The fourth season of The Flash left our titular hero in a good place. Having saved the day and stopped the bad guy, and surrounded by the people he loves the most, the season ended on an upbeat note for a change. That doesn’t mean we weren’t left with questions. And with Kreisberg gone and Todd Hellbing officially in charge of the show moving forward, we have plenty to wonder about regarding next season.
Here are five of the most pressing questions we would love to have answered at this year’s San Diego Comic Con.
1. Who is the Big Bad?
According to Hellbing, last season’s finale was supposed to reference next year’s Big Bad, but it was cut for time. Most fans suspect the villain next year will be Cicada. In the comics, Cicada has both the ability to steal the life force of others and a grudge against the Flash. That Hashtag Show has reported that the show’s version would have the ability to negate others’ metahuman powers and a grudge against the particle accelerator.
If Cicada is our villain next year, The Powers That Be have been tight lipped about it to date. I’m excited about the prospect of another non-speedster villain. Although there were flaws in the villain’s plot last season, the speedsters of the years prior had gotten somewhat repetitive. It was refreshing to find a conflict that wasn’t resolved by running faster. However, if Cicada has the ability to negate (or even steal) others’ powers, that would echo at least part of the threat of last season.
Will they find a way to make the Big Bad new and refreshing? I hope so. Any information about the villain’s story next year would give us an idea of what to expect.
2. What Did Nora Break?
From our brief glimpse of Nora in the finale, it seems Barry isn’t the only (West-)Allen with a penchant for breaking time. Nora confessed she’d made a mistake – presumably by changing time with disastrous consequences. But what did she do, and what disaster must now be averted?
Leading theories suggest that it was Nora’s actions that led to Cicada’s rise in power and the elimination of metahumans. Other fans think she inadvertently erased her twin brother (Don to her Dawn in the comics) from history. Either would explain why she turns to her parents in desperation for help. However, both lead to numerous questions of their own.
Why did Nora travel back in time – numerous times – in the first place? The leading theory is that she came back to save her dad from the falling satellite. However, there was no indication that the paper from the future had changed, so Barry had to still be alive in 2024. And she didn’t just come back in time for that one moment; she went out of her way to meet his friends (and avoid her mom). She had to have some purpose in interacting with them, and those seemingly innocuous interactions – along with her actions with the satellite – apparently led to some sort of catastrophe in the future. Why? And how?
After months of teases leading up to the revelation/confirmation of Nora’s identity, fans are eager for answers. What is Nora doing in the present? Why did she travel into the past so many times before? What did the speedforce language in her journal mean? What does her presence mean for the present and future? And how will Barry and Iris deal with the knowledge that this adult woman is their future child?
3. Will We See Them Outside of the Lab?
S.T.A.R. Labs is their most expensive set, and it shows by how much time everyone spends on it. As seasons have progressed, we have gotten to see less and less of the city outside of the lab. We’ve seen less of everyone at their day jobs, and we’ve seen less of them out on the town. Indeed, Harry, Cisco, and Caitlin rarely seem to leave the building at all.
Fans hope we will get to see everyone outside of the lab more next season. Scenes of Barry acting as a CSI have been too few and far between. We would love to see a journalistic arc explored for Iris. It would be nice to see Cisco, Caitlin, and perhaps even Harry get jobs outside of the lab, if for no other reason than to help expand the world.
We would also love to see how the Flash impacts the other people of Central City. We’d love to see more scenes where our favorite characters get out and just enjoy each other’s company, as people do in the real world. Will we get to see the show expand beyond the lab more this season? We can only hope.
4. 100th Episode
The Flash’s landmark 100th episode will air this year. One would expect that they will want to make an episode worthy of the milestone. What will The Powers That Be do to celebrate this momentous episode and make it one for the fans to remember? Will we have feels? Will everyone make it out alive? We’d like to know!
5. New Show Runner; New Direction?
After Kreisberg’s departure last year, questions arose about what this would mean for the future of the show. The last few episodes of the season suggested more of a course correction than a total reboot. Killer Frost has been rebooted – hopefully for the last time. Iris’s journalism, which had languished for most of the season, finally came back to the forefront. Ralph was…less of a misogynist, at least.
Since Hellbing was a part of the show before, one can’t expect things would change too drastically. I wouldn’t expect the very fabric and form of the show to change. The concept of a team telling Barry to run isn’t likely to change. However, even small changes can make a big impact. Growing the characters as individuals as well as team members, utilizing their jobs to help expand the world, and removing some of the more disturbing undercurrents in the treatment of the women on the show would all help.
I’m curious to know where Hellbing sees the show moving in the future, and this more than anything will give us an idea of what to expect in season five.
The Flash will appear at San Diego Comic Con on Saturday, July 21 at 5:45 p.m. in Ballroom 20. Their fifth season premieres Tuesday, October 9 at 8/7c on The CW.