The Flash Season 5 Episode 22 Review: Legacy

at .

Can my review be 1,000 crying emoji faces? Because I'm not sure I can muster words right now.

How can you love and hate an episode of television at the same time?

The Flash Season 5 Episode 22 had its fair share of predictable reveals and climatic letdowns, but the emotional character driven moments were some of the series' best.

Team Flash Braces For Impact

Everything that got resolved (or rather, unresolved) in "Legacy" begged the question: what exactly was the point?

Viewers got to meet Nora and watch as the West-Allens adjusted through the ups and downs of parenthood. It was a fun thing to witness, and it gave Candice Patton and Grant Gustin plenty of opportunities to flex their acting chops.

It just didn't do much to push the show forward.

Related: The Flash Season 5 Episode 20 Review: Gone Rogue

Nora and Cicada came and went without making too much of a mark, Thawne is alive, and Barry will not only still vanish, but vanish even sooner than anticipated.

For the first time in Flash history, the Team didn't defeat their Big Bad. Sure, they defeated Cicada, but Grace was never the orchestrator -- it was always Thawne pulling the strings.

Thawne Is Back! - The Flash Season 5 Episode 22

He may be as evil as they come, but Thawne’s right: he's the only speedster who knows how to get what he wants.

Watching Team Flash take such a major loss is a fresh idea -- it leaves things worse than how they started, which is a new take. It's a take that would have worked flawlessly in a 13 or 16 episode season.

Related: The Flash Season 5 Episode 19 Review: Snow Pack

Waiting around for 22 episodes only for Thawne to escape prison felt lackluster.

That's not to say his scenes weren't as electric as ever. Reverse Flash has been and always will be the best villain The Flash ever faces -- and Tom Cavanaugh still knows how to make him come alive.

He is truly a chilling character.

Most Formidable Nemesis - The Flash

For as much anger as they possessed, both Cicadas were underwhelming villains. Grace was certainly the more complex of the two, but even her aggressive desire to kill flatlined eventually.

Nora's plan to convince Child!Grace to take the cure was clever, but it's hard to believe not one other person on Team Flash could have thought of it earlier.

Which speaks to a vital flaw of the past few seasons in general -- where has the intelligence of Team Flash gone?

Flash Suits Up - The Flash Season 5 Episode 22

Watching Barry pick up that shard of wood and connect it to Cicada's whereabouts illuminated a spark of the intelligence and talent he once had as a CSI. It’s something we saw on a regular basis in The Flash Season 1 and The Flash Season 2.

Making those longshot connections is what Barry does, and it's frustrating how the writing now treats him like a dumb jock with fast legs. Barry is a brilliant human being.

Related: Arrow Season 7 Episode 22 Review: You Have Saved This City

Between Cisco, Caitlin, Barry, and two detectives, someone could have figured out the key to stopping Cicada was communicating with Child!Grace.

Nora can be endearing, but she has famously come up with horrible plans the entire season.

Sacrificing the integrity of certain characters to enhance another never goes over smoothly.

Does Team Flash Have The Manpower?

Audiences have been with these characters for five years now. They know them and expect certain things out them. That's not to say characters can't grow and evolve. Characters are even allowed to regress!

But there needs to be an explanation for that regression, a motive. It can't just be implemented to move the plot forward.

Cicada II’s death was an enticing scene, if for no other reason than Sarah Carter's dedicated performance to Grace's innate rage. Her disappearing felt a little too reminiscent of a certain Marvel movie, but the FX were impressive nonetheless.

Grace didn't feel so good.

Grace Comes To Kill - The Flash Season 5 Episode 22

It turns out neither did Nora, who also floated away after the destruction of the dagger jump-started a new timeline.

Again, the question becomes what the point of Nora was as a character other than to allow Barry and Iris to grow, and for Patton and Gustin to blow away people with incredible performances.

Related: Arrow Season 7 Episode 21 Review: Living Proof

When Nora decides not to tap into the negative speed force begets one of the best scenes The Flash has ever done. Period. The absolute raw terror and panic coming from both Gustin and Patton was so realistic I could feel the anxiety rising in my own chest.

