The Flash promised us it was lightening up in season four, and it has delivered.
The three episodes that have aired so far have been The Flash at its funniest, its silliest, and its quickest, highlighting both the absurdity of this world filled with wacky superpowers and the sweetness of the relationships at its core. After how dark and angsty last season got, it’s like it’s a completely different show, which is entirely on purpose.
“My goal for the year was that people would think I got fired and they brought somebody new on,” executive producer Andrew Kreisberg joked to reporters after a screening of this week’s episode. “I think there’s a public perception that we felt like we needed to make a course correction after last season, and for us it was really that we just don’t want to keep doing the same thing that we’ve always done.”
Kreisberg also rejects the idea that season four is more like season one, since season one was pretty damn dark too (and did not include any Risky Business dances, marble tripping, or suit inflating).
“I think people are misremembering how dark season one was. You know, it was about avenging the death of Barry’s mother and his father was in jail,” he said. “So when we were sitting down for this season, we just thought that like it wasn’t going to get any darker than it got last season with the possible death of Iris and the death of HR and Barry’s future doppelganger as the villain, so we just wanted to do something new and do something fun.”
He says that right now, with everything going on in the world, people are craving less darkness and a little more fun.
“It’s a tough world, and having 42 minutes of just pure, unadulterated joy, I think, is something people are keen for,” he said.
In trying to bring us that joy, the writers took inspiration from a certain beloved movie franchise when putting this season together.
“Our sort of goal was like, if the first three seasons were Raiders of the Lost Ark, this season was Last Crusade, where we were actually commenting on the silliness of the show, and just wanting everybody to be having a good time,” he explained. “We have a bunch of new writers this season who are all hilarious, and we have stuff coming up that…You guys are going to die.”
Tonight’s episode—which introduces a new classic comic book character, gives us a little more insight into the mind of the new big bad, and also guest stars Danny Trejo as Gypsy’s (Jessica Camacho) no-nonsense father—is no exception to this new rule of The Flash, so you’re probably not going to want to miss it.
The Flash airs Tuesdays at 8 p.m. on the CW.