2:24pm PT by Philiana Ng
'Arrow': 'Flash' Characters to Drop by for 'Important Appearance'
[Warning: Spoilers ahead.]
Last fall on Arrow, Grant Gustin was introduced as Barry Allen, the boy who would become The Flash. Now, you'll meet several new faces from the CW spinoff before the season is over.
Episode 19 of Arrow, titled "The Man Under the Hood," is penned by the trio behind The Flash -- Geoff Johns, Greg Berlanti and Andrew Kreisberg -- and will introduce two characters from the spinoff: S.T.A.R. Labs' bioengineering expert Caitlin, played by Danielle Panabaker, and mechanical engineering genius Cisco, played by Carlos Valdes. (Jesse Warren directed the episode.) Arrow executive producer Marc Guggenheim described it as "an important appearance."
"This was something that really came about because obviously Barry is in a coma at the end of episode nine [of Arrow]. That pretty much made it impossible for Barry to appear in episode 19, 20 -- pick an episode of Arrow -- because he's got to stay in a coma until October of next year," Guggenheim explained.
The idea for a Flash crossover (of sorts) was borne out of a writers' room pitch, wherein it was suggested that members of the S.T.A.R. Labs crew come into the Arrow-verse around the time the backdoor pilot was originally slated.
"Even though the circumstances of that pitch changed, the idea of bringing in those characters really, really appealed to us because it allowed us to honor our original intention that we had at the beginning of the year, which was to do something Flash-related around episode 19 or 20 without of course having comatose Barry and basically paying Grant Gustin a lot of money to sit around with his eyes closed unconscious the whole episode," Guggenheim said, adding that that original idea was written. The problem was "It's really boring."
If anything, seeing Caitlin and Cisco operating on Arrow opens things up for the producers -- and keeps the public's interest level high. "It allows us to further flush out The Flash universe in Arrow," Guggenheim said of the hour, likely airing in April. "We get to see their dynamic."
Interestingly, Panabaker and Valdes filmed their episodes concurrently with The Flash and Arrow; Guggenheim maintained that the scheduling coincidence wasn't why they did it. "In fact, that was an added producing/logistical complication. It's just so much fun to see these characters before you -- it's like previewing Boba Fett in the holiday special."
Guggenheim couldn't help but reference the 4.4 earthquake felt early Monday morning in Los Angeles: "That's what happens when you screen an episode of Arrow for God."