‘The Flash’ Season 4 Premiere Recap and Review: The Flash Reborn

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The Flash Season 4 Episode 1

Carlos Valdes as Cisco Ramon, Danielle Nicolet as Cecile Horton, Danielle Panabaker as Caitlin Snow, Jesse L. Martin as Detective Joe West and Candice Patton as Iris West (Photo: Katie Yu © 2017 The CW Network)

“You have one day. If The Flash doesn’t face me, your city dies,” says an armored samurai who has just faced off against Kid Flash (Keiynan Lonsdale), Vibe (Carlos Valdes), Joe (Jesse L. Martin), and a small army of cops, leaving them sprawled on the ground after causing a mini-quake in the season four premiere of The CW’s fantasy/action series, The Flash.

Season four episode one begins with a voiceover by Iris (Candice Patton) saying how she was supposed to marry the fastest man alive but that he sacrificed himself to save the city he loved from destruction. She’s fulfilling her promise to “keep running.” Iris has taken charge of Team Flash since Wally and Cisco are out on the street trying to take down the bad guys while Joe and Iris man the controls back at S.T.A.R. Labs.

Iris directs Vibe and Kid Flash while they chase Peek-a-Boo, a metahuman who has escaped and is on the run. Iris is able to figure out the teleporter’s pattern for using her powers and helps the team finally catch her – but just barely.


Back at S.T.A.R. Labs, Cisco and Wally are congratulating each other but Iris is not happy with how they handled themselves out in the field. She berates them for not taking the threats they face seriously enough and reminds them of their bad track record over the past six months. They’ve only captured two out of three metas they’ve come up against. She orders Wally to four hours of training and goes off to have dinner with Joe and Cecile (Danielle Nicolet) who’s moving in with Joe.

After dinner, Joe tries to talk to Iris about Barry and about how, since Julian went back to London, the CCPD is looking for a new CSI. Iris tells him to go ahead and let them hire one since Barry is gone. Joe tries to discuss the fact she’s not really handling Barry’s absence but instead is just throwing herself into running Team Flash. Iris refuses to listen, telling her father she’s doing what Barry asked her – keep running and living.

Back at her apartment, Iris has refused to sleep in the bed she shares with Barry since his departure. She’s looking out the window when she feels what seems like an earthquake or explosion rock the city. Iris calls the team to tell them they’re on. Vibe and Kid Flash quickly show up to find an armored samurai standing in the street. He tells the young duo he wants to go one-on-one with The Flash. When Kid Flash steps up to the challenge, the samurai insults him by telling him he’s not interested in him but wants to fight the original and best Flash. He gives them 24 hours to produce him.

“Why do I sense an ‘or else’ coming,” says Vibe and that’s when the samurai threatens to destroy the city after hitting the ground with his sword. The impact causes an explosion and the ground to shake, throwing Vibe, Kid Flash, Joe, police officers, cars, and civilians up in the air.

Back at S.T.A.R. Labs, Team Flash tries to figure out how they’re going to stop the samurai when Cisco suggests they free Barry from the Speed Force. “In one day?” asks an incredulous Wally, and Cisco reveals he’s been working on how to get Barry out. An angry Iris asks how long and Cisco says since the night Barry went into the Speed Force. Iris wonders why he didn’t mention it before and Cisco admits he didn’t want to say anything until he was sure he could do it. He explains he’s been talking with Harry (Tom Cavanagh), Felicity (Emily Bett Rickards) and a few others, and only needs one other thing to make it work. A furious Iris says Barry is gone; that is certain and Team Flash will have to come up with a plan on how to stop the samurai on their own. Cisco reluctantly agrees but says he’ll need some coffee and leaves.

Cisco goes to a dive bar looking for his old colleague and best friend, Caitlin (Danielle Panabaker). She’s now a bartender and looks her old self once again. (There’s no sign of her alter ego, Killer Frost.) He asks how she solved the problem and Caitlin avoids answering by asking what he wants. Cisco asks if she saw the news about the samurai and she acknowledges she did, asking if Barry is still trapped in the Speed Force. Cisco is surprised she knows about that and she just gives him a knowing look.

Cisco reveals he’s found a way to get Barry out of the Speed Force but is going to need her help to do it. Just as he’s about to ask her again, a mean-looking guy with milky eyes named Norvok (Mark Sweatman) asks Caitlin if everything is okay. She assures him it is and Cisco tells the guy he’s talking to the lady and to get lost, prompting a concerned look from Caitlin. Norvok walks away and Cisco asks again if she’ll help him. Caitlin gives Cisco a warm smile and tells him her shift is over in an hour. Smiling, Cisco sits at the bar, saying, “I’ve got time,” and waits.

