Barry Allen has faced his share of fellow speedsters: Eobard Thawne, Hunter Zolomon and -- most recently -- his future self have menaced the Flash and his team over the past three seasons. However, the fourth season of The Flash is shaping up to be a little different. Instead of a villain with similar powers, Barry will have to match wits with the Thinker.
In a behind-the-scenes featurette, the producers of The Flash explained the reason for the change. "We really wanted to do something different," executive producer Andrew Kreisberg said. "We're positing it as the world's fastest man versus the world's fastest mind."
Instead of training to be faster, Barry will find himself facing a problem he needs to out-think. Before he ever received superpowers, Barry was a pretty smart guy, but this season is going to force him to use his mind in brand new ways.
"We tend to think of the Flash as an athlete, like a runner," Kreisberg explained. "So much of his previous seasons have been about training harder, 'I have to run faster,' but he's up against a villain this season that he can't outrun. It's somebody he has to out-think, and it's going to take him and Cisco and Caitlin and a few other surprise people to be able to get one step ahead of the Thinker."
Along with a bunch of other brand new villains and ongoing conflicts with his allies and between members of his inner circle, it seems that Barry is going to have his work cut out for him. Leaving the Speed Force will be just the beginning.
Starring Grant Gustin as the Scarlet Speedster, The Flash returns Tuesday, October 10 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.