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iReview | THE FLASH Season 9 Premieres!

An Original Series Feature

The Final Run for Grant Gustin as Central City’s Scarlet Speedster begins as THE FLASH takes his last lap and closes the circle in Season Nine of the series that spun the primetime DC Comics universe to a whole new level of excitement!

It’s February and not even the groundhog seeing his shadow and 6 more weeks of winter, will keep “Arrowverse” fans from Central City when THE FLASH returns for its Ninth and Final Season. The favored spin-off from Arrow that ignited the primetime multiverse is taking its last victory lap on The CW after several of its sister series sang their swan songs. The Flash starring Grant Gustin as CSI investigator Barry Allen with a penchant for super speed and Candice Patton as intrepid investigative journalist Iris West-Allen premiered in 2014 and has remained one of The CW’s top-rated shows based on the DC comics properties.

When the series returns for its Ninth Season, on Wednesday, February 8 @ 8 PM, Barry and Iris find themselves reliving the same day again and again, in a typically ironic turn for a series that is built on time travel and sci-fi quantum theories. After vanquishing his arch-enemy, Thawne, the Reverse-Flash at the end of last season, Barry has a new lease on life, and The Flash has never been more super! In fact, Barry is determined to get ahead of any possible impossibilities and has been “tracking” his trajectory through time, keeping a journal - a map book - of every step he and Iris are taking…or are about to take.

This introduces an interesting conundrum into their already complicated lives, one that Iris isn’t entirely sure how much she is willing to embrace, especially since the pair are very much aware of the bundle of joys that they are destined to become the parents of. Iris goes on with her day, but a cloud of uncertainty hangs over her. Barry, on the other hand, has a kick in his step that encourages him to pursue a possible promotion at CCPD, when suddenly…

The arrival of the latest rogue, an all-new Captain Boomerang, Owen Mercer (played by Richard Harmon) sparks concern! The Flash prevents the killer from stealing a critical piece of hardware. The battle takes place in the middle of the day in the heart of Central City, and Mercer does the impossible evading capture, but not before The Flash causes a major explosion that throws him for a loop — and when he recovers, he and Iris find themselves reliving the same day, again and again. “Wednesday Ever After” is the Season 9 opener and already feels like a return to the good old days!

And We’re Off…

After a couple of seriously questionable speed bumps in the last couple of seasons, this episode featuring a story from showrunner Eric Wallace revels in its stars’ feeling and behaving the most authentically given the super incredible circumstances of their lives. Iris (Patton) makes one of the greatest points and says out loud what television viewers have been asking themselves all along: How does the world’s fastest couple learn to live in the moment? We already know that the pair have speedster kids in the future, so why deviate from the inevitable?

That’s exactly what Barry (Gustin) fears! After facing one challenge after another, the hero is content to weed out every distraction that might prevent his and Iris’ future from coming to fruition, it’s also the only way that he imagines he can keep the people he loves safe — by sticking to the map book he is authoring. Iris doesn’t see it the same way and is determined to find a bit of unpredictability to live by. The episode features some very tender moments, that have always been at the core of the show. The Flash has remained true to its base by having introduced a cast of characters that the audience has come to admire in its run.

As an ensemble, The Flash in its current formation feels the most cohesive in this episode than they have in a long time. It’s great to see the veteran class feeling so comfortable in this world. The distraction of taking on crisis after crisis, one big bad after another, season after season, and Iris always ending up either trapped behind a mirror universe or ailing inside the Speed Force, hasn’t really offered the group a moment to just breathe in and enjoy the moment. It’s an irony, that in the first episode of the final season, everyone appears the most relaxed — the most in their skin — feeling fresh and new, as the series skates to an ending.

And the Winner Is…

The Ninth and Final Season of The Flash will feature 13 episodes, and Wallace has suggested that it will be broken up into 2 or 3 “graphic novels” as it wraps up loose ends and heads toward a satisfying ending. As it comes to a conclusion, it has already been signaled that when The Flash ends, so will the primetime “Arrowverse”. Leaving audiences to wonder, what does the future how for superhero dramas? In the meantime, let’s relish every moment. If this first episode is any indication, The Flash is back and stronger than ever!

DC’s THE FLASH | starring Grant Gustin, Candice Patton, Danielle Panabaker, Danielle Nicolet, Anjelika Kayla Compton, Brandon McKnight, Jon Corr, and Jesse L. Martin returns for its Ninth and Final Season Wednesday, February 8 @ 8 PM EST on The CW.

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