The Flash season 4 episode 1, from the very moment it started, was careful in reminding you that Barry Allen was gone from the picture. The opening narration was courtesy of one Iris West, and to go along with that we also saw both Kid Flash and also Vibe step into the role of designated crime-fighters. For the most part, they were doing a good job — at least until they ran into a new villain. We met a mysterious samurai at around seven minutes into the premiere, one with a magic sword and demands to see The Flash. If they don’t do that, this meant the destruction of Central City.
The good news is that Cisco has been working secretly on his plan to bring back Barry for a rather long time — as a matter of fact, he even has been working with Felicity and others in order to make sure that happens. (Is this confirmation that she is alive on Arrow? Seems that way.)
There was one other person who was a part of Cisco’s final plan to bring Barry back: Getting Caitlin on board. He found her working at a bar, and then convinced her (no longer in her Killer Frost state) to come back and join the team in some shape or form. Within a matter of minutes, she was at least reasonably close to the old Dr. Snow that we’ve come to love over time.
Did their plans work? At first, not so much — or so they thought. Iris was getting insanely frustrated over this given that she was the one who had the hardest time holding out hope that he would come back. Luckily, he did, but over time it was clear that this wasn’t quite the same Barry who they had come to know over time. He was different, he was struggling, and was suffering without the Speed Force and whatever happened to him. He was a little bit Good Will Hunting with all of the writing and scribbling he was doing — for Cisco, the latest struggle was trying to figure out how to bring the old Barry back from whoever this new Barry was.
Meanwhile, at the same time they still had that samurai to deal with. Wally tried to dress up as The Flash in order to try and live up to the “deal,” but that didn’t quite work. After that, Iris came up with another plan that had a certain degree of value to it: Turning up in front of the samurai at the time of his designated “showdown,” making it clear that she would be a worthy stand-in since Barry was not available. If she took him, The Flash would come for her. You would think Iris would have enough of putting her life on the line after what happened last season, but not so much!
Did Iris’ plan work?
As it turned out, it did! Conveniently right when time was running out he busted out of his trance, threw on that new costume Cisco designed, and took off in order to defeat the samurai before any more damage was done.
Here’s the big surprise in the end: There was no person under the mask. This horrifying creation was a robot, and this may be our first tease that The Thinker is out there already working to find ways to stop Barry. Ironically, in this instance he actually ended up enabling him.
The aftermath of this was all about some unanswered questions, but we didn’t quite get any answers to all of them tonight. What we did learn is that Caitlin still does have Killer Frost within her, but she’s figured out a way to fight it more … but not completely.
As for Barry and Iris, he was ready to move forward and have a future with her once more. Will everything be normal for them? It’s probably too early to tell, but that cliffhanger did offer your first look at both The Thinker and The Mechanic, who apparently wanted this to happen from the very beginning.
Let’s address some of the bigger issues almost right out of the gate here — The Flash did largely gloss over some of the cliffhangers from last season and Caitlin returned without a whole lot of convincing after being gone for so long.
Yet, we didn’t mind the show returning to some happier times rather than dwelling on the depressing at the end of last season.
What do you think about The Flash season 4 premiere?
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