Spoilers for those who have not caught up with season 3 of The Flash. It’s your own fault if you read on.
The end of The Flash season 3 saw Barry sacrifice himself to the speed force in order to save Central City and the world. After the defeat of Savitar, Iris and the rest of Team Flash will have to regroup quickly as new villains are closing in. The newest trailer released this past weekend at Comic-Con, along with cast announcements, and it provides some insight into what we can expect heading into season 4 this October.
First off, the premiere episode of season 4 is titled “Rebirth“. This name is a straight rip from the comic series by Geoff Johns, albeit the plot line will be different. Plotwise, it has been rumored by fans that it will focus more on the “rebirth” of Barry Allen and his escape from the speed force. The Comic-Con trailer confirms this, along with providing some further information on this season’s villains.
Fans of The Flash may have recognized the villain in the trailer, which was a Samurai wielding electric swords, as Baron Katana. He commanded a robot army of samurai called Samuroids, which come equipped with jet packs, electrified swords, and nearly indestructible armor. In the Rebirth storyline, these robots were picked up by The Penguin, who sent them to kill Bruce Wayne. They were eventually defeated by the Jay Garrick Flash by shorting out their control system. While the villain in the trailer is clearly Baron Kitana, the story line will surely be changed for the CW series.
The trailer sees Cisco and the rest of team Flash at the drag strip in an attempt to what seems like trying to rescue Barry from the speed force. Using a suped-up version of one of their guns, Cisco fires an energy beam after getting a signal lock. We are made to assume that this signal lock is Barry. At an earlier point in the trailer we see Cisco and the team walk into Star Labs and Cisco frustrated on why their plan didn’t work. It takes place after they show Baron Kitana, but I don’t believe it is referencing him. It is a teaser trailer after all, and I believe it is referring to their effort to rescue Barry from the speed force. It would make sense considering the details. Baron Kitana tells the team to bring him The Flash or their city will crumble. With Barry in the speed force, the only other option is Wally taking up the scarlet cowl. Evidence of this with pictures of Wally on set wearing The Flash costume backs it up (see here and here), and will most likely act as a bridge until Barry is rescued.
This will lead into the season long villain story arc with The Thinker, who is the first non-speedster to serve as Barry’s main foe. The Thinker, aka Clifford Davoe, was foreshadowed twice in season three. The first was by Abradacabra when he was speaking with Barry about the enemies he’d defeated. At the time, Davoe had not yet appeared on the show. The second was by Savitar Barry in Star Labs when he pointed out that they developed the neural inhibitor to stop Davoe. When the team asked ”Who?”, Savitar replied that they hadn’t gotten there yet. The Thinker has been confirmed already by the CW, and his role will be played by Neil Sandilands from the 100. The tagline for the season is “The fastest man alive vs. the fastest mind alive”, and pits Barry’s speed against Davoe’s superior intellect. The Thinker is able to use his power to control other people’s minds, which allows him to compete with The Flash’s speed. After all, if not for this power, Barry could simply speed right up to him and it would be game over.
There were two other cast announcements made at the Comic-Con panel, and one was pretty interesting. Danny Trejo (From Dusk Til Dawn, Spy Kids) will play Breacher. He is an inter-dimensional bounty hunter as well as the father of Gypsy, Cisco’s new found love interest. It goes without saying that Trejo, as imposing as he is, won’t be too happy about an interdimensional traveler falling in love with his daughter.
The second was Kim Engelbrecht (Dominion), who will play the role of the Mechanic. This is basically DC’s version of the Tinkerer, which was just seen in Spider-man: Homecoming. She’s an incredibly genius engineer who helps create devices for The Thinker. One of these is the Thinking Cap, his main device which allows him to both project his thoughts and control minds. Both Engelbrecht and Trejo will be season long characters.
Another thing you may have missed in the trailer is Iris’ state of mind. It seems by her words that she is staying strong and projecting a solid base to her family now that Barry is temporarily gone. Her actions, however, show a different mindset. She tells her father that she is staying strong because it’s what Barry told her to do. On the other hand, she is turning pictures of Barry over because she can’t look at them, and sleeping on the couch b/c it seems she can’t bear to sleep in the same bed without Barry. This would, by all means, be a normal psychological reaction to losing a loved one, and will surely be an internal struggle we get to watch play out until Barry’s return.
The main issue at hand with season 4 of The Flash is when exactly will Barry be rescued from the speed force? With 23 episodes in the season, I can’t see it lasting past episode six. I’m a Wally fan, but he’s not The Flash and he’s definitely not Barry. With the show called ”The Flash”, they can’t go too long with him not there. The CW may be able to get away with an extra episode or two if they can manage to show the team able to somehow communicate with him while he’s trapped inside the speed force, but I’m putting my money on six episodes as the over/under for Barry’s rescue. Even if they create Baron Kitana as a multi-episode villain to buy time, it won’t take too long for fans to get antsy without Barry behind the cowl.
The Flash season 3 was my favorite season so far, and season four seems set to surpass it. With The Thinker, Baron Kitana, The Mechanic as well as the return of Reverse Flash and Peekaboo, we’re lined up for an action-packed season it seems. Tom Cavanagh (Harrison Wells) also confirmed during Comic-Con that we’ll be seeing more versions of Wells as well (pun intended)
Season 4 of The Flash begins Tuesday, October 10th at 8 PM est. Check out the trailer below and let us know what you think.