After so many jaw-dropping moments throughout Episode 15 of The CW series The Flash (read Dave’s full recap right here), thankfully, executive producer Andrew Kreisberg, as well as co-stars Tom Cavanagh (“Dr. Harrison Wells”) and Candice Patton (“Iris West”), were available to talk about it all. After some big character reveals, and moments of hope and heartbreak, it will be very interesting to see how it all plays out, by the end of the season.
While chatting with press, Andrew Kreisberg, Tom Cavanagh and Candice Patton talked about the ramifications of Episode 15, how they’ll be spring-boarding off of what happened, that their season finale is going to be something to be reckoned with, the affects of time travel, what Dr. Wells’ quest will be now, where all of this leaves Caitlin (Danielle Panabaker) and Cisco (Carlos Valdes), and how Iris will choose between Eddie Thawne (Rick Cosnett) and Barry Allen (Grant Gustin). Be aware that there are some major spoilers.
Question: Are you worried about how the audience will react, giving them everything they want, and then jumping back in time and taking it all away?
TOM CAVANAGH: It’s just Episode 15.
ANDREW KREISBERG: The advantage of having a show that dabbles in time travel, this episode allowed us to give people a tease and a taste, and make some big reveals. We try to not keep every secret, all the time. We try to dole some stuff out and start giving the audience some answers that they’ve been craving. There are still plenty of things left unsaid, like what Wells really wants for Barry, and how things are ultimately going to play out. This episode just felt like an amazing opportunity to do some crazy stuff. Hopefully, as people were watching it, they didn’t see the ending coming, so it was all happening for them as, “Holy crap, this is all happening.”
This episode felt more like a finale. Is every episode after this going to feel that way now, for the rest of the season?
CAVANAGH: We have table reads and read-throughs, and what you’ve put in the bank beforehand is one of the greatest things about television. Instead of two hours, we can put 15 hours in, prior to this, so we have investment. And then, you read something like this, and you get to pay it off, a little bit. The danger is, it is a precipice, or is it the slippery slide of a slope. It was a really strong episode of television, but in the ones to come, we’re spring-boarding off of it. The danger is that, you do something like this, which is a pinnacle, and then you slide down, but that’s not the case. We read the scripts and the next thing comes and you’re like, “Oh, that happens!” Much like the way the Cisco thing happened, we have large and small moments that use this as a starting point and build toward our season finale, which is also something to be reckoned with. It feels like this episode, for me personally, and the season feels a little bit like – to use a racing analogy – when the bell lap goes off and this is the start of the first turn, and then we’re down the back stretch and we keep going. It escalates nicely.
CANDICE PATTON: I remember when I read this episode, I was thinking, “Where could we go from here? We’ve given everything away! What could we possibly do?” Andrew always says, “Use what you have now. We’ll think of new ideas later.” That’s what’s really great about our show and this episode. You’re watching it and you’re like, “Well, if they’re going to do this in Episode 15, I can only imagine what the season finale is going to be like.” And that’s exactly how you should feel. You can only imagine what the finale is going to be like.
KREISBERG: Even as we write it, we can’t imagine it coming to life the way it does when you’ve got [this cast]. There’s the way Iris looks at Barry, at that moment when he says, “Then who is right for me?” In the scene between Tom and Carlos [Valdes], we didn’t even script that he cries. The minute Dr. Wells walks into the room and Cisco knows he’s gonna die, I just get chills even thinking about it, and it wasn’t even something that we intended. It’s what they brought to it. It really is this massive collaboration between everybody, and that isn’t always the case. We’re so proud of the scripts, but then we get these dailies back and we’re even more blown away.
What happens when you interrupt the space/time continuum on The Flash?
KREISBERG: Like Wells has said in a previous episode, there are different versions of time travel. There’s the fixed loop, and then there’s the version where time is more plastic and mutable. One of the fun things is discovering what’s a fixed point in time, what can’t be changed and what things always have to happen, and then what things are changeable and are mutable. It’s a mixture of both. Obviously, none of us knows how time travel really works, but we’ve come up with our rules and we try to stick by them. Not to pat ourselves on the back, but a lot of what we’re doing now is stuff we set up in the pilot. You can go back and watch the pilot and go, “Oh, I get it! That’s why that stream of things is happening!”
Is there a parallel universe now, where there is no Flash?
KREISBERG: Is there?
CAVANAGH: Is there? Answer a question with a question.
Will Barry still have to stop Mark Mardon (Liam McIntyre) again?
KREISBERG: The ramifications of this episode are the fun of Episode 16, and seeing how much of what happened in Episode 15 still happens and how much of it might possibly change.
Cisco is a very smart guy. Will he still be suspicious of Dr. Wells, even though they’ve gone back in time?
KREISBERG: Part of the fun of Episode 16 is watching that when time changes, certain events will occur that prevent Cisco from following along the same trajectory. You’ll see how things play out, but in a completely different way.
Now we know that Harrison really is Eobard Thawne. How will that tie into Eddie Thawne, and what will their connection be?
