The Flash Season 5?: When it airs, how to watch, and everything we know so far
Eobard Thawne has escaped and is again on the loose, Nora has vanished, and Vibe is no more. Here's how to watch what's coming next!
The last season of The Flash gave us a lot of great moments. We got to meet and get to know Barry and Iris's daughter Nora—also known by her speedster name as XS—only to have our hearts broken in the finale. The season also gave us a glimpse of the upcoming season's Arrowverse altering event—The Monitor and Crisis on Infinite Earths. Batwoman even made an appearance in the Elseworlds crossover event. Let's catch you up on last season, what we know about the upcoming season 6, and how you can stream it.
- What's next?
- How to watch if you've cut the cord
- What happened last season?
When is Season 6 of The Flash airing?
Season 6 of The Flash will premiere on Oct. 8 at 8 p.m. Eastern The CW.
If you are a cable subscriber, then you likely will be able to catch it via your local channels. The CW is also on top satellite providers; however, due to various regional restrictions, this channel may be blocked for you. So before you rely on your traditional TV programming provider to actually air The CW in your home, it's best to give them a call to confirm.
Other options to catch The Flash live, or after the fact, is to check out streaming services that offer live TV like YouTube TV, AT&T TV NOW, and Hulu. All of these services give you a chance to catch the Flash when it airs live on Tuesdays; alternatively, you can set up your cloud DVR with them and record the show to watch at your convenience.
How to watch if you've cut the cord
Watching the CW is easy if you have cut the cord. All the shows from the CW are available on their website . However, the entire back catalog for The Flash isn't there. But you can catch up on all the past seasons on Netflix. (opens in new tab) The CW does offer an app for nearly every mobile platform, even on devices for streaming directly through your television.
ON YOUR TELEVISION
- Android TV
- Apple TV
- Xbox One
- Amazon Fire TV
ON YOUR MOBILE DEVICE
- Amazon Fire
Run Barry, Run
Speeding into season 6 and Hulu has it live
This is the Hulu we have known and loved for years with 60+ live channels. They also throw in local channels as well as a cloud DVR. We get all we need to be sure we get to see the Flash as he takes down the latest threat.
Team Flash is ready to go
You can catch the scarlet speedster live on YouTube TV
YouTube TV offers nets you a whole host of channels — 70+ actually — that includes all the top sports channels, HGTV, and locals. With DVR function available, even if you miss The Flash live you can still catch the whole crew when you get time.
Be ready to watch the crisis unfold
Season 6 is here — catch it on AT&T Now
ATT&T TV NOW comes with 45+ channels along with HBO. You will get everything from ESPN, FX, TBS, and of course The CW along with HBO included — the service even includes local channels.
As a fan of the show from the start, I can tell you that I am very excited for what's to come in Season 6. Between resolving our grief in the loss of Nora/XS and the shift in the show's format, it definitely sets up to be an exciting series.
The upcoming season is going to be a bit different in format from the previous seasons. It will be picking up immediately from the end of Season 5. This means the loss of Nora will be fresh for everyone, as will the acceptance that Cisco is no longer a meta. There are 22 ordered episodes for the Flash, and the plan is to have two self-contained "graphic novels" play out. Each half will have its own "Big Bad" to contend with. The division of the seasons will occur around this year's crossover event, which will separate the first half's primary villain — Bloodwork. The second half will be centered around the "Crisis on Infinite Earths" arc.
Bloodwork is the evil alter ego of Ramsey Rosso, played by Sendhil Ramamurthy — most recognized from Heroes . Ramsey is a former colleague of Caitlin's and is a brilliant oncology researcher. Though unclear yet as to how it happens, but Dr. Rosso turns mad scientist and gains the ability to control blood in any way he sees fit—usually the evil way.
Crisis on Infinite Earths has been getting set up since the first season of The Flash . The Crisis on Infinite Earths series, as the name states, has significant ramifications coming to the Multiverse. The central characters of this series is the Monitor, which we met in the season 5 Elseworld's crossover, and the Anti-Monitor playing the villain. The Anti-Monitor, in the comic series, has a goal of destroying much of reality across the Multiverse and ruling what's left—yet we don't know if that is precisely the plan for the Flash.
