The Flash postmortem: Scoop on that shocking West family reveal

28 Oct 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Inside ‘The Flash’s’ West Family Shocker.

While Team Flash was busy finding a new Firestorm match for Stein (Victor Garber) — welcome to the Berlanti-verse, Franz Drameh — Iris West (Candince Patton) put on her investigative hat during Tuesday’s episode of The Flash and discovered the truth behind her mother Francine’s (Vanessa Williams) sudden reappearance in town.After doing a background check on her newly resurfaced mother, Iris West (Candice Patton) discovered that while Francine West (Vanessa Williams) was telling the truth about how she’s dying from the fictional MacGregor’s Syndrome, she didn’t disclose the fact that Iris has a brother.When Professor Martin Stein’s (Victor Garber) health begins to fail following the loss of his partner Ronnie Raymond (Robbie Amell) — aka the other half of the heroic entity known as Firestorm — it’s up to Barry (Grant Gustin), Caitlin (Danielle Panabaker) and Cisco (Carlos Valdes) to find a genetic match to take Ronnie’s place and help stabilize Stein.

The newlywed recently started working with Beyond Type 1, a charity focused on raising awareness about Type 1 Diabetes that was co-founded by Nick Jonas. Executive producer Andrew Kreisberg and star Danielle Panabaker shed some light on the episode’s many revelations and what’s coming up in the impending “Arrow” and “Flash” crossover, which is designed to set up midseason spinoff “DC’s Legends of Tomorrow.” Iris’ investigative chops led her to uncover that her mother secretly had another child eight months after Francine left Central City — a son with a name that should be familiar to DC Comics fans: Wally West (Keiynan Lonsdale). Or so Barry Allen believes, and he’s a guy who knows a thing or two about accepting change and learning to move on with life; otherwise he wouldn’t be the time-traveling, city-saving hero he’s become. In comics canon, Wally is Iris’ nephew, not brother, but Kreisberg admitted that they dismissed the possibility of contorting Iris’ family tree to fit the comics fairly early on. “We have these ideas in the previous season so we always knew we were leading up to this, and rather than them suddenly having some cousin that inexplicably… We always hated on TV shows that it’s year two and somebody’s like, ‘Well, Cousin John’s coming!’ And it’s like, ‘Oh, good ol’ Cousin John!’ who no one ever mentioned before.

Henry Hewitt (Demore Barnes), a fellow scientist, and Jay “Jax” Jackson (Franz Drameh), a former high school athlete whose career was derailed by an injury he suffered during the particle accelerator explosion. The Attack the Block star’s character takes on the alter-ego formerly occupied by Ronnie Raymond, whom Robbie Amell portrayed for most of the show’s first season. “It’s always daunting when you take over a character even if you do play a different character, because Jax and Ronnie Raymond are very different people,” Drameh tells The Hollywood Reporter. “But taking on that half of Firestorm definitely was nerve-wracking.

The least spoilery spoiler alert ahead: Drameh was long-ago tapped to star in the Arrow-Flash spin-off DC’s Legends of Tomorrow, so it should come as no surprise that he’ll be the next Firestorm — he’s even wearing the Firestorm matrix in the photo above. And so part of Barry’s charge as the Flash has been helping others to reconcile themselves with the abnormal changes in their lives, lest they be left dwelling in the past forever.

She’s keeping a secret to protect somebody and she’s going to find that, for all of her anger at Barry and Joe from last year, keeping this secret is not going to be so easy and it’s going to be weighing on her before she finally decides to take some action in an upcoming episode.” Wally, aka the future Kid Flash, isn’t the only DC Comics character being added to The Flash ensemble. During the hour, humanoid shark supervillain King Shark was brought to life via CGI. “We said, ‘No one’s going to let us do this,'” Kreisberg said. “It was a very expensive 30 seconds in the show. Freeze in “Batman and Robin,” before being co-opted by “Arrow” as a terminal illness suffered by the Clock King, William Tockman, in season two. “For all the reality of these shows — and part of the success of ‘The Flash’ and ‘Arrow’ is we try to ground them as much as possible — hearing someone say ‘I have cancer’ is a bummer and a half, and especially when you’re dealing with somebody who was also a drug addict,” Kreisberg explained. “You try to tread lightly on those things, because when you really start to analyze those things, especially episode three [“Family of Rogues”], it’s really an episode about violence and violence against children and parental abuse. They have a bit of a tough job to bring him around and convince him that this is a good idea.” As for what’s behind his character’s reticence, Drameh has a few theories: “All he ever wanted to be was a pro athlete til he was injured, and I think that really shot his confidence, so he wants what little he has left of a life of normalcy. It can be heady stuff if you really take a step back from it… For that [MacGregor’s] reference, for example, it’s a useful tool to say something like that — that sounds spooky and scary, without saying [cancer].

