[Warning: The below contains MAJOR spoilers for Season 8 Episode 6 of The Flash, “Impulsive Excessive Disorder.” If you don’t want to be spoiled, go back in time and make better choices.]
After dodging all five episodes of last winter’s “Armageddon,” the flash resumed its eighth season tonight with an unexpected hour. Instead of focusing on Team Flash’s future, the episode introduced Speedster’s descendants. from the future, Nora West-Allen (Jessica Parker Kennedy) and Bart Allen (Jordan Fisher), who went to the past to correct some temporal changes to the timeline they caused with their recent exploits.
Like father, like son and daughter, right? We spoke with showrunner Eric Wallace about the decision to revisit the series’ story, how the episode’s return of Rick Cosnett’s season 1 favorite Eddie Thawne isn’t the last we’ll see from him, and something BIG happening on the pike.
Hey, good to talk to you after surviving Armageddon.
I’m glad I survived. [Laughs]
I’ll tell you, you always keep us on our toes because I didn’t expect the first episode to be all Bart and Nora, it feels like a backdoor pilot.
Well, yes, I wouldn’t go that far, but who knows! It was always designed to, after the intensity of “Armageddon”, have something fun and lighter when we return. And what could be more fun and lighthearted than these children?! So that was always part of the plan.
And it goes back to the past that we didn’t really get to see originally.
Yeah, so that’s the inner fanboy in me, you know? The one who wrote his Dark shadow stories when I was a fan – now I’m getting old myself. [Laughs] But it’s now dripping in the flashwith us saying “What could have happened between what we really saw [after the particle explosion]? Wouldn’t that be great…ifand then just put it on the air. Because if all these enemies were born at the same time, isn’t it terribly convenient that The Flash isn’t here yet? So that was really the question to which we wanted to respond with the episode.
It also lets you dig deeper into the Nora-Bart relationship and how they need to become heroes for their own timeline.
Yes exactly. They have a long way to go. [Laughs]
I love that it opened the door for Rick Cosnett to come back as Eddie. It does several episodes, so do we go back to the past more often?
Well, that would be a big spoiler, wouldn’t it? I will only say this: No. We don’t stay in the past, but yes, Eddie is back. I wonder How? ‘Or’ What? [Laughs] Its a story.
So much has been rewritten by Crisis, so are you listening to this?
No. No, it’s a very, very different story. Again. No spoilers here, but let’s just say Eddie returning after 806 isn’t what you’d expect.
He wasted no time in reminding us how charming and friendly he was.
He’s a great guy, yeah. He’s a great guy. It was so much fun having Rick back on set and with the gang. I remember talking to him and saying, “You know, you helped create that legacy in Season 1 and I’m so happy to be able to bring you back.” When I kind of told him what our plan was, he laughed and just said, “I’m on board. Let’s do this.” So yeah, he had a great time and we had a great time with him. I hope the audience enjoys the twist we’re going to put on his character.
OK, now we’re going through this episode, which is once again the West-Allen family messing up time travel – I enjoyed Jay Garrick (John Wesley Shipp) commenting on Barry’s many mess – while what awaits our heroes to move forward?
Well, as I said during the “Armageddon” broadcast, we have to solve Iris’s (Candice Patton) time sickness. That’s why at the end of 806 you see that brush disappear. I would remember this scene if I were you, okay? This is a pretty important clue that will come up later in the season. She is still suffering from these effects and they are going to have epic repercussions on the back half of Season 8.
So it looks like a juicy emotional uplift for Candace.
Oh yes! It’s about to get really hardcore for the West-Allen family.
And is that the big threat for the rest of the season?
Oh no, that would be too simple. [Laughs] We’ll obviously be exploring and resolving this throughout the season, but as always, we’re sticking to our graphic novel format. So “Armageddon” was the first graphic novel of Season 8, and then we have our first interlude episode as we like to call them – these are more standalone episodes and we’ll have a few. And then our next graphic novel will debut in the middle of the season with a brand new Big Bad. And we will be in fact another one one at the end of the season. We’re going to try something new this year with three graphic novels. We’ll see how much action we can put into season 8. It’s going to be a very crazy ride, but I have to warn people that what happens emotionally is going to change Team Flash permanently. And I’m not kidding.
Already worried. You have John Wesley Ship back as Jay tonight, you have Eddie back…any other friends from the show you’ve lined up backstage?
There’s one I can allude to because we just toured with him… in fact, today we’re touring with an old friend who we haven’t seen for several years and who I’m very happy to see again. I’m not going to say who, but I’m very happy that this particular character who hasn’t been with us since season 1 and we haven’t seen in a while has returned. We’re trying to do a lot more here in Season 8. It reminds audiences of what a wonderful cast we have not just now, but over the years as well. We had so many amazing talents, so let’s review some of those people. So it’s not just Rick Cosnett, it’s a few other people from the past. I can say that one of them will be back towards the end of the season.
One of the things that I’ve tried to do over the last three seasons of the show, but especially this season, is create this comic book ethos, which is: there’s a whole world of characters, so why don’t we see them popping up more often, just a little passing by? You don’t have to have a full crossover to meet someone on your show who’s been in the same world for a long time. So it’s a very deliberate attempt to use this method of cartooning on TV, because it makes everyone feel like, “Oh this world really East populated by all these other people,” where we can refer to characters from other shows or characters from our show from the past. It just makes him feel a little more fully realized.
the flashWednesdays, 8/7c, The CW