EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW The Flash Boss Eric Wallace Previews Final Season

EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW: The Flash Boss Eric Wallace Previews Final Season

By Andy Behbakht and Tatiana Hullender

We are less than a week away from the final season of The Flash, with season 9 set to begin Barry Allen’s final run in the Arrowverse. After running for nearly a decade, The Flash will end the Earth-Prime side of the franchise. As bittersweet as the ending will be, fans will at least have 13 more episodes to follow Barry and Iris West-Allen as they head into the final season.

The Flash Podcast’s Andy Behbakht and Tatiana Hullender recently were joined by returning guest Eric Wallace, the showrunner of The Flash, to preview the final season. This is the first part of the interview with part two coming out next week with full spoilers and more teases about the final season.


DISCLAIMER: Please do NOT reproduce the interview or break up pieces through screenshots. screenrecording. We request that you link to our original article when using it on other platforms.

The Flash Podcast: Let’s start with the million dollar question: was the final season a result of all the corporate changes or was this more of a mutual conclusion?

Eric Wallace: I don’t have the full answer on that myself. I think it is a combination of a lot of things. I think nine seasons feels right, we got one more than Arrow! [laughs] I’m kidding. I love Arrow, we got Stephen [Amell] back, it’s all good! Times are changing, both here at the studio and on the show. We have been doing it for a while, and I do think it’s good to finish while you are still strong and not just running it into the ground. I know it’s a vague answer, but I do think there are so many things contributing to it that it all ended up being the right time. We are lucky enough to get an extra season and actually finish on our own terms, which I feel very fortunate about. Because some of the other shows did not get to, which breaks my heart still to this day.


The Flash Podcast: Speaking of finishing on your own terms, I would say that having seen the premiere, boxes are already being checked off when it comes to things that we have wanted to see. Going into the final season, how conscious were you of wanting to incorporate certain elements for characters?

Eric Wallace: Extremely conscious. I know couple of things you’re thinking of specifically in the opener, and those are on purpose. I went back and looked at season 1 with the staff for a rewatch, and we’re like, ‘Hey, whatever happened to that? It got dropped, we need to pick that up! We need to check that box!’ So you’ll see a lot of Easter eggs throughout the season that actually close the loop on a few things. You’ll also see some very big hanging things from season 1 – no spoilers – that needed to get adresses that finally got adressed that I’m very happy about. I would go so far as to say that the closer we get to the series finale, the more you should rewatch season 1, especially in the second half!


The Flash Podcast: One of the episodes Tati and I always talk about as one of our favorites is 1×15 “Out of Time.” How crucial might that episode be?

Eric Wallace: I would say that’s not crucial, simply because I consider 1×15 to be perfect. I don’t want to mess with that. I make no secrets, that’s my favorite episode. It’s always been; of the first three years before I got here, that’s my number one favorite episode. I have a couple of episodes, but that’s number one. That’s the one where I watched and went, ‘This show is phenomenal, holy blank-blank-blank.’  I would say 17 and onward, is what I would start rewatching very specifically. That’s a pretty big spoiler right there. [laughs] It’s the showrunner versus the fan, they fight each other sometimes.


Max Mercury In The Flash

The Flash Podcast: I love Easter eggs and one of the things that you dropped in your episode last season that you directed was Max Mercury. Should we expecting him at all this season?

Eric Wallace: I would say no. Since we all know that there’s only a ninth season, that was building towards season 10 is what that was. That was a specific plan put in place but sadly will not come to fruition now. It is what I think we would have gotten a chance to pay that off, if season 9 had been a full 20-22, or 23. But as we’ve been breaking down the stories for season 9, there wasn’t just enough time to introduce Max in the way that I wanted to and the way that we were planning to do so, unfortunately, that’s going to be one of those hanging cards. Although we’re writing the series finale right now, I’m hoping we can kind of address it on the side, a line or connect it somehow. Talk to me in six months on that! But as far as him actually showing up, we’re just not going to be able to get to it, unfortunately. Because that was the plan for season 10.


The Flash Podcast: Did you have any fancasting of who you would have tried to get as Max?

Eric Wallace: No, the only thing that I was insistent on is the character would have had Indigenous origins, Native American. The CW and WB were behind me on this 100% when I said it must be Indigenous casting. I prefer an unknown and then he could have come into Team Flash with Grant, Candice and all the usual gang as the support system for introducing that character. But that was my big thing is I need this to be authentic. Whoever that actor is male, female that hadn’t even been decided, by the way. Because to me, Max is a gender neutral name, which is what I was very excited about. Again, I’m talking about things that aren’t going to happen now. This is me fanning out thinking about season 10 But a lot of the other season 10 things that didn’t involve Max, you will see in the series finale, like we’ve just pulled them forward and we got them in there.