To essentially throw all that away and become a superhero is a very daunting thing, and a responsibility that he’s not sure he can handle.” As two halves of the same hero, the chemistry between Stein and his new partner (and by extension, Drameh and Garber as actors) was of the utmost importance. Although there are both male and female superheroes in the Arrow andFlash universe – and now Supergirl, which also hails from Flash executive producer Greg Berlanti – there has been less racial diversity thus far. Though Cisco is on the path to embracing those powers, he is still very hesitant. “He’s seen what happens to the other metahumans, good or bad intentions, they all go nuts and they all get locked up,” Kreisberg says. “Cisco is really scared. We used it on ‘Arrow’ and we all remembered it.” The episode ended with a gobsmacked Barry staring down a familiar (yet different) face: the Harrison Wells of Earth-2.

Also, he doesn’t see what the benefit is yet, he doesn’t see that it really is a gift, and he doesn’t see that it’s a blessing and a power that could be used to help people. But next week’s episode won’t pick up exactly where we ended, according to Kreisberg: “The next episode opens in a slightly surprising way … I’m a fan of ‘Doctor Who.’ I think one of the things that Steven Moffat always does so brilliantly is that when he has cliffhangers and two-parters, they don’t just pick up exactly where they left off. Maybe [from Wells’ perspective].” While the show has no plans for an entire King Shark episode, fans can expect to see a future episode this season focusing on another metahuman, Gorilla Grodd. “We have another one in which Caitlin plays Fay Wray to Grodd’s Kong,” Kreisberg said. You come in with an expectation and ‘oh wait, now I’m not quite where I thought I was going to be.’ Obviously, this scene will play out. but how it unfolds in 5, I think the beginning of 5 is really exciting. I always try to get him to play ‘Would You Rather,’ which he absolutely hates — like, ‘I’m not playing this game’ and I’m like, ‘come on, just one!

Stein’s health has been deteriorating since the season’s start because without Ronnie to meld into Firestorm with, he’s incomplete. (ASIDE: This story line unfortunately suffers from the world outside of the show being something that’s hard to escape. That’s what’s really scary for him.” “It’s not like he woke up and he can fly,” Kreisberg continues. “Not only is he scared about what it means to be a metahuman, he also feels he drew the short straw. ‘Barry got super speed, Ronnie [Robbie Amell] gets to fly, me, I get these blinding headache nightmare visions of people being killed.’ It’s not, at first blush, the most heroic way to step into the world.” Meanwhile, Cisco’s S.T.A.R. He has some unfinished business with her.” “Obviously, there’s something going on there,” Kreisberg said. “They’ll actually have multiple projects to work on. Would you rather be a tomato or a cucumber?’” That chemistry can also be combustible — at least on screen — as Jax and Stein get to know each other in future episodes. “With Jax and Stein, it’s a very love-hate relationship. Jefferson and Stein are no exception to that.” “It’s very demanding for everyone, and the good news is that everyone gets along really well and we enjoy each other’s company,” says Garber. “When it gets really grim at five in the morning, we’re all able to keep going and laughing.”

It’s a freshness and it’s an excitement,” Kreisberg says. “We’re all, as always, so proud to have another African-American superhero with superpowers. Sure, the characters on the show don’t know Stein is set to be part of a motley crew of legends, but as a viewer who knows he’ll make it out of this ordeal okay, the dramatic tension of it all is powerfully undercut at every turn.

