The Flash Season 4 Premiere Recap

first_imgStay on target Top Movies and TV Panels to Keep on Your Radar for SDCC 2019’The Flash’ Season 5 Finale Recap: 2 Big Bads and 1 Pre-Crisis It’s been too long since we last checked in with Team Flash. After last season’s finale left us on a big time-traveling cliffhanger, the wait for last night’s premiere felt especially long. Fortunately, this season doesn’t skip a beat getting us all up to, um, speed. The show switches things up for Season Five with Nora West Allen providing the pre-show narration. Which she’s apparently doing in the scene to everyone at the party. It’s her way of catching everyone up on just who she is and how she got here. Her superhero name is Excess, so named by her mother because she always did everything in excess, getting way in over her head. That’s why she’s here in the first place. She went back in time to help Barry destroy The Thinker’s satellite. Now, she can’t run fast enough to open up the Speed Force and she’s stuck here.Barry, being… Barry, is immediately skeptical. He can be a little annoying like that. Still, even he can’t deny the similarities between him, Iris and Dawn. A quick test at S.T.A.R. Labs proves it. She is Barry and Iris’ daughter. Their interactions are sweet, and Barry and Iris fall into parent roles immediately. We can actually see what kind of dad Barry will be, always fussing over his future daughter’s safety and worrying about messing up the timeline. Even if he’s totally proud that she knows her forensics. Her relationship with Iris on the other hand, is a little more strained. Where she’s usually all to eager to talk about the future, she clams up around Iris. Almost like she’d rather be with her dad than her mom. We’ve heard of daddy’s girls, but this is a little extreme.Jessica Parker Kennedy as Nora West – Allen, Candice Patton as Iris West – Allen and Grant Gustin as Barry Allen — Photo: Katie Yu/The CWIt turns out Barry was right to worry about messing up the timeline, though. When Gridlock attacks the city, The Flash rushes into action. What’s supposed to be a routine one-and-done battle grows out of control when Nora shows up to watch. Barry, ever the worrying parent, is distracted by her presence, giving Gridlock an opportunity to punch Flash into the ocean and escape. She’s going to stick around for a while too. Though Cisco finds a way that would theoretically send her home, Wally returns from the Waverider with some news. The Legends’ Gideon scanned her speed data and found negative tachyons. Those are slowing her down, rather than speeding her up. She physically can’t enter the Speed Force. And those negative tachyons mean getting near the Waverider is a bad idea. So that option’s out.Or maybe not. Barry notices something strange she says before they try running into the Speedforce the first time. That she and Iris have their whole lives together. It’s not, as we thought, that Iris dies. It’s the event that’s been hanging over the entire show since the very first episode. That article by Iris West Allen, “The Flash Vanishes.” That date is approaching. It happens right after Nora is born, and as she shows him in a newspaper clip from even further into the future, he never comes back. Barry was worried about experiencing all Nora’s firsts out of order. Now, he knows he never gets to experience them at all. And Nora isn’t actually infected by Negative Tachyons. She’s carrying them in a device on her body. She just wanted to spend time with her dad. Who knew reality-altering time travel could be so cute?Gridlock — Photo: Katie Yu/The CWBefore they can really deal with that though, Gridlock attacks again. This time, he’s about to bring a whole plane down. His motivations are as spotty as they are all episode. He wants a guy’s briefcase that probably contains money or something? It doesn’t matter. It gives us a big perilous setpiece to kick off the season. It doesn’t get much more exciting than a downed airplane headed straight for downtown Central City, and the solution is appropriately bombastic for a season premiere. The Flash has to vibrate the plane fast enough that it phases through the buildings and lands safely in the river. Though he can apparently do that in the future when he fight Mob Rule, (nice hinting at future episodes there, Flash), it’s a little beyond him right now. Thankfully, he has two other speedsters to help him out, including the forever superior Wally West. Fight me.Barry’s relationship with Nora is the clear highlight of this episode. It’s a new dynamic we haven’t seen yet, and more importantly, it allows Barry to grow as a character. One