'The Flash' showrunner Eric Wallace is dishing behind-the-scenes secrets to ET about the West-Allen vow renewal in the season 7 finale.
WARNING: If you have not watched the season 7 finale of The Flash, "Heart of the Matter Pt. 2," race out of here immediately. For everyone else, let's run full speed into those spoilers...
They've said "I do"... again!
Tonights' season 7 finale of The Flash gave the fans something we've been waiting years to see: a #WestAllen vow renewal -- and the ceremony was even better than we could've hoped for.
From Iris' (Candice Patton) gorgeous coral gown, to Barry's (Grant Gustin) tear-jerking vows and a surprise musical performance from their speedster son, Bart, aka the ultra-talented Jordan Fisher, this was certainly the sweetest wedding in the Arrowverse.
To celebrate the re-newlyweds, ET called up The Flash's executive producer and showrunner, Eric Wallace, for an in-depth conversation about why it was time for Barry and Iris to finally have the nuptials this couple deserves.
Plus, is Iris pregnant? Will Impulse return? And could season 8 be the final year of The Flash? We've got answers to all your biggest questions and so much more in the interview below!
ET: Congratulations! You knocked out an entire season of The Flash in the midst of a global pandemic. How are you feeling?
Eric Wallace: I'm exhausted. [Laughs] Honestly I just want to take a nap, but thank you for saying that. It was a labor of love -- emphasis on the word labor. This was the most difficult season of television that I've ever experienced and I think the cast and crew would probably agree. It's not something that we want to repeat, but it did have the effect of bringing us all closer together. Boy, did we get to know each other a lot better over this last year! [Laughs] But it paid dividends and hopefully you see those onscreen.
We ended season 7 with the most wonderful and happiest of endings: We got the West-Allen vow renewal! Eric, how did this idea come about and did it have anything to do with ET's interviews with Grant Gustin and Candice Patton about a redo wedding over the years?
[Laughs] It's funny because I think I was there when that happened and I was standing off to the side during their interview at Comic-Con. But what's funny is that I actually had that idea as well as several members of the writing staff and we've actually been talking about this, believe it or not, since season 4. Because the minute we saw how they got married as an afterthought with Oliver and Felicity -- not that we didn't love those episodes -- but literally we got back into the office after that and we were like, "Yeah, we've got to do that again and we've got to get them a real wedding because this just can't be the ending."
So it's been in my mind for four years and I've been waiting for the chance to do it. So when I heard you interview them and say it, I'm laughing inside, right? [Laughs] I can't tell you and I'm just like, "Please, just be patient, I swear to you, it's going to happen! I swear, I swear!" and then you did it again and I was like, "Oh, come on!" So I thought it was charming and wonderful because I was like, "Wow, she's on the same page as the writing staff, this is great!"
And we thought the vow renewal was so great especially because Bart seems to have inherited Barry's amazing singing abilities. Talk to us about that song and how that musical moment with Jordan Fisher came about.
Two things, I had worked with Jordan before on Teen Wolf and I knew how talented he was, not just as an actor but because of his Broadway experience -- obviously, he was in Hamilton -- and I knew he could sing, so that was always in the back of my mind. I was just like, "Oh, wouldn't it be great to have him sing once we cast him as Impulse?" But I needed an excuse for him to sing and then I went, "Wait a minute -- vow renewal ceremony!" So I was like, all right, we know when he's going to sing, now what is he going to sing? At first, the truth is he was going to sing a cover song by a well-known artist, but we won't mention that artist because we didn't get the rights to that song. [Laughs]
So I was sitting around at my house and I'm a big Jonah Mutono fan and I have had his album for the last year and I play it all the time, it's in every rotation and my favorite song off of GERG is "1949." It makes me cry every time I hear it because I'm a super romantic and sappy dude. I'm sitting there and after we learned that the song I wanted Jordan to sing we couldn't do because we couldn't get the rights, I pivoted in literally -- I think it was 15 seconds -- I said, "I know exactly what song he should be singing." And we reached out to Jonah and Jonah, in the world's greatest synchronicity, told us, "Oh my goodness, you don't understand. I wrote this song for my best friend's wedding. It's meant to be a wedding song." And he was like, "How did you know?" And I was like, "I didn't know, I just got the feels! I just love it." So it's synchronicity, it was supposed to happen. It was in the stars.
