Panabaker, better known for playing Caitlin Snow / Killer Frost on the series, takes the directorial chair for the first time in the series’ five-year run.
Godspeed’s voice, when the character is wearing his speedster costume, is provided by the award winning actor BD Wong. While many people will recognise the actor from playing Dr. Henry Wu in the Jurassic Park / Jurassic World film franchise, Wong is also known for his work on “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit,” “Gotham” and “Mr. Robot.”
A strange aspect of how Godspeed is presented in this episode is that he is shown as a villain for this one episode. If this is the case, the casting of Wong to voice the character is questionable. Wong, an accomplished actor in his own right, would not be voicing Godspeed if this is a one-off appearance. With Wong voicing the character, it is highly likely Godspeed will show up in future episodes.
What is the episode about?
With a teleplay co-written by Judalina Neira and Kelly Wheeler, “Godspeed” fills in much of Nora West-Allen’s (Jessica Parker Kennedy) backstory. The episode picks immediately after the closing scenes of “Time Bomb.”
In the closing scene of the Rob Greenlea-directed “Time Bomb,” Sherloque Wells (Tom Cavanagh) shed light on Nora’s secret. To everyone’s surprise, Nora was working with an imprisoned Eobard Thawne (Cavanagh).
References to series premiere
The opening scene, set in 2049, is a direct reference to the 2014 David Nutter-directed series premiere where the running joke is Barry Allen is the fastest man alive but he is late to everything. If you compare the opening scenes from both the pilot episode and “Godspeed,” the sequences match perfectly.
Do you remember how Barry got his powers? In the series premiere, Barry is shown getting his powers from being hit by lightning. The lightning strike from Godspeed that hits Nora does not her speedster powers as much as it reveals the existence of a meta-human dampening chip embedded under a scar. This scene does mirror certain aspects of the one in which Barry receives his powers.
Like Barry in the pilot episode, Nora crashes into a shelving until full of various chemicals. Another reference to the series premiere is the Lady Gaga song Poker Face. In the Nutter-directed episode, Cisco Ramon (Carlos Valdes) insists on playing over Caitlin’s objections.
In “Godspeed,” after being knocked out, Nora wakes up to the same song being played.
Nora learns about her powers in almost the same way Barry did in the series premiere. She catches the power dampening chip the same way Barry catches the coffee cup in Jitters.
There are still laundry trucks in 2049. Soon after discovering she has powers, Nora crashes into the back of an open laundry truck. This mirrors exactly what transpires in the pilot episode when Barry accidentally runs into the back of an open laundry truck.
References to earlier episodes in the series
Does Nora’s lab look at all familiar? It should. While it looks more like an Apple Store than a crime lab, it is the same lab Barry uses in present day.
The mystery board Lia (Kathryn Gallagher) pulls into view is reminiscent of the one Barry uses during the first season to investigate his mother’s murder.
While some of Nora’s dialogue sounds familiar, you are not experiencing déjà vu, Barry said many of the same things during the first and second seasons of “The Flash.”
Even though she does not know it at the time, the purple speedster Nora speaks of during this episode is her mother, Iris. In the fourth season Harry Jierjian-directed episode “Run, Iris, Run,” Iris gains Barry’s speed when the team fights a bus meta. This meta can swap people’s DNA.
Godspeed kills Lia in the same way the Reverse Flash (Cavanagh) kills Barry’s mother.
Heart was a Mercury Labs intern. Mercury Labs was significant in the first two seasons of the series.
In “Godspeed,” Heart is trying to create a version of Velocity-9 that does not have the negative side effects we saw in the second season.
If you cast your mind back to the season two Ralph Hemecker-directed episode “Legends of Today,” at Caitlin’s insistence, Jay Garrick / The Flash (Teddy Sears) took Velocity 6 to extract a bullet from Dr. Harry Wells’ (Cavanagh) chest after he mistakenly identified by Patty Spivot (Shantel VanSanten) as Earth-1 Harrison Wells and is subsequently shot.
Nora talks Thawne in to training her. He trains her in the same way he was seen training Barry in the first season. In this episode, Thawne gives Nora the same phasing speech he gave to Barry during the first season.
