Review: “The Flash” episode 4.1

Caleb Nogast, Staff Writer

After two disappointing seasons and a surprising finale cliffhanger at the end of last season, “The Flash” finally returned for season four. Seasons two and three suffered from too many plot holes, poorly executed villains and an extremely dark tone for a show that thrives off of lightheartedness, quick quips and a much brighter world. There are high expectations for season four as it is looking to be a rebound season. After watching episode one, “The Flash Reborn,” it is clear that the entire series has been reborn and is going to live up to its hype.

Arguably the biggest problem with seasons two and three has been the darker tone that the show has tried to set. According to Entertainment Weekly, executive producer of “The Flash” Andrew Kreisberg has promised a much lighter tone for season four. A lighter season four is definitely what audiences received with the season premiere. The writers were able to crack jokes while maintaining some level of seriousness, instead of making a lot of their episodes from the previous two seasons, like “Into the Speed Force” and “Borrowing Problems from the Future,” like sitting through a 42-minute funeral. A great example of this new light-hearted nature is early on in the episode when the team constantly shuts down Wally (Kid Flash) calling the team “Team Kid Flash.” Little moments like those were sorely missing from the melancholy seasons two and three, and those moments provide a lot of hope for the future of the season and the series as a whole.

Season four will be the first time that Team Flash will not be fighting a speedster for the whole season with the introduction of a new villain, The Thinker. Not much has been revealed so far about The Thinker other than he was the one behind the attack that forced Barry to come back into the real world and that he is extremely smart. So far, the approach the producers took with the character by not making season four one of long mystery and “guess who the bad guy is” is enjoyable. Hopefully, The Thinker will be the best villain since Reverse-Flash from season one and not so much like the last two big bads Team Flash has gone up against.

Throughout every season of “The Flash,” the best part of the show has been The Flash himself as well as the supporting characters. Team Flash has gotten a little bit smaller since the finale from last season, which is a good thing. Season three had way too many characters, and the producers had no idea what to do with some of them. Now, with a smaller cast, the producers can focus more on Barry and the supporting characters. The one character the producers of the show still have no idea how to use is Wally. Hopefully they can find something for him to do, or else Wally will drag some of the show down with him.

Overall, the first episode was a pretty good way to kick off season four, and it provides a lot of hope for the latest season. Hopefully the show will be a lot better down the road with the smaller cast and lighter tone. The only things the show really needs to work on for now is establishing The Thinker as a true criminal mastermind and finding a way to get Wally into the plot without destroying the show.