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The following contains spoilers for The Flash Season 4 finale, "We Are The Flash."
The Flash Season 4 finale was a head-trip (literally), and fans are once again left wondering exactly where Season 5 will take them. While the season finale wasn't entirely forthcoming at teasing exactly what next season's big disaster will be, it did bring back someone who will probably help Team Flash in Season 5: good old Ralph. Yes, Ralph Dibny managed to recover from Clifford DeVoe's clutches and bounce right back into Central City to be the Elongated Man once more!
Unfortunately for the other bus metas, a resurrection like Ralph's was not an option. The Flash explained that because DeVoe was using Ralph's body as a vessel, it was still possible to bring him back through The Thinker's mind and bring him back into the real world. After a lot of thinking (or lack thereof) and a battle with a bunch of DeVoes that almost felt like a scene out of The Matrix, Barry and Ralph were successfully able to escape The Thinker's mind. As explained, Ralph forced DeVoe out of his body and regained control of himself, thus effectively destroying The Thinker's physical self.
The Flash bringing back the Elongated Man was an unexpected surprise, and possibly one that may make fans feel cheated. After all, not everyone was upset to see Ralph go in his departure episode, as many others instead chose to mourn the loss of Killer Frost the episode he "died". Those who may be miffed The Flash decided to bring Ralph back can at least take solace in knowing the writers didn't do it out of spite, as executive producer Todd Helbing explained to ComicBook.com that killing off the Elongated Man for good was never going to be in the cards:
We never want to make the experience for the audience feel cheap, or like it's not earned for him to come back. With The Thinker and DeVoe's plan, it hit a lot of story points with us. The reason why he was jumping through all these other metahumans was to take their powers, and we knew that when he finally got to Ralph, [the question was] how do we keep Ralph alive and bring him back and with his powers? DeVoe was able to return to form and we could pay off the Weeper storyline and emotionally, we could really get something that hit home with the team and send the team on a journey, dealing with a team member's death, and ultimately how this brings them closer together. They all have to work as a team and then it just felt like the best time to bring him back, in the finale, when he goes into the mindscape and he finds Ralph Dibny still alive.
Ralph will get another chance to earn his keep as a full-time member of Team Flash as the team said goodbye to Harry Wells in the closing minutes of the season. Of course, they'll almost certainly see Earth-2 Wells once again, although his average intellect may make him less of an asset than when he was when he was a genius. Ralph doesn't have much in the smarts department even perhaps compared to Harry's diminished intelligence, but he's got powers and a new understanding of what it means to be a hero, so that's something. The reveal of Mystery Girl's identity could mean that she'll be on board in a bigger way in Season 5.
The Flash will return for Season 5 on The CW on Tuesdays at 8:00 p.m. ET this fall. For a list of upcoming superhero shows to check out until then, visit our superhero premiere guide. For a more generalized list of upcoming television shows premiering over the next couple of months, visit our summer premiere guide.