Tonight marked the return of CW’s The Flash. Season 3 ended with an emotional and tearful goodbye as Barry sacrificed himself to save Central City and his loved ones. The cost of going back in time to save his mother in Season 2 led him to this point. This mistake meant he was to spend the rest of his days in the Speed Force to keep it balanced. Leading up to this sacrifice, the Star Labs’ crew dealt with a lot throughout the course of the season. Whether it was fighting Savitar, changing the timeline to prevent Iris’ death, or ultimately losing H.R. in the process, they went through the wringer. Season 3 ended with Barry gone, and a new Team Flash that had to learn to protect a world without him.
Synopsis: Season 4 begins with a powerful armored villain threatening to level Central City if the Flash doesn’t appear, so Cisco makes a risky decision to break Barry out of the speed force. But the Barry that comes out isn’t the same Barry that went in. (TVGuide)
Writer: Andrew Kreisberg
Director: Glen Winter
Running Time: 43 minutes
In the season 4 premiere of The Flash, aptly named “The Flash Reborn”, we were reminded what we truly loved about this show. Coming off a rough third season, this was very much needed and tonight made up for it!
It’s been six months since Barry went into the Speed Force, but Central City is not without its villains. The new Team Flash aka Team Kid Flash aka Team Vibe is left facing the evil in Barry’s absence. The episode opens to Cisco, Wally, and Joe chasing after a metahuman named Peek-a-Boo. With Iris in charge, and their full effort they succeed in capturing her.
What was great about the premiere was the fact that Iris has taken charge of the team. In past seasons, she’s usually the character hanging out in the background, and not contributing much. Tonight’s episode gave her a chance to shine and really kick some ass (even if she is heartbroken that Barry is gone). The episode didn’t spend too much time on her sadness, either, which personally was great. For every sad moment lost in thoughts of Barry, there would be a scene to distract from the gloom and doom of the situation.
The premiere revolves around the appearance of a futuristic samurai who is seeking…The Flash. He gives the team only 24 hours to to deliver him, otherwise Central City will be toast. Given that Barry has been in the Speed Force, this proved to be quite difficult. However, Cisco comes to the rescue as he has spent the last six months creating a machine that may be able to bring Barry back. Iris is NOT happy to hear the news (mostly, because she does not want to get her hopes up), and tells Cisco to abandon his idea. But has that ever stopped him before? NOPE.
Desperate to bring Barry back, because let’s be honest Central City REALLY needs him, Cisco finds Caitlin and asks her to rejoin the team. Leaving her Killer Frost days behind her (sort of?), she agrees to join Team Flash again. The gang immediately gets to work with the newly modified Speed Force Bazooka, which will leave a piece of Barry’s DNA in the Speed Force in place of him and thereby, keep it from destroying the world. They get it working only for it to shut down and fail..or so we think. Within moments of this, a portal opens elsewhere and a naked Barry comes running out.
However, it appears Barry isn’t the same Barry that went into the Speed Force. When the team reunites with him at the police station, they find him blubbering nonsense and completely beside himself. He even mistakes Iris for Nora. Awkward. It seems that his time in the Speed Force has scattered his brains. The return of this version of Barry has everyone bummed and searching for the answers that will bring him back.
Meanwhile, the samurai’s 24 hour deadline has ended and he is ready for the Flash. In hopes that being captured will wake Barry up from this state, Iris turns herself over to the samurai. Joe frantically runs to Barry’s cell and utters the words, “Iris is going to die”. And lo and behold, finding out the love of his life is in danger immediately breaks Barry out of his Beautiful Mind like state. Putting on his new suit, he sped off to save Iris and save the day as the Flash we all know and love. Upon defeating the samurai, Barry pulls off his mask to find that it isn’t a person underneath there, but an android. Or as Cisco named it, “Samuroid”. His dying words to Barry were, “Flash, Welcome Home.” Hmmm..did someone plan this?!
The episode closes out with a reveal (as they often do). We find out that the man behind the futuristic samurai was…The Thinker (Neil Sandilands). And when asked what will he do next, he mysteriously answers, “I’m thinking.”
All in all, the season 4 premiere of The Flash was a great start to what will hopefully be a great season. We’ve put the mistakes of Season 3 behind us and sort of forgiven them for butchering Flashpoint. Now, we look ahead into season 4 as the team prepares to face an enemy of a different sort. And perhaps along the way, FINALLY see a Barry/West wedding!