As for the sixth season's cast, we get to see all of our regulars back, aside from Vibe as Cisco since he took the cure last season. It's also been revealed that we get another version of Harrison Wells, this one is described as very sensual. Tom Cavanagh, who has played all iterations of Wells, is also going to play a central piece in the Crisis on Infinite Earths as Pariah. There are plenty of recurring characters from previous season again like Wally and Kammilla, as well as some new faces I'm sure. The Flash is also going to be getting a new version of his scarlet suit, and Iris will be sporting a new natural curly hairdo.
Season 5 - Elseworlds crossover
While most of the crossovers don't do much to progress the main plot of any of the single shows that are in play ( Arrow , Flash , Supergirl , and Legends of Tomorrow ), they are fun. This season's crossover, called Elseworlds was no different. In it we get some pretty interesting villains, as well as some previously unseen heroes. We of course get all of our show's superheroes, but this time we also got Clark Kent/Superman, Lois Lane, and Batwoman. The latter of which has her own series out this fall.
The biggest thing we got from this crossover event was the Mar Novu/Monitor and his prophecy of what's to come. We learn that he's testing worlds for an upcoming cataclysmic event. During peak battle with evils, Oliver Queen/Arrow must give something to Novu in exchange to save Barry and Kara. We don't get to find out exactly what that was, but it will surely play into the next seasons for each show, especially as it is the final season for Arrow. As the final episode of Elseworlds come to a close we get the line "Worlds will live, worlds will die, and the universe will never be the same."
How did we get here? - Season 5 recap
If you are fully caught up on what went down last season then feel free to skip on ahead to season 6 to see what we know for next season. However, if you want a refresher then this recap is for you.
Here are some links to help navigate through the season 5 breakdown.
- Hi, I'm Nora—your daughter.
- Meet Cicada.
- The death of Vibe.
- Parenting is hard.
- Iris and Nora build bridges.
- Caitlins finds her father.
- A tour through time.
- Barry is pushed to the brink.
- In your head.
- Iris tracks down Cicada.
- Sherloque in love.
- King Shark Vs. Gorilla Grod
- Take one down, get another.
- Coming clean.
- The birth of XS.
- Nora turns negative.
- Is it cold in here?
- Seeing red.
- It's time to make a move.
- I hate goodbyes.
Hi, I'm Nora — your daughter
We come into the fifth season of the Flash following the takedown of the satellites from Clifford DeVoe — i.e., The Thinker. Barry is helped to destroy one of the falling satellites by a mysterious speedster with purple and yellow lightning. While at a party celebrating Joe and Cecile coming home with baby Jena, there is a knock at the door, and it's a woman—the speedster. She comes in to reveal that she is Barry and Iris' daughter, Nora, named after Barry's mom. Nora tells everyone that she is from the future where she is also a speedster by the name of XS, A nickname she got from Iris as a kid who always did things in excess. The problem they now face is that Nora can't seem to travel back to her time. With some potentially severe repercussions on the timeline(s) the team knows they have to get Nora back to her time as soon as possible.
After running a few tests on Nora back at S.T.A.R. Labs, the team — with some help from the Legends of Tomorrow via Wally — they learn that her system is flooded with negative tachyons. These negative tachyons are what is preventing her from running fast enough to return to her time. A new metahuman named Gridlock shows up and attempts to take down a plane. Nora reveals the Flash ring that harnesses a new suit for Barry, and the team is off to save the day. Utilizing their phasing ability, Flash and XS pass the flying plane through the oncoming buildings so it can land safely on the water. After catching Gridlock, during transport to prison, the truck is stopped by a hooded figure. Once the guards are dispatched the back of the truck is ripped open, and the figure approaches Gridlock. When asked what he wants the man — to become known as Cicada — says he plans to get rid of all metas, and then kills Gridlock with a lightning bolt-shaped dagger. Barry asks Nora why she was there she says that he never returned after 2024, as the newspaper crisis that Gideon references. This is why Nora traveled back to meet her father.
