While most definitely not without its problems, season three of The Flash attempted to give us a worthy villain, and despite some of its lackluster pacing and plot holes, it did have a lot of heart and character development that made up for some of its faults. However, it’s ultimately the way in which The Flash closed the season, with Barry deciding to go into the speed force and atone for his Flashpoint mistake, that really amped up the excitement for what season four could potentially offer.
With news of a non-speedster villain, the promise of a lighter tone and wedding bells, here are five reasons to be excited for The Flash season four!
Lighter Tone and Barry Being Rid of His Burdens
Back in May, I wrote that one of the things The Flash needed more of in season four was more lightheartedness. After heading down a very, very dark path in season three, it seems like the showrunners will be reducing the dark in favor of a lighter tone and some much needed humor. There’s no doubt that some of the angst won’t disappear completely, but we can rest assured that Barry will be coming back from the speed force having rid himself of the weight and burden he’s carried for the last two seasons. While we know that Grant Gustin can always deliver the emotion, and even play a villain, it’s time for Barry to go back to enjoying being The Flash. This new outlook for him will uplift the series immensely and rejuvenate many of the more fun aspects of the show.
Iris Leading STAR Labs
Since the show refuses to leave the basement of STAR Labs, moving Iris into the leader position isn’t only one of the smartest moves the show has made, but one of the most organic. Iris West is a natural leader and the instances that The Flash has been able to showcase this, it’s been to its benefit. When everyone’s losing their heads, she steps in with a commanding voice and a plan. An example of this is when Barry loses his memories in season three and everyone begins panicking; Iris is quick to step in with a plan of action. As much as it pains me to see that the showrunners can’t weave in her journalism into the main story arc of the show, it doesn’t mean it’s been forgotten (we’ll probably get a couple of episodes of her working like we did last season). However, I’m more than ready to see Iris in a leadership role. After all, when no one else can get Barry to see sense, she can. This role will not only allow her to be the primary decision maker on the team, but it has the potential to expand on her relationships with other characters outside of Barry and the Wests as well.
A Non-Speedster Villain
For the last three seasons, we’ve gone through three different speedster villains and it’s gotten a bit exhausting. Hearing that the primary villain for season four will be a non-speedster is both refreshing and has the potential to challenge Barry to use his mind (he is a CSI and the show forgets this sometimes) rather than just his feet. The Thinker, aka Clifford DeVoe (who will be played by Neil Sandilands) has been teased as the “world’s fastest mind.” This premise sounds like enough to keep Barry and the rest of Team Flash on their toes; it’ll definitely be a nice change for the show and will allow the writers to stretch their imaginations in terms of plot a bit more.
Barry and Iris’ Wedding
After getting engaged last season, it’s been confirmed that Barry and Iris will definitely be tying the knot in season four. The wedding, which will be taking place during the four-episode crossover, titled “Crisis on Earth-X,” and will include a long guest list of superheroes from the remaining Arrowverse shows, has long been hinted at (going all the way back to the first season). Given the fact that the show commissioned an original song to be written so that Barry could propose to Iris, I’m sure the highly anticipated wedding will have more than its fair share of special moments for the couple. Barry and Iris have been through a lot and they deserve this happiness (even if it’ll be interrupted by villains) after last season’s dark storyline.
More Character Interactions Outside of Barry
With Barry having been gone for six months, everyone had to find a way to move on in the wake of his absence. This all sounds grim and dreary, but it doesn’t have to be. Why? Because maybe Barry’s absence may be just what the show needed. With Iris’ status elevated to team leader, it means more one-on-one interactions with everyone else on the team. We already know that Cisco and Iris will butt heads a bit in the first episode (“a bit” on this show means about 5-7 minutes or so), but this is good because it gives The Flash another fun dynamic to work with. The Flash has a tendency to have everything, including other characters’ stories, center around Barry in some way, so much so that it has hindered everyone else from being able to interact with one another in a more meaningful way. In season four, we’ll be getting more West family moments and we already know that Iris will also be interacting more with Cisco, Caitlin, Cecile, and even Arrow’s Felicity Smoak. So while the core dynamics of the show could remain the same, Barry’s sojourn in the speed force might be enough to shake up some of the dynamics in a good way.