Barry Allen is about to hang up his Flash suit for the holidays and take a midseason hiatus, but don't worry. He'll be back. After an impressive and emotional DC crossover with Supergirl, Legends Of Tomorrow and Arrow, The Flash midseason finale airs Tuesday, Dec. 5 and then the show will be on hiatus. So, when will The Flash Season 4 return? Fortunately, you won't be waiting long into the new year for new episodes.
According to TVLine, The Flash midseason premiere airs Jan. 16. And if earlier season patterns continue, the show will probably start providing answers to some of the season's biggest mysteries.
The overall season arc with the Thinker has had a slow build, up to this point. Barry and his team have only recently learned his identity. He is unlike any past season villain in that he's not a speedster but rather has superhuman intelligence. In years past, the second half of a Flash season has involved revealing the plans of the big bad, so Clifford's motives will likely come to light soon.
The Thinker is always playing chess, and his actions are described by the team as "moves." When the show returns, the rules of this game that he's playing will hopefully become clear. Because right now, Team Flash is at a loss. How are they supposed to be one step ahead of their nemesis if they don't even know where he's heading?
With so much up in the air, here are some of the many season-long stories and characters that will hopefully be developed further when The Flash returns in January:
The Thinker has been present throughout the season and controlling events from early on. Clifford DeVoe was revealed to have orchestrated Barry Allen's return from the speed force, also creating a bus full of metahuman. He's been keeping a constant eye on the team. Will the bus metas return? Why is he monitoring them?
Grant Gustin, who plays Barry Allen on The Flash, spoke to Collider about how the Thinker has changed the show and what he may ultimately want. Gustin said:
"The Thinker is less about Barry and more about his vision of Central City and how he thinks he can make it better and make the world better... He’s more all knowing than any big bad we’ve had before. Every time we think we’re ahead of him, we realize he’s still three steps ahead.
Gustin's hint about DeVoe's vision for Central City is ominous. When The Flash returns in January, that vision should be revealed.
Killer Frost & Caitlin Snow
While Caitlin seems to have a better grasp of her evil side than she did in Season 3, Killer Frost is still causing problems for her and the Flash team. Frost is a pretty adventurous meta and often leaves a mess for Snow to clean up. Season 4 has been a constant struggle for control between Snow and Frost. Danielle Panabaker spoke to Entertainment Weekly about her complex character. She said:
"She’s still struggling with her identity and this duality of her life right now ... I think Caitlin is trying to understand it a little bit better, and she’s also trying to stay in control a little bit more. Is she successful at that? Not necessarily."
The midseason preview has Caitlin facing off with one of Frost's enemies again — Amunet Black, the metahuman who can fuse organic and inorganic materials together. And when Season 4 returns, Caitlin and Killer Frost's dynamic will continue to affect the team.
Barry & Iris
Barry Allen and Iris West got married in the last episode of the crossover "Crisis On Earth-X." In the first episode of the crossover, Barry appeared to meet a person who fans speculate is his future daughter. Could she show up again soon? How did she get there from the future? Much like the newspaper article that predicted Barry and Iris would wed, her arrival gives a glimpse into a possible future family. It wouldn't be shocking if the second half of Season 4, hinted even more at a Barry and Iris pregnancy.
The Elongated Man
Ralph Dibny, from his first introduction, seemed to be set up for a major character evolution. The Elongated Man doesn't have the strong moral compass that most of the Flash team has; he's a bit of a misogynist and reluctant to embrace the responsibility of being a superhero. Slowly though, through training with the Flash and learning from the best, he's begun to take on more responsibility.
The second half of Season 4 should feature character development both in his persona and in his suit. Actor Hartley Sawyer spoke to Collider about the upgrade of the suit The Elongated Man wears. He said:
"It does go through an evolution. He will get a better suit. A different suit. Maybe not better. It’s very, very different ... The learning curve from zero to hero is a pretty big one."
The exciting thing is that the upgrade of his suit will likely mirror an upgrade of his character.
The Flash Season 4 has been all about teamwork, so life events for the rest of the S.T.A.R. Labs crew will likely be addressed. Joe West is expecting his third child; Cisco Ramon's powers increase every season; Harrison Wells is back and learning to accept human emotion; and Wally West is trying to find his place in the world.
It may feel like a long break after Tuesday's episode of The Flash, but when the series returns in 2018, answers shouldn't be far behind.