In 2014, both television audiences and avid fans were introduced to the CW’s adaptation of DC Comics’ Scarlet Speedster in The Flash.
The first season had a perfect origin story: CSI Barry Allen was struck by lightning, gradually becoming a superhero in his journey with metahuman abilities used to save Central City from those with similar abilities that threatened it, culminating to the face-off with his arch enemy: The Reverse Flash.
The second season opened the door to the multiverse, introducing many more metas and characters like Earth-2 Harrison “Harry” Wells, his daughter Jessie, Earth-2 Killer Frost, and Zoom, a sinister speedster bent on stealing Barry’s powers.
The third season, the darkest of them all, showed the consequences of Barry’s selfish choice in traveling through time to save his mother. This resulted in bringing out the Killer Frost in Caitlin and the further manipulation of everyone’s lives, especially the impending death of Barry’s love Iris West, at the hands of the speed God Savitar.
It all ended with Barry sacrificing himself to the Speedforce, leaving both the characters and audiences in wonder of where things will go from here…
Team Flash continues to thrive, but are simultaneously missing Barry in the six months he’s been gone, Iris especially.
Candice Patton said this in an interview with TV Guide:
“She’s definitely suppressing a lot of emotions about Barry’s absence and him leaving and not really consulting her […] She’s forced to deal with that anger and resentment and abandonment by kind of focusing on protecting Central City…We’re seeing a very different Iris, almost a very hardened Iris.”
Although I, in my opinion, don’t think Iris should feel this way since Barry didn’t have much of a choice and saved Central City in his sacrifice, Barry’s decision was quite immediate. Not all options were considered, and even though we don’t know what the future holds, the world will likely survive without Barry being in the Speedforce because, as seen at the end of the trailer, they will be getting him out anyway. Regardless, it’s these emotions that are really going to strengthen the character of Iris this season because she is so independent.
Speaking of Barry and the Speedforce, it will have a grand effect on his character. In episodes like The Runway Dinosaur in Season 2 and Into the Speedforce in Season 3, his visit was only momentary, yet felt like eternity. Six months of eternity is a different story.
Grant Gustin said in an interview with Comicbook.com that even though we won’t see Barry’s experience within the Speedforce, “we’ll see kind of the effects that the Speed Force has had on Barry[…].” He goes on to say that he suspects, “Barry has experienced his entire life from start to end infinity times over since he’s been in there.”
What really interests me is that Grant says:
“He’s going to have kind of an awakening when he comes out. He’s going to have some knowledge that he probably doesn’t even quite understand yet. He’ll also be little scrambled; He won’t really be himself the first time we see him […] It’s almost like a fresh start for me as an actor.”
To think we’ll see a brand new Barry Allen (makes sense since the first episode is titled The Flash Reborn) is amazing. It’s almost as if Grant will be playing a seasoned superhero instead of one going through so many trials and tribulations.
Grant also said in his interview, the scripts have lines that reflect Barry is now, “able to cope and move on in a way that he never was able to in the past,” giving him the opportunity to “let go and have more of that fun we had initially in season one.” Candice juxtaposes this with what she said in her interview: that Barry and Iris “have communication issues” and audiences will “see them work through those.”
A changed Iris and Barry will make for some interesting character interactions next season because both are on such different wavelengths. Barry will return with everlasting hope, but Iris will contest that in being rational, yet charged by her emotions. The last we saw this happen was when Barry returned from the Speedforce in Season 2 in the episode Invincible, but I imagine it will be taken to another level. In fact, seeing all these characters interact in the new light they’re in is something to look forward to…
Todd Helbing himself said that Season 3, although he loves it, had “doom and gloom” that became heavy and almost a burden. He also said Season 3 is “about as dark as I ever want to go with the show,” and when it comes to season 4:
“I think that was a conscious effort of ours to really go back to everybody enjoyed being on this team and with each other, and make The Flash have fun again. I’m really excited about the scripts so far; they’re really, really funny.”
What do you think Season 4 is going to be like? How will Wally and Cisco continue to grow as superheroes? How will the Caitlin/Killer Frost dynamic continue to be played with? What’s the next version of Harrison Wells we will be getting? Let us know on Twitter @GeekMotivation and follow for more news like this!