SPOILER WARNING: This article contains major spoilers for “The Flash Reborn,” the Season 4 premiere of The Flash.
Barry Allen returned in “The Flash Reborn,” The Flash Season 4 premiere, but he wasn’t quite himself at first. When Iris and the rest of Team Flash saw him for the first time after his release from the Speed Force prison, he seemed to speak only in gibberish, repeating lines from his past, talking nonsense about the stars and rhyming words. However, one of these lines in particular stands out, and it may indicate that the show is going to tackle the “Trial of Flash” storyline at long last.
In the scene at the Central City Police Department, Barry says, “Your Honor, I’m innocent. I didn’t do this! I didn’t kill anyone!”
Of course, in the series to date, we’ve only seen Barry in a courthouse once, when he had amnesia and had to present forensic evidence to the court. At the time, he certainly wasn’t on trial himself, nevermind for murder. However, we have seen Barry in prison before — way back in Season 1 during his first encounter with the Speed Force, where he caught a glimpse of his future:
According to Grant Gustin, who plays the Scarlet Speedster, the Speed Force showed Barry his life from beginning to end while he was trapped in its prison. “For Barry, obviously it hasn’t really been six months,” he explained at Comic-Con International in San Diego. “In the Speed Force, time is kind of non-linear, and I think this experience in the Speed Force has been different for him… He sacrificed himself to stabilize it, so I think he’s kind of been on his own and he’s been experiencing his entire life from start to finish again and again and again.” As such, his lines may not be as nonsensical as they seem at first blush; in fact, they may merely be out of context, which suggests some of his lines could herald things to come in Season 4.
But what, exactly, was the “Trial of Flash?” In December 1984, Cary Bates and Carmine Infantino kicked off their “The Trial of Flash” story arc in The Flash #340. It lived up to its name by putting the Flash — Central City’s favorite speedster — on trial for the murder of Reverse Flash, aka Professor Zoom. The murder at hand occurred during Barry’s wedding with his second wife-to-be Fiona Webb, where — in order to make Barry’s life even more miserable — Zoom attempted to kill Fiona just as he did Iris. Barry intercepted him just in time; however, in his desperation to stop him from killing Fiona as he did Iris, Barry accidentally used lethal force, snapping Zoom’s neck as he attempted to save Fiona. Even in comics, murder is murder, and the Scarlet Speedster was brought to court over his nemesis’ death.
The “Trial of Flash” storyline has been teased since the end of Season 1, and those hints may finally be coming to fruition in Season 4. If Barry’s gibberish lines truly reflect his future, that means he may be headed to trial for a murder he has not yet committed.
Starring Grant Gustin as the Scarlet Speedster, The Flash airs Tuesdays at 8 p.m. ET/PT on The CW. The series also stars Jesse L. Martin, Tom Cavanagh, Carlos Valdes, Candice Patton, Danielle Panabaker, Keiynan Lonsdale and more.
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