The Flash and XS meet Cicada
To spend more time with her father, Nora gets hired to work with him at C.C.P.D. and Barry finds that training his very enthusiastic daughter is a frustrating task. While Barry and Nora grow closer, Iris struggles to make headway in her relationship with her daughter. Cisco is still dealing with his relationship that ended with Gypsy. Struggling to move on Ralph and Cait try to help, Ralph employing his book of foolproof methods to Cisco chagrin. Caitlin is presented with more information that her father is in fact, still alive. Ralph presses Cait to explore this to reunite with her Dad and possibly find a way to bring back Killer Frost. In a battle with the meta Block, the team has their first encounter with Cicada and his dagger that removes their powers. During the battle, he severely cuts Vibe on his hand and nearly ends Flash before XS shows up, and sirens in the background scare him off. Nora reveals that Cicada is a dangerous baddie from the Flash museum, but that he's early and shouldn't be there yet—revealing that the timeline is already shifting.
The death of Vibe
The team reaches out to the multiverse to find a new Wells, and they get Harrison Sherloque Wells — a famed detective from Earth-221. Sherloque has caught Cicada 37 times across the multiverse who was always named David Hersch. We find out the shift in the timeline caused by Nora also shifted the person who is Cicada on Earth-1. Cicada tracks down Joe and attacks him at home in an attempt to lure out Vibe, and it works. Cisco gets there in time to save Joe but when he breaches in Cicada tackles him back through it just as Flash gets there. The breach puts the pair into a forest somewhere.
By the time the team can find them, Vibe has seriously been injured in the fight. The Flash tries to fight off Cicada but with his powers dampened by the dagger he fails. Nora sets off an explosion that makes Cicada and thinks that Vibe is killed, only Cisco manages to breach to safety. After some investigation and interrogation of Cait's Mom, Caitlin and Ralph break into her files and find a suicide note from Cait's father. Only upon looking closer she finds that it's a hidden message to reveal he's alive and for her to come to find him. Cicada visits a hospital to reveal his niece in a coma. Nora knows of the vault within the lab as well as how to access Gideon, though this she's sending reports to someone — but who? Sherloque notices some irregularity in Nora's behavior and begins to suspect something doesn't add up in her reason to be in their time.
Parenting is hard.
While battling one of Iris' former colleagues from her writing days, Spencer Young, it's discovered that parts of the destroyed satellite from season 4 have the ability to give not just people but items meta powers. Iris and Nora's relationship continues to be strained, and when finally confronted about it, Nora reveals that in the future, Iris puts a power dampening chip in her to stop her growing powers. She also tells Iris that she is cold and distant from her leading to believe that their future relationship isn't great either.
Iris and Nora build bridges
While investigating a new meta named Rag Doll, Barry is captured and cuffed in power dampening cuffs (unbeknownst to Rag Doll of their abilities) on a rooftop and held hostage. When Ralph and Iris go to save Barry, he is pushed off the roof. To save him, Iris leaps from the building to get to Barry and remove his cuffs, and in the nick of time, she does. This allows his powers to return—saving them both. The move scares and impresses Nora that Iris would sacrifice herself like that to save Barry, proving to be the catalyst in helping to build back a relationship between the two.
Caitlin's not alone
Following clues as to the whereabouts of Caitlin's father, she, Cisco, and Barry find him in a secret facility in the arctic. After bringing him back to S.T.A.R. Labs, they learn that Cait and her father, Thomas, developed their icy powers while trying to treat an ALS gene they carry. However, Thomas says he is dying because he never developed his own alter ego as Cait did in Killer Frost. Suspicious of Thomas, Cisco heads back to the frozen facility to dig up some info. While there he finds out that in-fact the man back at the lab is the alter ego posing as Thomas to get Caitlin to "cure" the human part of him away. Under pressure, Icicle emerges and attempts to kill the team with sub-zero temperatures. With her ice genes, Cait is unaffected, and Killer Frost returns battling Icicle away and saving the team.
