A couple weeks ago, Netflix released season 4 of The Flash. I watched the first episode of season 4 and the last episode of season 4, back-to-back. It’s something I did with Supergirl last year—bookending the season—and I really liked seeing how the show changed over the year.

It made me realize that I was way more excited about season 4 of The Flash when it started, compared to how I felt as the season progressed.

For starters, I was really excited that the main villain was not a speedster. Interviews with the writers and cast last year said that season 4 would have a lighter tone, especially since season 3 was dark and dreary. I was looking forward to a more light-hearted Flash up against a different type of villain.

​But somewhere along the way, season 4 fell into the same redundancies as last season.

So all of that to say: I thought the season 4 finale was a decent episode. But I thought it could have been a lot better.

Here’s what I would have liked to see instead:

  • DeVoe’s plan to reboot everyone’s brain included a part he didn’t tell anyone about: He would use the satellites to reprogram everyone’s minds with what he thought “good humans” should be. The Thinker becomes The Teacher.
  • Barry goes into DeVoe’s mind to find a way to beat him and discovers that additional part of the plan.
  • Barry realizes he could broadcast something else. He has always been able to bring out the good in people. Now Barry could do it for everyone—make everyone be good. And for a moment, he wants to. Because if everyone is good, there’s no more crime to fight. No more bad metas to beat. Barry would be free. Team Flash could move on with their lives. Everyone gets their happily ever after.
  • Barry starts broadcasting. Reprogramming everyone gives Barry the peace he wants, but it makes him the same as the villain.
  • His friends have to stop him. That becomes the struggle—convincing Barry that he can’t force people to be good, even if Central City might end up a better place.

It would have been interesting to show how easily Barry could have acted the same as The Thinker. Barry would have to accept that it’s not his place to decide how people should be.

But that’s not what we got. We had to settle for missed character opportunities. Again.

I’ve had the same conversation a dozen times with friends, and it goes like this:
 
Friend: Hey, did you see the new trailer for [movie we’re both excited about]?
Me: Nope, I try not to watch trailers for movies I want to see.
Friend: Really? But it’s so good! They showed this one part where—
Me: Ah…I’d rather you not tell me. I don’t like knowing too much ahead of time.
Friend: Ugh, okay…
[and then we talk about something else]
 
Most of my friends love having more trailers to watch.
 
Not me, though.
 

I don’t like watching movie trailers.

 
I don’t avoid them completely, but I do not seek them out.
 
What does that mean?
 
When I’m at the movie theater, I’ll watch the previews. No problem.
 
When I’m watching TV and a trailer comes on, I’ll watch it. No problem.
 
But I don’t look up movie trailers on YouTube or anywhere else. When new trailers come out for movies I want to see, I don’t pay attention to the news. When there are clips on my social media feeds, I scroll past them.
 
Why?
 
Because most movie trailers emphasize Big Moments. The trailer is not a teaser or an introduction. It’s full of actual scenes—important characters doing important things. I feel like that takes away from the experience when you go see the film. I don’t want to see those moments out of context.
 
I thought it might have been different in the past. Maybe 30 years ago, movie trailers were more like teasers. Maybe more recently, trailers included more Big Moments. But I’ve been watching a bunch of trailers from different years, and I don’t think that’s the case. Some older movies had trailers that gave away a lot. Some newer movies had trailers that don’t give away much at all.
 

Having more access to movie trailers—especially on the internet—gives us more exposure to more movie clips.


And I don’t want it.
 
I limit the movie trailers I watch, and I still feel like I know too much about upcoming movies. There are way too many places to see clips online.
 
It’s hard to avoid trailers and spoilers, but imagine if you could. Imagine watching…
 
  • Star Wars: The Force Awakens without knowing Harrison Ford was in the movie
  • Cast Away without knowing Tom Hanks gets off the island
  • Jurassic Park without seeing the dinosaurs beforehand
It would change your experience in the movie theater—improve it.
 
It’s hard to avoid movie trailers, but I like to try. So, please stop asking me if I’ve seen the new trailer. I probably haven’t, and that’s on purpose.

So far this season, The Thinker’s advantage has been that he can out-think everyone. He knows every variable, every possibility, and every probability. Because of that, he can predict people’s behavior and manipulate them. His plans aren’t perfect—Team Flash finds him sooner than he expected—but he can account for changes and adjust as necessary because he knows everything that’s in play. The Thinker knows everything that could happen but he doesn’t know what will happen for sure.

Barry has a way of knowing what will happen (no time traveling required), and that’s how he can beat The Thinker.


Spoilers for 4×09 “Don’t Run”

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