Welcome back, Speedsters! For all of you who have been following along with Sid’s reviews, I’ll be taking point on The Flash from here on out. If you’re new to our DCTV coverage, these reviews can get pretty spoiler heavy. If you haven’t watched, and care about that sort of thing, this is your queue!
We return to Central City to find Team Flash trying to cope without Barry in town. Vibe and Wally still have jokes, Caitlin’s in some middle ground, Joe is still his kind, dad-ly self, but Iris has lost herself in ways very similar to Kara over on Supergirl. The moxy-filled reporter has morphed into a no-nonsense team leader who’s trying to keep her city safe in the stead of her fiancé, and everyone’s got hope in Barry’s return but her. Thankfully, it doesn’t take her long to get that hope back. Because, after all, strength means nothing without faith.
Cisco’s crazy scheme to get Barry back works, but he comes back more than a little A Beautiful Mind. Neither Cisco nor Caitlin can sort out what’s going on in that crazy smart (or possibly crazy) brain of his. Iris may not have the same kind of smarts as the rest of the team, but she’s still got that gumption. Giving herself up to the Samurai gives The Fastest Man Alive the nudge he needs out of insanity, and away he goes. Pretty sure they’d like us to just gloss over that he broke right out of the pipeline and took down the baddie like it was nothing. This is about hope, damnit!
While the weird Barry-God situation is happening, Caitlin’s not quite as fixed as we were lead to believe, and we meet The Thinker (the big bad), and he’s wanted Barry back in Central City all along. Odd choices like the pipeline and god comparisons aside, “The Flash Reborn” does exactly what a premier episode is supposed to.
The episode sets up the rest of the season, and reminds us just what we loved about The Flash before season three went sideways. The chemistry between the team is better than ever before, even with Caitlin and Cisco walking on eggshells with one another, and the jokes are back in full force. Even more than all that “The Flash Reborn” brings back the warm fuzzies with impending stakes just the way we like it.
There are other positive changes that came about with Barry’s absence. Namely, Iris’ ascension to a bona fide team leader instead of the floating helper that she was before. Despite her devastation over Barry’s loss, she ran the team like a well-oiled machine (or, as well-oiled of a machine that can exist in something that exists in the DCTV universe). It also looks to give Caitlin a more interesting story than she’s ever been granted in past seasons. We’re currently unclear on what she was doing with the shady individuals in the bar, but it can’t be great. Her lacking the control we were lead to believe she had means that they’re not just glossing over the issues of season three, either. The writers will have to play their cards right with that area of her story to pull it off, but for now it’s at least got the intrigue factor!
What did you think of The Flash’s season four opener? “The Flash Reborn” had some odd stuff here and there, but by and large they seem to have gotten themselves back on track. The comments are there for all of your thoughts and theories!