Barry's back, baby.
The past three seasons of The Flash have been good. The season four premiere of The Flash was very good. Tonight's episode felt like a whole new show in the best way possible.
The Flash's strongest episodes have always been the ones that leaned a little more on humor, a little less on the angst that tends to come with being a superhero on the CW. That was what was different about this show from the beginning, especially when compared to Arrow. Oliver Queen was racked with guilt and secrets, but Barry Allen was a funny, awkward kid with cool powers.
Then, the more the Flash used those powers, the more mistakes he made, and the more guilt he started carrying around. It made sense, but as we talked about last week, it wasn't the same Flash, and it wasn't really sustainable without getting real dark and real depressing.
Last week's premiere brought back the new Barry and showed us that something had definitely changed during those six months in the speed force, and tonight's premiere showed off what that new Barry is really like, and how he works within the new, more collaborative Team Flash.
Part of that collaboration involves a whole new Flash suit, with self-repairing armor, some kinda circuitry, a hood filled with maps and delivery menus, and a whole bunch of other features that made for one hell of a sequence when Barry came face to face with a guy who could control all electricity, meaning he could make Barry's new suit go completely haywire in one of the funniest scenes the show has possibly ever had.
The kicker was that this new computers-controlling guy wasn't a meta created by the particle accelerator, but he was actually created by (or at least associated with) new baddie, The Thinker.
The rest of the episode was all about the couples. Gypsy was determined to go on a date with Cisco while Cisco was consumed with the man who controlled computers, but it took her a while to admit that she had been excited to finally get to celebrate a Valentine's Day-esque holiday from her earth.
Iris was also finding that the new Barry was a little harder to communicate with, especially when he was doing things that he thought were helpful—cancelling their training session, planning their entire wedding without her, not listening to her instructions in the field.
They even went to couples counseling, and it eventually came out that Iris was most upset that Barry left in the first place without consulting her.
"Sometimes, it's not about us, or the team. Sometimes the weight of the whole city falls on my shoulders, and it's up to me to carry it. I'm the Flash," he said, in a typical dude sort of way while Iris rolled her eyes.
"See that's what you don't get," Iris told him. "When I put this ring on my finger, it wasn't just about you or me anymore. It was about us. You are not the Flash, Barry. We are."
Iris is both the partner and the boss Barry has always needed, and putting her in charge and taking so some of Barry's burden away from him is one of the best things—if not the best thing—this show has ever done. Pair that with the promising fun of a non-speedster bad guy with an intriguing new plan and we are all in on season four of this show.
Hopefully this momentum keeps up in the episodes to come!
Also: We'll take all the Risky Business tributes anyone on this show would like to give us. That was delightful.
The Flash airs Tuesdays at 8 p.m. on the CW.