of the most frustrating things about The Flash in previous seasons has been Barry’s inability to change. He seemingly learns the same lessons and gets into the same hallway arguments over and over again. Part of that comes with the territory as a Villain of the Week-style show with intentionally light serialization, but it gets old after enough repetition. That’s why Nora is such a welcome blast of fresh air in the premiere. She forces Barry to take on a different, more proactive role. The battle with Gridlock is exactly the easy, unremarkable defeat it was meant to be. Cisco vibes Flash, Kid Flash and Excess on board the plane at the exact moment it begins to fall and Gridlock is briefly powerless. They slap the dampening cuffs on him, and he’s no longer a threat. The real point of this sequence is forcing Barry to teach Nora how to phase. The episode cuts between Barry’s dialog and Harrison Wells’ from Episode One when Barry first learned this trick. He’s the mentor now. It’s a new look for Barry, but it looks good on him.Jesse L. Martin as Detective Joe West and Grant Gustin as The Flash — Photo: Katie Yu/The CWWith the airplane and building’s saved, all that’s left is to send Nora back to her own time. Cisco and Caitlin have figured out a solution because Barry hasn’t told anyone she was faking the negative tachyons. I guess we’ll have to have the keeping secrets lesson again at some point this season. As much as Barry’s grown, he’s still doing that, so baby steps I guess. The Can-I-Talk-To-You Hallway set has to get some use this season, after all. Overall though, I can’t complain too much about the season premiere. Sure, the villain was an afterthought, but that’s not what the episode was about. Nora’s introduction to the team will be good for the season, and it’s sweet that Barry wants to give her some father-daughter time before he disappears.Speaking of, I’m glad they’re finally bringing that newspaper article back into focus this season. There’ve been more pressing issues in the past, but with Nora in the picture, Flash’s disappearance feels that much closer. It’s something the team is going to have to deal with and prevent. Especially since we now know he never comes back. It adds some meaningful stakes to a show that often feels a little too light on substance. To that end, the premiere also does a decent job at setting up a few mysteries for the season ahead. Caitlin Snow, for example, still can’t summon Killer Frost. Though she now remembers that Killer Frost has been with her since she was a child, that means certain details in her memories aren’t adding up. Particularly where her father is concerned. Dibny does some private detective work and uncovers a greater mystery that should be fun to explore as the season goes on: The doctor who signed her father’s death certificate doesn’t exist. The certificate is a fake.Danielle Panabaker as Caitlin Snow, Hartley Sawyer as Dibney and Carlos Valdes as Cisco Ramon — Photo: Katie Yu/The CWSpeaking of Dibny, I’m so glad the show decided to keep him around. He’s the perfect comic relief when the show starts to get a little too serious. Especially here as he starts to figure out all the weird time travel stuff. As an audience of comic book fans it makes perfect sense to us. In fact, one of the most endearing things about this show is its willingness to embrace the weirder aspects of Flash canon and make them work on TV. It’s always nice to have a reminder just how strange and alien this would all be to the average observer, though. It helps the show reestablish itself too. The Flash is back in all its weird, wacky and endearingly earnest glory.We also get a very brief look at Cicada, this season’s big bad. In the comics, he was an abusive and murderous Catholic priest in 1900 who was struck by a bolt of lightning during a suicide attempt. That gave him the power of immortality as long as he killed and absorbed others’ life-forces to recharge. How much of that backstory makes it into the TV show remains to be seen. His abilities certainly seem to be here though. It looks like he’ll be hunting down the metahumans of the week after they’re captured and killing them. What his plans are and just how powerful killing these metahumans makes him, we’ll have to watch the rest of the season to find out. After this premiere, I’m cool with that. Summers are tough without Team Flash.The Flash airs Tuesdays, 8 p.m. on The CWPreviously on The Flash:The Flash Season 4 Finale RecapThe Flash Season 4 Episode 22 RecapThe Flash Season 4 Episode 21 Recaplast_img read more

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