After failing to kill a young Barry Allen (Grant Gustin), Eobard Thawne (Tom Cavanagh) has been biding his time for the last 15 years, waiting until The Flash gained the ability to tap into the Speed Force. But, given the choice, will the Reverse Flash fulfill his mission of killing Barry or sacrifice that in lieu of getting home? EW caught up with Cavanagh to get the scoop on the big showdown in Tuesday’s episode—Barry, Oliver (Stephen Amell) and Firestorm (Robbie Amell) vs Reverse Flash!—and what’s in store for the finale:
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: What can you tease for the big showdown between The Flash and the Reverse Flash in Tuesday’s episode?
TOM CAVANAGH: I can say that I’m glad with Stephen and Robbie Amell and Grant Gustin versus me that it’s not a handsome-off, because that would be a very quick defeat on my part. That’s a very good-looking trio there. As it is, I can say we’ve invested 20 hours+ in the bank and now we’re taking it out. We understand that there is going to be a lot of expectation and anticipation. We spent a lot of time doing this face-off. We understand that when you have gunslingers facing off against each other, you don’t do that at the beginning of the show, you do that at the end of the show. We put a lot of work, choreography and man hours into the fight. It ended up being really enjoyable. Not to put words in the viewers’ mouths, but I hope they’re as pleased as we are.
Given that the Reverse Flash has super speed, are Firestorm and the Arrow still formidable foes?
Absolutely. We already have super speed versus me. They’ve got different things. All of their powers play in crucial fashion and in exactly the way Barry couldn’t do on his own. In collaboration with one another, as a three-headed monster, it makes them formidable.
What does Wells ultimately want with Eddie (Rick Cosnett)?
Essentially, he has a plan for everything, which I think is a common mistake that people have made in undervaluing how much he’s thought through every time they try and put Wells in a corner. From Mason Bridge to Joe to Cisco, when they think they have him figured out or cornered, he’s a couple chess moves ahead of them. This is one more chess move in a long string of chess moves that he spent 15 years figuring out.
Wells is back in the particle accelerator, so how will he use that to his advantage?
It’s great. That’s one of my favorite things about it. I’ve spent 20+ episodes saying, “The night the particle accelerator exploded…” It’s become a mantra. To actually have it become a living, breathing character essentially, as we march up the crest to our season finale, is a stroke of genius. I love the fact that the machinery and the technology that we’re using is the same in episode 23 as it is in episode 1.
Even if the Reverse Flash is able to get home, won’t that prevent him from killing Barry? Is he faced with a choice?
That question is one that you’ll get answers to. When Grant and I were reading it, we were looking at each other like, “Oh, dude!” It doesn’t come with the obvious answer initially, but ends up answering all of that stuff in very active fashion. I like it when you think something is going to happen and something else happens. We have, in the next two episodes, a whole lot of that for the audience to digest.
There’s been a question as to whether a part of Wells still resides within him. Is there a part of Eobard, who has invested so much time in this team, that actually cares about them?
It’s a great consideration. If we’ve been paying attention, he’s not just twirling his mustache in villainous fashion. He has legitimate affection and fondness for these people. That gets addressed in an upcoming episode. All along the way, they’ve been together shepherding Eobard’s goal along—unwittingly on their part, but necessarily. They’ve been instrumental, helpful and great and encountered a massive amount of danger along the way and fought through it together, with Wells by their side leading the charge. They’ve accomplished so much together. That is not lost on Wells.
The logline for the finale says that Wells presents Barry with a life-changing choice. What can you tease?
Barry has learned a little bit, over the course of the last five or six episodes, about how messing with time is dangerous. I don’t think anybody knows that better than Eobard, who has come from another time far, far away. Essentially, Eobard is much more knowledgeable about Barry. There are huge risks involved. We’re trying to ramp up the risk factor to an intolerable degree. I hope very much that we’ve succeeded, because while we were doing it, it was very gratifying.
The Flash airs Tuesdays at 8 p.m. ET on The CW.