The fourth season of the American television series The Flash, which is based on the DC Comics character Barry Allen / Flash, follows a crime scene investigator with superhuman speed who fights criminals, including others who have also gained superhuman abilities. It is set in the Arrowverse, sharing continuity with the other television series of the universe, and is a spin-off of Arrow. The season is produced by Berlanti Productions, Warner Bros. Television, and DC Entertainment, with Andrew Kreisberg and Todd Helbing serving as showrunners.
The season was ordered in January 2017, and filming began that July. Grant Gustin stars as Barry, with principal cast members Candice Patton, Danielle Panabaker, Carlos Valdes, Keiynan Lonsdale, Tom Cavanagh, and Jesse L. Martin also returning from previous seasons, and are joined by Neil Sandilands.
The fourth season began airing on October 10, 2017, on The CW.
|The Flash (season 4)|
|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of episodes||9|
|Original network||The CW|
|Original release||October 10, 2017 – present|
|Title||Directed by||Written by||Original air date||Prod.
|70||1||"The Flash Reborn"||Glen Winter||Story by : Andrew Kreisberg
Teleplay by : Todd Helbing & Eric Wallace
|October 10, 2017||T27.13401||2.84|
|Iris has been aiding Team Flash in Central City for six months, but refusing to grieve Barry. A flying Samurai with superpowers appears in Central City, threatening to destroy the city if the real Flash does not face him. Cisco reveals he has formulated a way to bring back Barry without destabilizing the Speed Force, and tracks down Caitlin for help. Against Iris' direction, Team Flash successfully returns Barry, who appears rambling random statements and continually writing symbols on walls. Wally engages the Samurai, but is defeated. Cisco deciphers Barry's writings and finds an apparently meaningless sentence. In an attempt to recover Barry's memories, Iris gives herself up to the Samurai. The plan works and Barry speeds away, rescuing Iris and defeating the Samurai, who is revealed to be a robot. Caitlin rejoins Team Flash, but is revealed to have been working for a mobster called Amunet at the bar, while also continuing to prevent the Killer Frost personality from emerging. The "Samuroid" is revealed to have been controlled by the Thinker, whose plan was to draw out the Flash for his next schemes.|
|71||2||"Mixed Signals"||Alexandra La Roche||Jonathan Butler & Gabriel Garza||October 17, 2017||T27.13402||2.54|
|When Barry, Joe, and Cisco report to a crime scene, they discover remnants of a mysterious code. Cisco presents Barry with a technologically advanced suit, intended to facilitate his activities. He tests it out, trying to save someone from a haywire car, caused by metahuman Ramsey Deacon. Gypsy arrives on Earth-1 for a date with Cisco, who is forced to cancel it so as to focus on Deacon. Acting on a suggestion from Caitlin, Iris signs her and Barry up for couples therapy to sort out their relationship. Deacon kidnaps a witness, who was previously a member of a tech team who sold him out of his idea. Barry and Wally go to save him, but Deacon uses his abilities to send Barry's suit haywire. On Iris's instructions, Barry throws lightning at himself, shorting out his suit. He then incapacitates Deacon, who is locked up in the meta wing of Iron Heights, revealed to be part of the Thinker's plan. Cisco finally goes out with Gypsy. Wondering how Deacon gained his powers being absent during the particle accelerator incident, Barry and Joe learn from Deacon that there are "others".|
|72||3||"Luck Be a Lady"||Armen V. Kevorkian||Sam Chalsen & Judalina Neira||October 24, 2017||T27.13403||2.62|
|In flashbacks, the Thinker observes Becky Sharpe, a woman with seemingly unending bad luck, and determines that she will be easily manipulated. In the present, Becky robs a bank, and gets away when Barry slips on marbles. Harry arrives from Earth-2, and tells Wally that Jesse has decided to break up in order to focus on her vigilantism. Cisco deduces that Becky is a metahuman with the power of favorable luck while inducing misfortune to others. Barry realizes that the portal he used to escape the Speed Force exposed an entire busload of people, including Becky and Deacon, to transformative dark matter. Harry informs Cisco that Jesse has expelled him from her crime-fighting team due to his attitude. Becky's powers expand out of control, reactivating the particle accelerator, which Harry deliberately allows, nullifying Becky's powers and leading to her incarceration. Cisco and Harry identify twelve new metahumans created on the bus, and the latter suspects that an unknown party has manipulated events surrounding Barry's return. Wally decides to leave on a journey to find himself. The Thinker is revealed to be spying on S.T.A.R. Labs through the "Samuroid" helmet. Joe learns Cecile is pregnant.|
