The cast of The Flash discuss the season 4 premiere, which picks up six months after the season 3 finale. Ever since Barry Allen (Grant Gustin) entered the Speed Force to save Central City in the third season finale of The Flash, fans of the show have been anxious to find out what happens next. Just how long would the show's titular hero be trapped there? And just as importantly, how would his friends cope with his absence, while continuing to protect Central City?
Though viewers will have to wait for the new season to get the whole story, the cast and crew of the series appeared at San Diego Comic-Con last month to promote the show and shed some light on what's been happening since Barry disappeared into the Speed Force.
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Speaking to ComicBook, Gustin wouldn't offer too many details on the season 4 premiere, saying, "Six months later. Barry's in the Speed Force. And that's pretty much all I've got, because Barry's in the Speed Force." Candice Patton (Iris West) went on to reveal Central City has been missing its hero for quite a while:
"We pick up six months later. S.T.A.R. Labs is trying to keep it together without Barry, so Kid Flash is kind of taking up a lot of the slack for Barry; Iris is kind of the team leader at S.T.A.R. Labs this season - or at least starting in the season without Barry - and Joe, and Cisco... We're all trying to keep Central City safe without The Flash. It's hard - it's hard not having him around."
It's notable that The Flash will jump a little further in time than is customary for most shows on their summer break. Most shows advance in real time (or close to it), and pick up two or three months after their spring finale. Jumping ahead a whole six months after season 3's finale establishes that Barry has already spent a considerable amount of time in the Speed Force, with (presumably) no return in sight. That would seem to indicate his friends and family, most notably Iris, will be relatively far along in their respective grieving processes, but it's safe to say nobody has forgotten Barry. It will also be interesting to see how this new iteration of Team Flash operates, with Wally taking the lead as Kid Flash and Cisco taking a more active crime-fighting role in his Vibe persona.
It should be refreshing to see a new spin on the show's tried and true formula, at least for a little while. We're used to seeing Barry run in to save the day, so it will be fun to see Wally, Cisco and Joe (and maybe a returning Killer Frost?) take the lead in dealing with metahuman threats to Central City.
Of course, the show is called The Flash for a reason, so Barry will reappear eventually. A deft storytelling hand will be required in making Barry's return from the Speed Force feel earned while not leaving him on the sidelines for too long.
The Flash will return to The CW with its fourth season premiere on Tuesday, October 10, 2017.