By Chancellor Agard
February 03, 2020 at 04:16 PM EST

The Flash will be switching up its tone when the show returns for the second half of season 6, a.k.a. “Graphic Novel #2.”

“Because this is the season of thrills and chills, if ‘Graphic Novel #1’ was the chills, ‘Graphic Novel #2’ is the thrills,”showrunner Eric Wallace tells EW. “Whereas Bloodwork’s story was very much The Flash’s version of a horror movie, it’s time to go to a thriller now, and there might even be a little sci-fi [weirdness] in there… because I watch too much Twin Peaks.”

The thriller aspect is immediately apparent in the midseason return, “Marathon,” as a dangerous organization threatens Iris West-Allen (Candice Patton) after she publishes an explosive exposé.

Love Is A Battlefield
Credit: Katie Yu/The CW

“A lot of the things that we were drawing on for reference, which you [see] in that opener, were ’70s paranoid thrillers. All the Presidents’ Men, Three Days of the Condor, The Parallax View, all of those kinds of films were kind of at the back of our heads as we went into Graphic Novel #2,” Wallace says.

While the first half of the season was focused on how Barry Allen (Grant Gustin) was handling his impending demise in “Crisis on Infinite Earths” (which didn’t come to pass, thanks to Earth-90 Flash’s heroic sacrifice), the new batch of episodes is very much about Iris’ reaction to everything that’s happened.

“Now we get to deal very specifically with what was Iris going through and how has that affected her now and where will that take the Barry and Iris relationship,” Wallace says. “Quite frankly, it takes it to some nuts places, but what’s great is that by the end of ‘Graphic Novel #2,’ I can say unequivocally that Barry and Iris will be closer than they’ve ever been before, simply because what happens is just the craziest thing ever.”

Credit: Katie Yu/The CW

That said, Barry will also be dealing with some heavy things. Sure, he survived “Crisis,” but he also lost his friend and mentor Oliver Queen (Stephen Amell), who died rebooting the multiverse. While that loss weighs on Barry, there’s another unexpected consequence of the big five-part event that directly impacts Barry and also plays into Keiynan Lonsdale’s return as Kid Flash.

“One would think the true fallout of ‘Crisis’ is the death of Oliver Queen and not having your mentor — you know, Obi-Wan is gone, Luke must rise up, become a hero — and that happens, don’t get me wrong, but that’s not the real fallout of ‘Crisis,’” says Wallace. “The real fallout of ‘Crisis’ has yet to be seen. That is the heart of our story, and that is the heart of what is going to lead Barry on a very emotional journey that he is not prepared for. That’s one of the things having Keiynan back as Kid Flash does for us: [It] directly addresses — because Keiynan will be in one of our episodes in ‘Graphic Novel #2’ — [and] is to help Barry deal with the real fallout of ‘Crisis.’”

One consequence of “Crisis” we can address now is that the creation of Earth-Prime — which altered the Arrowverse’s timeline by moving every CW superhero show onto one Earth — leads to some of The Flash’s past baddies returning, potentially with new powers and even new identities. We already We already know Katee Sackhoff’s Amunet Black is coming back, but there’s definitely more on the way.

“The past villains that we saw in previous seasons, they’re not the same villains anymore. They are different people. They might even have different abilities, which Team Flash is going to get caught unprepared,” says Wallace. “It gives a freshness to it and even more danger to what would be a meta-of-the-week kind of story line. It becomes even more treacherous if you don’t know what the meta is, because that meta is a little bit more unpredictable.” Without revealing who we’ll see in addition to Amunet, he adds: “We’re going to dig deep. You’re definitely going to get villains we have not seen in a long time popping up.”

The Flash airs Tuesdays at 8 p.m. on the CW.

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