We love the fact that Iris got married in that gorgeous coral-colored lace gown. How did you decide to settle on that color for her?
I told them, "We need to be very clear that she cannot wear a white wedding dress." I felt like if she wore a white wedding dress, Nazis were going to suddenly show up and ruin their wedding and it's season 4 again and I'm going to have a flashback and I just can't handle that. So once I gave the edict of no white dress, it was wide open at that point and I said to Candice and to [The Flash's costume designer] Kate [Main], "Find something that you like." And I left it to them and they showed me some choices and I went, "Do you like that one?" and they said, "We love this one," and so I said, "Go for it! That is amazing." and it was that simple.
And it was so amazing to have Nora (Jessica Parker Kennedy) and Bart be right by Barry and Iris' sides during the vow renewal. It made the scene feel even more special. What was your goal in having the West-Allen family all together for this scene?
I like happy endings. I always knew that I wanted the vow renewal -- and did you notice [something different] at the end of this finale? Usually we go to credits and there's a tag that sets up next year's villain, but we didn't do that this year on purpose. I didn't want anything spoiling the joy of that wedding. That's what I wanted to leave everybody with as a thank you because last year they got a cliffhanger that nobody planned and it was a little tough and this was a gift to the audience. And I also knew that the kids were part of this and needed to be present. We needed the whole family there because I want this to resonate in their characters because you may see a little more of Jordan and Jessica next season and I want them to be able to refer back to that event in the present tense of "Yes, I remember because I was there."
You wrapped up this season with so much of a bow. Was there ever talks of having this episode serve as the series finale of The Flash instead of the season 7 finale?
No, but you are very astute. I deliberately wrote that scene with Kelly Wheeler, who is just a phenomenal writer, and we talked about this and I said, "Look, when we get to this ending, I want it to feel with all the joy and grandeur of a series finale, but not be a series finale." Because that means that we've literally pushed all the drama and the emotions as far as we could. Because usually the ending of a show is the most tears, the most joy and all that stuff and I'm like, "Why would we wait until the end of the show?" It's been a dark, bad year. Let's give the audience some joy! And so then it became a very easy decision.
Well, you know what they say, right? First comes love, then comes marriage, (then a vow renewal) -- and then comes the West-Allen baby carriage! What are the chances of Iris becoming pregnant in season 8?
Well, it's so funny because in some ways it's anticlimactic because we've already seen their kids, so we already know that they have kids, right? We already know what's going to happen. So in season 8, we have a few other challenges for Barry and Iris that we need to kind of explore that are related to pregnancy and family and all that stuff, but don't directly deal with that because it's kind of, I feel like, anticlimactic. We know that the kids already exist, it's just a matter of when, you know what I mean? I'm not saying for instance that next year is the finale, like the series finale, but it feels like that's the kind of thing you would do in the series finale. Like, "Oh, she's pregnant! The end." You know what I mean? So I hope that's not the case next year. I want to keep this thing going.
Which leads us directly into our next question which is, do you anticipate that season 8 of The Flash could be the final season of the series?
You know what's funny, I get asked this question all the time and I honestly don't know. We approach writing the show as if every episode is the last Flash story we ever get to tell and every season is the last. We don't leave anything behind, so in case we are informed of bad news, we don't have to pivot or anything like that. I will say this, regardless of what's happening next year, I already know what the season finale is for next year and believe it or not, it's bigger and even crazier. Oh yes!
I try to plan each season like a movie and you need to know the ending of your movie before you start writing it, so I kind of have a master plan every year. We use our graphic novel format because I'm a big comic book guy and we break it into two or we break it into three or whatever and, you know, there's some interludes as there were in this last year in between them. But essentially, thematically all the graphic novels support and tell the same story, which leads to one unified thematic ending and so that's what we'll be doing again next year. I hope it's not the last. I really hope not.
For more behind-the-scenes secrets from The Flash's season 7 finale, watch our exclusive interview with Jordan Fisher discussing Bart's surprise vow renewal song in the video above!