The CW shows are meant to be glamorous -- everyone delivers lines in perfect cue, cries beautifully, and stays polished. Allowing Gustin, Patton, and Kennedy to have such messy dialogue in such an unpolished way gave a desperate realism to the moment.

That’s something rarely seen on this network.

WestAllen's Heart Breaks - The Flash Season 5 Episode 22

The fallout following Nora's death (or disappearance?) gave way to a plethora of more emotional moments for the West-Allens.

The shot of Iris standing alone in the lab was a beautiful directional choice.

Why was Nora's journal still there if she got erased, though? Sorry if I'm getting off topic.

Iris needing a moment alone planted an interesting idea -- what if Iris struggles with the loss of Nora next season?

Fans have been wanting Dark!Iris. What if the show delivers, but with a twist -- she's not evil, but mourning.

Allow Iris to become a closed off, destroyed version of herself temporarily. Patton would undoubtedly shine with the heavy material. 

Iris held herself together when Barry left for the speed force, but what happens when Iris truly unravels? Let's peel back more layers to a great character who could benefit from more nuance.

Iris Stunned But Beautiful - The Flash Season 5 Episode 22

It was Nora's time to go, and although the goodbye left me reaching for the tissues, it was more due to the performances than it was over Nora leaving. She was a fun character which allowed the Team to grow, but she wasn't meant to stick around forever.

Get HBO via Prime Video Channels for Addictive Dramas, Hilarious Comedies & Hit Movies

Iris should be pregnant with twins. Go back to the comic timeline. Let Barry's rambling mess about needing more diapers to come to fruition! Now is the time to start a family; the West-Allens are more of a unit than ever before. 

Barry: Thawne got away again. Nora's gone. It should feel like a loss but I also felt...
Iris: Pride?
Barry: Pride, yea.
Iris: She did good.
Barry: Yea.
Iris: She was the best of both of us.
Barry: She was my legacy all along. And all of us together as a family, that's how I want to be remembered. A good man, a loving husband, a supportive father.
Iris: You're already all those things.

If Iris does get pregnant, will the child be Nora? Or will they create a new life completely? Will Barry even be around after Crisis? Why does he still disappear if Oliver sacrifices himself instead? Shouldn't that mean Barry is safe?

In many ways, "Legacy" left viewers with more questions than answers.

Team Flash Looks On

In other ways, it answered questions in some of the most predictable ways it could.

All the big reveals got blatantly hinted at throughout the season, so there were no real stakes in any of the major climactic moments. It's continuity at its finest, but shock factor always makes things a little more fun.

Nora's numerous mistakes only left room for a sacrificial redemption. As soon as Joe got handed the task of dealing with the cure at CCPD, it was clear he would become Captain. Ruling for Thawne's execution automatically meant he would find a way to escape. Cisco was always going to take the cure.

Actually, let's talk about Cisco for a second.

Cisco Has The Key - The Flash Season 5 Episode 22

It's no secret Cisco is my favorite character on The Flash. I have written endless reviews about Valdes and his unbelievable talent. Cisco Ramon is, in many ways, the heart of the show -- his character maintains the balance between of heavy and light.

The Flash is known for that balance.

New Show Watch 2019-20: All New Shows Coming to The Big 5

So it's confusing why anyone would want him off the show.

Is that what happened?

Team Flash Prepares - The Flash Season 5 Episode 22

Anyone could see Cisco deciding to take the cure from a mile away -- those hints began dropping at the beginning of The Flash Season 5. It's a questionable writing decision, as it takes away a lot of growth from the character.

He may have had a difficult time with his powers in earlier seasons, but Cisco learning to adjust to his new normal became one of his best arcs to date.

Regardless, deciding to give up on Vibe is somewhat understandable. There is a basis for that decision. It doesn't explain, however, why he would want to leave Team Flash.

Cisco: I don't want the extraordinary thing about my life to be my powers.
Caitlin: No one feels that way.
Cisco: Here's the thing: I do.

The Flash Season 1 had Cisco as an integral member of the team, even when he was just a human scientist. Making suits and contraptions, solving puzzles -- those are the things Cisco has always lived for.

Why is he now choosing to walk away from that?

Of course, he didn't directly say he was leaving the Team, but his verbiage with Caitlin came off as a definitive goodbye; making a new suit for Killer Frost felt like a nail in the proverbial coffin.