After learning the identity of Cicada's niece, Grace, Barry goes to see her at the hospital only to be turned away by Dr. Ambres. Dr. Ambres knows that Grace's uncle is Cicada and is protecting him, even supports his efforts to rid the world of metas — though he is one as well. Sherloque and Ralph investigate the sound that Cicada makes and determine it is from a respirator. With further investigation the track down the identity of its wearer to find that it's Orlin Dwyer. We find out in a flashback that Orlin had adopted Grace (Gracie as Orlin calls her) after her mother dies. While out at a carnival the two are hit by debris from DeVoe's satellite explosion putting Gracie in a coma and Orlin with a piece that soon becomes his dagger. This event proves to become the origin of Orlin's blame and hatred for metas.
A tour through time
The team thinks they have a plan to stop Cicada but need specific parts that can only be found in the past. In a last-ditch effort to create this weapon, Nora and a reluctant Barry go back to the night of the particle accelerator explosion, they confront Eobard Thawne to help them. While in the vault at S.T.A.R. Labs, Gideon is able to capture dark matter from the explosion to the weapon. Barry reveals to Nora that Thawne is the one who killed his mother, Nora's grandmother. Returning to the present, the team's plan to stop Cicada briefly works only to fail at the end, when he escapes again.
Nora later goes back to 2049 and confronts Eobard Thawne in prison, the mysterious person she's been reporting to through Gideon, after learning that he killed her grandmother. She tells him she refuses to work with him any longer, only to later return and reluctantly agree to continue helping him knowing he only has an hour to live. Cisco's hand is still badly hurt since it reinjures every time he vibes. While examining his hand, Cait discovers there are microscopic shards of Cicada's dagger in the cut that is preventing healing. They are also dampening his meta powers. They learn that they can create a "cure" for metas but agree that it must be a choice, never forced on anyone.
Barry is pushed to the brink
Cicada is back to killing metahumans seemingly from an arrest log that could only come from C.C.P.D. In a battle with Cicada, Nora gets paralyzed, and her speed healing is drastically slowed. The team finds a pattern in the attacks and are able to confront Cicada again. Furious that he had gravely injured Nora, Flash is prepared to kill Cicada. Thankfully XS has regained her powers and convinces him not to, once again allowing Cicada to escape. Sherloque continuing his investigation of Nora comes across her journal with handwriting he doesn't understand but notices two different writing styles furthering his suspicion of her.
In your head
A new plan to get to Cicada is by appealing to his heart by waking up Grace from her coma. Utilizing Sherloque's memory machine from Earth-221, they are going to enter Gracie's memories. In an attempt to hide any possible connections to Thawne, Nora goes against the team and enters Grace's mind alone. While trying to convince Grace that she needs to wake up and help stop her uncle Nora finds out that Grace is aware and supporting Orlin's actions. Grace's mind grows increasingly aggressive thinking that Nora is a liar, a female Cicada appears and attacks Nora. Barry and Iris enter Nora's mind and are able to save her, but still unable to wake up Grace. In an attempt to get the people of Central City to help in tracking down Cicada, Iris starts a news blog called the Central City Citizen. Nora tells the team that it wasn't supposed to be formed until 2021, showing even more changes to the timeline.
Iris tracks down Cicada
Once complete, Barry decides that the meta cure needs to be used on Cicada. Iris puts her investigative reporting skills to good use and pursues Orlin by finding where he lives and going in alone. He comes home to find her, while she does her best not to be discovered for who she is—he is not convinced. While they struggle and fight, Iris does find his weakness, and after stabbing him, she escapes. When the team goes back to get him, he has left.
