“There is an answer for every question.” — Joe West
Six months after Barry Allen AKA The Flash (Grant Gustin) sacrificed himself into the Speed Force Prison to stabilize it, Central City needs him back before a powerful samurai razes the city. Team Flash, made up of Allen’s one, true love Iris West (Candice Patton), Vibe AKA Cisco (Carlos Valdes), Kid Flash AKA Wally West (Keiynan Lonsdale), Caitlyn Frost (Danielle Panabaker), and detective Joe West (Jesse L. Martin), can’t save the city without him. And thus begins the fourth season of The CW’s ‘other’ hit DC action show, The Flash, with The Thinker AKA Clifford Defoe (Neil Sandilands) waiting in the wings to serve as the primary antagonist.
While each of these DC shows has their strengths – Arrow tackles exciting criminals with hand-to-hand stunts, Gotham builds out on the early days of Bruce Wayne and Jim Gordon with creative backstories, Supergirl dives into a little-known element of the Superman universe – The Flash captures the funnier elements of the character, fleshed out with a team, while also keeping the idealistic purity of Allen’s personality intact. With some clever science to tackle, the chemistry here is really about the relationships, even more than the villains that Team Flash faces.
With clever asides – especially thanks to Cisco! – the show is entertaining in its levels of dialogue and allusions, while also creating a sense of science around speed, that makes for a solid series. Allen is likable, but so are his partners, and they feel more fluid in terms of their relationships than Arrow, which occupies the same space in time. Thanks to the team’s willingness to care for each other – and to sacrifice for Central City – this provides us with a true heroic show, not just an anti-hero one – because the scripting and acting convince us that these guys aren’t pretending.
“Strength means nothing without faith,” West shares with Iris, reflecting back on a homily from the priest he hears. His girlfriend encouraged him to revisit church after years, and he does, learning wisdom and imparting it to his daughter. It’s the moment that the season hinges on – the push that returns Allen to his life- as faith and strength finally become exhibited – when belief happens.
Sacrifice. Strength. Belief. Cornerstones of the series, lived out in a superhero-focused parable.
Special features on the Blu-ray/Digital combo pack includes the Best of DC TV’s Comic-Con Panels San Diego 2017, as well as features on new elements of the show: Crisis on Earth-X, the Elongated Man, Amunet Black, and The Thinker.