Another season of The Flash has come to an end, and the finale concluded on a cliffhanger that answered the question of the Mystery Girl's identity but also posed a whole bunch of new questions about why she needs Barry and Team Flash's help. Season 4 had plenty of ups and downs as it fell into old habits as well as it tried new things. Now, as we head into a long hiatus, the time is right to reflect on what needs to change for The Flash Season 5. Read on for our picks of changes that need to happen!
Break The Season Up Into Arcs
The Flash has spent four seasons building a big bad up for 22 episodes until the big confrontation in the final hour. While that has worked well enough and kept The Flash as one of The CW's most successful series, the big Thinker arc of Season 4 could be a sign that it's time for a change. The show had to drag the stories of the bus metas out for a full season when they could have been resolved much more quickly, and Season 3 suffered for dragging out the big Savitar reveal. If the show breaks its seasons up into two or three arcs, fans could get a whole lot more story in an even more satisfying way. Just imagine one mini arc finishing, then the big Arrow-verse crossover airing, and then one more mini arc kicking off! The Flash wouldn't need to try and stretch a storyline to 23 episodes. Interestingly, breaking a season up into arcs has done wonders for Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.'s plots in the last several seasons; perhaps the same could be true for one of The CW's DC series.
Cut Down On Resurrections
Nothing lowers the stakes of an action-packed TV show like resurrections of characters who have bitten the dust, and The Flash is guilty of bringing a number of characters back from the dead. Now, to be fair, it's hardly the only Arrow-verse show (or CW show) to resurrect characters, and Arrow managed to introduce pools that can literally restore dead bodies to life. Still, The Flash has done it enough that it can be difficult to mourn characters after they die because it feels so likely that they'll be back in some way or other. Ralph Dibny is the latest Flash character to be brought back, thus negating to tragedy and power of his death earlier in Season 4. Admittedly, it would be fun to get The Thinker back after the nature of his departure and potential to live on via tech, but Season 5 should keep the resurrections to a minimum.
No New Speedsters
One of the most challenging aspects about crafting a show starring a hero with an array of superpowers has to be finding a villain that can -- quite literally, in the case of Barry Allen -- keep up with him. The first three seasons of The Flash pitted Barry against a speedster supervillain, with Clifford DeVoe in Season 4 as Barry's first non-speedster nemesis. The show had to get creative to find reasons why Barry couldn't just use his superspeed to stop DeVoe from his dastardly deeds as The Thinker, and while that may have been a bummer to fans who wanted to see Barry and a bad guy racing for the fourth time in four years, it was something new. That said, The Flash did introduce two other speedsters: Nora West-Allen and (albeit temporarily) Iris West-Allen. Season 5 should cut down on adding new speedsters to the series, with perhaps the exception of that mysterious speedster that Jay Garrick is apparently mentoring over on Earth-3.
Change The No-Killing Rule
In Season 4, Barry and Team Flash were back on the no-killing bandwagon, even going so far as to try and convince Ralph that they shouldn't even consider just killing The Thinker if they got the opportunity. On the one hand, it's a good thing that the good guys of a series aren't quick to kill, no matter how desperate the situation. Even Oliver Queen over on Arrow would undoubtedly commend Team Flash for taking nonlethal measures whenever possible. On the other hand, was Ralph really so awful for pushing the idea of killing DeVoe if given the chance? At the time, Team Flash was losing conflict after conflict against DeVoe, and innocent metas were dying and having their powers harvested. Team Flash should lighten up on the no-killing rule in Season 5. Maybe Barry really should talk to Oliver over on Arrow! Besides, Team Flash seems to have a selective memory about the deaths they've caused. Did Griffin Grey really deserve to be aged to death just because that was the first solution they came up with to take him out?
New Metas Unrelated To The Flash
While the majority of the plot of a show called The Flash naturally revolves around the Scarlet Speedster and his pals, it's getting a bit ridiculous how the majority of the metahumans who turn up are connected to the particle accelerator explosion and/or something Team Flash has done. The show has teased the existence of metas outside of Central City who couldn't have been impacted by the particle accelerator, and the clues about Caitlin's past at the end of Season 4 could be hints that the show will explore metas not connected to Team Flash in the next batch of episodes. Hopefully that will be the case, as The Flash reinventing itself by introducing a way for outside metas to enter the fray could open the series up to some exciting possibilities in Season 5.
Include Twists Earlier Than The Last Minute
One of the most frustrating parts of being a Flash fan has the be the way that episodes hold the biggest and most exciting plot twists until the very last minute or even an episode tag after the rest of the episode has aired its beginning, middle, and end. While that does make for an exciting end to most episodes, it can make the previous 58 minutes feel like a waiting game for the twist rather than a full adventure. The Flash would change for the better in Season 5 if it included more big twists earlier in each episode. They don't have to happen ahead of the title card or within the first fifteen minutes, but before 8:58 p.m. ET would be nice.
Don't Use The Particle Accelerator As A Plot Device
The particle accelerator is what kicked off The Flash in the first place, and the Scarlet Speedster wouldn't be speeding anywhere if he hadn't been struck by the accelerator's lightning. That said, the time has come for the show to move past the accelerator as a plot device. Sure, it comes in handy when it comes to explaining where Central City metas got their powers, and the pipeline has enabled Team Flash to detain captives time and time again, but The Flash can do better than just use the particle accelerator over and over again. Season 5 could be the beginning of a brand new era with Nora on the scene; perhaps that era could involve moving beyond all things particle accelerator.
We'll have to wait and see. The Flash will return to The CW in the fall. It's the only superhero series on The CW that won't be moving to a different time on a different night, so be sure to check out The CW's 2018-2019 fall TV schedule for all the details. For some viewing options while you wait for more of Barry Allen and Co., check out our summer TV premiere guide and our 2018 Netflix premiere schedule.