This post contains spoilers for The Flash.
Team Flash is back, and they’ve brought the greatest needle drop in the history of the Arrowverse with them. Yes, that includes last season’s use of “Dragula”. It’s been about three months since the ashes of their child literally rained down on Barry and Iris. Grief will play an important role in this year’s season, motivating both our heroes and our villains.
With Nora gone, everyone’s just doing the best that they can. Barry’s buried himself in saving the city, Iris’ Central City Citizen now has hundreds of thousands of followers, Cisco’s still human, and Ralph’s still on his case. Team Flash lost a lot that day, but Caitlin suffered a staggering personal blow in the loss of her father as well. That, coupled with the funeral of her mentor make Killer Frost get a little stingy with her visits. Even when Caitlin’s life is threatened by a black hole.
It seems Ms. Snow will be playing a bigger role than we’ve seen in the past, which is exceptional news for this season. Not only does she have a personal relationship with this year’s big bad (Ramses, we’ll get to him in a sec), she and Killer Frost are finally being given a personal side to their story. With the loss of their father, and having to watch Caitlin’s friend suffer through the loss of her mother, Killer Frost has realized that she’s never really lived. She shows up, saves the day, and then hands the wheel back over to Caitlin. That’s all about to change in season six.
Now, onto that needle drop. It feels kind of strange to start things off in a villain of the week kind of territory, but it worked out for “Into the Void”. A YouTube scientist (yeah) broke himself a few years ago while making black holes in his room, and now black holes are popping up all throughout the city. The first one sucked up Iris’ purple jacket, a very important piece to XS’s costumer. The second nearly killed Caitlin while Frosty was refusing to come out and play. By the third, the team’s finally figured out how to fix the problem.
With the help of one of XS’s old gauntlets, Cisco’s able to retrofit The Flash’s costume (welcome back, chin strap) so he can survive the effects of the black hole. While running into danger, as The Flash is wont to, Queen’s “Flash Theme” finally played. Six seasons, y’all. Six! It’s probably good they waited this long, because the payoff was certainly worth it. Cisco also gets in a stellar Mission Impossible quote, giving Emilio the shout out he deserves.
Black hole’s vanquished, YouTube scientist’s saved, it looks like Killer Frost is going to start taking the wheel from time to time. Everything’s coming up Team Flash! Except they’re about to have a real frustrating time with their new big bad. Ramsey Rosso, Caitlin’s friend and colleague, is having quite the time dealing with the idea that sometimes the human body loses its fight. He knows how to stop it, but he requires dark matter to do so. Comic readers will recognize Rosso as Bloodwork, who it seems will remain pretty close to his comic book counterpart in the coming episodes. Sorry, ladies. Ramsey is about to get real unfortunate looking.
This season is going to be heavy. But it’s so nice to see that The Flash will keep leaning into the humor while difficult themes play out in the world they’ve created. In addition to their already devastating loss, Barry’s disappearance has now hopped up to December 10th of this year. Yes, that’s the crossover. The Monitor showed up and played his usual game. Interestingly enough, he also mentioned Barry’s death. Barry and Kara’s survival are a part of Oliver’s deal. The Monitor might play on the technicality that the deal was that they be saved from their idiotic “slow down the Earth” idea, but I have a hard time imagining Oliver Queen accepting that little stipulation.
Reviews this year are going to work a little differently than they have in the past. I’m here for the gauntlet of Arrowverse premieres, you’ll see me again for Crisis on Infinite Earths, and then finally for the finales. If you had thoughts on The Flash’s premiere, I want to hear ‘em in the comments!