The Flash season 4, episode 1 review: The Flash Reborn


Reviewing the season 4 premiere of The Flash.

Tuesday’s season 4 premiere of The Flash began with a six-month jump from Season 3’s finale, which saw Barry Allen willingly enter the Speed Force to prevent the destruction of reality as Team Flash knows it. We pick up with what’s left of Team Flash working together to take down series familiar Peek-a-Boo. Vibe, Kid Flash and Joe West all gave chase of the teleporting meta with Iris West calling the plays from S.T.A.R. Labs. Thanks to a good call by Iris, Kid Flash and Vibe would cooperate to take Peek-a-Boo down with Joe swiftly assisting in her apprehension.

It seems that in Barry’s absence, Team Flash has worked hard to keep order in Central City. We learn quickly that this version of the team is not as efficient without it’s namesake. Despite the good folks at S.T.A.R. Labs keeping a light-hearted demeanor (Wally and Cisco argue over who to name the team after), Barry Allen is clearly missed.

That evening, Joe and Iris have a tense conversation regarding the CCPD’s need to replace Barry. Iris becomes upset with Joe, who is not ready to give up hope that Barry is going to make it out of the Speed Force. Iris is in her apartment when she witnesses something fly by her window. She puts the call out to the team who arrive on the scene.

An adversary clad in Samurai armor and with access to powerful technology makes it known that he wants The Flash. When he shuts down Kid Flash, it’s clear that he is looking for the one and only Barry. The Samurai gives the team a day to bring him the Flash. Clearly shaken up, the team discusses what to do.

Everyone but Iris is clearly on board for trying to retrieve Barry from the Speed Force.  When she remains adamant, Cisco seems to drop the issue. However, that’s not quite the case.

Cisco approaches Caitlin Snow in the dive bar in which she now works. Caitlin seems to be through with her Killer Frost identity and has picked up an affinity for leather jackets. We are also treated to an interaction between Cisco and a mysterious roguish character in the bar.

Cisco gathers Wally, Joe and Caitlin at the outdoor test track from Season 1. Together, Team Flash attempts to use Wally’s speed and Cisco’s Speed Force Bazooka to pull Barry out of the Speed Force. It appears to fail and Iris shows up, looking disappointed that Cisco has gone behind her back.

Elsewhere, Barry Allen is thrust out of the Speed Force at incredible speed, only to stop in the middle of nowhere. Beaded and Naked, there seems to be something off about our hero.

Team Flash, reunited at last, make a trip to CCPD where they find a Barry Allen they don’t quite recognize. It seems that Barry’s time in the Speed Force has an adverse effect on his mind. Barry talks to himself, has vocal outbursts and is writing strange symbols all over the walls.

The team takes Barry back to S.T.A.R. Labs where they monitor him. While Cisco tries to crack Barry’s code, Iris attempts to reach Barry’s emotional side but to no avail. A super-powered outburst leads the team to lock Barry in the Pipeline.

With the Flash out of commission, Wally attempts to trick and subsequently take down the Samurai. When he fails and is injured, the team is forced to try and cure Barry of what ails him again.  Cisco tries to apply a different method of code breaking to Barry’s mad writings but once again he hits a dead-end. Joe councils a distraught Iris on faith as the Samurai’s timetable comes to a close.

Iris, inspired by her father’s words, makes a rash decision. She allows herself to be taken hostage by the Samurai, hoping that it will cause Barry to snap out of his ‘Speed Dementia’. Joe returns to the Pipeline and begs Barry to save Iris.

Initially, it appears that Barry is unfazed, but a change comes over him. Barry blasts out of the Pipeline (an unprecedented feat) and suits up. The Flash has returned and gives chase, following the Samurai and Iris to a wind farm.

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What follows is a fantastic action sequence and one of the series’ best use of CGI. In the end, the Flash saves Iris and takes down the Samurai which turns out to be an Android. Cisco dubs the enemy ‘Samuroid’ and the team has a warm moment now that Barry is finally back.

Cisco and Caitlin take a beat, and it seems that Caitlin Snow is back on Team Flash for good. Caitlin returns to the dive bar and speaks with the mysterious man from before. He becomes hostile when she tells him that she is quitting. They have a physical exchange in which Caitlin’s Killer Frost powers emerge. It seems we haven’t seen the last of Killer Frost.

Barry and Iris have a small but loving conversation, it seems that the romantic heart of the show is back. The last scene seems to introduce the season 4 main villain; a man seemingly wired to a massive technological throne who was behind the Samuroid.

The Good

The best moment in “The Flash Reborn” is Barry’s true return.  It’s clear to see (and it’s mentioned in the episode) that the Flash has returned from the Speed Forced faster and better than ever. Smashing through the Pipeline that held some of the series’ most powerful foes was a great moment that sets a benchmark for our hero. Barry also taking the suit that was teased by Cisco throughout the episode was fun and the action sequence that followed was by far one one of the series’ best.

The Bad

One of the issues with this episode is that Barry’s ‘Speed Dementia’ is seemingly overcome pretty quickly. Hopefully, it rears its head elsewhere in the season, as it provided a unique set of challenges not only for Barry but for the whole of Team Flash.

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The Grade

The Flash’s season 4 premiere was a great return to a well-loved series. It had stakes, it had action, and it had heart. The acting is as good as its ever been, with the themes of faith and hope ringing true. It was also fun to see all the super-powered member of Team Flash get some screen time. ” The Flash Reborn” easily gets a 4 out of 5 stars.