Spoilers run amok for those who still haven't watched The Flash's Season 3 finale.
Sadly, The Flash TV series can't possibly live up to its titular speedster, at least in terms of Season 4 zooming to viewers' TVs immediately following the Season 3 finale, and alas, fans will once again be forced to wait until next fall gets here to catch up with Barry's exploits. (Where is our Earth's Harrison Wells, who would no doubt be capable of making such a thing happen?) In any case, we've got some time to kill, so let's talk about the impending fourth season.
Few will likely deny that The Flash has had its share of downs to go with its ups, but no one can possibly deny how superb and invigorating those ups were. As such, here are some of the big changes we'd absolutely love to see when Season 4 gets here, which could happen, what with the changes happening behind the scenes. Some are change-ups that we've wanted for a while, while others are new to the mental palate. And for what it's worth, it's already been confirmed that the new big bad won't be an evil speedster, so you won't find me asking for that. Now let's kick things off with a big old issue that Season 3 had.
No More Time Travel
Does everyone remember back when The Flash used time travel for the first time in Season 1, how magical and shocking it was? We all knew it was going to come up at some point, and when it did, not only did Barry actually save the city, but he also sacrificed his first big kiss with Iris in order to do it. Now, after three seasons of this show and two seasons of Legends of Tomorrow, nothing sounds more trite and problematic and crutch-like than Barry using time travel as a way to try and change an event or learn a lesson. No more of it, even if it's just to go back a few seconds to not spill water, or to save someone's life.
Limit The Villains-Of-The-Week Approach
I'm not going to currently fault The Flash for introducing a revolving door of baddies over the years, as that felt in tune with its comic book origins, while also parceling out a ton of fan service for folks who can't get enough of a live-action Mirror Master and Peek-a-Boo. But after three seasons -- especially this year's awkward use of Dr. Alchemy -- it's time to really cut down on the one-off plots with villains that continue to stretch the boundaries of belief that people would actually still live in the calamity-filled Central City. (The Speed Force shenanigans might change that.) The serialized focus used in the back half of this latest season has been ridiculously strong, pacing-wise. So, more of that, and less of Earth-12's version of Pied Piper.
Turn Iris From Damsel To Badass
Okay, The Flash, we have seen Iris fall into danger's hands time after time, and a huge chunk of this past season was all about saving her from a future death. It was an interesting and befuddling story, and it successfully took the WestAllen relationship from the comics to new and pre-matrimonial heights. Iris' arc across these seasons would come across a lot stronger if the writers upped the ante in Season 4 where her input in Team Flash's activities is concerned. Arrow has given all of its lead female protagonists time to kick ass, as has Legends, Supergirl and even The Flash, with Caitlin's Killer Frost turn. Now that she's the one responsible for killing Savitar, give Iris the same verve as her Earth-2 counterpart.
Bring More Themed Episodes In
While I admittedly wasn't the biggest fan of the musical episode crossover between The Flash and Supergirl, that was more for the particular song and music choices, rather than the concept of a musical episode itself, or any gimmicky episode of the sort. (And in that particular instance, Darren Criss was pretty fantastic as the villain, so he's welcome to return.) I know The Flash's threat-doling villains mean the episodes can't just dash off into meaningless waters for the sake of entertainment, but this show IS based on comic books, which often go on narrative detours without worlds imploding. I would be pumped if The Flash took a specific and occasionally absurd left turn for bottle episodes that add to the fun without necessarily adding to the cast. Example: an 8-bit episode.
No New Versions Of Harrison Wells
In the Season 3 finale of The Flash, we got to witness the death of HR, the latest of Tom Cavanagh's smart-sounding characters. While he definitely wasn't the easiest of the Harrison Wells clan to deal with on a weekly basis, he was pretty fun out of context, and he served his purpose accordingly. And when the end of the finale arrived, Earth-2's Harry told Barry he'd stick around during the Speed Force penance. If the show doesn't find a way to keep Harry around for the entirety of Season 4, then we're hoping Cavanagh becomes a recurring character who pops up when needed, rather than becoming a another hokey new jokester from another dimension.
Special Mention: More Mark Hamill!
Yeah, I understand why The Flash wouldn't be able to get Mark Hamill into its plotline on a weekly basis, because he's busy doing Star Wars stuff and Trickster doesn't exactly come across as the same kind of nice-guy-rogue that Captain Cold and Heat Wave do. But regardless of logic and common sense, nothing is going to stop me from wanting Hamill's signature snarl and voice to enter every single episode. And while his Season 3 cameo for "Flashpoint" was easily a Top 5 Flash appearance, it definitely wasn't enough to keep us sated until Season 4 comes around. May the Speed Force be with him.
Are you guys into these choices, or do you have some of your own? Let us know, and then head to our summer TV schedule to see what's coming to the small screen in the near future.