During The Flash‘s midseason finale, we learned that Nora has been conspiring with Eobard Thawne, aka the Reverse-Flash, behind her parents’ backs. Even after she finds out that he’s responsible for her grandmother’s death, she continues to work with him. Why would Nora even think about teaming up with her father’s worst enemy? And what does the Reverse-Flash get out of working with Nora?
Nora’s on a Mission to Save Her Father
As we already know, Nora grew up without Barry because he disappeared in a future crisis. The sole reason she comes to the present is to prevent her father’s disappearance. But she needs help to figure out how to save him. (She’s still a novice speedster after all.) That’s where Thawne comes in. It’s likely he was the one who taught her how to time travel in the first place.
Thawne has spent years as Barry’s archenemy, traveling throughout time to battle him. He’s even mentioned in the future newspaper covering the crisis. The article mentions that Thawne led an army of shadow demons against the heroes involved in the crisis. It also states that both the Flash and the Reverse-Flash “disappeared in an explosion of light.” So, Thawne has to know how or why Barry disappeared. And if he knows that, then he must know how to stop Barry from vanishing, making him the perfect ally for Nora.
Nora knows about Thawne’s history with her father, so why would she go to him for help in the year 2049? It may be because Thawne has been able to cheat death more than once. In the Season 1 finale, his ancestor Eddie shot himself to erase Thawne from existence. In Season 2 of Legends of Tomorrow, another version of Thawne is killed by the Black Flash because he continued to exist after Eddie’s death. Thawne always manages to come back. In fact, Season 5’s version of Thawne is the same Thawne from Season 1 of The Flash. No wonder Nora thinks he can help her father escape “death.”
What’s in It for the Reverse-Flash?
It’s not like Thawne to want to help someone, especially the Flash’s daughter, so why is he doing it? It could have something to do with the countdown clock seen outside of his cell in Iron Heights. It’s counting down to something; we just don’t know what yet. His execution, perhaps? Helping Nora change Barry’s future could change Thawne’s as well, meaning he’ll likely get out of prison — or even skip it altogether.
Thawne expresses what seems like remorse for his evil past and pleads with Nora to help him change his legacy. Is it possible that he wants to atone for his sins and turn over a new leaf? We know Thawne’s been a deceptive man, especially during his time masquerading as Harrison Wells. He fooled Team Flash into thinking he was someone that he wasn’t, and even acted as a mentor to Barry, teaching him how to become faster. In the end, he betrayed their trust to meet his own agenda, hurting them in the process. He could easily be doing the same to Nora, and it wouldn’t be the first time. Like when he conveniently neglected to tell Nora that he murdered her grandmother — in front of her father.
During her time in the present, Nora has been sending Thawne notes written in the “Speed Force Language” through Gideon. Until recently, we didn’t know what any of it meant. During Sherloque‘s ongoing investigation of Nora, he manages to secretly translate some of it to “The timeline is malleable.” It appears that Nora, in theory, can change certain events in the timeline without completely breaking it. She could be telling Thawne about what’s happening in the present, so he can instruct her on how to change it.
In the last episode, Thawne even tells Nora how to alter the present in small, specific ways to keep Sherloque from uncovering their alliance. Thanks to her minor alterations, Sherloque ends up meeting Renee Adler and becomes too preoccupied with winning her affections to focus on investigating Nora. Thawne’s clearly manipulating the timeline to his benefit.
How Will Their Alliance Play Out?
We can almost guarantee that Nora’s team-up with the Reverse-Flash will backfire in some way. At the end of the Elseworlds crossover, we learned that Crisis on Infinite Earths, the crisis where Barry is supposed to disappear, will air this fall 2019. But he isn’t supposed to disappear until 2024. It appears that Nora and Thawne’s time-meddling ways will accelerate the very event that Nora desperately wants to prevent.
Whatever happens, we can bet that it’s the result of Thawne taking advantage of Nora’s desire to save her father. We don’t know what Thawne’s endgame is, but it definitely won’t work in Team Flash’s favor. We can only hope that Barry and Iris will learn of their daughter’s unlikely alliance with this madman before it’s too late.