The next day, Joe and Wally meet Cisco at the test track where Barry did his first speed test in season one. Cisco tells the two men he plans on bringing back Barry today and that this test track has always been lucky for them. Joe starts to remind Cisco that Iris is against this, but Cisco reminds him Barry told him everyone would look to him. Cisco needs Joe and Wally to trust him now.

Cisco shows them the Speed Force Bazooka, confessing “we” were up all night making modifications on it. Joe and Wally both ask who “we” refers to and they hear Caitlin’s voice behind them saying in a friendly but uneasy tone, “Hi Joe.” Cisco tells them it’s all right, that she’s Caitlin again. Caitlin walks up to Joe and sincerely apologizes for everything she, as Killer Frost, put him and Cecile through. She hopes one day he’ll be able to forgive her. Joe looks at Caitlin for a second and then tells her to give him a hug, which she happily does. “Let’s bring everybody home today,” says Joe. “You got it,” says Caitlin.

Cisco fires up the modified bazooka with Caitlin asking Wally to place the ball she created and encoded with Barry’s DNA on the last cone. When they get Barry out from the Speed Force prison, the ball can take his place and will keep the Speed Force stable. Cisco waits until Caitlin tells him to fire the bazooka according to the monitors of energy and, boom!, it fails. Iris arrives to find the group gathered and the rescue attempt a failure.

Across town, a surge of energy hits and the Speed Force opens releasing a speeding bolt of energy from it. The bolt races out of town and finally stops 300 miles away after coming head-to-head with a pickup truck. A naked, bearded Barry stands for a minute and collapses.

Back at S.T.A.R. Labs, Iris is upset with Cisco for trying to get Barry out of the Speed Force, believing he could have killed them all. Caitlin says she thinks they were close to getting Barry back. “I’m sorry. We? Where have you been the last six months again?” snaps back an angry Iris. Joe defends Caitlin, telling Iris she was only trying to help. Iris tries to take charge telling them they need to come up with a plan to stop the samurai and stop focusing on Barry. Cisco finally snaps. “DUDE, what is your deal?! It’s like you don’t even want him back!” Iris is taken aback by the accusation and Joe breaks it up as he answers his phone. It’s Cecile telling Joe Barry was found by state troopers and brought to the CCPD because they recognized him.

The Flash Season 4 Episode 1

Jesse L. Martin as Detective Joe West, Candice Patton as Iris West and Grant Gustin as Barry Allen in ‘The Flash’ season 4 episode 1 (Photo: Katie Yu © 2017 The CW Network)

Team Flash arrive at the CCPD and reunite with Barry, but their joy is soon gone when they see the shape he’s in. Barry’s speaking nonsensical sentences and drawing symbols on the walls of the room he’s held in. Joe turns to Caitlin and asks if this is shock, but she says it looks to her as neurological and that they have to get him back to S.T.A.R. Labs.

Once at S.T.A.R. Labs, Caitlin suggests waking Barry up slowly and bringing him out of the drug-induced sleep she put him in back at the CCPD.

Recreating when he first woke from his coma four years ago, Cisco plays the same song although Caitlin’s not sure if it’s really appropriate. It doesn’t work and Barry is still talking nonsense. Iris asks to have a moment with him alone and begins to tell Barry how she kept her word to him and kept “moving forward” but that she also couldn’t look back because he wasn’t there behind her anymore. Barry’s eyes light up and energize with electricity and, bam, he’s off racing around the building so fast Wally can’t catch him and Cisco can’t hit him with an energy vibe. Just then a blast of cold hits Barry, knocking him out. Everyone turns to see Caitlin holding a cold gun and she asks, “Expecting someone else?”

The team puts Barry in the pipeline to keep everyone, himself included, safe.

Team Flash doesn’t get a break because just then they get an alert the samurai is back. Wally disguises himself as Barry to face him. Brave as it is and with only the best intentions, it turns out to be a bad move because Kid Flash is no match for the samurai who plays with Wally much as a cat plays with its prey and then stabs him in the leg. He tells Kid Flash to let the others know if the real Flash doesn’t face him by sundown, the city will be destroyed.

At S.T.A.R. Labs, Caitlin is patching Wally up. He won’t be ready to take on the samurai in time to save the city. Caitlin checks in with Cisco who believes the drawings Barry’s making might be a message he’s trying to give them. Just as Cisco thinks he has finally broken the code, the computer translates Barry’s sentence as “This House is Bitchin.” “That doesn’t sound like Barry,” says Caitlin and Cisco walks off feeling as though he’s failed. Caitlin finds him in his lab and Cisco admits to Caitlin the real reason he brought Barry back wasn’t to save the city but because he wanted him back. “I did it because I miss my friend,” confesses Cisco.

Joe spends some time shaving and cleaning up Barry in the pipeline, but although he looks like the old Barry, he’s not. Iris arrives and she and her dad have a brief talk about how he started going to church again and has rediscovered faith. “Strength means nothing without faith,” says Joe, encouraging his daughter to find a little faith herself.


