‘The Flash’ Boss Previews Reverse Flash’s Return and What it Means for the Team

the flash reverse flash returns
Courtesy of The CW

Last week’s installment of “The Flash” ended with the arrival a very unexpected visitor — the Reverse Flash (Matt Letscher), aka Eobard Thawne, the time-travelling villain who killed Barry Allen’s (Grant Gustin) mother, leaving Barry’s father to do time for the crime.

Although the Reverse Flash was erased from existence in last season’s finale, following a heroic sacrifice from his ancestor Eddie Thawne (Rick Cosnett), “Flash” executive producer Andrew Kreisberg offered Variety a compelling explanation for his reappearance, which will be explored in the January 26 episode, aptly titled “The Reverse Flash Returns.”

“One of the more interesting aspects of time travel is that time doesn’t unfold linearly. This is the first time for our characters that they’re meeting somebody out of continuity — because this is the Eobard Thawne before he killed Harrison Wells; before he got stuck in the past; before all the terrible things he did to our team last year; and even before he killed Barry’s mother,” Kreisberg explained. “So when they meet him, he’s not the man they’ve come to despise and hate. But they still have that sense of betrayal and that palpable anger at all the terrible things he’s done to them — he just hasn’t done them yet.”

According to Kreisberg, that presents Team Flash with an interesting moral quandary: “They’re faced with, ‘well, if we stop him now, will all of that bad stuff not happen to us?’ And as so many time-travelers and people who’ve been confronted with time paradoxes before them have discovered, time does not want to change.”

While this year’s villain, Zoom, is possibly even more terrifying than Reverse Flash, Kreisberg said the writers couldn’t pass up the opportunity to revisit Eobard Thawne. “The Reverse Flash is our Flash’s Joker … he’s responsible for Barry’s core wound, he killed his mom. These could very easily be the dog days of winter where we tread water for a few episodes until we get the main story kicking again, and we didn’t want to do that,” he admitted. “We wanted to have episodes that have meaning and have weight, and really meant something to the characters as they go on the journey that they go on for this year. So to be able to have the Reverse Flash back and really have him have an effect on Barry felt like a great opportunity.”

The hour was penned by executive producers Aaron and Todd Helbing, and Kreisberg said that “The Reverse Flash Returns” is one of the show’s most powerful episodes yet. “This one just feels really special; it has the best villain, it has Speedster versus Speedster, and it also has all the heart and emotion that I think all our best episodes have,” he teased.

That emotional throughline is thanks to Iris West (Candice Patton) and her developing relationship with her newly-discovered brother, Wally (Keiynan Lonsdale), as well as her attempt to reconnect with her estranged, terminally ill mother Francine (Vanessa Williams).

“Francine’s health has taken a severe turn for the worst, and this is really going to be Iris’ last chance to mend fences with her mother,” Kreisberg previewed. “But what’s really great about the episode is Wally is keeping his distance because he can’t face his mother’s loss, and it really is because of the love of his sister and her own ability to forgive Francine that Iris is able to bring the two of them together. So it’s a really strong Iris episode also, which are always our favorite episodes.”

“The Flash” airs Tuesdays at 8 p.m. on The CW.

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  1. Sadness says:

    The reverse flash is still alive because he traveled through time multiple times so he made various time remnants. Every time someone time travels it creates another timeline: the one you traveled to and the one you traveled from. If you make major changes in timeline 2 (the one you traveled to) then timeline 1 stays their and continues but if you don’t and return to timeline 1, timeline 2 is deleted and timeline 1 continues. If you do make major changes and return the timeline 2 you does the same thing but comes to timeline 1 but it takes some time. Like Eobard’s time remnant who tried to kill Christina McGee came 1 year after the flash killed the reverse flash because Eddie thawn shots himself killing his descendants but the timeline 2 time remnant never came to the flash’s timeline and time. So he comes 1 year after but the flash lets him go to save Cisco so he will return in season 3. That is how the reverse flash is still alive.

  2. MC says:

    I hope future episodes will give Iris more screen time than recurring characters that make no difference to the show. Candice’s performance was amazing. She’s amazing.

  3. The Flash Self-Emolation says:

    The Flash lost a lot of “good will” by making the P. Spivot character the focal point of the first half of season two. It is unfortunate and unacceptable the writers and producers continuously, and without respite, forced viewers to accept Barry’s new, perfect, love interest…..that every man on the face of the earth should and would desire to bolster his manhood……like Felicity is to Oliver, on Arrow.

    Well. guess what ???

    It didn’t work, and Perfect Patty was not loved, not admired and was soundly rejected by a fandom becoming exhausted by Andrew J. Kreisberg’s machinations. Who can really say what this man’s ultimate endgame is? The only sure thing is The Flash is not gaining viewers, and many of the fans who adored season one of the drama have given up on it. People are just tired of being jerked around, lied to and faked out by photo stills and promos.

    All the talk about The West Family having a story arc might be true, and Iris West might actually be written as a lead actress, in the remaining season two episodes, but these deliveries may be too late for those weary of constant disappointment.

    The Flash writers have done such a terrible job of mucking up this once promising enterprise even the teenyboppers are jumping ship. In order for a show to succeed, people have to care about it. At this point, it is difficult to care any more, or to have any faith that all those in charge can/will right the ship. I want to be excited about The Flash, but am not a masochist.

    More lies…………….count on them. More disappointments……………for certain. The behind the scenes nastiness doesn’t help either. (People do talk)

    “You can fool some of the people ALL of the time…………”

  4. Addicted to speed... force says:

    I was soooo sad when Eobard went… well mostly sad, but being a reader of the stories, I know Reverse Flash is perfectly capable of this, so it always lingered in my mind that he may return. So stoked!! About an hour left!!

  5. Emily says:

    Looking forward to the team facing Eobard again, and ESPECIALLY to Iris and her family piecing themselves back together. Love her!

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