Sherloque in love
Sherloque's constant suspicion of Nora has her worried enough that she confides in Thawne. He convinces her that she needs to throw him off, she does so by helping Sherloque fall in love. After a couple of encounters and as feelings grow between Sherloque and his new love interest, Renee Adler, he finds that she is also a meta. Now with even more on the line, he dives deeper into finding a way to stop Cicada and protect Renee. Though not entirely falling away from his suspicion of Nora, he notices some symbols during a team meeting that leads him to decode her journal and reveal a phrase, "the timeline is malleable."
King Shark Vs. Gorilla Grod
We get a long-awaited battle between King Shark and Gorilla Grod, but before barry injects the cure into King Shark — Shay Lamden — without his consent. While the cure did work, it wasn't entirely suppressing his metagenes. After using his mind control to get Caitlin and Cisco to steal a telepathy crown to enhance his abilities, Grod intends to use this control to take over the city. Shay, in an attempt to make amends with the crimes he committed while King Shark, decides the only way to stop Grod is for King Shark to fight him off — forgoing his chance to remain human. With the cure complete the team decides to offer it to Orlin directly.
Take one down, get another
Returning to 2049, Nora gains more urgency to stop Cicada when Thawne shows her that a new timeline is trying to emerge with even worse implications should she fail. Joe and Cecile catch up to Orlin and Gracie's doctor, Dr. Ambres, to see what they can find. Now is when they discover that Grace is now a metahuman as well. When the Flash reveals this to Cicada and proposes he take the cure to save himself and Gracie, he agrees. After administering the cure at S.T.A.R. Labs with Dr. Ambres assisting, the lab is attacked by a second Cicada who kidnaps Orlin and takes him to a cabin in the woods. Where she unmasks, and we find that she is Gracie all grown up.
Adult Grace is from a future and has been working to continue her uncle Orlin's mission of eradicating all metas. She came back in time using the stolen Time Sphere, which she stole from the S.T.A.R. Labs storage in the future. In the present, Orlin is no longer Cicada, and Cicada 2 is still fighting to end metahumans. She has decided to target the meta who had caused the explosion, though accidentally, that killed Grace's parents. Team Flash stops her, and Orlin tries to get her to stop with the mission, Grace is infuriated and kills him.
After Nora tells Thawne about the second Cicada, he tells her that she must tell her parents and the team about their relationship. However, before she can, Sherloque finds the connection to the Thawne and the language in Nora's journal. Deducing that Thawne is the person she has been talking to, Sherloque exposes Nora before she can come clean. Barry, deeply hurt, locks Nora in the pipeline while he sorts out the situation.
The birth of XS
We finally get some back story on Nora and how she gained the relationship with Thawne as well as realizing her powers were being dampened. In her future, while working as a forensic scientist she and her best friend/co-worker, they encounter two speedsters — August Heart (ie, Godspeed) and Thawne. While trying to investigate/stop Godspeed, Nora gets hit, and while being treated, she discovers the chip that Iris implanted to stop her powers. Incensed at her mother and dealing with the newfound powers which she can yet to control, she tries to stop Godspeed. However, while he is tearing through the city, he kills Nora's best friend. With nowhere to turn, Nora turns to Thawne for help. His guidance allows her to defeat Godspeed and control her powers. He also leads her to the Time Vault where she finds out that the Flash was her father.
Nora turns negative
Iris still feels guilty for the way she treated Nora in the future and decides to release Nora from the pipeline. Barry is still hurt and feels that he can no longer trust Nora, so he sends her back to her time. He tells her that if she should try to come back, he'll feel it in the time force. Before going back to his time, Barry makes a pitstop to see Thawne. Barry's decision to take Nora back without consulting Iris causes a rift between them and Iris decides to take the Time Sphere to 2049 to find Nora. Nora, desperate to get back to her father, asks Thawne to teach her how to get back without detection. The only way to go back is to use the Negative Speed Force, but to do so, she must tap into her anger and rage. After failing the first attempt, Iris confronts Nora and Thawne only angering Nora further as she doesn't feel like her family cares any longer—so she enters the Negative Speed Force and is gone. Thawne tells Iris he shouldn't have done this and that she must save her family.
