The real villain of The Flash Season 5 may be hiding in plain sight. As Team Flash struggles to stop Cicada, a powerful metahuman serial killer, another more insidious force lurks in the shadows. While Cicada is certainly a formidable villain, it's his mentor Dr. Ambres that may pose a bigger threat to the Scarlet Speedster and his friends.
Played by Lossen Chambers, Dr. Ambres debuted in "The Death of Vibe," the third episode of Season 5. At first, she had a rather innocuous presence; after all, she was simply the doctor tending to Grace Gibbons, Cicada's niece and ward. Soon, however, it became clear that she had a major influence over him. Not only was she aware of his deadly activities, she actively supported and encouraged them. She was the one who planted the seed of the idea that metahumans were responsible for Grace's condition; worse, she blamed all of Central City's troubles on them. Since her introduction, she has encouraged him to seek out and kill metahumans, all while tending to the injuries he suffers during his confrontations with Team Flash.
In fact, Cicada has proved so effective at stamping out the metahuman threat that Ambres may go to great lengths to preserve her hold over him. Fortunately, the key to controlling him lies directly in her hands. After all, she is Grace's caretaker at the hospital. Since Cicada sees his mission as revenge for Grace, her health is his primary motivation. Like Barry pointed out in "Seeing Red," last week's episode, healing Grace may be just what they need to stop Cicada's rampage. As such, Grace's coma is in Ambres' best interest -- so much so that she might even be keeping Grace in a coma just to benefit from it.
At the red carpet for The Flash's 100th episode, Cicada actor Chris Klein warned viewers to keep an eye on Ambres. Asked how Cicada's dynamic with Ambres will develop, Klein told CBR, "The only thing that I can say about that is you better keep an eye on that doctor, because she could be a force to be reckoned with."
Notably, Ambres does not have an analogue in the comics -- or, at least, one that we know of. Almost every main character on The Flash is taken from the source material, regardless of how loosely they are adapted; further, every villain has been plucked from the comics. The fact that Ambres isn't a DC Comics character not only draws attention to her, but sets up interesting possibilities. For example, Season 5 could be her origin story, setting her up to be an all-new Big Bad. She could also become a recognizable Flash villain by the finale by assuming a new name.
Dr. Ambres is certainly a character to keep an eye on. With her resources and influence over Cicada, she maintains an insidious presence on The Flash. What's more, Klein's tease suggests she'll become part of the action -- and that could spell big trouble for Team Flash, who is unaware of this threat lurking in the shadows. Since this week's episode promises to take a look inside Grace's mind, it looks like we'll be getting answers about her sooner rather than later.
Airing Tuesdays at 8 p.m. ET/PT on The CW, The Flash stars Grant Gustin, Candice Patton, Carlos Valdes, Danielle Panabaker, Tom Cavanaugh, Jesse L. Martin, Danielle Nicolet, Hartley Sawyer and Jessica Parker Kennedy.