|73||4||"Elongated Journey Into Night"||Tom Cavanagh||Sterling Gates & Thomas Pound||October 31, 2017||T27.13404||1.99|
|Gypsy's father, Breacher, attacks Cisco, vowing to hunt and kill him in 24 hours, allowing the romance should he survive. Team Flash learns that the bus driver was murdered and tracks down another passenger, Ralph Dibny, former corrupt CCPD detective exposed by Barry and currently an infamous private investigator. As two thugs attack Dibny, he is revealed to have the power to stretch. Caitlin stabilizes his powers with a serum. The team learns that Ralph has been blackmailing Mayor Bellows for adultery, with the latter revealed to have hired the thugs. Barry confronts Ralph for his actions while the latter scolds him, claiming to have been a "good cop". He later stops blackmailing Bellows, who still attempts to kill him while Breacher mistakes the former for a Plastoid, the species that invaded Earth-19 previously, and attacks him. Cisco intervenes and saves Ralph, whom Barry, having revealed his alter-ego, convinces to help arrest an escaping Bellows. Admiring Cisco's gallantry, Breacher allows the relationship. Barry recruits Ralph for Team Flash and learns that someone named DeVoe instructed Ralph to watch Bellows. Barry remembers that Abra Kadabra and Savitar both mentioned DeVoe. Meanwhile, Caitlin finds a message on her apartment door.|
|74||5||"Girls Night Out"||Laura Belsey||Lauren Certo & Kristen Kim||November 7, 2017||T27.13405||2.38|
|While failing to track DeVoe, Team Flash is visited by Felicity, who joins Iris's bachelorette party. Mocking Cisco's plans for Barry's bachelor party, Ralph takes the men to a strip club, where they learn that Cecile's daughter, Joanie, is working. Joe confronts her, who states she is only doing feminist research. Ralph incites a brawl, leading to the men's arrest until Harry posts bail. Meanwhile, Amunet's enforcer, Norvock, demands Caitlin's return and attacks the women when she refuses. Killer Frost emerges and repels him, later telling Iris that Caitlin accepted Amunet's employment in exchange for the means to control Frost. Learning that Amunet is holding a metahuman she calls "the Weeper", whose tears are a strong narcotic, prisoner and intends to sell him, Iris's party decides to stop her. Though Caitlin refuses to join, she attacks Amunet when seeing her friends in danger. Using a strong magnet, the team robs Amunet's metal shards, leaving her powerless. Iris dissuades Frost from killing Amunet, who promises revenge. Both parties refuse to tell each other about their adventures. Iris asks Caitlin to be her maid of honor while Joe convinces Joanie to tell Cecile about her research. DeVoe captures the Weeper.|
|75||6||"When Harry Met Harry..."||Brent Crowell||Jonathan Butler & Gabriel Garza||November 14, 2017||T27.13406||2.46|
|Barry trains Ralph to use his abilities, with Cisco making a stretchable suit for him. Another bus metahuman, a Lakota Sioux Native named Mina Chayton, who can animate statues, starts attacking Central City & stealing pieces of a Black Bison necklace, which she claims belongs to her tribe. When Barry and Ralph catch up to her, she attacks Barry with a caveman statue and attempts a getaway. Ralph chooses to stop her, but a little girl is injured in the process. Ralph regrets his actions, but is comforted by Barry. Chayton escapes CCPD, going after the last necklace piece held at the museum. When Barry and Ralph confront her, she brings a dinosaur skeleton to life. Barry arrests Chayton while Ralph saves a security guard from the skeleton. Later, Ralph reveals he mailed the necklace back to Chayton's tribe, before visiting the little girl in the hospital, using his abilities to entertain her. Meanwhile, Harry, trying to make friends, works with his doppelgangers of alternate Earths, The Council of Wells. They figure out that DeVoe is a man named Clifford DeVoe. Barry and Joe head to DeVoe's house, to find that he is a middle-aged man in a wheelchair.|
|76||7||"Therefore I Am"||David McWhirter||Eric Wallace & Thomas Pound||November 21, 2017||T27.13407||2.20|
|Barry and Joe interrogate DeVoe and his wife to try and get more information. In flashbacks, DeVoe and his wife build a thinking cap to improve his brain capacity, powering it through the particle accelerator explosion. DeVoe's increased brain power accelerates his amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, forcing his wife to build him a special chair to keep him alive. Barry discovers the camera in the Samuroid head and confronts DeVoe, who reveals his true identity, leading to Cisco dubbing him "The Thinker". Wally returns to Team Flash from Blue Valley.|
|77||8||"Crisis on Earth-X, Part 3"||Dermott Downs||Story by : Andrew Kreisberg & Marc Guggenheim
Teleplay by : Todd Helbing
|November 28, 2017||T27.13408||2.82|
