[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.]
Having dodged last winter’s five-episode “Armageddon,” The Flash resumed its eighth season tonight with an unexpected hour. Instead of focusing on Team Flash’s future, the episode showcased the Speedster scions from the future, Nora West-Allen (Jessica Parker Kennedy) and Bart Allen (Jordan Fisher), who went into the past to correct some timeline temporal shifts they caused with their recent heroics.
Like father, like son and daughter, right? We chatted with showrunner Eric Wallace about the decision to revisit the show’s history, how the episode’s return of Rick Cosnett‘s Season 1 favorite Eddie Thawne isn’t the last we’ll be seeing of him, and something BIG that is coming down the pike.
Hey, it’s good to talk to you after surviving Armageddon.
I’m glad to have survived. [Laughs]
I’ll tell ya, you are always keeping us on our toes because I did not expect the first episode back to be all Bart and Nora, This feels like a backdoor pilot.
Well, yeah, I wouldn’t go that far, but who knows! It’s always been designed to, after the intensity of “Armageddon,” have something for fun and lighter when we came back. And what is more fun and light than these kids?! So that was always part of the plan.
Shane Harvey/The CW
And it trips back into 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 used to write his own Dark Shadow stories when I was a fan—now I am aging myself. [Laughs] But that is dripping over now into The Flash, with us saying “What could have happened in between what we really saw [after the particle explosion]? Wouldn’t it be great…if?” and then just putting it on the air. Because if all these foes were born at the same time, isn’t it awfully convenient that The Flash wasn’t around yet? So that was really the question that we wanted to answer with the episode.
It also allows you to deepen the Nora-Bart relationship and how they have to grow into heroes for their own timeline.
Yeah, exactly. They’ve got a long ways to go. [Laughs]
Shane Harvey/The CW
I love that it opened the door for Rick Cosnett to come back as Eddie. He’s doing multiple episodes, so are we going back to the past more often?
Well, that would be a big spoiler, wouldn’t it? I will only say this: No. We are not staying in the past, but yes, Eddie is back. I wonder how? [Laughs] That’s a story.
So much was rewritten by Crisis, so are you hearkening back to that?
No. No, this is a very, very different story. Again. No spoilers here, but let’s just say Eddie coming back after 806 is not what you’re expecting.
He wasted no time reminding us how charming and how really likable of a character he was.
He is a great guy, yeah. He’s a great guy. It was so fun having Rick back on set and with the gang. I remember speaking to him and saying, “You know, you helped create this legacy way back 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 kind of laughed and just said “I’m on board. Let’s do this.” So yeah, he had a good time and we had a good time having him back. I hope the audience enjoys the twist we’re gonna put on his character.
Jack Rowand/The CW
OK, now we get through this episode, which is once again the West-Allen family screwing up with time travel—I appreciated Jay Garrick (John Wesley Shipp) commenting on Barry’s many mess-ups—so what is awaiting our heroes moving forward?
Well, as I said when “Armageddon” was airing, we have to solve Iris’ (Candice Patton) time sickness. That’s why at the end of 806, you see that brush disappear. I would remember that scene if I were you, okay? That’s a pretty big clue that’s gonna come back later on in the season. She is still suffering from these effects and they’re going to have epic repercussions on the back half of Season 8.
So that seems like some juicy, emotional lifting for Candace.
Ooh yes! It’s about to get really hardcore for the West-Allen family.
And is that the big threat for the remainder of the season?
Oh no, that would be too simple. [Laughs] We will obviously explore that and resolve that throughout the remainder of the season, but as always, we’re sticking with our graphic-novel format. So “Armageddon” was the first graphic novel of Season 8, then we we have our first interlude episode as we like to call them—those are episodes that are more standalone and we’ll have a couple of those. And then our next graphic novel will kick in at the middle of the season with an all new Big Bad. And there will actually we be another one at the end of the season. We’re gonna try something new this year with three graphic novels. We’re gonna see how much action we can pack into Season 8. It’s it’s going to be a very wild ride, but I gotta warn folks that what is coming emotionally is gonna change Team Flash permanently. And I’m not kidding around.
Already worried. You have John Wesley Ship back as Jay tonight, you have Eddie back…any other friends of the show that you have lined up in the wings?
There’s one I can hint at because we just filmed with him…in fact, today we’re filming with an old friend we haven’t seen in several years who I’m very excited to have back. I’m not gonna say who, but I’m very happy this particular character who hasn’t been with us since Season 1 and we haven’t seen for a while has come back. We’re trying to do a lot of more of that here in Season 8. It reminds the audience of what a wonderful cast we not only we have now, but also through the years. We’ve had so many incredible talents come through, so let’s revisit some of those folks. So it’s not just Rick Cosnett, it’s a couple of other people from the past. One of whom I can definitely say will be back towards the end of the season.
One of the things that I’ve tried to do with the last three seasons of the show, but especially this season, is to create that comic-book ethic, which is: There is a whole world of characters, so why don’t we see them more often popping in, just kinda come through? You don’t have to have a full crossover to meet somebody on your show who’s been part of the same world for a long time. So it’s a very deliberate attempt to kind of use that comic-book method in television because it makes everybody feel like, “Oh this world really is populated with all these other people,” where we can refer to characters on other shows or characters our show from the past. It just makes it feel a little more fully realized.
The Flash, Wednesdays, 8/7c, The CW