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Barry Allen (Grant Gustin) is going to need all the help he can get when The Flash returns for season two.
The scarlet speedster may be expecting the action in Central City to slow down after the Reverse-Flash (Tom Cavanagh) drama and the black hole singularity in the season one finale, but to hear EPs Andrew Kreisberg and Gabrielle Stanton tell it, a new big bad is about to arrive and he’s got his sights set on Barry. Thankfully, another speedster — the original Flash Jay Garrick (Teddy Sears) — is also making his way to Central City to become a mentor for Barry.
The Hollywood Reporter spoke with Kreisberg and Stanton about what Jay Garrick’s arrival means for Barry and the rest of the STAR Labs team, the outcome of the singularity, how the team is coping with Eddie’s (Rick Cosnett) death and what else to expect from season two.
When this season picks up, are you building on the pace of the finale or are you going to slow it down?
Stanton: We are ramping it up more, simply because we have to. Because the events of the season finale were so shocking, we get to play out — at the beginning of this season — all the ramifications of what happened and then move forward. You’ll also get to see even crazier metahumans and bigger villains; we’re pushing the boundaries of what we did last year.
Season one ended with a cliffhanger, with the black hole singularity threatening Central City. Is that going to have lasting effects throughout the whole season?
Stanton: We are going to quickly deal with the singularity in the premiere and then find out how that is affecting our universe after that. It has changed things in The Flash universe in big ways. Everyone in the city saw that singularity and the Flash and realized that there’s stuff going on out there — and that opens up where we can take the story.
Barry started season one loving his powers and enthusiastic about being the Flash. How have the events of the finale changed him?
Kreisberg: When we open the premiere, you’ll see that it’s not quite where we left off. The mystery of what happened that day and how they solved the issue of the singularity is part of how the episode unfolds. Like Joe (Jesse L. Martin) says to Barry in the premiere, “You made a really bad decision and we’ve all paid for it. But the real question is: What are you going to do about it?” The first episode is about Barry learning to move forward again. We have a whole new mythology this season. We’re putting time travel aside and dealing with multiple Earths and the multiverse.
Iris (Candice Patton) has lost Eddie. How is she coping with his death and her place in STAR Labs?
Kreisberg: Ironically, one of the things that Wells was last year, even though he was a bad guy, he was the leader of the team. They are, in a weird way, rudderless now and that’s what Iris comes in and does. She helps take charge and give the team cohesion. She galvanizes everyone to work together again.
Speaking of Harrison Wells, how will Tom Cavanagh continue to be part of the show since the real Harrison was killed years ago by Eobard Thawne?
Kreisberg: The answer to that question can only be discovered by watching the show.
Stanton: We are going to see a different Harrison Wells than we saw last season. He’s different in a lot of ways. We’re doing a lot of cool things with his character, because he’s not going to be the Harrison Wells that you expect.
How will Jay Garrick be different from his comic book counterpart?
Kreisberg: As always, we try to put spins on all the characters but he’s definitely Jay Garrick. We worked really hard to bring the comic book to life and Teddy Sears is doing two of the hardest things an actor has to do: joining a successful show in season two and trying to bring a level of reality and gravitas and truth while wearing a superhero outfit. Jay has never been shown in live-action before so we’re really proud and humbled to be the first writers to get to bring him to life.
How soon will the character arrive after he being teased in the finale?
Stanton: He’ll show up sooner than you think. Barry and his team are going to have a few trepidations at the beginning about him, because they have not had the best of luck trusting people. But Jay is going to become an important character in their lives, and a mentor to Barry. He’s been the Flash for a long time so he’s going to know more about Barry’s abilities and can help him in ways that no one else can. This is the first speedster that Barry can talk to and confide in.
Will Jay stick around for all of season two?
Stanton: We will see him a lot in season two, yes.
You announced at Comic-Con that Zoom (voiced by Tony Todd) is going to show up this season. How soon will Barry and the STAR Labs team find out his existence?
Kreisberg: Pretty soon, actually. Last season, we modulated Tom Cavanagh’s voice for the Reverse-Flash and this season, we wanted to do something a little bolder. James Earl Jones as Darth Vader was our inspiration. When you hear Tony’s voice come out of this character’s mouth, it will be truly terrifying.
Stanton: He is our season big bad. He is scary, evil and we upped the factor of the villain from the Reverse-Flash. When we first see him, we’re going to know it’s Zoom. What he wants and how he fits into our world is something we’re going to explore over the course of the season.
Have you cast the actual actor playing him?
Stanton: We have someone in mind and it’s someone that fans are really going to freak out about.
If season one was all about Barry’s origin story, how would you describe season two?
Kreisberg: Season one was about Barry learning how to be a hero, and now that he is one, it’s a question of what does that mean? Barry doesn’t realize that he’s in a TV show [laughs] so he didn’t realize that there was going to be another big bad coming and probably another one after that and another one after that. Barry is about to come to grips with that. And now he’s going to have to come to terms with the fact that he’s become a very public superhero in a way that the Arrow never was. The metahuman threat has become well-known, and we now live in a city where people accept that there are people who have extraordinary abilities. This world has become much more of a DC Comics world. Watching Barry deal with “celebrity” and all the good and bad that comes with that is part of this season.
Barry’s going to have a new love interest, Patty Spivot (Shantel VanSanten). What’s their dynamic like?
Stanton: She’s a character from the comics and there’s going to be an attraction there. There will be some sparks and Barry is going to have to decide if he wants to take a chance on love again. She’s going to offer a new perspective on what’s happening in Central City with the metahumans as well.
Will Cisco (Carlos Valdes) come to terms with being a metahuman this season?
Stanton: We don’t know for sure if he is a metahuman. We know that Wells said he’s a metahuman but Wells lied a lot [laughs]. We are going to see Cisco try to figure out if Wells was telling the truth or not and when he does, he’ll wrestle with what that means for him, his friends and his relationships.
What did you learn from season one that you’re going to apply in season two?
Stanton: The Joe/Barry relationship became so beautiful and so great over the season that we definitely started writing to that a bit more. We also learned that no matter what we came up with, our amazing visual effects team can make it which was a huge albeit pleasant surprise.
The Flash season two premieres tonight at 8 p.m. on The CW.
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