ByS.C. O'Donnell, writer at
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S.C. O'Donnell

The Flash Season 3 finale concluded with Barry Allen sacrificing himself by going into the Speed Force — and during the show’s hiatus, fans have been wondering how the show will bring Barry back in Season 4. Sure, we know that Barry must escape the Speed Force (since he is the main character and all), but how will his time away affect him?

Although we know very little about the Speed Force, we have seen that time spent inside of the extra-dimensional pocket of energy affects people in different ways. Savitar and Wally were driven insane — but the first time Barry came out of the Speed Force during Season 2, he developed newfound confidence.

Based on what Barry’s mother said to him in The Flash Season 4 finale, we know that Barry isn’t going to be subjected to the same horror that Wally or Savitar was, but that’s all we know. Fortunately, recently commented on what we can expect when Barry emerges from the Speed Force in Season 4, and he let us know that we will be seeing a very different version of the character.

Grant Gustin Talks About How Barry Allen Will Be Different In The Flash Season 4 caught up with Grant Gustin during San Diego Comic-Con, and he revealed quite a lot about Barry when he exits the Speed Force:

“We’re not necessarily going to see Barry’s experience in the Speed Force. We’ll see kind of the effects that the Speed Force has had on Barry, and he’s been in there six months real-time. I suspect the Speed Force is kind of nonlinear with time, so Barry has experienced his entire life from start to end infinity times over since he’s been in there.”

Gustin then talked about how Barry’s time in the Speed Force will affect him, and how it will inform the character’s mindset for the first part of the season:

“He’s going to have kind of an awakening when he comes out. He’s going to have some knowledge that he probably doesn’t even quite understand yet. He’ll also be little scrambled; He won’t really be himself the first time we see him. It’s almost like a fresh start for me as an actor.”

Grant Gustin's Comments Seemingly Confirm The Show Is Adapting The Flash: Rebirth Storyline

The Flash: Rebirth [Credit: DC Comics]
The Flash: Rebirth [Credit: DC Comics]

Gustin’s comments are a lot to digest, but they seem to line up with Barry Allen’s journey in Geoff Johns’s 2009 six issue series, The Flash: Rebirth. In Rebirth, Barry comes back from the dead; however, his reemergence from the Speed Force comes at a terrible price. Barry has a hard time coping with being back in the real world, and he can’t shake the feeling that he shouldn’t have come back.

Although it should be cause for celebration, Barry keeps his distance from his family and friends, and those around him become concerned. Barry Allen becomes the Flash again and faces off with the evil speedster Savitar. During their battle, feedback erupts around the area where Barry touched Savitar, which causes the villain to crumble into dust.

Barry and Wally then confront Lady Flash, and upon making contact with Barry, she disintegrates the same way that Savitar did. Shortly after Lady Flash died, it is revealed that Barry is the new , the personification of death for speedsters. The Justice League attempt to cure Barry by using Iris as his “lightning rod,” in hopes that Barry and Iris’s emotional connection will aid in disconnecting Barry from the Speed Force.

All the attempts to save Barry are futile, and to spare his loved ones, Barry runs back into the Speed Force. Upon entering the Speed Force, Barry learns that the is responsible for releasing him from the Speed Force, and it is revealed that Thawne caused all of the tragedy in Barry’s life. Imbued with a new sense of purpose, the Flash follows Reverse-Flash out of the Speed Force, a huge battle ensues, and Barry defeats Thawne.

How will The Flash Adapt the Rebirth Storyline?

Once Barry entered the Speed Force in The Flash Season 3 finale, fans speculated the show would be adapting Rebirth, but we didn't know how much of the story the CW would use. It’s likely the show will steer clear of those parts of the story involving Reverse-Flash, since a lot of that story was adapted during The Flash Season 1. Based on the Comic-Con trailer, it appears that Team Flash breaks Barry out of the Speed Force, but by doing so, they could accidentally cause some nasty side effects.

We will probably see Barry feeling uneasy about escaping from the Speed Force, but it will be interesting to see how his inner turmoil influences Team Flash. The show could still turn Barry into the Black Flash briefly, and since the Speed Force is sentient in The Flash, they could substitute the Speed Force as the catalyst for the change in the place of Reverse-Flash.

It is worth nothing that Barry isn’t the warmest person when he returns to the real world in Rebirth, and for the most part, he is utterly devoid of most human emotions. Hopefully, The Flash will tackle this element of Rebirth in a lighter way, since fans weren’t thrilled with Barry Allen walking on the dark side during Season 3.

We can’t wait to see how the show deals with Barry’s return from the Speed Force. Grant Gustin’s comments have given us a lot to look forward to, and The Flash Season 4 is shaping up to be another great chapter in the saga of the Scarlet Speedster.

The Flash Season 4 will premiere on October 10, 2017.

Sound off! Are you excited that The Flash may be adapting the Rebirth storyline? Let your voice be heard in the comments section below.



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