Out of all The CW superhero shows, The Flash received the most thunderous applause in Ballroom 20 at Comic-Con. This was even before a single star hit the stage. After it was announced over the loud speaker that they were up next, you could feel a new sense of energy in the crowd. It’s very clear that this is probably the most popular show on the lineup.
Before the panel starts we get a teaser trailer for the upcoming fourth season. It’s probably the best of The CW teasers we were shown that day and it receives cheers every time a new character makes an appearance. The cheers were so deafening that I couldn’t hear some of the dialogue during the trailer.
Features during the panel were stars Grant Gustin (Barry Allen), Jesse Martin (Joe West), Tom Cavanaugh (Harrison Wells/Harry Wells/HR Wells), Carlos Valdes (Cisco Ramon), Candice Patton (Iris West), Danielle Panabaker (Caitlin Snow), and Keiynan Lonsdale (Wally West). They were also joined by producers of the show and that continued the good vibes from the previous CW panels. This is a solid group and their chemistry is instantly noticeable.
The cast did drop some season 4 tidbits. No one was 100% sure what version of Wells is going to show up for Season 4, but Harry (Earth-2 Wells) will be there for a time. Other than that, no one would say. Tom Cavanaugh stated that he loves getting to play different sides of the character and that it is gratifying as an actor. He essentially has to discover different nuances to differentiate them.
Season 4 starts about 6 months after the end of Season 3, with Kid Flash and Vibe picking up the job that Barry left behind. As Carlos Valdes explained it, “I can tell you straight up, It’s not good. Six months have passed since the disappearance of Barry Allen and the team is sort of clutching at straws to keep the city together, and though Kid Flash and Vibe are out in the field doing their thing and trying to keep it together, there is a unanimous feeling amongst the remaining members that it’s just not the same without Barry. We cannot keep the villains at bay with the same efficiency that he used to. So in light of that, Cisco does whatever it takes to get his friends back.”
Though Kid Flash and Vibe are fighting, Keiynan Lonsdale confirmed that the team is doing things their own way, “The whole team’s had to step up and become a unit, and it’s sort of becoming this sort of well-oiled machine — as well as it can without Barry.”
Candice Patton talked a bit about Iris’s new role at the start of Season 4. Iris has moved away from the more investigative role she had in the past and is now “at the forefront of Team Flash and Star Labs. She’s had to sort of step into the role that Barry left. It’s a way of distracting herself too. She’s obviously depressed and sad that Barry’s gone, not sure when he’s going to come back, so it’s a good distraction for her to be the leader.” She explained further, “She deals with that in her own way, I think you’ll see a very different Iris in Season 4; she’s almost hardened and a little more pessimistic, and is kind of like, we gotta move forward, we gotta just keep moving. We don’t know if Barry’s coming back, we can’t deal with that, all we can deal with is protecting the city.”
Patton also hinted that Iris and Barry’s reunion might not be the happiest, as he made the decision to go into the speed force without talking with her. “He didn’t consult her, it was a snap decision. I think when and if he comes out, that’s a conversation they’ll need to have about communication. As iconic as they are, Barry and Iris still have their issues, and they desperately need to work those out before they walk down the aisle.
Valdes also confirmed audiences see the return of Cisco’s more lighthearted joking manner. When speaking on the role his character has played on the show, and what the events of Season 3 did he said, “I got to imbue it with a life that I didn’t anticipate, and that allowed the character to blossom. Their response to that was allowing him to go through stuff and experience some challenges and mature in light of them. I’m so grateful for that because it allows Cisco not just to grow in front of the viewers’ eyes, but also to develop some dimension as a character. In spite of that, everybody agrees that last season was really dark, so I think the writers have decided to respond to that by making the next season much lighter. I think they recognize that Season 1 had a strength that really hit viewers in a very good spot, and I think they’re really trying to go back to that.”
Even though Killer Frost is out and in charge, there might be hope yet for Caitlin Snow, as Danielle Panabaker put it, “We’ll get it out of the way, quick. Here’s what I can tell you about Season 4: those who love Caitlin Snow won’t be disappointed and those who love Killer Frost won’t be disappointed.” Panabaker’s cryptic responses to questions actually become a funny running joke. The cast says she’s a pro at teasing and not giving anything away while Grant Gustin can’t hold any secrets. Price example is when Candice Patton gets the script that indicates she’s going to die he instantly goes to her and tells her “so it’s gonna look like you die, but don’t worry you’re not going to die.” He protects her on the show and in real life.
Gustin also talked a little about the new villain for Season 4, “The Thinker” (aka Clifford DeVoe), “Yeah, no speedster. I don’t know much about DeVoe, to be honest, from the comics, but we’re gonna have to find ways to outsmart him, her, when we figure out who it is, he or she. It’ll be cool, Barry will actually be the fastest man alive.”
He also talked a little about this season’s big crossover with the other DC shows: “I don’t know too much, but what I have heard: last year was an alien invasion, so it was pretty intense. This one will hopefully be more fun. It won’t be impending doom necessarily that brings us together, it’ll hopefully be a more fun reason that brings us together.”
It’s pretty clear that last season’s musical episode was a hit with fans. Almost every fan question during the panel was that particular episode but as of now, there are no immediate plans to do it again. It was the brainchild of producer Greg Berlanti and it did work but they don’t want to do it again just to do it. It has to make sense.
It was also announced that Danny Trejo is joining the show and the Ballroom 20 crowd let out a huge cheer. Kim Engelbrecht is also joining the show as a new female villain. The emphasis with these villains is to bring a lighter tone. Once we get Barry back I think the show will get back to basics.
This panel actually felt like it went by too fast. It was the normal length but you just didn’t want it to end. The cast was really fun and it felt like you were in the room with your friends. It was definitely a huge crowd pleaser.