Get your tissues ready, The Flash’s winter finale is going to produce some tears!
“It really is the emotional capper of these first nine episodes,” The Flash executive producer Andrew Kreisberg tells ETonline ahead of Tuesday’s episode. “You’re going to get a lot of answers that people have had questions to – a lot of mysteries are solved – but then just as many mysteries … are opened up.”
The episode finds Barry Allen (Grant Gustin) face to face with the man in the yellow suit, aka Reverse-Flash, the same person responsible for the death of his mother. Though fans won’t find out who actually is behind the mask – at least not yet – Kreisberg is making grand pronouncements about the upcoming hour.
“It really is one of the best hours I’ve really been a part of,” he said. “It is so emotional and funny, and the action in it is some of the craziest stuff I’ve seen on television, and that’s comparing it to the crossover episodes the week before. We really could not be prouder of this episode.”
So let’s get down to brass tacks, Flash fans! Before The CW goes into winter hibernation, ETonline asked Kreisberg some of the most pressing questions.
ETonline: Last week Grant wrote on Twitter that he cried several times reading the script for this episode. Is that a warning bell for viewers to be ready for a good cry?
Andrew Kreisberg: One of the great things about Flash is there are plenty of episodes where there is a good cry in them. It’s a much more emotional show than Arrow is and certainly much more emotional than your average superhero show. It tends to proudly wear its heart on its sleeve. There are [big] scenes in the pilot, especially the ones between Barry and his father, and there’s one in this episode that, if you don’t have Kleenex handy you’re really going to be in trouble.
ETonline: Barry finally has a showdown with the man in the yellow suit, who we know is Reverse-Flash. What can you say about their encounter?
Kreisberg: It’s funny, when all the people are in the room with him, my tone note to the director [Ralph Hemecker], which he relayed to the cast was “Everyone should act as if they’re in the room with the alien from Alien” because that’s how scared you should be, and they all really brought it like that. They all were terrified. [Reverse-Flash] is easily one of the most terrifying villains I’ve worked on. He’s this yellow demon and everything has happened because of him, so it’s really exciting to see the hero and the villain come face to face.
ETonline: How has Barry’s approach to his city-saving and crime-solving shifted or changed post-crossover?
Kreisberg: In this episode, it gets personal. For Barry, he’s been feeling pretty good about himself and he’s been taking on villains and doing well, and now he’s suddenly up against someone who he isn’t quite a match for yet. So that really does shift his focus a little bit and in him realizing that, he needs to get better and faster in a hurry if he wants to not just take down this [villain] but also survive.
ETonline: Firestorm made a fiery entrance at the end of last week’s episode. How much of his presence is felt this week?
Kreisberg: He has a pretty big presence. This episode is really about Caitlin learning that Ronnie is alive, but not quite the Ronnie that she remembers. He plays a really big role and we get to see Firestorm in all of his glory.
ETonine: Have you figured out how you will be melding Victor Garber’s voice into the Firestorm character?
Kreisberg: Yeah, we haven’t worked that out [yet]. (Laughs.) We actually are shooting an episode with Victor and Robbie right now. We’re really excited about it and hopefully the fans will be too. Robbie and Victor are individually so amazing but when you put them together, it’s sort of that unknowable magic and chemistry that happens.
ETonline: And speaking of familiar faces, Amanda Pays returns to The Flash universe and Mark Hamill is also reprising his role. How vital are they to the arc?
Kreisberg: Amanda Pays is playing Dr. Tina McGee, which is so exciting for us, and it’s a slightly different version of Tina. In some ways, it kind of reminds me of those old Elsworld comics. This is the Tina McGee who never knew The Flash; she’s just a brilliant scientist-geneticist whose work is being targeted by Reverse-Flash. It’s such a thrill to see her introduce herself to Grant and to hear Barry Allen be Barry Allen and to hear Tina McGee say “Hi, I’m Tina McGee.” Amanda is as beautiful and talented as ever, and it was so thrilling to have her be part of the show.
Likewise, we’d always planned on bringing the Trickster [into the show] – in the comic books, there are multiple versions of the Trickster – so the notion that there had been a Trickster years ago, who was the one played by Mark Hamill and who was in prison. Barry and Joe go to him to see if he can help them abduct this brand-new Trickster, who is a copycat. We’re so excited that Mark was interested in returning and wanted to be a part of it.
ETonline: Any scenes between Amanda and the original Flash, John Wesley Shipp?
Kreisberg: Unfortunately this time around, they don’t have a scene together but there will definitely be scenes between John and Mark.
ETonline: Even with all the Reverse-Flash drama, Central City has to make some time to spread some holiday cheer. What does Christmas at the West household look like?
Kreisberg: It’s warm and hearty. Despite the very difficult childhood he had, Barry did grow up in a happy home. We really wanted to show that. For a heavy episode where the hero comes up against the man who kills his mother, there are heartwarming moments in it.
ETonline: What can we expect in the final moments of Tuesday’s winter finale?
Kreisberg: Every episode of The Flash ends with a fun cliffhanger so this episode isn’t any different. The ending is funny, heartwarming, emotional and scary – that’s the bread and butter where The Flash lives.
The Flash wraps its winter run Tuesday at 8 p.m. on The CW.
What are you most excited for in the mid-season finale? Sound off in the comments below!