Barry, Oliver, Sara, Alex, Martin and Jax wake up in a Nazi concentration camp on Earth-X, with power dampening handcuffs. The leader of the concentration camp is revealed to be the Earth-X doppelgänger of Quentin Lance, who takes them away for execution, before they are saved by Citizen Cold (the Earth-X doppelgänger of Leonard Snart). Snart takes them to a resistance bunker, where the team meets fellow resistance fighters Ray Terrill and General Schott (Winn Schott's Earth-X doppelgänger). It is revealed the only way back to Earth-1 is through a temporal gateway in a Nazi facility, which Winn plans to blow up to strand Dark Arrow (Oliver's Earth-X doppelgänger) on Earth-1. Oliver disguises himself as Dark Arrow to infiltrate the facility, discovers the Nazi's doomsday device against parallel Earths is a militarized timeship called Wellenreiter, and saves a prisoner (who is Felicity's Earth-X doppelgänger) from Quentin. Barry and Ray battle the Earth-X Red Tornado, while the rest of the team enters the facility. In attempting to reactivate the gateway's portal, Stein is shot and gravely wounded. Back on Earth-1, Thawne prepares to perform surgery on Kara to save Overgirl at S.T.A.R. Labs. Felicity and Iris try to stop him, but are captured.
This episode continues a crossover event that begins on Supergirl season 3 episode 8 and Arrow season 6 episode 8, and concludes on Legends of Tomorrow season 3 episode 8.
|78||9||"Don't Run"||Stefan Pleszczynski||Sam Chalsen & Judalina Neira||December 5, 2017||T27.13409||2.22|
|While out Christmas shopping, Barry is ambushed and kidnapped by DeVoe while Caitlin is kidnapped from Jitters by Amunet. Iris claims they have to look for both of them, despite Wells' claim that they have insufficient time and resources and that they can only afford to search for one. Barry is held in DeVoe's lair. Caitlin is forced by Amunet to perform surgery on a metahuman named Dominic Lanse, who can read minds. They try to escape, but Amunet blocks their exit. Caitlin manages to briefly incapacitate Amunet, and she and Dominic flee the building they are being held in. Once outside, they are rescued by Cisco and Ralph, as Iris has chosen to focus on finding Caitlin. Barry manages to escape from DeVoe. Team Flash celebrates Christmas at the West house and Dominic joins them. Barry gets a security alert from his apartment. When he arrives, he receives a phone call from Dominic, who reveals that Amunet re-kidnapped Dominic and DeVoe has transferred his consciousness into Dominic's body. Barry discovers DeVoe's original body dead on his apartment floor and he realizes DeVoe has framed him for his "murder"; the police arrive, and Barry lets himself get arrested, not wanting to leave Iris again.|
|79||10||"The Trial of The Flash"||TBA||TBA||January 16, 2018||TBA||TBD|
The series was renewed for a fourth season on January 8, 2017, earlier than usual for the series. Executive producer Andrew Kreisberg said on this, "The great thing about our dear friends at The CW and Mark Pedowitz picking the shows up as early as they did has allowed us to start building the schedules for next season." In May 2017, it was announced that Aaron Helbing would not return as an executive producer for season four, with only Greg Berlanti, Andrew Kreisberg, Sarah Schechter, and Todd Helbing returning from previous seasons. Todd Helbing and Kreisberg were slated to serve as the season's showrunners. In November 2017, Kreisberg was suspended from his role as executive producer and showrunner on The Flash over allegations of sexual harassment. By the end of the month, he had been fired, with his name eventually being removed from the credits from all shows he worked on. In addition, Berlanti would take additional responsibilities working with Helbing to co-showrun the season.
In March 2017, Kreisberg confirmed that the main villain for the fourth season would not be a speedster, like the previous three seasons. Executive producers Aaron and Todd Helbing also mentioned that there would be less time travel in the season, with Aaron saying, "We like playing with the timelines and the different time periods and future and past. For now, I think we’re going to focus on the present." In June 2017, Clifford DeVoe / Thinker was reported to be the main antagonist of the season. He was first hinted in the third season episode "Abra Kadabra" when the titular villain mentions him among the Flash's greatest enemies, and again in the season finale "Finish Line" when Savitar mentions facing DeVoe but states that the Flash has not dealt with him yet. At the series' San Diego Comic-Con panel, the speculation was confirmed, with Todd Helbing saying, "With three Speedsters in a row, this year it's the fastest man alive against the fastest mind alive." He added that the writers were "making a conscious effort this year to get the fun quotient back up".
