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.

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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A Superman story that’s pretty much the same as the original, except he has a different reason for being a hero.

It’s not because he feels he should help people since he has superpowers. It’s not just because he’s a good guy at heart.

Superman went to the Fortress. He saw the history of Krypton. He knows what led to the planet exploding—his parents’ neglect.

Jor-El was a skilled scientist, so he knew what was wrong with the planet. But he was arrogant. Instead of raising an alarm, he wanted to fix it on his own.

Lara was on the governing council. People’s safety should have been he top priority. But she was too comfortable with the status quo.

Besides, the House of El was high society. If anything really bad happened, they had escape pods ready. No problem flying off planet.

Arrogance and laziness. They both shirked their responsibilities.

And Superman knows.

It sickens him.

He’s trying to make up for their shortcomings. Every person he saves. Every disaster he stops. It’s because his parents wouldn’t step up.

It’s the reason Clark became an investigative reporter—to make sure people in power are honest and ethical.

He spends both lives, as Clark and Superman, making sure that no one hurts people out of arrogance or neglect.

Superman isn’t interested in bringing back Krypton.

He wants to make sure it never happens again.