By Danielle Turchiano
If it seems like DC Comics is taking over television these days, it’s because they kind of are. Between the series currently airing and the potential future ones still being developed, somewhat fantastical dramas about men and women doing extraordinary things are sweeping through homes of fanboys, fangirls, and casual comic book fans alike. The next one to premiere, but one that has been buzzed about for a year already, is "The Flash," the origin story of Barry Allen (Grant Gustin) - a man who develops super speed after a freak incident involving a lightning storm and a particle accelerator.
Earlier today, MTV News and a few other select outlets sat down with select stars and executive producers behind "The Flash" to screen the pilot, and learn what to expect in this forthcoming first season. Read on for all of the juicy spoilers!
1. Flash Begins
“We experience the show through Grant—through Barry. Who people are, what they seem, we’re learning that as he’s learning that,” executive producer Andrew Kreisberg said. “It’s Flash begins: everybody’s starting out.”
When the pilot of "The Flash" opens, the audience is introduced to the key players in Barry’s world from before he was “changed.” We meet his father who is in prison for supposedly killing his mother; we meet his adoptive father; we meet his childhood best friend; we meet his co-workers and confidantes in his change. Though the pilot is very much Barry’s story, showing how he learns about his new abilities and begins to test them out and test himself, the series overall is an origin story for all of the characters involved to become what they are destined to—from the comics and from the minds of the show’s writers and producers.
“When Barry says in episode two, 'You know we were all struck by that bolt,' it’s for everybody on the show; they were all changed that night, whether they know it or not,” Kreisberg said.
2. Metahumans and Meta Humor
With his new ability, Barry is a metahuman, and as episodes unfold, those are the villains he will be fighting: people with surrealistic abilities to control the weather, play with time, see potential futures, and more. Barry is just starting to figure out what he can do, and along that journey he—and Central City around him—will have to figure out just what to do with these larger than life bad guys.
“It is very important to Barry that [he doesn’t kill them],” Gustin explained.
And Kreisberg added that “what they’re going to end up doing with the metahumans becomes a very big part of episode three. And then that becomes one of the biggest elements of the show—how they’re going to deal with this.”
A lot of the show’s humor early on comes from Barry adjusting to his newfound talents, as well as those around them finding their own ways. His childhood best friend Iris (Candice Patton) starts as a blogger because of her interest in The Flash. His appearance sets her on the journalistic “path of becoming her ultimate comic book character,” per Kreisberg, and those moments are ripe with jokes about journalism that feel familiar to anyone savvy in the online world.
3. Barry’s Three Dads
The producers drew a bit from "Searching for Bobby Fischer" to create Barry’s unique paternal situation. In that film, “one father represents the heart, one represents the mind, one represents the soul,” Kreisberg reminded. Barry has triangular pulls from his biological father Henry (John Wesley Shipp), his adoptive father Joe (Jesse L. Martin), and S.T.A.R. Labs’ mysterious Harrison Wells (Tom Cavanagh).
“A lot of the early episodes, and even some of the episodes we’re working on now for the middle of the season, are about Barry being faced with choices and having to help his fathers deal with each other,” Kreisberg continued.
“Obviously when we open the pilot, Joe is pretty definitive that Henry killed Barry’s mother, and Joe is now faced with this man that he put in prison that he sort of demonized for fourteen years [that] was actually innocent. Joe pretty much raised Barry without Henry’s involvement, and now he has to go back and restart that relationship.”
Gustin considered the relationship between Barry and Joe the most pivotal one thus far, though: “I think the biggest thing for Barry early on is that Joe believes in him…It makes him believe that his father is innocent, which is the biggest wait Barry’s been carrying by himself for fourteen years, so I think that’s the biggest thing, the most important shift we see in the first few episodes.”
4. Harrison Wells Has SECRETS
The first two episodes of "The Flash" end with tags featuring Wells revealing something to the audience that the other characters around him do not know. While no one in the show has actually witnessed him telling a lie yet, he's the perfect example of a character who has a lot more going on than initially meets the eye — and one who knows much more than he is letting on. Cavanagh feels strongly that characters with secrets to unveil are positive things for viewers because it means they can expect a lot more coming down the line.
