Every daughter keeps secrets from her dad, but sneaking out at night or stealing pocket change doesn't quite compare to working with your father's arch-nemesis to complete a mysterious time-traveling mission. Then again, that's just life in the West-Allen family.
The Flash recently revealed that Nora (Jessica Parker Kennedy) has secretly partnered up with the Reverse Flash (Tom Cavanagh) in the future, but the reasons behind that team up are still unknown. We'd like to believe that Nora has the best of intentions, but we doubt Barry (Grant Gustin) and the rest of Team Flash will see it that way when and if they discover who she's working with.
TV Guide spoke to The Flash showrunner Todd Helbing to find out when and how we'll discover Nora's true motives and how Thawne's role in the murder of Barry's mother will shift their dynamic moving forward.
How soon are we going to start learning about the context of the partnership Nora has formed with Eobard Thawne?
Todd Helbing: We get the dynamic pretty quickly. You sort of learn what their relationship is and how Thawne has helped her personally, and then we go back to them quite a bit in the back half of the season so you'll slowly start to get the full picture of how everything came to be. We want to do sort of a flash-forward, flashback episode, where you get the complete picture.
How will the knowledge that Thawne killed Barry's mom change the dynamic between Thawne and Nora?
Helbing: I think that whole experience in [Episode] 508 gave her the full picture — or 90 percent of the picture — of Thawne, and sort of the torment of the way he disrupted Barry's life and just the evil nature of this guy. So yeah, it shifts a lot. We deal with that in Episode 10. I think even Thawne's a little shocked that she didn't know that that was the case. It definitely puts a dent in their relationship in a big way.
In regards to that flash-forward, flashback episode, can you tease what we're going to see from young Nora? We did see a young version of her in The Flash museum in the trailer.
Helbing: That one, in particular, is a really fun episode. It's Barry and Iris and Nora... They're in the same place but different at the same time, and so they're experiences are different, which is fun.
Whenever Nora's secret partnership does get revealed to Team Flash, how can we expect them to react to the news that she's been working with Barry's arch-nemesis?
Helbing: Again, after Episode 8, now that she has a much more detailed explanation and understanding of what and who Thawne is and how he's played into the lives of Team Flash, Nora's not too quick to explain that she's working with this guy. She's doing her best to try to hide it, but Sherloque, he knew something was off with her story since day one. So he is slowly starting to put the pieces together. It's a race between the two of them before Team Flash is going to discover what's happening.
We know Nora's going to get pretty seriously injured by Cicada in upcoming episodes, so how do Barry and Iris handle that as parents?
Helbing: You know, Barry went through that same thing in Season 2 when Zoom broke his back, so it's just now he's on the other side of it. He's on the Henry (John Wesley Shipp) side. It's a little bit different once you become a parent, the emotional response to your child getting injured versus when you get injured. Everything's amped up quite a bit. The anger, the vengeful feelings, all of that is at 11 with Barry and Iris. But then like with every scenario we put these guys in, it speaks to their relationship. The great thing about Iris and Barry is when one of them is sort of unhinged, the other one is the calming side of it. So you just get to see them and how they react as parents and how they help each other.
Do we get to see Barry put himself in Cicada's shoes since being vengeful over his child's injury is kind of what Cicada is going through too?
Helbing: That's a big thing that we're dealing with this season, legacy and parenting and how people respond to the same sort of scenarios. Ultimately, it's Barry and Cicada as fathers and how they view the world and how their daughters influence their lives. There's a lot of parallels between the two, it's just one takes a darker road than the other.
Is there any room for redemption for Cicada or has he passed the point of no return?
Helbing: Well, it's not like we can have them stop this guy and him not pay for - there's got to be consequences, he's murdering people. But you should feel conflicted because I think everybody can understand his ire. It's just maybe not the best way to deal with it? Going around murdering people... I think there's part of him that can be redeemed for sure, but there's got to be consequences to his actions.
Now that we know Killer Frost is impervious to his powers is she kind of their secret weapon in this fight against him?
Helbing: Yeah, there's a lot of fights with this dude in the future, so having Killer Frost around certainly comes in handy. She will play a pivotal part in his future.
What can you say about Caitlin's journey to find and save her father and where that storyline is headed next
Helbing: We'll definitely see Icicle again, and she needs to come to terms with exactly what he did to her. Not only is it sort of the end to her wondering about her father, it also plays a huge role in the meta-human cure storyline.
Danielle Panabaker is slated to direct an episode this season, can you preview anything about that?
Helbing: We're breaking that story right now. It's going to be a really cool episode and I think it's a story that Danielle will crush. We're all excited. She's about as smart as they get, so I have all the faith in the world that she'll knock it out of the park.
The Flash returns Tuesday, Jan. 15 at 8/7c on The CW.
(Disclosure: TV Guide is owned by CBS, The CW's parent company.)