Warning: This story contains major spoilers from the season finale of The Flash. Read at your own risk!
One of the newest members of Team Flash finally became a hero in his own right during The Flash’s freshman finale—but he did so by sacrificing his own life.
After Barry (Grant Gustin) decided against saving his mother in the past, the scarlet speedster raced back to the present to prevent the Reverse Flash (Tom Cavanagh) from returning to his own time. Devastated at the destruction of the time machine, Eobard was determined to not only kill Barry, but everyone he cares about. Seeing that the man in yellow was getting the upper hand, Eddie (Rick Cosnett) decided to shoot himself, knowing it would effectively erase his descendant from the timeline. EW can confirm that with Eddie’s death, Cosnett will not be returning as a series regular next season. Why, oh why, did Eddie have to die? We’ve got the scoop from Flash boss Andrew Kreisberg:
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: What came with the decision to kill off Eddie?
ANDREW KREISBERG: As always with these things, they’re literally the worst decisions you can make for yourself personally. We love Rick so much, both professional and personally. In addition to being incredibly talented, he’s such a standup guy and so beloved by everybody on the cast and crew. This wasn’t always the plan, but it was always a possibility. When we named Eddie’s character and gave him the last name of Thawne, there was a whole subset of the audience that believed he was the Reverse Flash, which was intentional. But then we had to live with: Why did he have that name? One of the sad, surprising things about the finale is that for all the good that Barry does, in the end it’s Eddie who saves the day. It’s hard. It’s a terrible decision to have to make. We’ve been faced with that before, certainly when we made the decision with Colin Donnell on Arrow and Caity Lotz. As with both of those actors and characters, they lived to come back another day. While Rick won’t be a regular, Flash is the kind of show between hardcore sci-fi and time travel that I wouldn’t be surprised if this isn’t the last we’ve seen of Eddie Thawne.
How does Eddie’s death reverberate moving forward?
Obviously his death is going to have a huge impact on the characters. People sometimes forget this, but there was a nine month gap in the pilot. We did a nine month time jump. Iris (Candice Patton) has been with Eddie for a long time and they were living together. He didn’t just die, he died to save her. Obviously Iris is going to be dealing with that. Barry is going to be dealing with the fact that all Barry has ever wanted to do is protect Iris, and in the end it was Eddie who got to do it. Joe (Jesse L. Martin) has lost his partner. One of the great things about Flash—that was always designed to be that way, but has turned out far more emotional and better than we ever could’ve hoped for—was just how much people care for these characters and how much the characters care about each other. To lose somebody like Eddie—who has never been anything but a good guy and is the one who sacrifices himself not just for our characters, but for the world—that’s going to have an impact and it’s not something that’s going to go away right away. Like with a tragedy in any of our lives, every day you get further away from it, it gets a little bit easier, but it’s really about integrating it into your life moving forward.
Even before Eddie’s death, Iris had definitively chosen him. Does his death really put the kibosh on Barry and Iris for the time being?
Yeah. It’s hard after that to try and pick up exactly where they had hoped to be—certainly where Barry had hoped to be. It’s not the easiest thing for Barry to try and get past or even for Iris to get past. It would’ve been very easy for Eddie to sacrifice himself after Wells had told him he doesn’t get the girl and doesn’t have a future. For us, what made it even more heartbreaking is that Eddie didn’t kill himself because he didn’t have anything to live for, he killed himself because he had everything to live for. He committed to Iris and said, “Screw the future. I’m going to make the life that I want for myself.” At the end of the day, all he ever wanted to do was protect her and that’s why he made the ultimate sacrifice.
What does this mean for Tom Cavanagh? Will we actually see him next season, and if so, how?
Tom Cavanagh will continue to be a regular on Flash is all I am prepared to say.
Have we actually seen the last of the Reverse Flash?
On Flash, you’ve never seen the last of anybody, no matter what happens to them.
We got a brief glimpse of Matt Letscher before Reverse Flash fizzled out. Will he be a part of the show moving forward?
