Arrow may have been the first DC Comics series on the CW, the progenitor of the Arrowverse (or Berlantiverse, if you prefer), but, for me, The Flash was the first of these shows to truly capture the feel of the DC comics I read when I was a child. There is a sense of wonder, adventure and fun to this series—momentarily sidetracked during the whole Savitar thing, I might add—that I’ve always enjoyed. Season 4, so far, hasn’t let me down.
The new season has presented us with another group of new characters to populate the ever-growing TV universe. I’ll mention only a few of them here.
Clifford DeVoe and his wife, Marlize, have emerged as the Big Bads of the season. Clifford has been dubbed The Thinker by Cisco Ramon, and he is a metahuman who rides around in a floating Professor X chair, at least until the season finale episode. The Thinker is a visually stunning character, and I like his backstory. There is a method to his madness and mayhem that Barry and Team Flash begin to figure out as the season progresses.
Ralph Dibny, a familiar name to comic book readers, makes his appearance. He is one of the metas created by Barry’s return from the Speed Force. He hasn’t been dubbed The Elongated Man yet, as far as I can remember, but that’s who he is. He is a refreshingly unlikeable character, a sleazy private eye who was fired from the police force because of Barry. His presence on Team Flash brings a new dynamic to the group. He’s the guy who always says the wrong thing at the wrong time. I kind of like it.
Dr. Caitlin Snow has shown a remarkable new control—or at least coexistence—with her Killer Frost persona, but in her time away from Team Flash she apparently fell in with some bad guys. Chief among these is Amunet Black, who I didn’t realize was Katee Sackoff trying to sound like Mary Poppins until the finale episode. The inclusion of Sackoff—who will always be Starbuck to me—earned some major nerd cred points from me for the Arrowverse. Amunet is a metahuman who is sort of a diet-version of Magneto (I know that’s a different comic universe: just let me slide this time), who can control only a specific alloy called alnico, and apparently in only small quantities: she’s not hurling massive projectiles in the episodes she’s been in so far.
Another Harrison Wells replaces H.R. Wells, who was killed last season. I think this one is Jesse Quick’s father, but honestly I get confused when trying to keep up with all the different Wellses. I love Tom Cavenaugh, but, seriously, Wells could easily become the South Park Kenny of this show if we don’t stop killing him off and replacing him. Wells himself confounds the issue this season when he introduces his private think tank, his “Council of Wells,” formed of different iterations of Wells from alternate Earths. This includes a German Harrison “Wolfgang” Wells, a libertine H. Lothario Wells, a Mad Max cyborg Wells 2.0, and—at least briefly—what is apparently a wizard called Wells the Grey. It’s all silly fun, but kind of a welcome respite after all the “Iris is fated to die” stuff.
On a sad note, Jesse Quick does break up with Kid Flash, who is largely absent from the show for at least the first nine episodes of the season. I’m not sure what’s going on here. Wally West was a welcome addition to Team Flash. I’m not sure he can be readily replaced by Ralph Dibny, even though Kid Flash’s powers are redundant. Could there be a Teen Titans show in the works on the CW? If so, I would welcome it.
Barry and Iris finally get married this season. Now Iris is the West-Allen we always knew she could be. I hope they don’t kill her off for real, though. That would suck.
Joe West and Cecille Horton are also continuing to heat things up. They are going to have a baby. Also, Danny Trejo makes an appearance as Gypsy’s dad, Josh—also called Breacher. Trejo, as always, radiates menace as few character actors are able to do. Cisco and Gypsy continue their transdimentional love affair as well.
As is customary, the midseason finale ends with a bit of a cliffhanger. The Thinker’s plans have come to fruition and he has found a new host for his vast intellect, leaving his frail, chair-bound body behind. In doing so, he leaves his now-deceased body behind in Barry’s loft apartment, framing the Flash for his murder. Diabolical.
Now we have to wait until 2018 to see how this plays out. I’ll be watching.