Regarding the possibility of Wally West taking on the mantle of the Flash in Barry's absence, Keiynan Lonsdale said that "It's not something that's on my radar. I feel as though there is so much story to tell and Wally has so much growing to do... We need to see how these character realistically get to where they are headed for." With the action picking up six months after season three, Kid Flash and Vibe are left to protect Central City, with Carlos Valdes saying "the team is sort of clutching at straws to keep the city together,... there is a unanimous feeling amongst the remaining members that it's just not the same without Barry... So in light of that, Cisco does whatever it takes to get his friends back." Valdes also confirmed the return of Cisco's more lighthearted joking manner. Candice Patton explained Iris West's larger role within Team Flash as "a way of distracting herself," adding that "[Iris] is forced to deal with that anger and resentment and abandonment by kind of focusing on protecting Central City... We're seeing a very different Iris, almost a very hardened Iris." Kreisberg also hinted at some major growth for Iris this season, and noted that "the season premiere is all about Iris and Cisco, not Barry".
In July 2017, Sterling Gates, DC Comics comic book writer, joined as a member of the fourth season's writing staff. At the Television Critics Association press tour in August 2017, Pedowitz stated that the fourth season of The Flash is "going to try to find the lightness... of the Barry Allen of the first two seasons," and said that the show was likely "done with Speedster villains". Later in the month, Kreisberg confirmed the return of Harry Wells from Earth-2, saying that "season 4 for Harry is really realizing what he's missing in his life and what it is he needs to become a better, more complete person, and so he's going to be going on a fairly epic emotional journey this season that is tied to the Thinker's plan," in addition to confirming the introduction of a new version of the Wells character.
In September 2017, Helbing noted "There's a lot of love in the air this season," and compared Barry and Iris' reunion to "somebody going off to war for six months and coming back. There's a lot that Iris experienced that Barry didn't when he was gone, and it's really [about] the fun and the emotional component of making up that time when they weren't together." Helbing also explained that the Speed Force "let [Barry] deal with all of the baggage [from the past three seasons]. When he comes out, he's sort of left that all behind." That month, Kreisberg also confirmed that Barry and Iris will be getting married this season, while also revealing that the pair will be going to couples therapy since "[they] keep comically clashing inadvertently because [both are] used to being in charge, and so they wind up going... to work through it." He added, "The two of them with the therapist is some of the funniest stuff we have ever done on this show, but it also leads to a deepening of their relationship."
Main cast members Grant Gustin, Candice Patton, Danielle Panabaker, Carlos Valdes, Keiynan Lonsdale, Tom Cavanagh, and Jesse L. Martin return from previous seasons as Barry Allen / The Flash, Iris West, Caitlin Snow / Killer Frost, Cisco Ramon / Vibe, Wally West / Kid Flash, Harrison Wells, and Joe West, respectively. Cavanagh will portray Harry Wells from Earth-2 at the start of the season, without ruling out the possibility of introducing another incarnation of the Wells character later on. Teasing the arrival of a new Harrison Wells, Cavanagh said, "We're going to start with Harry and then find a way, I think, to try and get a different version of Wells in there, be it some version of Harry or whatnot as the season's gaps present themselves." Also returning from earlier in the series are Jessica Camacho as Gypsy, and Anne Dudek as Tracy Brand. Tom Felton, who joined the cast as Julian Albert in the third season, was revealed not to be returning to the series, although there is a possibility he could return if the storyline demanded it and Felton's availability permits. Julian's absence will be addressed "pretty quickly — there's a reason why he's no longer with the team," said Helbing. In the season premiere, Julian is revealed to have returned to London. Kreisberg also confirmed that he had put on hold the planned return of Violett Beane as Jesse Quick due to the high number of speedsters on the show, but did not rule out a possible return in the future. Beane eventually appeared as Jesse on the episode "Luck Be a Lady". Britne Oldford, who previously appeared as Shawna Baez / Peek-a-Boo in the first season and the web series The Chronicles of Cisco, reprised her role in the season premiere.
