevent metahuman powers and there's a scar to prove it.

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'The Flash' Season 5 episode 4, "News Flash." CW

The reveal explains why Nora isn't too fond of her mother and is so eager to train; she only found out she's a metahuman six months ago. To make matters worse, Barry says he supports every decision Iris makes in the past present or future, which rightfully pissed Nora off. Iris is still devastated about this whole situation even with Barry's support. The dynamic is so bad Nora goes to sleep at Joe's and Cecile's house instead of staying at Barry and Iris' loft.

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'The Flash' Season 5 episode 4, "News Flash." CW

But the wrath of Spencer Young (played by Kiana Madeira) distracted Nora from divulging any more info. Spencer was an intern at the Central Central City Picture News during Iris's tenure. Iris says she "didn't last long" because she wanted to get famous, even if it meant crossing the line. That turns out to be true in present day as well. On her blog app, called "Spyn Zone," Spencer wirtes metahuman clickbait. In the world of The Flash, that means she creates crimes for metahumans to stop all so she can film it and get the story up before anyone else.

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Spencer Young runs Spyn Zone, the most popular news app in Central City. CW

A few developments on Cicada tie into Spencer's appearance. The team discovers Cicada got his powers through the satellite explosion during the night of The Thinker's Enlightenment last season. The reason this version of Cicada has a different identity than the multiverse's other 36 versions is because of Nora's time travel. The satellite debris, contained with dark matter because of The Thinker, hit someone other than David Hersch. In that same moment, Barry also realizes the Enlightenment created "meta-tech" (as if technology wasn't frightening enough). This theory stays true to the episode's opening where Spencer's phone gets hit by the satellite as she records the incident.

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Iris changes the name of her blog from The Streak Lives to Saved by The Flash. CW

The capacity of meta-tech is still unclear, and there's no telling how many other people have access to it, but its existence explains how Spencer managed to get the best of XS and Barry. Whenever a screen was in proximity, Spencer used it to hypnotize them with the news headlines from her blog. Technically speaking, Spencer is not a metahuman, but she can control them. This means meta-tech is just as much a threat as metahumans themselves.

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Iris West-Allen pens this Central City Citizen article in the future. CW

Candice Patton's performance carries the episode, and with good reason. "News Flash" was crucial to set up Iris West's journalism career. Spencer's blog is should be the healthy competition Iris needs to take her own blog (Saved By The Flash) to the next level. Between Spencer's fake news spreading around Central City and her own daughter taking shots at her low social media following and "outdated" web design, Iris would be remiss not to bolster her reputation (possibly how the Central City Citizen comes to fruition?)

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'The Flash' Season 5 episode 4, "News Flash." CW

Amid all the family drama, "News Flash" took some hints from Legends as overall absurdity goes, though not with as much finesse. Barry is terrible at sports, apparently. Iris needs to practice her lightning bolt-shaped pancakes recipe. And Nora's flirt game is strong (with Spencer, to Iris' dismay).

  • If Iris din't tell Nora about the chip, who did?
  • If Nora has only had her powers for six months, how is she already considered the "guardian of central city" in the future?
  • I hope Kiana Madeira's character sticks around.

The Flash airs Tuesdays at 8 p.m. EDT on The CW.