The summer hiatus may have barely begun, but we’ve already started getting some news regarding the fifth season of The Flash. This week, it was announced that Danielle Nicolet, Jessica Parker Kennedy, and Hartley Sawyer will be regulars next season.
Danielle Nicolet plays District Attorney Cecile Horton. She was briefly introduced to the audience in the first season. Over the last two years, her romantic relationship with Joe West made her a bigger part of the series. Last season, her pregnancy – and related metahuman powers – was a major subplot of the show. The birth of daughter Jenna in the finale was an emotional highlight of the hour. It also foreshadowed the introduction of Barry and Iris’s own daughter from the future.
Hartley Sawyer’s private detective / comic relief Ralph Dibny was a new addition to the show this last season. He proved to be a divisive one, as well. The amount of focus on his character – and his writing, particularly early on – angered many fans. However, when he was resurrected in the finale, it was clear they had more stories to tell with this character.
Nora (West-)Allen was the newest addition to the series last year. Dubbed the Mystery Girl, she popped up every so often to cryptically introduce herself to various members of the team. In fact, the only main character she didn’t meet until the end was Iris. This led fans to conclude that this interaction would be the most revealing, and that Mystery Girl was secretly Barry and Iris’s daughter. And, in fact, that was the case in the season finale, when Nora finally introduced herself by name and admitted she’d made a mistake. The nature of the mistake in question was the big cliffhanger of the season.
So what does this news mean for The Flash next season? Producer Todd Helbing has stated that the fifth season will be about family. And, of course, the West-Allen family will remain at the heart of the show. The increased prominence of Cecile and Nora speak to the show’s focus on family next year.
Helbing has also indicated that different characters will team up next season. Many fans are hoping that the show will branch out of the lab a little more, and a private detective might help them do it. Next season’s Big Bad is still a mystery, as well, so it’s unclear how Ralph’s character might tie into that story.
I think The Flash is at its best when it focuses on its emotional core, family, and the love that ties these characters together. I also can’t wait to see all of these characters outside of the lab a little more, since the show has tended to over-utilize that set in the past. (Do Cisco and Caitlin get to have personal lives more than one or two days a year? One can desperately hope.)
So while I’m not entirely sure what to expect of the main plots, this news makes me excited to see what the new season will bring!