In July 2017, Neil Sandilands was announced to be cast as Clifford DeVoe, a metahuman genius who embarks on a seasonlong battle with the Flash in order to fix all that he deems wrong with humanity; while Kim Engelbrecht was announced as The Mechanic, Devoe's right hand and a highly intelligent engineer who designs devices for him; and Danny Trejo as Breacher, a bounty hunter from Earth-19 and the father of Gypsy. Also in June, the series was looking to cast a role that "should put the visual effects department to the test", with the role later revealed to be Ralph Dibny / Elongated Man, a metahuman with the ability to stretch his body to superhuman lengths and sizes. Hartley Sawyer was cast in the recurring role that July as the fast-talking private investigator who after discovering his abilities will help Team Flash solve one of Central City's greatest mysteries. The character was previously mentioned in the first season, as one of the fourteen people who seemingly died as a result of the particle accelerator explosion. The next month, Katee Sackhoff was announced in the recurring role of Amunet Black / Blacksmith, who operates an underground black market of metahuman supervillains.
In May 2017, The CW president Mark Pedowitz officially announced plans for a four-show Arrowverse crossover event, crossing over episodes of the television series Supergirl, The Flash, Legends of Tomorrow, and Arrow. The crossover will begin with Supergirl and a special airing of Arrow on November 27, 2017, and conclude on The Flash and Legends of Tomorrow on November 28. In August 2017, Berlanti noted that it would be "a big life event for a few different people" that would bring them all together for the crossover, adding "There are many life events that happen." Arrow actress Emily Bett Rickards appears as Felicity Smoak in the fifth episode of the season.
In July 2017, cast from the series appeared at San Diego Comic-Con International to promote the season, where exclusive footage was shown. During the panel, a trailer for the season was shown, with James Whitbrook at io9 feeling that despite the "grim" tone, there was "some fun signs of the team coming together to protect the city without [Barry],... Sprinkle in a few wacky things, like, say a goddamn Samuroid ripped straight from the comics, and ladies and gents, you've got a good season of The Flash lined up." Ben Pearson with /Film felt seeing Iris West deal with the absence of Barry was "a nice change of pace for that character", but anticipated that "Barry [would] be back two or three episodes in at the latest." Collider.com's Allison Keene also noted Iris "getting an actual storyline" with Barry gone, and similarly presumed that he "[would] be back in the fold by the end of the first episode" alike to Flashpoint in the third season. She added, "There are some new foes, lots of action, plenty of tech — it’s great!"
|1||"The Flash Reborn"||October 10, 2017||1.1/4||2.84||0.7||1.92||1.8||4.77|
|2||"Mixed Signals"||October 17, 2017||0.9/4||2.54||0.8||1.82||1.7||4.36|
|3||"Luck Be a Lady"||October 24, 2017||1.0/4||2.62||0.8||1.84||1.8||4.46|
|4||"Elongated Journey Into Night"||October 31, 2017||0.7/3||1.99||0.7||1.79||1.4||3.79|
|5||"Girls Night Out"||November 7, 2017||0.9/4||2.38||0.8||1.84||1.7||4.22|
|6||"When Harry Met Harry..."||November 14, 2017||1.0/4||2.46||0.7||1.83||1.7||4.29|
|7||"Therefore I Am"||November 21, 2017||0.8/3||2.20||0.8||2.08||1.6||4.28|
|8||"Crisis on Earth-X, Part 3"||November 28, 2017||1.0/4||2.82||TBD||TBD||TBD||TBD|
|9||"Don't Run"||December 5, 2017||0.8/3||2.22||TBD||TBD||TBD||TBD|
Reviewing the first two episodes of the season, Allison Keene writing for Collider.com, felt the premiere "wipes the slate clean, fixing a lot of the issues that plagued the end of the last season, and setting up a much more toned-down storyline. Most importantly, it's brought back some fun." She added that with a "streamlined team," the core characters now have time to interact and have meaningful plot lines. On the second episode, Keene described it as "truly a delight" with the show taking "the time to focus on character relationships, and not just romantic relationships" and each character "feeling like a refreshed version of themselves, with new narrative purpose". She also highlighted the setup of the Thinker "as an Alchemy-like villain who manipulates evil metas into the Flash's path as part of some kind of masterplan", saying "The Flash is a series that truly works best as a procedural, with the team finding creative ways to bring down Villains of the Week."
With so many speedsters present in the season finale, executive producer Andrew Kreisberg decided to put a hold on Violett Beane's planned return as Jesse Quick. "But she has been such a great addition to the show," Kreisberg says. "We'll see what happens in Season 4."