KREISBERG: You can take him at his word that there obviously is a family connection between the two of them. There are some great scenes coming up, between Tom and Rick [Cosnett], that starts to become a storyline. It’s cool stuff. We’re not trying to purposely trick the comic book fans. Being one myself, you can get upset when it’s not quite the way it was in the book. But, the show has to live on its own and it has to be for everybody. It can’t just be an adaptation of comic books that people have already read and know so well. Obviously, we’ve thought of this, from the very beginning, and it’s been leading up to this.
Will we be conflicted about how we feel about Dr. Wells?
CAVANAGH: He’s just a guy trying to get home. I think you can all appreciate that, emotionally. There are many ways to play a guy that is, from the starting point, already that rich and already has this many layers. The decision, by Andrew and the gang, to evolve how we see him and when we’re going to see him and where we’re going to find out more information about the different sides of his character, are always fun to play. For me, personally, playing the character, the starting point has always been that he’s a guy trying to get home. The starting point has always been Eobard Thawne, and then Harrison Wells is layered upon it. What’s good about it is that it’s not exactly duplicitous. There’s an element of that, but he doesn’t lie. He doesn’t lie to them. He almost never lies. He’s telling the truth. He’s furthering his agenda, but he’s also furthering Barry’s agenda, and those two agendas are simpatico. As he’s working with them, he is appreciative. All that stuff that you see is not a mustache-twirling, villainous starting point. It’s actually genuine. We’re trying to accomplish something, and for the first season, we’re accomplishing it together. As we see in this episode, that makes it a little more heartbreaking when the next phase of the plan starts to happen. I think that’s just good writing. If he was just a dick the whole time, when he kills Cisco, you’d just hate him. But now that we’ve established that they are a group and a team, to watch that fracture, I find it all the more compelling.
KREISBERG: We always talk about, if one of us was suddenly thrown back many centuries into the past and it took you 15 years to get home, you wouldn’t be sitting there by yourself. You’d meet people and you’d make friends. Even if, intellectually, we’re understanding that these people are long dead, or that every one of them could die and your home is still where it is, no man is an island. Eobard Thawne, himself, is not an evil man. He has a reason for doing what he’s doing, and he has an agenda. He thinks of himself as the hero. And bad people can love other people. Bad people are capable of love. Bad people are capable of incredible amounts of kindness and generosity. This is the truth. There’s nothing he said in that scene to Cisco that isn’t the truth. He’s sorry he found out. He’s sorry it has to happen. But, it does have to happen. There’s a scene in Episode 16, which mirrors that scene and really speaks to that.
What is Eobard Thawne’s quest now? Will he give up his quest to kill Barry Allen, if it means getting back home to his time?
KREISBERG: He wants to get home. He wanted to kill Barry, and he thought it was going to be a neat and easy thing. Instead, he’s found himself trapped here, for the last 15 years, and all he wants to do is get back. Imagine if one of us was transported back into the past, with no antibiotics, no internet and no indoor plumbing. These are the kinds of thoughts that he has. Every day in this time is an assault on him. He’s in the wheelchair, but he really is trapped. Getting back is his priority, and if he can kill Barry in the process, it’s two for two.
How much did Caitlin find out before time reversed?
KREISBERG: Well, she certainly knew that her boss, who was supposed to be in a wheelchair, skedaddled pretty fast. She probably surmised as much as Cisco had, but whether or not she retains that is to be determined.
What can we expect to see from Cisco and Wells now?
CAVANAGH: Wells killed a dead guy. It’s not a big deal. But, there’s a genuine affection between them. That is not fake. In the current time, Thawne is truly invested, truly cares about Cisco, and is truly impressed by him. When we saw the two of them meet, he was on his side. From the moment, he knew this guy had a spark. Wells/Thawne is smart enough to go, “This guy has it,” and he’s smart enough to bring him on board because he’s truly a wunderkind. He’s a genius. He seems some of himself in Cisco. There’s a protégé/mentorship thing happening. There’s genuine affection when he says, “You’ve shown me what it’s like to have a son,” he’s not saying it idly. He means it. At the same time, the guy has gotta get home.
Is Wells aware that, by killing Cisco, he’s killing a future member of the Justice League?
KREISBERG: There’s a great line in Episode 22, that speaks to that. Wells begins to impart some tidbits about a certain character’s future possibilities.
Even though this day has been reset, are Barry and Iris inevitable?
PATTON: We’ll have to wait to see what the time travel does to all of these characters, including Barry and Iris. But what’s important about this episode is that we finally learn the answer to the question that Barry asked Iris in Episode 9. He said, “I feel this way about you. How do you feel about me?” Iris, when she’s backed against a wall and she realizes they could both lose their lives, it propels her to finally come to grips with how she’s been feeling about Barry, and that’s so important. At the root of how she feels, she loves Barry. That also makes it very complicated because she does love Eddie. It’s just in a different way. It was so great to finally have that pay-off.
The Flash airs on Tuesday nights on The CW.