The Flash Podcast: Because it is the end, I am very grateful that we’ve already gotten more of Westallen touching in the trailer alone than in the last couple of seasons. Was that due to COVID restrictions lifting, or was it thematic about them finally coming together? Or did you pay Grant and Candice more? [laughs]

The Flash Podcast: Well, we know Wally is coming back and we are very excited for that. It sounds like it’s only going to be one episode, so are there any loose ends to tie up? Will there be West family shenanigans during his time back on The Flash?

Eric Wallace: Yes. In fact, I was looking at the cut of the episode where he returns, and it came out great; directed by Danielle Panabaker, who did a phenomenal job on it. There’s some really fun moments. There’s a great Wally and Iris scene, which we always love seeing [when it is] brother and sister, one-on-one together. We’re going to see a side of Wally we haven’t seen before. I wanted to make sure if he came back that we grow the character. You may need to rewatch Wally’s first appearances in season 2, because I realized we’re tapping into that pretty hardcore. We’ve done that in so many episodes in season 9, where we’re not just exploring when a character comes back. We’re exploring where they came from, where they were, what they had to overcome and that’s literally addressed in one of the scenes that Wally is in.


DISCLAIMER: Please do NOT reproduce the interview or break up pieces through screenshots. screenrecording. We request that you link to our original article when using it on other platforms.


The Flash Podcast: That was going to be my follow up, do you have a word of God on where he’s been, what he’s been doing?

Eric Wallace: Yeah and also where he’s going at the end of the episode. It’s no surprise – we’re a happy show, he’s going to be fine. Nobody’s dying or anything like that; that would be insane. But we have a sense of what he’s learned as a result of his one episode visit for us and it’s pretty incredible. His performance is amazing, you’re going to love it.


The Flash Podcast: Speaking of happy endings, because we know that in the comics, Barry has not always had the most pleasant conclusions. A lot of people are under this theory that somehow Barry is going to still vanish, become the lightning bolt that strikes himself in 2013, can you rule that out?

Eric Wallace: I can tell you that’s not happening, because I didn’t even know about that. That’s interesting. No, that’s not the ending, it will be a happy ending. We want people to be crying with tears of joy. It’ll be a lot of tears and a lot of bittersweet memories and a lot of old faces, hopefully, fingers crossed. We have to check people’s schedules. I don’t want to get people too excited. There’s a lot of balls to juggle, and a lot of people have been doing other things. They’ve moved on, and it’s not as easy. Wanting something isn’t enough. Making it actually be a reality sometimes is the unfortunate fact that we just can’t accomplish it, due to schedule. Talk to me in six months now and we’ll see where we got.


The Flash Podcast: Could that mean maybe another Wally apperance or is this his one-and-only episode?

Eric Wallace: Right, he’s certainly so pivotal to the episode. I told Keiynan this when I pitched him the concept that, ‘We can not do this particular story without you. If you’re too busy, that’s okay. But I’m going to have to find a new story because it just doesn’t work without you. Because you’re at the heart of it. It’s your emotional core as Wally West that we’re exploring here, which is why the story is so exciting.’ That’s why, when I pitched it to him, he just flipped out with excitement. He’s like, ‘Just fly me there, let’s lock it down’ and I went, ‘Okay!’


The Flash Podcast: That will make a lot of fans happy! I know everyone has expectations for the series finale and ideally, all of them should be there. But I understand in the world of Hollywood it is not always as easy. Because you got on a show that has prety talented cast members that will come in and out, so I understand, I know, and I’m happy that everyone’s working and thriving and so on.

Eric Wallace: Yeah, as am I! I always say, once part of The Flash Family, always part of The Flash Family. We want everybody to come back, but it’s just not possible. I don’t want to raise expectations too high for folks. It’s not that we don’t want folks to come back, it just might not be possible sometimes.


DISCLAIMER: Please do NOT reproduce the interview or break up pieces through screenshots. screenrecording. We request that you link to our original article when using it on other platforms.


The Flash Podcast: It’s time to talk about Oliver Queen because the fans would murder me if I didn’t ask. We know how Bloodwork is back, because of the Earth-Prime comic. We know Diggle is back because who doesn’t love David Ramsay? But can you give the fans an exclusive here? What can you say about Oliver?

