The Flash: The Complete Fourth Season
Review by KC Carlson
The fourth season of The Flash was not quite as much fun as the third season but still had some great moments — including the long sequence of episodes featuring Ralph Dibny, the Elongated Man (played by Hartley Sawyer — which is also a great superhero secret identity-type name). Yeah, I know that he wasn’t very much like the Ralph Dibny from the comic books at all. But the comic book Ralph barely appears anymore, so I think the TV version made more appearances this year than Ralph Classic! Plus, he’s returning in Season 5!
We’ll get back to Ralph in a minute, but first we have some box sets to sell: The Flash: The Complete Fourth Season is a four-disc Blu-ray set (and what I’m reviewing from). The DVD format set is a five-disc collection. (The studio, Warner Bros. Home Entertainment, provided me with a free review copy of this Blu-ray set. My opinions below are mine.) (They make me say that, you know…)
The introduction of Ralph was the only thing that kept Johanna watching the show. She liked seeing one of her favorites on-screen, although his story was less funny, more dark. (A sentiment that could be applied to all of the DC TV shows.) But she enjoyed seeing a reluctant goofball learn about his powers, even if she really missed seeing Sue Dibny, to balance him out. Maybe in future…
Another highlight of the season set is the four-way crossover between DC superhero shows. And this year, they’re doing it right in that all four of the individual show box sets will include all four of the crossover episodes. (For example: This Flash set also has the appropriate episodes from Arrow, Supergirl, and Legends of Tomorrow.) Good work DC/Warner Bros!
Back to the Beginning
But let’s jump back to the beginning of the season before I get everybody confused! As Season Four opens, the Flash (Grant Gustin) has disappeared into the Speed Force. Since it’s hard to have a new season without the lead character, both lab rats Cisco Ramon (Carlos Valdes) and Caitlin Snow (Danielle Panabaker) — wait, you thought she left the series last season?? Nah, she’s back! — manage to find Barry in the Speed Force and retrieve him, although he’s not in good shape, especially for a guy who’s supposed to get married to journalist Iris West (Candice Patton). Don’t worry, pretty much everything is wrapped-up by the end of the first episode — because there’s lots to cover this season.
The next several episodes deal with introducing the new characters/villains for the season. Primarily that’s Clifford DeVoe (aka the Thinker, played by Neil Sandilands) who is introduced in episode 7 and battles the Flash pretty much the rest of the season. Then there is Rebecca “Becky” Sharpe (played by Sugar Lyn Beard). She happens to be on a bus when The Flash returns from the Speed Force, which affects her (and other bus riders) with Dark Matter. Becky ends up with “luck” powers; she has good luck and everybody around her (including the Flash) has bad luck. Cisco dubs her “Hazard” (like the DC Comics villain). She’s kinda like that, but also sort of amusing in an odd way, which makes her fun to watch.
Unfortunately, probably neither of these characters will appear in Season Five. One of them is dead and the other cured. And I’m not saying which is which. Also, Wally West (aka Kid Flash, played by Keiynan Lonsdale) after bouncing from The Flash to Legends of Tomorrow last season, is rumored to not be returning to The Flash full-time, desiring to seek other acting opportunities. Meanwhile, actress Danielle Nicolet (Central City DA Cecile Horton) will be promoted to series regular for Season 5. She and husband Joe West (Jesse L. Martin) will also be very busy with their newborn baby!
But Let’s Not Get Ahead of Ourselves…
Back to Season Four: Felicity Smoak (played by Emily Brett Rickards) appears in the wonderfully weird bachelorette party episode “Girls Night Out” (Ep. 5) . . . and then in the very next episode (Ep.6: “When Harry Met Harry”), Harry enlists help from other Earths’ versions of Harrison Wells — calling them The Council of Wells! A very busy (and very funny) episode for actor Tom Cavanagh! . . . Jay Garrick (played by John Wesley Shipp, who also portrayed the Barry Allen Flash in the CBS Flash show from 1990-1991) reappears in the episode “Enter Flashtime” where he teams-up with Jessie Quick (Volett Beane) . . . And the season finale (Ep. 26) “We Are The Flash” promises to introduce yet another member of the “Flash Family” in Season 5. That’s set to premiere on the CW on October 9, 2018.
Besides all four of the crossover episodes mentioned above, there is a special feature about it. “Inside The Crossover: Crisis On Earth-X” (42 minutes!) features the Executive Producers from Arrow, The Flash, Supergirl, and Legends of Tomorrow discussing the monumental crossover. In addition, “The Elongated Man” (10 minutes) probably stretches things too far, “The Fastest Mind Alive: The Thinker” (16 minutes) wonders what makes Clifford DeVoe tick, and “Flash Time on Amunet Black With Katee (Sackhoff), Eric (Wallace), and Sterling (Gates)” (13 minutes) is a visual commentary regarding the manipulative villain. In addition, there’s “The Best of DC TV’s Comic-Con Panels: San Diego 2017” (58 minutes), deleted scenes for eight episodes (some are incredibly brief), and a gag reel. Hope you like horrible dancing!