Warning: This story contains major spoilers from the season 2 premiere of The Flash. Read at your own risk!
Though he seemed like the obvious answer, Barry Allen (Grant Gustin) was not “The Man Who Saved Central City” in The Flash premiere.
After accidentally opening a singularity that threatened to not only swallow Central City, but the entire world, Barry needed help in disrupting the motion of the black hole. Firestorm flew into the eye of the storm before separating into its two entities — Barry was able to save Professor Stein (Victor Garber), but Ronnie Raymond (Robbie Amell) was lost in the aftermath, effectively giving his life to save Central City. But did Ronnie really die? EW turned to executive producer Andrew Kreisberg to find out:
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: Is Ronnie Raymond actually dead? And what came with the decision to write him out?
ANDREW KREISBERG: Well, you’re never really dead when you’re on The Flash, a TV show where there are universes and time travel. He was, in fact, killed in that moment, but that doesn’t mean that we’ve seen the last of Robbie Amell on this show. Certainly, Greg [Berlanti], Robbie and I all hope to work together on The Flash again. Part of the decision was Robbie’s burgeoning film career. He’s on his way to being a very big star, which he completely deserves both professionally and personally. We didn’t want to stand in the way of that. As always, sometimes those tough decisions yield the best storytelling because obviously Ronnie’s death has a major impact on all the characters, Barry, Caitlin (Danielle Panabaker), Professor Stein. It also gave us a lot of our storytelling as we move forward. Everyone knows there’s a second spin-off coming with Legends of Tomorrow. They know the Firestorm legacy is far from over, so it just gave us a lot of rich storytelling to pursue.
With Ronnie dead, what does this mean for Professor Stein?
For Stein in the short-term, it means he’s a superhero without powers. But like the best heroes, you can’t keep a good scientist down. For his character, he had a taste of being a hero and found himself a little bit lost after the events of the finale and found his way again to the team full-time.
Will the belief that there could be another Ronnie on a different Earth push Caitlin toward becoming Killer Frost?
Everything that happens on this show is going to slowly push her there. How and when it happens is obviously something we’d like to keep on the down low. For those people who are hoping to one day see Caitlin do that, I can’t promise it’ll be as soon as you want, but it’s definitely in the future — or one possible future, he said devilishly. [Laughs]
Barry got a new suit in the premiere, but we still haven’t actually seen Barry with the white emblem on his suit face off against Reverse Flash in the past. Is that something you’ll explore this season?
Again, we don’t want to give away too many of our secrets, but yeah, obviously we used the white symbol last year to represent that’s where Barry’s story is in the future. That’s why we have Cisco (Carlos Valdes) sort of chicken-and-the-egg it: “Did we build that white symbol because we saw it?” It’s definitely meant that Barry is taking a step forward. We almost called the episode “Forward,” based on the Hebrew word Kadima, as part of the speech that Professor Stein gave at the end of the episode. It feels like not just the characters, but the show itself is taking a step forward and becoming more mature and advanced emotionally.
Can Team Flash still turn to Wells’ (Tom Cavanagh) A.I. Gideon for answers?
Gideon is no longer there.
Jay (Teddy Sears) appears in the closing moments of the episode. How does Barry feel about his arrival?
He’s very wary. The last time somebody said, “I came from another place and I’m here to help you,” it turned out to be the guy who tried to kill them all. Barry is dealing with a little bit of that. What’s interesting about their dynamic is last season Barry really saw Wells as another father figure. This year, Barry has grown up a little bit. He doesn’t need that as much. We’re looking at Jay as more of a bigger brother who went to college and has come back. He’s experienced what it’s like to be The Flash, and he’s able to teach Barry a whole bunch of new Flash tricks and new uses for powers that Barry and his team hadn’t even considered, some of which Wells probably never bothered to show him because he didn’t want him to get too strong. That’s exciting watching Barry as he learns to master some of these new talents.
Barry’s father is out of jail, but he left Central City. What role will he play this year?
You’ll see him just as much as you saw him last year. He’s already in a bunch of episodes coming up. We were really conscious of not wanting to repeat ourselves. Freeing Henry (John Wesley Shipp) gave us part of the Harrison Wells story for the beginning of the year, which is that even though he’s been erased from existence and couldn’t be more dead, he still got the last laugh. And it wasn’t by defeating Barry, it was by giving Barry what he wants and still telling him, “Guess what? You’re still not going to be happy. You’re still going to be running and chasing an enemy that you can’t beat.” Part of Barry’s journey this season is wrestling with the fact that he has gotten what he wanted, and he’s going to meet a girl, be happy and his dad is out of prison, but there’s still this ache inside of him and this echo that maybe he made the wrong choice in not saving his mother.
The Flash airs Tuesdays at 8 p.m. ET on The CW.