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‘The Flash’ 5×16 recap: Forget Cicada – is THIS the real villain of Season 5?

WARNING: The following article contains spoilers from Season 5 Episode 16 of The Flash titled “Failure is an Orphan”. Do not read if you have not seen the episode or read ahead at your own risk.

For the majority of Season 5 of The Flash, Cicada has been the main villain — or so we thought. Tuesday’s episode revealed the season’s true villain and it was a surprise to everyone.

Nora (Jessica Parker Kennedy) travels to 2049 to tell Eobard Thawne/Reverse Flash (Tom Cavanagh) that the metahuman cure has been completed. Now, they will use it on Orlin/Cicada (Chris Klein) to dampen his lightning bolt dagger. But the bad news is that there is a new timeline trying to break its way through and the window is slowly closing.

“Something big, or someone is coming,” Thawne says.

Back in the present, Nora goes into warden mode at STAR Labs, urging the team to do whatever they can to find Cicada. The team found Nora’s constant worrying about finding Cicada so annoying that Barry (Grant Gustin) and Iris (Candace Patton) had to fake an emergency to get her out of their hair.

A real alert goes off, letting them know that there is a meta at the local college stealing and drinking acid (gross). Cisco (Carlos Valdes) later dubs him “Acid Master” and Nora soon realizes the Acid Master is the next meta Cicada will go after, thanks to a mark on the floor. She remembers back to a photo from 2049, when The Flash and Cicada last fought in public, and tells Barry that today is the day he confronts Cicada.

That night, Barry confronts Cicada, just like Nora saw in the newspaper headline. However, this did not go as planned. Cicada punches him, sending him flying onto a car. He was about to kill Barry until Killer Frost (Danielle Panabaker) comes in to save the day.

Joe (Jesse L. Martin) visits Barry at the CCPD and offers him some advice. Instead of thinking like a superhero, Joe tells him connect with Cicada on the level of a father. Speaking of Joe, he and Cecile (Danielle Nicolet) track down Orlin’s doctor, Dr. Vanessa Ambres (Lossen Chambers). They interrogate her and she informs them Grace (Islie Hirvonen) is also a meta because her forehead has been glowing recently.

The second meeting between Barry and Cicada is much more successful as Cicada is taken to STAR Labs for the cure injection. Orlin agrees to the cure and goes under while Caitlin and Dr. Ambres work on him.

Remember Reverse Flash’s warning that “something big” was coming? Well, another Cicada arrived and used some weird and more powerful powers to easily take down Barry, Cisco, Frost, and Cecile.

As the episode ends, we see Orlin being attended to at a cabin by new Cicada. She removes her mask and says: “I’ve missed you, Uncle Orlin….” That’s right! New Cicada is Grace as an adult (Sarah Carter)!

What did you make of the episode? Let me know in the comments below!

The Flash airs Tuesdays at 8/7c on The CW.

Written by Stephen Anderson

Stephen Anderson is a journalist, host, social media coordinator, and entertainment reporter. In January 2014, he began working with Reality Box U.K., one of the fastest-growing entertainment websites in Britain. While working overseas, Anderson has covered some of the biggest television shows in both the U.K. and the United States, including “Big Brother,” “The Voice” and “Dancing With The Stars” -- and has connected with TV personalities, public figures

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