Killer Frost The Secret Weapon

If that's the case, it's downright unbelievable they wouldn't give him a final scene with the rest of the Flash gang. Caitlin may be his best friend, but they're still a family -- something they remind people of regularly.

Cisco Ramon isn't just another Wells. He is a vital part of what makes The Flash so successful, and therefore, the proper care and time should go into his farewell.

Cancellation Scorecard 2018-19: Which Shows Are Dead?

That should have started by giving him a better The Flash Season 5 arc. If they weren't going to do that, they needed to dedicate more than 30 seconds to his exit.

I don't see how The Flash can keep its whimsy about it if Valdes exits. Ralph may be likable these days, but he can't carry the comical aspect of the entire series. Not like Cisco Ramon can.

Team Flash Faces Their Big Bad - The Flash Season 5 Episode 22

His final moments were vague, and The Flash Season 6 may give him the respect he's earned. If "Legacy" was the last we get of Valdes and Cisco, color me extremely disheartened by this show.

Kamilla was lovely and accepting of Cisco's life. She could have formed a solid female friendship with Iris and become a part of the Team. Team Flash could have gained a member.

Cisco this isn't about me, it's about you. If being Vibe is what you want, I would never get in the way of that.


Writers consistently underestimate the attachments fans make to characters who aren't main protagonists. It will never cease to amaze me.

At least Joe West will be back next season. And as Captain of the CCPD, he's right where he belongs.

With so many series regulars exiting, it feels as if The Flash Season 6 may be the show's final season.

With a new slew of writers, here's hoping they get back to basics. Let Barry be an intelligent hero, let West-Allens' love shine, allow for character development for all the main cast, and provide us with a story that keeps us on the edge of our seats. 

Bring back the soul of what The Flash once was. 

Team Flash Looks On

Random Thoughts:

  • The camera work and FX in this episode were truly outstanding. Possibly the best of the series.
  • I'm really interested to see what Killer Frost's new suit looks like.
  • Rumors are the chin strap will be returning to The Flash's suit next season: Hurrah!

Renewal Scorecard 2018-19: Which Shows are Coming Back?

  • Considering the lack of group fighting scenes this season, Team Flash against Thawne was epic to witness. Cisco may have gotten cheated, but Vibe's last battle had a huge payoff.
  • Sherloque may have been annoying, but his passing of the torch to Ralph "Giraffe" Dibney was exceptionally sweet.
Elongated Man and Sherloque: The Dynamic Duo - The Flash Season 5 Episode 22
  • It was also apparently Tom Cavanaugh's last season on the show. If that's true, Crisis On Infinite Earths could go two ways. He could make a guest appearance, or the next time we see Reverse Flash, he will be in his original form once again. Intrigue!
  • Nora may not be missed too much, but Jessica Parker Kennedy will be. She is a phenomenal actress who nailed any material she got.
  • Arow is ending after ten episodes this fall. With so many potential regulars are exiting the series and The Flash Season 6 sounding like it could be The Flash's last season, it feels like the end of an era. Let's go out with a bang, shall we?
The Flash and Reverse Flash Face To Face Season 5 Episode 22

Alright Flash Fanatics, over to you for the last time this season!

What did you think of the finale? Were you shocked by the reveals, or did you see most of them coming?

Were you sad to see Nora go?

Do you think Cisco is gone for good? If so, do you think his goodbye did the character justice?

What are you anticipating for Crisis On Infinite Earths?

Will The Flash Season 6 be the last season of The Flash, ever?

We may have to wait awhile for a new episode, but remember you can watch The Flash onlne all you want, right here at TV Fanatic!

It's been an absolute blast talking about all things Flash Fandom with you this year, and I can't wait to see what next season will bring us.

Legacy Review

Editor Rating: 3.5 / 5.0
  • 3.5 / 5.0
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
User Rating:

Rating: 4.3 / 5.0 (42 Votes)

Kat Pettibone is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter.

Show Comments
Tags: ,

The Flash Season 5 Episode 22 Quotes

Cisco this isn't about me, it's about you. If being Vibe is what you want, I would never get in the way of that.


Orlin: Destroy metahumans before they destroy the world.
Grace: They'll be born only to die.