In The Flash 5×04 “News Flash,” we learned why Nora is so angry at Iris. But why would Iris do such a thing to her daughter? We have theories.
At last, The Flash finally revealed what has been causing Nora’s coldness toward her mother — but not before she became outright insulting. Present-day Iris has been trying to understand what is going on with her future daughter, and Nora, in a fit of rage, revealed that Iris implanted a power dampener in her and lied about her abilities.
Nora only learned that she is a speedster six months ago, which explains her inexperience compared to her father. It should not be surprising that not long after learning she had abilities Nora traveled back in time to meet her father — and perhaps learn from him.
However, she seemingly left before giving her mother a chance to explain why she did what she did. She tells present Iris that future Iris did it to control her, but both present-day Iris and Barry decide future Iris must have had a good reason to do what she did. Barry stands by Iris’ side, which Nora takes as a huge betrayal.
Knowing Iris the way we do, we, like Barry, have to assume Iris would have a good reason to suppress such a core component of her daughter’s identity and lie about it. So, what might that reason be?
We have a few theories:
Nora comes from the A.R.G.U.S.-controlled future that hunts metas
In Legends of Tomorrow season 2, the Legends recruit hacker Zari Tomaz to their team. When they travel to 2042 to find her, they find a future in which A.R.G.U.S. has taken control of the United States and placed the country essentially under martial law. A.R.G.U.S. banned religion (which is significant for Zari because she is Muslim) and passed extremely anti-metahuman laws.
If The Flash is taking this timeline as the future Nora has grown up in, then it would make sense for Iris to suppress Nora’s meta abilities — she would be protecting her daughter from A.R.G.U.S., which abducted, imprisoned, and even executed metas.
However, Arrow has already said it is not taking the futures Legends establishes as its own future; it’s unclear whether The Flash will be doing the same.
Iris wanted to protect Nora after Barry disappeared
With Barry disappearing in the Crisis and never returning, it’s understandable that future Iris might be so heartbroken at losing her husband that she would do anything to avoid losing her daughter as well.
Nora is like her father in many ways, so future Iris could likely imagine a scenario when a speedster Nora would do something crazy to try to save her father. After all, how many times did Barry do something like that (cough, Flashpoint, cough)?
A mother desperate to hold onto the family she has left could explain (though not excuse! Nora’s anger seems quite justified) future Iris’ actions.
The Speed Force is killing Nora
In the DC comics, Bart Allen, aka Impulse (Barry and Iris’ grandson), was negatively impacted by his connection to the Speed Force. His metabolism was hyper-accelerated, causing him to age unnaturally fast; at the age of 2, he already appeared 12 years old. This would have caused him to die quite young.
When none of the attempts to compensate for or correct this issue worked, Iris took Bart back to the present where the current Flash, Wally West, used an extreme burst of speed to shock Bart’s metabolism back to normal.
If Nora were suffering from some health issue caused by her connection to the Speed Force, a la Impulse, it would be logical for future Iris to protect Nora by suppressing her powers. This would literally be saving her life.
Of course, there is also the possibility that Nora is right and Iris did just want to control her daughter — but I doubt it.
The Flash airs Tuesdays at 8:00 p.m. ET on The CW.