While Barry was able to phase successfully, Nora could not bring herself to do it. She did not have the confidence in herself Barry had. This changes after she meets her father. With Barry’s help, in the fifth season premiere “Nora,” she is able to phase. Interestingly, Barry uses the same words Thawne used with him to get Nora to successfully achieve phasing.
Nora learns Godspeed is performing his experiments at the Tracy Brand Building. Tracy Brand, played by Anne Dudek, appeared in four episodes back in season three. Brand, a former Central City University student, is an ally of Team Flash. Her speciality is theoretical physics.
During the first season, Iris was a blogger. By 2049, the Central City Citizen will go from being a standalone newspaper to being a fully fledged media organisation.
Reference to other DC related material
Once Nora finally arrives at the crime scene, we see the Dayton truck. “Doom Patrol” fans will likely recognise Dayton as being a reference to Steve Dayton / Mento.
Dayton, played by Will Kemp, made an appearance in the 2019 Chris Manley-directed “Doom Patrol” episode “Doom Patrol Patrol” in which the series plays homage to the OG comic book “Doom Patrol” from the golden age of comics.
Did you recognise Dexter Myles’ voice?, It is “Star Trek: Voyager” alumnus Robert Picardo. Myles is The Flash Museum curator in the comics. In the future, Thawne becomes the curator. Hopefully we will get to physically see Myles in a future episode.
Nora bumps into August Heart (Kindall Charters) when she is conducting research at The Flash Museum. At this point in the episode, she is unaware Heart is Godspeed.
Did you happen to notice Heart’s date of birth? It’s 16 Aug. 2021. This is a direct reference to Heart’s first appearance in The Flash: Rebirth #1 – …Doomed To Repeat It…. This edition of The Flash: Rebirth comics was released in August 2016.
While he spectrum of lightening types includes Iris’ colour, there are a few not present. Green, orange and white lightening are not part of the display.
One argument for this is that the producers were trying to simplify the spectrum for the benefit of the series narrative.
In a reference to the Firestorm comics, Nora goes to Ollins Laboratories. This is the lab that was testing various drugs on an individual which consequently gave them powers and turned them into villainous Goldenrod. Dr. Bruce Bonwitt (Andy Thompson), the person Nora visits in this episode, was the principle scientist in that particular storyline.
In a reference to his comic book Rebirth storyline, the reason Heart is dismissed from Mercury Labs is that he was performing unsanctioned experiments. He was forcing tachyon stimulants on no fewer than 17 people. During “The Flash: Rebirth” storyline, there is a storm where numerous individuals acquire speedster abilities. Godspeed kills them all to take their speed for himself.
When Nora says she wants to use her newly found powers to fight crime, Lia calls her Flash Woman and Lady Flash. People familiar with the comics will know Christina Alexandrova / Lady Flash is the name of a speedster.
She was from the now former Soviet Union. Flash Woman is a member of a failed Soviet attempt to create a speedster group known as Blue Trinity.
Flash Woman made her first appearance in The Flash #7 – Red Trinity.
In another reference to the Firestorm comics, Nora speaks of the villains Bug and Byte. Both Bug and Byte made their first appearance in The Fury of Firestorm #23 – Byte!.
Foreshadowing future episodes
There are subtle references foreshadowing next year’s multi-series crossover event “Crisis on Infinite Earths.” The message from Barry to his daughter, for instance, shows a close-up of his face. There is a reason we cannot see Barry’s costume. The producers probably do not want us to see which costume Barry is wearing until later in the season.
Thawne’s Flash ring is on display in The Flash Museum with his costume. Nora takes the ring to gains access to the Time Volt. The volt contains many items from previous seasons. In addition to costumes for Vibe, Killer Frost and Kid Flash, there is at least three different Flash rings containing different versions of the icon Flash costume. At least two of these rings contain future versions of the costume.
She picks up a box labelled Flash Suit Version 16. With the box having Choi Industries on it, this indicates Ryan Choi was responsible for the Flash ring design. Choi, the further version of The Atom, might appear in future episodes. This is the ring Nora gives to her father in the fifth season premiere.