The flying samurai arrives again and Joe and the CCPD hit the streets to take him on. Iris marches through the police line and right up to the samurai, telling him if he wants The Flash to take her because he’ll come to save her. The samurai does exactly that.

Joe races back to S.T.A.R. Labs and tells the team what Iris did. Joe runs to Barry who’s still drawing the symbols in his pipeline cell and yells at him that Iris is going to die. Again Barry’s eyes surge with electrical energy and, BOOM!, he crashes out of the pipeline prison, racing out of S.T.A.R. Labs while grabbing his new suit that Cisco made.

Team Flash tracks him just like old times and sees him headed out of town chasing the samurai who has Iris. They speed through a field of giant windmills the samurai uses as obstacles to slow The Flash down. It’s ineffective as The Flash grabs Iris and sends the samurai crashing to the ground. Barry walks over to the samurai and discovers he’s really an android or as Cisco calls him, a samuroid. The samuroid’s last words are, “Flash, welcome home.”

Caitlin examines Barry and reports he’s faster and healthier than ever. Barry smiles and tells her “good to have you back,” to which Caitlin responds, “Right back at you.” Barry tells the team the last thing he remembers is walking into the Speed Force with his mother and then saving Iris. They all agree they have a new mystery to solve, needing to figure out who created the samuroid and why. Barry thanks Cisco for bringing him home and Iris finally thanks Cisco for believing when she couldn’t. As the gang heads out, Cisco asks Caitlin if he’s going to see her tomorrow and she says yes, adding, “We back, baby,” as she walks out.

Caitlin returns to the dive bar and tells Norvok to tell Amunet she’s out. When he tries to strong-arm her and warns her that’s not how things work, Caitlin’s eyes turn crystal blue. She says, “Don’t make me frosty. You wouldn’t like me when I’m frosty.” Killer Frost comes out and slams Norvok into the bar, uses her cold powers to freeze him a little bit on the head. She walks out of the bar and says out loud, “Time to have some fun,” but then bends over in pain. She stumbles and grabs a gate as she says “no..no..no” and her eyes go back to being their original brown. A distressed Caitlin says, “Not again.”

At Barry and Iris’ apartment, Barry is happy to be home and how proud of how she kept the team together. He admits he feels as though his pain and his mistakes have all been washed away and now all he can see is their life together.

The last scene shows a mysterious woman saying the samurai served his purpose and that The Flash is back. She asks a man sitting in a futuristic hovering chair with wires and plugs attached to his head what there next step is and he replies, “I’m thinking.” Welcome to The Flash season four’s new big bad, The Thinker.

The Flash Season 4 Episode 1 Review:

Action-packed with great special effects and some superb acting, season four episode one titled “The Flash Reborn” brings the superhero series back in a lighter and fresher tone than the past two seasons. The show is fun once again.

There are a few stand-out performances in this episode starting with Carlos Valdes as Cisco who has become the heart and soul of Team Flash since losing Caitlin and Barry at the end of last season. It’s clear that all Cisco wants is to bring his two best friends back into his life and back to Team Flash where they belong. The scene where he confesses to Caitlin he used the hope of saving the city as an excuse to bring Barry back because he missed him is touching and emotional.

Next is Jesse L. Martin as Joe West who many times is the mediator between his daughter and Cisco, as well as Caitlin, but has also become a man of faith and hope. This is real growth for his character who, for the most part, has always focused on the negative and worst case scenarios. The scene in which he quickly forgives Caitlin for all the harm she did as Killer Frost and hugs her is sweet, as is the tender scene where he shaves Barry in the hope of reconnecting with his mind.

The special effects are once again amazing. Especially impressive is the chase through Central City with Vibe and Kid Flash after Peek-a-Boo.

With Barry out of the Speed Force better and happier than ever and Caitlin still keeping secrets from the team – she’s still struggling with her Killer Frost powers and what was she doing for this mysterious Amunet person (clearly nothing good) – it will be exciting and interesting to see what’s in store for Team Flash this season.

GRADE: B

More on The Flash Season 4:
Recap of The Flash Season 4 Episode 2
Recap of The Flash Season 4 Episode 3
Recap of The Flash Season 4 Episode 4
Recap of The Flash Season 4 Episode 5
Recap of The Flash Season 4 Episode 6
The Flash Season 4 Episode 7 Recap

Grant Gustin Interview
Danielle Panabaker Interview
Candice Patton Interview
Todd Helbing Interview
Tom Cavanagh Interview
Keiynan Lonsdale Interview
Carlos Valdes Interview




Kevin Finnerty

Kevin Finnerty

Professional film critic since 2003 and a member of the San Diego Film Critics Society. Host of “The Movie Guys” radio film review show from 2007 through 2013. Film and television critic for Showbizjunkies.com and a movie buff since 1973.
Kevin Finnerty
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