The race toward Barry Allen and Iris West’s wedding is well underway on The Flash season four. It’s shaping up to be at least featured, if not an integral part of the four-way crossover this fall. In today’s episode, “Mixed Signals,” we are led to believe that maybe things aren’t running along as smoothly as possible. Yet, in spite of some rough patches throughout the episode the couple repeatedly refers to their West/Allen-ness as the “gold standard.”
Welcome back, loyal Couch Clubbers! It’s so long that we’ve been away from each other and I hope that, like me, you are thrilled that The Flash (and everything #DCTV), is back on the air. At the end of the previous season, we saw Barry Allen facing down against his greatest speedster foe to date, Savitar (a.k.a. evil future Barry Allen!), and sacrificing himself to the Speed Force in order to protect Wally West, Jay Garrick and the rest of the heroes from Team Flash.
The Flash Season 4 premiere is tonight and we are sure to be in for a whole new collection of guest stars from across the DC Universe. Last season I was truly blown away by the inclusion of Abra Kadabra on The Flash. Kadabra was a character that has, traditionally, been very important to the comic book version of the Flash, but maybe didn’t seem like the most easily translated to the on-screen continuity. It turned out that I was mistaken and Kadabra was awesome.
On paper, you can break down the difference between heroes and rogues in black and white words. But is it really so simple as a checklist? It's not like a determined number of actions cancel out evil deeds. There's not an official table that says one person rescued makes up for committing a robbery and wrecking property. People have to decide whether others have changed by going with their guts and their hearts. It's something I considered as I read the first pages of THE FLASH VOL.
Secrets are part of any super hero's life. Well, any super hero who tries to maintain a hidden identity. There comes a point in nearly every story with such a character when they have to decide whether they should entrust loved ones and tell them the truth. Some heroes have an easier time with this than others. In fact, you could argue that some go overboard with sharing their true ID. (I'm looking at you, Barry Allen on The CW's The Flash.) But that's not the case with Barry in the comics.
“Finish Line” is probably one of the better titles for an episode of The Flash, and I’m so glad that it was used for the third season finale. Naming episodes is difficult and the traditions change from time to time. With this show in particular, a speed-related pun always appeals to me, and with the final scene of this finale episode hammering home the dual-meaning, I’ve come to appreciate it all the more.
THE FLASH VOL. 2: SPEED OF DARKNESS deals a lot with the aftermath of what writer Joshua Williamson laid down in volume one. Godspeed (a.k.a. August), has had a big effect on Barry Allen, Iris West and Wally West. Not only did the three of them all lose people they had a connection with in their civilian identities, but in their professional capacities they are all equally as affected—albeit pretty differently.
Before I even get started, I want you to know that we’re going THERE with tonight’s column. So if you haven’t watched this week’s Flash yet, get out of here until you do. Trust me, MAJOR SPOILER AHEAD.
One of my past editorials for the #DCTV Couch Club was called “My Name is Barry Allen and I’m Addicted to Changing the Timeline.” It’s a decent joke that fans of The Flash will understand immediately, particularly in the wake of Flashpoint, but it would have stood on its own two legs inside a red leather costume long before that.