'The Flash': Grant Gustin Explains How Coronavirus Changed the Season 6 Finale and What's Next (Exclusive)
By Leanne Aguilera
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The Flash finale is speeding onto our screens a little faster than usual this year.
The CW series was one of many Hollywood productions that shut down in a proactive measure against the spread of coronavirus. Now The Flash has only two more episodes left in its sixth season, and although it's not exactly what the writers and stars had planned for, fans can still expect a supercharged finale.
ET recently caught up with the "fastest man alive," Grant Gustin, over a video-chat to get the inside scoop on how COVID-19 is changing things up for The Flash's final two episodes and what this means for Team Flash (and WestAllen of course!) in season seven.
Plus, the 30-year-old actor dishes on his "wish-list" for future episodes of The Flash, his dream super-suit addition, and how he really feels about Barry's musical moments on the show.
Due to coronavirus-related shutdowns, The Flash’s sixth season is ending on episode 19 this year -- a couple episodes shy of what you originally planned on completing. How are you feeling about that and where this season is going to leave off?
Grant Gustin: I mean, obviously, it's a little disappointing. The writers were working really hard towards what they had planned for 622 and it's still a good cliffhanger. I mean, thankfully our episodes generally have built-in cliffhangers -- especially as we get closer to the end of the year. I mean, I know some fans will still be disappointed, but it serves as a good cliffhanger. Everyone has a right to be a little disappointed right now, but the whole world is kind of being flipped on its head. So I think we can all accept this is the reality and sadly we just didn't get to do as many episodes as we wanted to do.
Do you think you're going to finish your last three episodes in the start of next season or do you think that the writers are going to have you start out with a clean slate?
No, I would have to imagine that with the way things are going to be left off, we're gonna still need a lot of these pieces to finish what we were doing. So I think what would have served as episodes 620, 21 and 22, maybe they won’t do those storylines in their entirety in season seven. But I would imagine we're gonna finish or we're gonna do kind of condensed versions of those three episodes before we continue on to what they had planned for season 7 -- and that's me speculating. I haven't necessarily had that conversation with the writers.
We have two episodes left this season: the penultimate, [which airs tonight] and 619, which is the now finale. What can you tease for the fans out there? You mentioned we were getting a cliffhanger and some fans may not be super thrilled. Is that because everything is not wrapped up with a bow?
Yeah, there's definitely no bow this year. Generally, we tend to finish the season with a little bit of, you know, we like that element [of surprise] to end the year and to keep everybody waiting during the hiatus time -- but a lot more than usual is left unfinished. It's not necessarily a reconciliation with a lot of things that were going on with Team Flash, and Barry and Iris’ separation and the mirror-verse -- so yeah, there's a lot that is left unfinished. As we saw in the last episode, Barry had started to catch on in 617 and he finally was having this epiphany that he hadn't been living with his wife, and something was going on. He shares his concerns with Cecile and the team starts to catch on to what's been happening and that maybe Iris is somewhere else. We'll see that start to develop a little bit more in 618 and things will definitely still come to a head in 619, but it doesn't get resolved as much as we'd probably like it too.
I was so excited to see Barry knew this was not his wife. He was putting the pieces together and I think that speaks volumes for them as a couple. What was your reaction when you found out that Barry was going to guess that Iris wasn't herself?
I was glad that we finally got there. I mean, It took a while to get there but, you know. There was even a scene that Barry had with Mirror Iris where, you know, Iris is a strong-willed character -- and just as strong or stronger than Barry in a lot of ways. They came head-to-head with her saying, “I am growing and I am changing as a person.” And Barry is like, “You're right and I have to love you regardless.” So, like, that was a very Iris thing still. So I think that's what I was able to use to believe that [Barry] wasn't figuring it out right away and there were all these things going on with him losing his speed, and Thawn being back.
