By Mario Wario
Warning: this article contains spoilers for season 4, episode 1 of The Flash.
As quickly a bolt of lightning can strike any surface (or hit a clock tower), the Flash, with his super speed, returns to The CW for a fourth time. Ever since the series premiered in 2014, the viewers have seen the young Barry Allen grow into his powers, while trying to have a normal life. Just as with the Spider-Man character (I know, that’s Marvel), it is easy to relate to the Flash, in terms of how normal he can be without his powers. He didn’t start rich nor did he have it easy as he grew up before becoming the hero we all know today.
Last year The Flash went with a darker theme, which felt weird compared to the first two seasons, which had a more positive outlook. Overall, what made the show fun to watch (besides the cast and certain plot points) was its lightheartedness. So, with “The Flash Reborn,” the show had the task of not only setting up the new storyline, but also recapturing that important piece that the show was lacking. And I believe it did just that, albeit with some minor issues popping up along the way.
First to the problems. By bringing back the Flash so soon, I felt that there was a missed opportunity to flesh out the team some more, especially with the Kid Flash. For instance, now that our main hero has returned like a Jedi to save the city once again, Kid Flash is back to being second on the speedster depth chart. In the fantasy football universe, he is only a stash in deeper leagues, unless Barry goes missing. My other gripe is how easy it was to get the team back together, saving Barry, and having to jump-start his mind in the process. For instance, wasn’t a certain character being next to him enough to get his motor running again like a Porsche 911 GT3? That this person being in trouble was the key to Barry’s true return? I am having trouble believing that. The special effects were also hit and miss, although being a TV show, rather than a feature film, I will give it some freedom in this arena.
Now to what I liked.
The very beginning of the episode, where the team is going after a teleporting metahuman with Iris leading the way from S.T.A.R. Labs., was a blast to watch. Cisco as Vibe and Wally as Kid Flash stole the show, due to how witty both were on-screen. Keiynan Lonsdale and Carlos Valdes looked like kids playing super heroes (literally) in a backyard. Continuing with the performances, Candice Patton, Jesse Martin, and Grant Gustin all did a fine job, too—mainly, their emotions were believable. Likewise, Danielle Panabaker and how her character handled certain situations was also very believable. The villains, such as the Samurai android called Samuroid (I can see Robert Downey Jr. having fun with this name) did enough to be treated as a threat. Viewers were also introduced to the Thinker, and I cannot wait to see how the writers handle this character this season. However, I will say that he sure looked like he belonged in the Doctor Who universe. Finally, this episode did what it needed to do, which was to make things feel much more cheerful than in the previous season, and that is a win. So, unless things change, that important piece of The Flash is there again.
So, while “The Flash Reborn” episode wasn’t perfect, I believe it still had enough enjoyable moments to be a fine season premiere. With the new villain about to show his true intentions, the Flash Team getting their mojo back, and that happy vibe making its comeback, I say that it is time to buckle up and enjoy the ride! Good to see you back Flash!
Want to talk about this show some more? Just click here to see the TV discussion thread on the FoCC forum. Until next time!