The Flash returns this October – and with a premiere episode titled ‘The Flash Reborn’,
it’s a pretty safe bet that Barry Allen (Grant Gustin) will be back in Central City after sacrificing himself to the Speed Force to prevent catastrophe last season.
But Barry’s been gone a while – season four will pick up six months after the events of ‘Finish Line’ and Carlos Valdes (Cisco) told Digital Spy that Team Flash is “clutching at straws to keep the city together” without their leader.
“We cannot keep the villains at bay with the same efficiency that he used to, so in light of that, Cisco does whatever it takes to get his friend back!”
Here’s a spoiler-filled guide to what to expect when The Flash returns, courtesy of the cast themselves – Grant Gustin (Barry Allen / The Flash), Candice Patton (Iris West), Danielle Panabaker (Caitlin Snow / Killer Frost), C, Tom Cavanagh (Harrison Wells), Jesse L Martin (Joe West) and Keiynan Lonsdale (Wally West / Kid Flash).
1. Barry will return from the Speed Force a changed man
“For Barry, it hasn’t really been six months,” Gustin tells us. “In the Speed Force, time is kinda non-linear, and I think this experience in the Speed Force has been different for him.
“He’s been on his own, experiencing his entire life from start to finish, again and again and again. So I think when he comes out, he’s had this awakening and has this understanding of things that he’s never had before, and he’s been able to let go of a lot of things.
“He really learned some things in the Speed Force, so when he comes out, he’s – for lack of a better word – wiser than we’ve ever seen him be. And we’ll just have to see how Team Flash adjust to Barry’s new wisdom!”
2. The Flash won’t be himself at first
“Barry and his experience in the Speed Force… we’re gonna see the toll that it took on him,” Gustin explains. “It’s been a lot [to take in], so he’s not really himself.
“Experiencing so many things in such a condensed amount of time, over and over and over again, it takes a toll on your brain… so it’s not really Barry when he first comes out. I got to have a really fun one-off episode for my first episode back.”
3. Iris is now the leader of Team Flash
With Barry having left his loved ones behind, his fiancée Iris has been heading up Team Flash in his absence. “Six months on, she’s kinda had to step into the role that Barry left,” Candice Patton reveals.
“Everyone is questioning if and when Barry’s going to come back, and she deals with that in her own way. You’ll see a very different Iris in season 4 – she’s almost hardened and a little more pessimistic.”
4. Iris isn’t quick to forgive Barry for leaving
“Team Flash had to deal with the loss of Barry and the choice that he made, especially Iris,” Gustin says. “She has a hard time not taking it personally, leaving her behind… while they’re engaged!”
“He didn’t consult her,” Patton adds. “It was a snap decision and so I think when he comes out, that’s a conversation they need to have about communication. As iconic as they are, Barry and Iris still have their issues and they desperately need to work those out before they walk down the aisle. So that’s something I think we’ll delve into.”
5. Wally will step up and become The Flash
Sidekick no more, Wally West has been forced to step into Barry’s shoes – or rather, suit – and become The Flash, as the character did in the original comic books.
“Wally has to step up and be The Flash, along with Cisco’s Vibe,” says Jesse L Martin. “Joe’s real proud to see Wally be the superhero he always wanted to be.”
“I think Wally’s been forced to grow up a lot more,” Keiynan Lonsdale suggests. “He’s suffering like everyone, but at the same time, he definitely has faith that Barry will come back.”
In the meantime, though, Wally is working alongside Cisco to battle meta-humans and clean up the streets of Central City.
“They’re planning some good stuff for Wally this season – he’s going through a lot of changes,” Patton hints. “Kid Flash has had to step into Barry’s shoes, so now Wally and Iris are co-workers, essentially. It’s that kind of dynamic we saw in the ‘Flashpoint’ episode – the brother-sister team-up.”
6. We might meet another new version of Wells
Each season of The Flash has introduced us to a different version of Harrison Wells, with Tom Cavanagh creating multiple distinct interpretations of the same man.
First, we met Earth-1’s Harrison Wells, who was murdered and subsequently impersonated by the evil Eobard Thawne / Reverse Flash. Season two introduced Earth-2’s snarky ‘Harry’ Wells, while last year saw the debut of hyperactive novelist ‘HR’.
‘Finish Line’ saw HR sacrifice his life to save Iris, so will Harry – the only surviving Wells – be back, or will we meet a whole new Wells?
It sounds like the answer is both. “We’re going to start with Harry and then find a way, I think, to try and get a different version of Wells in there, be it some form of version of Harry or whatnot,” Cavanagh hinted.
“There is stuff that’s involved with the season, how Wells might become a different version of Wells, but I think that’s a storyline too far for me to give up!”
7. Caitlin can’t entirely let go of Killer Frost
After struggling to contain her evil alter-ego Killer Frost, Caitlin Snow opted to leave STAR Labs and her friends for a while, in the hope of rediscovering her sense of self.
rn in season four, but as Caitlin, or as her icy counterpart?
“It’s about a six-month jump from the end of season 3 to the beginning of season 4 and… I’m not at STAR Labs!” Panabaker reveals. “Here’s what I can tell you about season 4: those who love Caitlin Snow won’t be disappointed and those who love Killer Frost won’t be disappointed!”
8. Danny Trejo’s Breacher will threaten Cisco’s love life
“Cisco and Gypsy, they’re really taking it to the next level, there’s a real love there between the two of them,” Valdes insisted. “However, Breacher will really test that relationship!”
9. The Thinker will be a different kind of foe for Team Flash
Season four’s chief nemesis, though, will be Clifford DeVoe, aka The Thinker – played by Neil Sandilands.
In the original DC comics, DeVoe was a failed lawyer who believed he was a superior intellect to the criminal element and so started a new career as a ‘brain’ for small-time crooks, using a ‘Thinking Cap’ that could project mental force.
This latest antagonist marks a departure for The Flash, with all three previous seasons pitting Barry against an evil Speedster who could match and even surpass our hero’s speed – first Reverse-Flash, then Zoom and most recently Savitar.
“Yeah, no Speedster!” a (relieved?) Grant Gustin told us. “With DeVoe, we’re gonna have to find ways to outsmart him… it’ll be cool. Barry will actually be the Fastest Man Alive this season!”
The Flash will return to The CW on Tuesday, October 10 at 8/7c. Sky1 airs the series in the UK.