Obviously, he loves his wife and he believes and understands that she is going to change and grow as a person. They need to be able to love each other and be there for each other regardless, so I could believe that it took him so long to figure it out -- but it was a relief when all these things started to click into place. He was kind of remembering some of these strange occurrences that happened with the pancakes, and the bottle smashing on the head, and all these heavy things and the Italian. Things really aren't that weird, but when we add them all up -- it was cool. I love the scene that Dani and I had at the West house where she comes into his mad man crime scene and we had a lot of fun with that. So yeah, it was a relief when Barry finally realized that it wasn't Iris.
Let’s talk about Barry this season because we’re seeing The Flash losing his speed. What has that been like for you as an actor to play and could we hold out hope that The Flash could still be the fastest man alive?
Yeah I would say it's safe to say hold out hope that we're gonna figure this thing out -- whether it's an artificial speed force or restoring the speed force -- I've got to imagine that we're gonna figure it out. For me, it's been fun! I mean, It's different and at times I haven't even worn the suit for entire episodes. Like, me and [my wife] LA watched this past episode together and we were like, “That was so weird! I wasn't in the suit once.” As a viewer you're like, “[Aww,] man.” But when i'm shooting it i'm like, “Man, I’m not in the suit once. Like, I'm so comfy!” [Laughs] So that was a plus for sure while filming and it's just different. I mean, it's a lot more Barry. It's fun at times and hard at times to play Barry so discouraged constantly and he's been kind of at an all-time low -- especially his confidence for a lot of the second half of the season. So that's been weird to play and different, but it's always nice to change things up.
Speaking of the suit -- we've had six seasons and we've seen quite the evolution. We've gone from maroon, to the bright red. We've seen the rain come into play. What is still on your Flash suit bucket list? What would you like to see?
Gold boots. We have the lightning at the top of the red boots -- that is kind of like the wing / lightning at the top -- but that’s really the only thing we're missing for it to be, pretty much, the complete comic book look. The suit that we have now essentially, but with boots to match the belt and then I feel like we're there.
We have 6 seasons under your cowl at this point. How much longer do you see yourself playing The Flash?
Listen, I may never have a job this cool again, that this many people actually tune in to watch, so I'm not gonna take it for granted. I was talking to Michael Rosenbaum the other day and to go as many seasons as they did with Smallville, like, nobody gets to do that! That's always been something I thought would be really cool to accomplish. It's not just my decision, obviously, but it has a lot to do with the viewers, and the network, and I guess we'll just have to wait and see. But I can definitely see myself doing more than just the one [season] that I have left on this current contract. Seven [seasons] is it for most of the cast actually, but I think it would be great if we can continue after that.
Do you still have anything that’s on your Flash dream list? Anything that you’d like to accomplish? A fun episode? More musicals?
I don’t think I'll ever need to do a full blown musical again, but little things like the karaoke scene that we did [in season one.].... Like stuff like that. It’d be fun, you know, to sing again within our world -- where it’s not like a dream world of musicals. But I would definitely be into singing again in the show if it was in that capacity.
I want to see drunk Barry again because watching you yell “I’m The Flash!” in episode 405 is still my favorite scene of all time!
That was fun! I think I had even more fun with the episode that Danielle Panabaker directed  where Barry pretended to be drunk on the stage at the auction to be a distraction. I had the champagne bottle and Mortal Combat thing. Yeah, the fun stuff would definitely be at the top of my wish list as far as seeing the team not be Team Flash. Like, kind of do other fun things. And I know [our showrunner] Eric Wallace has a lot of things left on his wish list for Flash things, so I would have to leave it to him. I’m game for whatever Eric wants to do.
Have you been able to connect with any of your Flash family while you’ve been social distancing?
Yeah! I mean, I pretty much, at least every few days or once a week, I’ll check in with everybody. We’re all kinda checking on each other… Everyone’s pretty much in the same boat, just like at home asking “How are you doing? What are you doing?” Like, “I’m good. I’m bored. Not doing anything.” “Alright cool, check in with you next week!”
The Flash airs Tuesdays at 8 p.m. ET/PT on The CW.