One thing you'll notice when you tune in to the season four premiere of The Flash? There are smiles, jokes, laughter. A lightness has returned, replacing the grim solemnity that nearly swallowed season three whole.
Barry Allen may be trapped in the speed force, but The Flash has returned to form.
"Hopefully this season is going to be a little bit more fun," star Danielle Panabaker told E! News about the new season, premiering Tuesday, Oct. 10. "We're hoping to bring back some of the levity we had in season one, that kind of thing."
When we return to Central City, six months have passed since Team Flash defeated the diabolical Savitar, AKA future Barry Allen (Grant Gustin), and Barry was forced to make the hard to decision to leave behind Iris (Candice Patton) and the team in the hopes of calming the speed force, which was in need of a prisoner. In that time, Team Flash—including Wally (Keiynan Lonsdale) and Cisco (Carlos Valdes)—have had to step up and protect the city in the hero's absence.
"In general, season three was about dealing with Barry Allen's actions and the repercussions, and this season is going to be more about Team Flash and their actions, and the repercussions to that," Valdes explained.
Of course, this is still The Flash—and that means there's still got to be a villain to defeat. But unlike seasons past, the new Big Bad won't be someone with powers that mirror Barry's. "We've got a different kind of Big Bad this year," Gustin explained. "We've always had a speedster villain on the show, and this year we're going a different route. We've got the Thinker." (While The Thinker has been four different characters in DC Comics lore, he's always had a technologically-derived ability of telekinesis, telepathy, and mind control.)
While the lighter tone promised by the cast will be evident right off the bat, that doesn't mean the characters won't be struggling with the events of last season. Iris, especially. "I think we saw a glimpse of that in the season finale. She's devastated. It's her worst nightmare," Patton explained. "They defeated Savitar, the save the date cards are out for the wedding, now her fiance has decided to go on vacation to the speed force. So yeah, she's really, really struggling when we pick up season four, not having her fiance—and not knowing if or when he's ever coming back. And that's a hard thing to deal with."
Luckily, we have a feeling she won't have to wait much longer for his return.
For more from the cast, be sure to check out the video above!
The Flash returns for season four on Tuesday, Oct. 10 at 8 p.m. on the CW.