We've had to wait longer than normal to return to Central City, but the time has finally arrived! The Flash returns this week, with a somber episode in the wake of Oliver Queen's (Stephen Amell) death.

In the wake of Crisis, Barry Allen (Grant Gustin) is truly living his best life — that's what happens when you dodge death and suddenly have your whole life ahead of you. Unfortunately, he'll also be mourning the death of his friend and mentor, which will create conflicting emotions for Barry.

"He is ready to enjoy life with gusto. He's so happy to have a second chance, as we are all," showrunner Eric Wallace told TV Guide. "There's also, I think, a little bit of survivor's guilt leftover from Oliver's death. Oliver didn't make it out of Crisis. He was the only one, and that's going to haunt Barry just a little bit."

It's a good thing Diggle (David Ramsey) will swing by this episode to pay Barry a visit. If there's anyone who understands what it's like to lose a partner like Oliver, it's Dig.

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"The way you cope with tragedy is holding on and embracing the loved ones in your life and celebrating them," Wallace said. "I think that's a lesson that Barry will have to kind of relearn over the course of graphic novel number two and this whole season, and that's where his head's at when we kick off with our premiere."

While Barry goes on a journey of self-discovery, Iris (Candice Patton) will be discovering something else entirely.

In the first half of the season, Iris and the Central Citizen were just starting to dip their toes into the mystery of Maelstrom and the mysterious meta-powered organization associated with it; that investigation will pick up in a big way in the midseason premiere.

"One of the things that we wanted to do this season was really show Team Citizen in their own right as being equally as important as Team Flash," Wallace revealed. "We wanted to give him a real investigation, which you're going to see coming up this season. As they kind of investigate Maelstrom, what they will discover is, I think, a whole larger world of thrills and almost a — I'll use the word a conspiracy. I think that's the best way to phrase it. In the writing of the upcoming season, we were watching for our influences a lot of '70s paranoid thrillers. I think that's going to really kind of inform the exploration into what Maelstrom really is and who are the individuals behind it because those people are rather dangerous."

As excited as we are to see Iris digging deeper into her journalistic roots, we can't help but be worried about her taking them on alone. Gumption isn't exactly a formidable weapon against metas.

The Flash airs Tuesdays at 8/7c on The CW.

Additional reporting by Keisha Hatchett.

Grant Gustin and Candice Patton, <em>The Flash</em>Grant Gustin and Candice Patton, The Flash