It’s been awhile since we last saw Barry Allen and The Flash. When we left off six months ago, Barry entered the speed force in order to save Central City. He made Iris promise that she would keep running, and that’s exactly what she seems to be doing leading into tonight’s season premiere of The Flash season 4.
The folks over at the CW never had any intention of procrastinating with Barry’s return. This is pretty obvious about five minutes into the episode. Maybe four. Cisco and the rest of the team are all in with trying to rescue Barry from the speed force, with one exception: Iris. This isn’t because she actually doesn’t want him back, but instead it’s a defense mechanism. She misses Barry so much that she is willing to abandon all hope in order to avoid hurting. To be honest, we knew this was going to happen, I’ve even written about it previously, regardless, Iris was still annoying as hell to me. I totally get why she did it, I just don’t like moments of weakness.
We’ve known for awhile that this season’s Big Bad was The Thinker. It’s the first time that a speedster isn’t the main villain, and we were wondering exactly how this would tie into the series. After all, why doesn’t Barry just super speed to where he is and take him out? Well, it is most definitely not going to be that easy. As the first trailer revealed, Baron Katana was the episode’s main villain. We mentioned in our breakdown that Baron Katana commands an army of robot Samurai. This holds true in The Flash, but with a twist. It turns out that The Thinker is behind the robots, and not just them, but Barry’s reappearance.
If you remember back when the last trailer was released, we found out that Barry was naked upon exiting the speed force. It was on a back country road somewhere, but we weren’t told the location. Well, we found out that the back-country road is in Keystone City. If that sounds familiar, it’s because it is the home of the original Flash, Jay Garrick, as well as Wally West. When the crew comes to see him at Central City PD, we are greeted by a psychological breakdown that would make A Beautiful Mind blush. Six months on the outside could be an endless amount of time in the speed force, and it appears that our friend Barry may have had a psychotic break. Just how does the team get Barry back from this out of touch mental state? Well, it turns out that some things are so advanced that only the simplest actions will yield results.
Cisco is analyzing Barry’s jibber jabber writing with all the high tech machines at the disposal of Star Labs. It turns out that none of this is necessary. Iris tries to talk to Barry and simply leans her head on him asking him to come back. I told you – simple things. Barry starts vibrating, the lightning flashes in his eyes and he takes off. He starts to run all over Star Labs until he’s brought down by a burst from the freeze gun. The team gets him in a meta-cell, and then Iris has an idea. She surrenders herself to Baron Katana, telling him that Barry will come for her. Joe runs to the meta-cell, to interrupt Barry’s hieroglyphic art project, and begins to scream that Iris is going to die. Finally, Barry seems to come back. His eyes flash, and boom, he busts through the meta-cell’s door. Baron Katana gets taken down, and it turns out that he doesn’t command robots, but in actuality, he IS the robot. Barry is back and better than ever, but that is just the beginning. It turns out that the mere touch of the woman he loves, or simply the thought of her in danger, is enough to snap Barry out of whatever turmoil he’s going through.
For some reason the robot isn’t recovered by Team Flash. It instead falls into the hands of The Thinker. Still not sure why this occurs, as they always research what happened. My only guess is it slipped their minds since Barry was back. We see one of his assistants rebuild the robot, and he appears in a floating chair with the thinking cap on. After it is revealed that Barry returning was his plan all along, and upon being asked what is next, he simply answers “I’m thinking.”
Katee Sackoff was announced as Amunet, AKA the Blacksmith back in August. She was confirmed to first appear in episode five of this season, but we got an idea of how she will be used in the season premiere. Amunet runs an underground black market for meta-humans, and it appears that Caitlin is on her payroll. She’s been spending her time working at a bar since departing Team Flash, but this isn’t any old bar, it’s Amunet’s cover.
There are a lot of interesting questions left for season four, but it appears we have our answer as to how The Thinker will avoid capture. If he is controlling bad guys with the thinking cap, and his mind, Barry will have to take them out first. This will divert his attention from The Thinker, allowing him to further remain hidden. Of course, we already know that they will take him down using the neuro-inhibitor which was announced by Savitar Barry at the end of season 3.
Some of the bad guys this season will be controlled by The Thinker, while others will not. Danny Trejo (Machete) plays Breacher (Gypsy’s father). The story line of Cisco trying to impress his love interest’s father is interesting enough, especially considering how intimidating Trejo himself is. I can see the majority of the villain’s being manipulated by The Thinker, with a few thrown in that are not. If we’ve learned anything from The Flash, those episodes will see the team get oh so close to finding Davoe’s location, but stall near the finish line because of the uninvolved villain they’ll need to take down.
This season’s cross-over will take place at the end of November and cycle around Barry and Iris’ wedding. We’ll have to see how it plays out, but I’m really excited for what’s to come this season on The Flash. Let us know what you think below.