Eric Wallace: That’s one spoiler I can’t go near because that’s the event of all events, other than the series finale. That’s going to be crazy. This is probably the biggest thing that can happen in the Arrowverse; the return of Stephen Amell. The question is who is he? Is he the Green Arrow? Is he the Spectre? Is he Oliver Queen? Is he none of the above? Where did he come from? I really don’t want to spoil anything there of his return. First of all, it’s funny, it’s just laugh out loud funny. But at the end of it, I cried watching the cut. I’ve seen the cut of the episode. It reduced me to tears at the end, that’s the only kind of spoiler I can give. Get ready for a very emotional ride…

OK, here’s your spoiler [laughs] – [it’s] one that honors what happened at the end of Arrow. We’re not throwing out the series finale of Arrow, let me assure you of that. Don’t worry about that. This is moving forward with still us honoring the past. It’s funny, there’s a great scene between Grant and Stephen together, they have that chemistry. When you see him and you write the joke in the script that they’re supposed to say – when I just watched it yesterday, I laughed out loud! Because Stephen’s delivery was so spot on. It was like a day hadn’t passed. It was like, ‘Oh, wow is this a crossover? is this Arrow 8×11 mixed with Flash 9×09?’ It felt like no time has passed, which is exactly what you want.


Supergirl Nicole Maines To Appear In The Flash Season 9 As Dreamer

The Flash Podcast: OK, I will give you an easier one – can you reveal what episode Nia Nal will appear in?

Eric Wallace: Oh, I don’t even know if I can do that. I will give you this, because I don’t think this is a huge spoiler, that’s an Interlude episode, not a graphic novel one. That tells you right there, it’s more in the middle.


The Flash Podcast: Candice posted recently a new look, a new hairdo. I know it is very important for a lot of fans out there to seeing a more authenticity of Iris as a Black woman, and we see that in the premiere too. Can you talk about those conversations that you’ve had with Candice? How much more are we going to see that throughout the season? I know that’s something she’s always been very vocal about wanting to see more of. I know fans always want to see it, I know you as a Black showrunner also want to see that. Can you talk about how that element comes into this season?

Eric Wallace: Yeah, I’ve said to Candice, from day 1 how I support 100% whatever she wants [to do] authentically with that hair. The conversations, ironically, are very brief. She says, ‘This is what I like to do’ and she gets the sentence halfway out of her mouth before I go ‘Great, let’s do it!’ Then it literally happens. I don’t know if it’s a spoiler, but she has some very exciting looks this year that I love so much and think are just incredible. [Looks] that are very authentic, that I think are super cool and I know the fans are going to love them. We love them when we saw them. She’s very empowered, I have empowered her to say ‘This is what I would like to do’ so that I can just support her in that 100%. So yeah, look for that. There might even be more than one hairstyle this year, who knows?


The Flash Podcast: As a follow-up, does Barry acknowledge that in any capacity?

Eric Wallace: No, you actually don’t and that’s me saying, I don’t want to draw attention to it. I want it to be a case of a Black woman can have her hair however she wants to. She doesn’t have to tell you about it and comment on it. Its nice sometimes if that’s what they’re looking for. But it’s very important for me, for her to just represent herself and be the person, the person that’s radiating from inside coming out. However that’s reflected on the outside is fine. You will never see us really comment or pint point it out. For me, personally, what’s important is just seeing this character in different looks and it just is. It is just when Chester might have a different hairstyle. It just is or if you walk into his lab, and there’s a picture of Tupac and Malcolm like there, it’s just their world. It’s subtext, that screams to the audience a larger, more authentic text about their character. That’s very much on purpose.


Tune in THIS WEDNESDAY after the season premiere for the FULL, SPOILER-FILLED interview with Eric Wallace as he breaks down multiple aspects of the first episode and drop even more teases of what’s to come in the final season! Be sure to subscribe to us on all the platforms below and also the DC TV Podcasts’ YouTube channel!


SEASON PREMIERE – Barry (Grant Gustin) creates a map book to guide him and Iris (Candice Patton) throughout their future in order to keep her safe, but the results are not what he expected, and instead, they relive the same day over and over again. Joe (Jesse L. Martin) has a heart-to-heart with Cecile (Danielle Nicolet). A new big bad is introduced to Team Flash and friends and foes, old and new, begin to descend upon Central City. Vanessa Parise directed the episode with story by Eric Wallace and teleplay by Thomas Pound & Sarah Tarkoff.

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