The Season 4 finale for The Flash saw the thrilling conclusion to the conflict against Clifford DeVoe (Neil Sandilands), aka The Thinker, but it also finally revealed the true identity of the Mystery Girl (Jessica Parker Kennedy). Her character has a clear-cut precedent in the comics, but The Flash changes her name on the TV show. So what gives?
Spoilers follow for the true identity of the Mystery Girl from The Flash Season 4.
In the final moments of the Season 4 finale, which aired Tuesday, the Mystery Girl shows up out of nowhere. She reveals that she’s the daughter of Barry (Grant Gustin) and Iris (Candice Patton) from the future, that she made some kind of “huge mistake,” and that her name is Nora West-Allen. Over in DC Comics, Barry’s daughter is actually named Dawn Allen and she has a twin brother named Don. This version of The Flash’s daughter, however, is totally different. In an interview published Tuesday with Entertainment Weekly, executive producer Todd Helbing explained the rationale behind the name change. “It was to pay homage to Barry’s mother,” Helbing said.
Helbing explained that it made more sense for them to honor the memory of Barry’s mother in this way rather than naming her Dawn. “It felt like if Barry and Iris were ever gonna have a child that would be female, that would be one of the names we brought up,” Helbing said. “The second that we talked to Jessica Parker Kennedy, we knew that people were gonna figure out pretty quickly who she was. So we had to put a little spin to make it a little bit different than what everybody was expecting.” So rather than a comics-based Easter egg, we got a surprising twist.
The most popular theory since the Mystery Girl’s first appearance did turn out to be correct. Naming her “Dawn” would feel pretty random within the context of the show, but naming her “Nora” makes a lot more sense.
Despite seldom appearing on The Flash, Barry’s mother — the first “Nora Allen” (Michelle Harrison) — has continued to be a huge presence in and influence on Barry’s life.
The show began with her death, and the first several seasons revolve around Barry not being able to get over the loss. After finally defeating Zoom in Season 2, he went back in time to save both his dead parents, which is what created Flashpoint. While in that alternate timeline, Barry spent a few blissful months living with them, but then reset the timeline, causing all sorts of problems for everyone. Most recently at the end of Season 3, Barry willingly sacrificed himself to the Speed Force, which manifested itself as Nora Allen — and it wasn’t the first time we’d seen that happen.
From the looks of it, Nora West-Allen’s name won’t be the only thing that’s changed from the comics. Dawn and her brother Don were born and raised in the 30th century after Barry had already died. And neither of the twins did much in the way of time-traveling. Instead, Nora West-Allen’s story seems like it borrows much more from Barry’s grandson Bart Allen, who travels back in time to save his grandfather and prevent a very specific disaster. This Nora did seemingly save Barry from dying, but at what cost? There’s really no telling what the future has in store for Nora on the show, but we’ll have to wait until Season 5 to find out.
The Flash Season 5 will probably debut sometime in October 2018.