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‘The Flash’ Showrunner Eric Wallace on the End of Season 8 and What’s Ahead

Spoilers for all of The Flash Season 8 follow

With so many trials and tribulations for Barry, Iris, and their friends and family this season, they have finally defeated Eobard Thawne (once again) and the Negative Forces. But with things seeming so conclusive, where does the show and WestAllen go for Season 9?

Once again, The Flash showrunner Eric Wallace joined us to discuss the ups and downs that Barry and Iris have endured throughout Season 8, what they both learned from their trials and tribulations, whether Reverse-Flash is truly gone, what Team Flash will look like going forward, and what viewers can expect from Season 9.

This interview has been edited for length and clarity

So once again, Barry has defeated Reverse Flash. But you know, I have to ask, is Eobard Thawne really gone for good? Because we’ve seen this before. So what can we expect for Season 9 on that front?

Eric Wallace: Great question. And I’ll start by saying this: just like Frost, the Reverse Flash — and his leveled up counterpart, the Negative Reverse Flash — are indeed dead without question. Now, having said that, we are a comic book show. And if I were a betting person, I would probably bet that somehow someway, Tom Cavanaugh will probably be on our show next year in some capacity. First of all, because he’s awesome. And two, because the bad guy always has a backup plan. I’m sure he does it again. Because we know you’re Eobard at this point.

I hope Barry does too! So our final scene in the finale is Barry and Iris reaffirming their commitment to each other after all they’ve been through this season. So, what can you tease about what’s next for Barry and Iris, and will we maybe get to see some domestic bliss and more time being together in, hopefully, more peaceful times ahead?

I understand what you’re saying. Well, yes, yes, no, and yes. We will see Barry and Iris together much more in season nine. I am happy to report that I’m excited about it too. They needed to go through what they’ve been through in the last season and a half or so with a with a ton of sickness and separating and mirror reversal stuff to really realize wow, how special they are to each other and what they really mean to each other now that they’ve rediscovered that spark, no pun intended. Now it’s time for them to make up for lost time. So when Season 9 comes, get ready for a little romance.

Very excited to hear it. So, I want to ask something else about Iris. You’ve mentioned you know that Iris is strong. That she has a lot of agency and she would be getting certain storylines revolving around Central City Citizen (CCC) media. However, we haven’t gotten to see a lot of that this season, and we see Allegra really stepping into that role. So do you think we’ll be able to see it for Iris in Season 9?

Yes, you will. But remember, it’s hard to show a character having agency when they’re not on the show. We didn’t have Candice you know, for four episodes or so. So it’s hard to to address that, but when she was there, that’s specifically why we had her on the Coast City journey. I wanted to see her as a journalist going on a journalist adventure before it obviously dovetail with the time sickness and Negative Deon and all those crazy things. But yeah, we’ll see more of that. So Allegra kind of going into that role was just more practical. We just didn’t have the actress Candice Patton on the show for four episodes. So somebody’s got some it’s got to run. You know the plates to keep it going. But it’s more of a practical concern.

We had Meena Dhawan as Fast Track this season. Will we get to see her in Season 9 and will she get her speed back?

The Flash — “Negative, Part One” –Pictured: Kausar Mohammed as Dr. Meena Dewan/Fast Track — Photo: Shane Harvey/The CW — 2022 The CW Network, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

You know, unknown. The character was only written for those four episodes — 817 through 820. But Kausar was so amazing that she owned the role and just created a sensation not just with the audience but with myself and with the writers and the directors and the producer. I mean, a talk on set was how amazing is this? Oh my goodness. And I get this I’ve gotten this question quite a bit. So while initially there are no plans, I told Kausar Mohammed I would love to have her back next year. I just don’t know in what capacity it might be. I don’t know if she’ll get his feedback. Because of obviously what happened the first time but I don’t rule it out. But let’s wait to see what happens. I’m definitely open to it.

For sure, for sure. Again, one more question on Iris and Barry. Will we finally get to see them start their future family and Season 9? Because we’ve seen Nora and Bart in the future so many times. Where are the babies?

You know, it’s funny you should mention this. So when we were writing episode 20 we thought that was going to be a series finale. And so the ending was different. We had that scene of them on the couch that you guys see now, that was all a lot sexier because we realized, oh my goodness, they need to have kids they better get on it, to put it frankly. And there wasn’t the hint to next year’s villain that you now see. But when we got about halfway through the writing of the script, we got the wonderful news that we would have a Season 9. So now we are able to do that. Which is how does their family actually come about? We now have the luxury to do that throughout next season and that’s definitely one of the big things that Barry and Iris will be dealing with next year. The impending family that we know is already tough.