“His actions at the end of episode two are one thing, but what he says is very different. What his motivations are I think are the big mystery of the season, and tracking that through has been a very interesting ride,” Kreisberg said.
5. There’s A Fire Brewing
Robbie Amell will guest star on "The Flash" beginning in the third episode of the season in the role of Ronnie Raymond, Caitlin Snow’s (Danielle Panabaker) fiancé. "The Flash" producers admitted they never originally planned for her fiancé character to be such an important hero in the DC world, but it came together that way, and we will end up seeing Amell portray Ronnie’s Firestorm alter ego “sooner” than expected.
“Robbie has been so much fun to work with, and he’s so excited about it he’s like jumping up and down. Every once in awhile he’ll just be like, ‘The suit won’t be that yellow, right?’ Maybe! Maybe,” Kreisberg said.
6. Captain Cold’s Agenda
Not every villain Barry meets in the series will be ones created because of the issue with the particle accelerator, and executive producer Geoff Johns shared that Leonard Snart aka Captain Cold (Wentworth Miller) is one who was not affected by it - but will play an integral, multi-episode role on the show and in Barry’s life.
Johns compared Captain Cold to Robert DeNiro in "Heat," saying, “He kind of just is this guy who pulls jobs very carefully, and suddenly there’s something else in the city and he has to change his game up. He has to figure out how to deal with his new threat in Central City—[this threat] to him and his way of life. And so, it’s all about him evolving and surviving in the new world order, and with that guns aren’t going to do it, so he has to have something a little stronger.”
7. Populating Further From The DC Universe
Executive Producer Greg Berlanti shared that a major point to "The Flash" was populating the show with a wide variety of characters to be able to create an “anthology show.”
“[We’re] introducing characters that have been affected [by the accident] and them having their own lives that we’re getting to dramatize and bring to the show,” Berlanti said.
“Those things play out over multiple episodes so they’re not so case-of-the-weeky.”
Upcoming characters to expect to pop up in that way are the Pied Piper (yet to be cast) and potentially even Booster Gold!
“There’s no rights issues and quite honestly Andrew and Greg have a great Booster Gold script, and Booster Gold’s a beloved character, so I would say chances are good [he will appear],” Johns noted.
8. Flash vs. Arrow Crossover
“You put the winner first! Wait no, it’s a tie. I’m teasing,” Kreisberg started when discussing the upcoming eighth episode of the season.
It was the eighth episode of the second season of "Arrow" when Barry was first introduced to The CW fans, and now, a year later, the roles are reversing. Though it will not be the first time characters cross over from "Arrow" to "The Flash" (Oliver Queen appears in the pilot, and Felicity Smoak pops up in episode four), it is the biggest crossover event they have worked on yet, taking place over two nights.
“We have one of the biggest surprises on 'Arrow' of all time on 'The Flash' episode. And both episodes are really important for Barry’s growth... There’s a line in there that I will spoil because every time Grant said it, [I cracked up]. He goes, ‘When I fight you, it is literally like you’re standing still.’ And what’s hilarious about it is the unbelievable joy with which Grant delivers that line,” Kreisberg said.
“When we were working on the script, we realized that the best part of 'The Flash' episode was this meta commentary on how serious everyone is in 'Arrow,' and so there’s a lot of jokes at Oliver’s expense in 'The Flash' side of it. But then what was fun was when we went to do the 'Arrow' side of it, it became the reverse, where Barry and Caitlin and Cisco... all have to face ‘Oh wow, what you guys do is serious.’ So they’re sort of playing at a different level.”
9. As The Tone Turns
Generally "The Flash" is a lighter-hearted, more fantastical show that "Arrow," which proceeded it, allowing for a lot of humor to spring up from situations and character responses. Gustin shared that, “David Ramsey is funnier than he’s ever been” in their crossover with "Arrow," simply because “what he’s seeing is blowing his mind” when it comes to things like meta-humans and powers.
In fact, the show is light enough that Kreisberg is toying with the idea of tying in some musical element to show off stars Gustin, Cavanaugh, and Martin’s extra talents.
“On 'Flash' people go out for a drink at the end of the day, and they’re all friends, and they all care about each other, so there has been some talk about at the end of one episode, everyone going to a karaoke bar,” Kreisberg said.