Yeah. We hope so. Greg [Berlanti] and I both worked with Matt on Eli Stone. We’re friends. We’re such huge fans. The idea of Eobard Thawne having essentially stolen Harrison Wells’ body was an idea that we came up with midstream. That wasn’t always part of the conception. What’s wonderful about it is now it allows us to have two tremendously talented actors both playing the same villain. When the Reverse Flash returns, the face that’s underneath the hood can be one of two faces now.
Let’s talk about Barry running into the singularity in the final moments of the finale. Are you planning to pickup right where season 1 left off?
We’re mapping out the season. The circumstances in which we come back will hopefully be surprising and entertaining. There are a bunch of questions that were left unresolved at the end of the season and they’ll be resolved in the premiere. But how that happens won’t quite be the way people expect. Hopefully the unexpected is what people have come to expect from us.
The entire city is being sucked up into this singularity.
I hate when that happens!
Should we be worried about time getting altered in the process of Barry fixing things?
When you open a singularity above a city, you should be worried about anything and everything that happens. Part of the fun of The Flash is when you have people dabbling in sci-fi physics, they’re significantly altering the world. We established in the finale that the entire series of The Flash is, in itself, an alternate timeline that’s been skewed from the real one. Wells setting off the accelerator created all the metahumans, and the results of the singularity will also have long-term effects.
We saw all these different timelines in the speed force. Will you delve more into the other timelines and the speed force next season?
We actually got the first glimpse at Caitlin (Danielle Panabaker) as Killer Frost when Barry was running through the speed force. Is it a long while before that’s brought into the storyline again or might Barry mention what he saw?
Yeah, now that people have seen the finale, there were some things we’re letting happen faster than people are expecting and there are other things we’re slow playing. That’s the fun for us as writers, but hopefully for the audience too, that especially with characters like Caitlin and Cisco (Carlos Valdes), there is a certain level of expectation after we very specifically gave them the names we gave them and how that’s going to turn out. You’ve got Wells telling Cisco that he was affected, but when we saw in the speed force, we saw Caitlin really and truly affected. Whether that happens next year or the year after that, we’ll have to wait and see what the speed force tells us to do.
Wells basically instilled fear of the future into both Cisco and Caitlin. How does that affect them next season?
It’s one of the most interesting aspects of the show for us. It’s far more interesting for us to hear about the future than it is to actually see it. Watching Barry, Iris, Eddie, Joe, Cisco and Caitlin all have heard about the future, and have heard about what will happen to them, and then watching how all of them fight against it or submit to it. It was certainly one of the most interesting aspects of the Eddie-Barry-Iris triangle. You have a love triangle, which we’ve seen a million times in movies and television, but to get a glimpse of the future where you actually hear who the two are that are going to end up together, that puts an interesting wrinkle in that relationship. For Cisco, he’s spent an entire year fighting against metahumans, and now to discover that he might possibly be one himself is certainly going to have a big impact on his character moving forward.
Caitlin and Ronnie (Robbie Amell) got married in the finale, but Ronnie is not actually part of the super spinoff DC’s Legends of Tomorrow. Should we be worried?
This is me saying no comment.
But we did get to see our first glimpse of Hawkgirl (Ciara Renée) as the singularity is happening.
How cool is that? Honestly, it was a last minute decision. I read somewhere online, it said, “CW confirms Hawkgirl not in Flash season finale.” I said, “That’s so weird that the CW put out this thing about it. I don’t remember anyone asking us about that.” Literally, when I read that, I was like, “Well, why can’t she be in the finale?” It really wasn’t part of it, but we already had this sequence designed where we were going to go around the city and have everybody look up into the sky and see the singularity. We were up there shooting the Legends presentation, so Ciara was going to be there anyway. I asked our line producer, “Look, I know this is last minute, but is there anyway we could stage her as part of the crowd?” We picked up that shot. It’s just so much fun for us because it’s just yet another glimpse at what the future of these characters are going to be. We’re so excited to be working with Ciara. To have that first glimpse of her be here on The Flash was so exciting.