Is it cold in here?
Caitlin's father, Icicle, steals a cryo-atomizer and kidnaps Cait and her mother, Carla. He plans to use the tech to remove their human side so they can live happily ever after as their frozen alter egos. Killer Frost emerges to fight Icicle while Flash saves her mother, who has secretly been turned into a meta without the team knowing. Icicle, on the verge of killing Cait, has his human side (Thomas) emerge and stop him. However, after kidnapping her younger self, Cicada arrives to steal the tech for her use. In a fight with Killer Frost, Cicada throws her dagger and before it can kill Caitlin, Thomas sacrifices himself to save his daughter.
After emerging from the Negative Speed Force, Nora—with her glowing red eyes reminiscent of the Reverse Flash — has teamed up with some baddies. They plan to steal some tech that Nora wants to use to destroy Cicada's dagger, specifically a mirror gun. During the heist, her team turns on her, and she has to be saved by Team Flash. Back at S.T.A.R. Labs, Nora and her parents repair their relationship, and Nora agrees to abandon Thawne's plan. However, Barry still wants to use the gun to stop Cicada. Unfortunately, Cicada has stolen a version of Cisco's cure that can target and kill metas. She is going to weaponize the cryo-atomizer she stole to disperse the "cure" and kill all the metas.
It's time to make a move
Once the team has learned of Cicada's plan, they decide to gather all the metas to C.C.P.D. and give them the actual cure, saving them from the atomizer. When Sherloque tries to get his love, Renee, to take the cure she refuses. The only way for him to save her now is to send her away to his Earth. Cicada gets the final piece that she needs to finish her weapon, and Nora reveals she is still connected to Gracie's memories. The team agrees the must use this to locate Cicada so they can stop her. Using the Negative Speed Force, she finds Cicada just as she gets to C.C.P.D. Using the dagger to draw the dark energy from the metas housed there, she powers the atomizer. Team Flash battles Cicada trying to buy time for Cisco to disable the weapon.
Ralph feels that there is more happening than purely Cicada being evil; he senses that Thawne has something at play as well. Ralph realizes that the dagger is the key just as Flash is about to shoot it with the Mirror Gun. As this happens, we see that Thawne has run out of time and is strapped to the execution chair, with Cicada's dagger removing his powers. Ralph dives in front of the shot from the mirror gun to save the dagger, only to be hit himself. Thankfully his stretchy powers keep him from being killed, only turning himself inside out. After some work, the team finds a solution and reverse him back to normal with a vibe from Cisco.
After Thawne's plan is exposed, Nora comes up with a plan to stop Cicada without destroying the dagger. The team tracks Cicada to a cabin in the woods and luring her out they send her to a trap at S.T.A.R. Labs long enough for Nora to try to enter Gracie's memories. While there Nora gains her trust and convinces Gracie to take the cure, thus erasing future Cicada. However, the shard that lodged into Gracie's head, causing the coma counters the cure. Just before Cicada can kill Nora, Barry shoots it with the Mirror Gun—erasing it. With the dagger gone, it erases Cicada and the dagger from 2049 — restoring Thawne's powers.
Thawne returns to the presents and fights the team. Flash and XS are able to stop him; however, Nora begins to disappear. Thawne tells them that without a dagger, a new timeline is forming, one that removes Nora. He tells them the only way to save her is for Nora to return to the Negative Speed Force. Knowing what that will do to her, she refuses to turn into Thawne. While hugging her parents, Nora is erased — Thawne escapes.
I hate goodbyes
Sherloque says his goodbyes and returns to his Earth to find Renee. With a major decision to make, Cisco ultimately decides to take the meta cure and be normal. Captain Singh gets promoted to chief of police and decides to promote Joe to Captain—oh, and he tells Barry he knows he's the Flash. While grieving the loss of their daughter, they find that she has left them a message, they also discover that the future newspaper in the Time Vault has changed. The date of the paper that said the Flash disappeared went from 2024 to 2019.
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