REVIEW: ‘The Flash,’ Season 7 Episode 4 – “Central City Strong”

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The Flash Season 7 Episode 4 - But Why Tho?The Flash starts a new chapter of the series this week with season 7, episode 4, titled “Central City Strong.” In last week’s episode, viewers witnessed the conclusion of the Mirrorverse arc and the episode ended with strange lightning rods of different colors striking Central City. In this week’s episode, Barry (Grant Gustin) and the rest of Team Flash must deal with the unexpected arrival of Abra Kadabra (David Dastmalchian), who is out for revenge after suffering a major loss. Meanwhile, Iris (Candice Patton) is forced to come to terms with the trauma of her time in the Mirrorverse after her news piece gets criticized. 

Given the overall tone of The Flash, it was unexpected that the show would end up dealing with Iris’s trauma from her time in the Mirrorverse. The way it was introduced made sense, especially since the show has established Iris as a strong character that’s willing to tackle any situation. Iris writing about her experience of being held captive to the audience of her newspaper is the logical move since others experienced that as well. However, it’s understandable that she’s still not ready to share her story due to trauma. That struggle to share such intimate feelings and pain that may or may not have been fully processed has the potential to be a unique arc for her character. I just hope that this storyline will be seen throughout future episodes rather than just in “Central City Strong.”

Ever since season 3 of The Flash, I wanted more of Abra Kadabra. Most of it was my appreciation for how Dastmalchian portrayed the character, but it was also the fact that the character had the potential to be an overall season villain. The return of his character, even though it’s been nearly four years, was a nice surprise. The character’s natural charisma and mannerisms makes him more than just the typical “villain of the week,” which is something that the show has done an incredible job doing. Kadabra’s motive for seeking revenge also adds a new layer to his character development, making his character stand out more. Given the events of the episode, there’s no telling when Dastmalchian will make another appearance in the show. Hopefully the show finds a way to bring him back at least one more time before the series ends.

It was mentioned in the review of last week’s episode that The Flash has suffered from sidelining Barry being while other characters take a more prominent role. This trend seems to continue in “Central City Strong,” with the focus not really being put on Barry and more on the entire team. It’s great that Barry has a team to work with him, but having too many characters on the show is making it hard to balance how much focus everyone gets. While Iris’s storyline is incredible for her character development, the other portion of the episode fell short of giving Barry moments to shine. Not having a new version of Harrison Wells in the episode helped a lot, but the number of characters that need moments in the show is far too big.

Ultimately, “Central City Strong” is an enjoyable episode, but it suffers from having its titular character being sidelined once again. The focus on Iris’s trauma from being in the Mirrorverse brings great development for her character in both her personal and professional life. Having Abra Kadabra return to the show was quite the surprise and this episode gives his character immense character development. Hopefully, future episodes show a bigger focus on Barry, especially with last week’s ending being built on this episode.  

The Flash season 7 airs new episodes every Tuesday on the CW Network.

Central City Strong
  • 8/10
    Rating - 8/10
8/10

TL;DR

Ultimately, “Central City Strong” is an enjoyable episode, but it suffers from having its titular character being sidelined once again. The focus on Iris’s trauma from being in the Mirrorverse brings great development for her character in both her personal and professional life. Having Abra Kadabra return to the show was quite the surprise and this episode gives his character immense character development. Hopefully, future episodes show a bigger focus on Barry, especially with last week’s ending being built on this episode.