After a dismal third season, The Flash got up, dusted itself off, and went about trying to fix things for Season 4. To start, things looked promising. The series found some joy again and some comedy; yes it was a little forced and maybe too sophomoric (especially thanks to the addition of Ralph Dibney, whose humor seemed calibrated to a younger audience), but it was trying. For a few episodes it also put Barry Allen back to work (imagine that!), finally gave Iris something to do, and shook up some of its cast by pairing down the core team so that it all felt like a reset. Best of all, the season’s Big Bad wasn’t a speedster!
All of this was really positive, and yet, The Flash’s fourth season still didn’t come together like its first two seasons did. Maybe the show did miss having a personal connection to a villain, maybe the tones shifted too wildly between humor and seriousness, or maybe it was just because there were really awful storylines like the trial and Barry’s brief stint in prison. Last year, after Season 3, I wrote up 10 things the show needed to do to save itself. And it did most of them! Except many of those changes didn’t last, and it neglected the most important one: making Barry a hero and competent leader again.
In that same spirit, here’s a new list that I ever so humbly put forth as potential fixes for a show that I used to absolutely adore, but am now mostly bored by with no emotional connection left to its characters. Bring me back, Flash!