For a whole generation of kids who are growing up, who this show is their entree into the superhero world, for them, Firestorm will always be African-American. While Panabaker is beyond excited to eventually take on the mantle of Killer Frost, Caitlin is not itching to fulfill that destiny just yet. “Cisco’s powers come slowly and there’s some complication with that,” Panabaker says. “I don’t think Caitlin is particularly jealous of all these superpowers.

The team brings Hewitt in to the lab, but fails to do so with Jefferson, whose crushed dreams of pro ball have prevented him from ever moving on or even addressing the night of the explosion. We’re trying to feel it out and suss it out and whoever has the most expertise or passion or chutzpah tends to be the one we follow.” Kreisberg agreed, “It’s a conscious effort on our parts too. However, Drameh isn’t worried about how fans will react to seeing an African-American Firestorm. “The way that I look at it, people who complain about that kind of stuff, it’s a different universe, you know?” Drameh says. “Changes can be made.

The thing that Iris adds to those scenes when she’s in the cortex is the heart that sometimes they don’t always have, being a bunch of scientists talking about things. He’s interested in someone he thinks is more educated, more worldly, more someone that he can have dinner with. [Laughs.] Jefferson is not that guy, and that’s what makes it interesting, of course. Back at his own lab, Hewitt, enraged by his boss’ demands, suddenly absorbs all the energy in the room around him and is able to use it as a powerful projectile. The attempted Firestorm merger triggered his latent abilities, yet they don’t mix too well with someone harboring anger issues as powerful as Hewitt’s.

Martin does not always reveal his feelings, and interestingly enough, the scene I’m about to do on “Legends” really deals with it much more, so I won’t give it away, but it’s a deeper wound than one would have thought. Some of Martin’s better qualities come out in that instance, and his sense of wonder and also his paternal instincts are more in play in terms of his relationship with Cisco.

Off-screen and on-screen, Jax will add a healthy dose of reality to the whole superhero situation. “The previous Firestorm duo, both halves came from a scientific background, whereas Jax is literally just a regular guy,” Drameh says. “He’s not super smart, he’s not familiar with the science world. That’s, to me, the interesting and unique part of this series – you have this dysfunctional family all together and traveling through time and trying to combat the worst possible evil history has ever known. Like on “The Flash” — and it’s part of why I thought “Alias” worked — because they are a family who happen to be superheroes, as they were a family who happened to be spies. For someone with Martin’s scientific background, getting to explore time-travel and all these abilities must make him feel like a kid in a candy store. And he couldn’t have a more apt hero at his side, as Hewitt just so happens to be sucking in energy at the football field where the blast struck Jax.

The team determines Hewitt operates like a tokamak, with all the scientific exposition coming out to one conclusion: The angrier Hewitt becomes, the more unstable his powers are and the more susceptible he is to attack. I’ve lived with it my whole life, obviously, and it’s very different from Type 2 diabetes, which is what people think of as diabetes, like “just don’t eat that” — but it’s way more complicated. Type 1, most people are diagnosed at a young age, sometimes in their infancy, so mothers and fathers, brothers and sisters are all dealing with an infant who has to be given insulin shots, has to have urine tests and blood tests on a regular basis — it’s very serious and very hard to manage, and some people develop complications, and complications can cause death. Iris decides to meet with the mother she had until recently believed to be dead, only to tell Francine she’s quite fine with the life she’s living now and doesn’t need her in her life. (They pick CC Jitters for their meetings, and really, isn’t there anywhere a little more private they could have reconnected?) Francine can’t quite accept that, however, because she’s dying.

Freeze’s wife and Alfred suffered in Batman & Robin, and which William Tockman had in Arrow), and has been told she could only live through the end of the year. Even Joe notices that Barry and Patty Spivot’s conversations look quite a bit like flirting. (ASIDE: How awkward must it be for the man who considers Barry his surrogate son to have to give him romantic advice after Barry has loved Joe’s daughter, who Barry grew up with, for years?

But, as Joe says, he has to open himself up to new opportunities, to something different, because there’s little chance he will ever truly get over his first love. Luckily, a mysterious man shocks the beast (who mentions Zoom wants the Flash dead, indicating that King Shark is from Earth-2 and also indicating the potential for another King Shark from Earth-1 — or so I can hope).

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