'The Flash': Grant Gustin on Old Enemies, New Loves and a 'Groundhog Day' Homage!

by Philiana Ng 7:30 AM PST, January 20, 2015
Photo: CW

Hope you're ready The Flash fans, it’s going to be a bumpy ride!

The CW’s comic-book drama is back tonight with a brand-new episode after more than a month off and if you’ve been going through withdrawals, we don’t blame you. Plus, we’re still listing off all those unanswered questions following the bonkers winter finale – Is Harrison Wells really Reverse-Flash? Is Barry done with Iris? Is Eddie close to unmasking The Flash?

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Fortunately, tonight’s return is a doozy, as it marks the anticipated Prison Break reunion between Wentworth Miller and Dominic Purcell as The Flash foes Captain Cold and Heat Wave. Considering all the drama Barry has to deal with already, dealing with angry probably isn’t the best.

We recently caught up with Grant Gustin, the lovable star of The Flash, for the lowdown on tonight’s winter return – and beyond!

Barry’s reaction to Iris’ rejection is surprising: Barry takes Iris’ rejection well considering how long he’s yearned for his childhood friend. “You would think Barry would be incredibly awkward now because that’s his nature and he was just rejected by a life-long love, but the relationship is so important to him,” Gustin tells ETonline. “Once it goes down the way it goes down and Iris is moving in with Eddie, he accepts that and he wants to be able to still have her in his life, whatever that relationship is.”

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Photo: CW

“He’s not going to not have Iris in his life, so he’s being really good about it actually,” the 25-year-old star explains. “The tables have turned and now Iris is the awkward one. Barry’s been honest; she’s put in a place now where she’s wondering if she hasn’t been completely honest with herself about her feelings.” That doesn’t mean their friendship is over (“Iris is the love of his life,” Gustin insists), though Barry will be busy with other pursuits. “Their relationship is moving forward, [though] Barry’s mostly focusing on training and getting ready to face off against Reverse again, whenever that may be."

Karaoke + alcohol = best night ever? Mark your calendar, Barry Allen dusts off his pipes in episode 12! It’s not a planned moment by any means, Gustin says with a smile. “We’re in a karaoke bar, and there’s alcohol involved.” But since Barry can’t get drunk, who is the one getting tipsy? “Somebody is drunk – his singing partner is drunk,” he teases. Hmmm… who could it be? “It’s someone we know and it’s a very funny scene.”

Barry’s “refreshing” new love: It’s during Barry’s karaoke night where he bumps into new love interest Linda Park (Malese Jow) – though they don’t start out that way. Over time, Barry tries to “make it work” with Linda in order “to move on in whatever way he can,” Gustin says. It could be just what the doctor ordered, too. “Different” is the word he uses to describe Barry and Linda (Balinda? Linarry?). “They have a lot of fun, and [it’s] a refreshing relationship for Barry and for Linda, I think,” he teases. “She’s never met a guy like Barry, and it’s new for both of them.” One plus: They’re a blank slate. “They can talk about things that Barry and Iris don’t talk about. It’s a nice change of pace.”

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Photo: CW

The Flash’s accidental coming-out party: Remember when Joe told Eddie about the metahumans? Well, that won’t go over well. “It’s going to be as if that conversation never happened to be honest,” Gustin reveals. “There’s going to be a very public battle that puts Flash into a situation where he has to accept that it’s no longer going to be a rumor about him anymore. The whole city is going to know The Flash is this guy out there protecting them, and the city is going to start to learn about the metahumans.” What?! Don’t think The Flash will go rogue. He’s “going to be embraced in a much different way than the Green Arrow is ‘embraced’ in Starling,” he hints.

Does word of Oliver’s death reach Barry? If you thought the news made it to Central City in a flash, you’d be wrong. “Everyone keeps asking if Barry got word and I hadn’t even thought about that because of everything that’s going on,” Gustin admits. “But no, word doesn’t travel to Central City that Oliver is dead and missing.” Sounds like Team Arrow is keeping things contained, at least for now. “I don’t think they know what’s going on at this point.”

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Will Barry get back to kicking butt? It’s been a tough go for the Fastest Man Alive, but the punches he endured in the winter finale were the worst of it. Gustin attributes Barry’s inability to keep up as his character’s “growing pains,” but he’s positive the tide is turning. “There are some villains coming up that Barry can handle much better than others” – i.e. Peek-A-Boo.

Trippy time-travel timelines: If there’s one thing the star is passionate about in regards to Flash cannon, it’s time travel. Luckily for us, it’s happening! “That’s what I’ve always wanted and now it’s happening, slowly at first but in a big way by the end of the season.” And they’ve already begun filming those sequences: Episode 15 is when it all begins! “It gets logistically very confusing because now we’re dealing with different timelines.”

A Groundhog Day homage: Time travel may have something to do with it but Gustin reveals that Barry “will relive a day twice in the near future.” What day could it be, and is it significant?

Is a Flash-Glee crossover coming? Gustin already has a Glee member in mind for The Flash should the stars align. “I was just talking to Darren [Criss] recently and saying that,” he shared, citing Criss’ friendships with Carlos Valdes and Andy Mientus. “I’m like, ‘Dude, we gotta get you on this show, we gotta get you in on this thing.’ I don’t know in what capacity but he’s got to.” The timing may just work out: With Glee done filming in February and a second season of The Flash ordered, maybe we’ll see Blaine in Central City one of these days.

Are you excited for the return of The Flash? Do you think Darren would make the perfect metahuman? Tell us your thoughts by tweeting Philiana Ng at @insidethetube, and don’t forget that #ETnow hashtag!

The Flash returns Tuesday at 8 p.m. on The CW.