The Flash — “Negative, Part Two” — Pictured: Jordan Fisher as Bart West Allen — Photo: The CW — 2022 The CW Network, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

I’m so excited to see it. What do you think were the most important lessons for Barry to have learned this season?

I think number one, he had to learn as we leveled up his character he had to learn. Heroes need humility. Even heroes have to tap into their humanity and realize I have limitations even though they’ve got godlike powers. And Iris helps teach him that lesson when she levels up on the opposite spectrum. She had to learn “Hmm, I might not have superpowers. But I just might be the most powerful person here. And I’m just an ordinary human.” They both had to learn the same lesson on opposite sides of the coin, which is really what I was going for because it’s really in my mind. This is a story about marriage. It’s about learning that a healthy marriage or a healthy healthy relationship is about having two truly equal voices in a relationship The two people involved in that relationship must be equal. And that’s what we saw at the end of the season because if Iris doesn’t get her epiphany, then the world doesn’t get saved by the Flash because there’s no Flash, because he ends up killing and all that bad stuff happening and it just all falls apart at that point. The world gets destroyed. But thankfully, he learned his lesson. She learned her lesson. They were the same lesson just from opposite ends and together they made something greater than then the whole and that’s what really allowed them to save the day and restore balance to the forces and to the universe and to save all the rest of this.

So with The Flash being renewed for Season 9 It seems that you know, especially you know, as we’ve seen them built up this season, Allegra, Chester, and Cecile are a bigger part of Team Flash. So what does the roster look like for Season 9 and how does like the old Team Flash fit in, if at all?

Well, Team Flash doesn’t exist anymore, in a way that it would have say in the pilot or in Season 1 where it was. It was mainly Barry, Cisco, and Caitlin with a little bit of Joe peppered in and a little bit of Iris who was still working as a waitress at that point, working on her dissertation. The new Team Flash is all of my series regulars returning. Obviously we all know that Jesse won’t be there regularly, for we’re not sure exactly how he’s going to fit in, but obviously he has some other things going on, but he’s always welcome. So we’re not taking the character off the show. We’re not killing him or anything like that. I can confirm all of that stuff for you. So really, this new Team Flash is Team Flash. It’s very Iris, Chester, Allegra, Cecile, Joe, and whoever steps out of that queue. By the way, one of the reasons why we had to level up Cecile is because the team is down a person they don’t have the strength of Frost right now, because obviously she passed on and is no longer with us. So it was really important to make sure that we had another person on the team who can really start to display some muscle, which is great and exciting for Dani Nicolet because now we’re gonna see her really kind of just kind of kicking ass in Season 9. There’s no other way to phrase it I think and I’m very excited about that.

The Flash — “Negative, Part Two” — Pictured (L-R): Jordan Fisher as Bart West Allen, Grant Gustin as The Flash Danielle Nicolet as Cecile Horton, Kayla Compton as Allegra Garcia, Brandon McKnight as Chester P. Runk and Kausar Mohammed as Dr. Meena Dewan/Fast Track — Photo: The CW — 2022 The CW Network, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

And on one of those asses she might have to kick we see a tease at the end of finale as well! We see Caitlin emerging from this machine that she had designed to resurrect Frost. What is going on with Caitlin and may she not be a part of Team Flash next year and maybe on the other side?

Right? Well, first of all we know Danielle Panabaker is with us all season next year. So we know in some form, she is coming out of that cube. We just don’t know who what how. We don’t know the particulars. As I said before, Frost is dead. I want to make that very clear. Which is why Mark Blaine is so shocked when he says “Who the hell are you?” But it is Danielle Panabaker’s voice and when I pitched Danielle, my idea for who steps out of that cube or more accurately what steps out of that cube. She got very excited. She said, “Eric, we’ve never done anything like this. This is going to be amazing. Let’s go for it.” So it’s going to be super fun. I’m pretty excited to show the audience what’s inside and what that means for Team Flash because it’s going to change Team Flash a little bit and it’s certainly going to change Mark Blaine’s life forever overnight.

Is there anything else you’d like to tease for Season 9?

Yeah, I would say for those who are comic book fans, I don’t know if you’ve recently read the Earth Prime comic books. But I would say that if you haven’t, you should and that those comic books are canon. Which means whatever they say must be the truth. And that’s a pretty big clue for what’s coming!

You can watch The Flash Season 8 finale “Negative, Part Two” on The CW App.

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