The Flash: Danielle Panabaker "Surprised" by Season 9 Order & More

If you're a fan of The CW's The Flash then you know that this week's episode "Death Falls" lived up to its name in a big, tragic & heartbreaking way as Barry (Grant Gustin), Iris (Candice Patton), and the rest of Team Flash lost a beloved family member. As the series enters into an "Interlude" run ahead of the third & final "Graphic Novel," Danielle Panabaker spoke to both EW & TVLine about the very real death of [SPOILER]. Specifically, when she first learned about it and what her primary concern was. In addition, Panabaker discusses her future with the long-running Arrowverse series (including how she was "surprised" by the Season 9 order as she "was planning for Season 8 to be our last"), and teases what viewers can expect from the "huge" season finale.

The Flash: Danielle Panabaker "Surprised" by Season 9 Order & More
The Flash — "Rayo de Luz " — Image Number: FLA714fg_0004r.jpg — Pictured: Danielle Panabaker as Caitlin Frost — Photo: The CW — © 2021 The CW Network, LLC. All Rights Reserved.Photo Credit: Bettina Strauss

Panabaker Had Only One Concern About Frost's Death: "I knew this was coming. [Showrunner] Eric [Wallace] had pitched this idea to me between season 7 and 8, and my biggest concern was making sure that Frost was actually going to die. I didn't feel like it would be appropriate to fake this one, and have it be a, 'Oh, just kidding,' so it's very powerful. The whole second graphic novel was extremely busy for me, but a great opportunity to tell this story."

Panabaker "Was Very Surprised" By Season 9 Order: "I hope to be back. I will say that I was very surprised to see that there was another season [ordered]. I think that emotionally, I, at least, was planning for Season 8 to be our last. But I'm grateful to the show and to the fans, and hopefully, there's more story to be told."

Panabaker on "Huge" & "Interesting" Season 8 Finale: "This season's finale is going to be huge. There's a lot of returning faces, familiar faces, which is always fun to have. I think this is the biggest finale we've attempted in a couple of years, so I can't wait for fans to see it. It'll be an interesting end of the season. It's a doozy, for sure."

The Flash Season 8 Episode 14 "Funeral for a Friend": HONOR THE FALLEN – Team Flash uses the distraction of a bank-robbing Meta to detract from the grief of losing someone they love. The series stars Grant Gustin, Jesse L. Martin, Candice Patton, Danielle Panabaker, Danielle Nicolet, Kayla Compton, and Brandon McKnight. Vanessa Parise directed the episode with the story by Jonathan Butler & Gabriel Garza and teleplay by Jeff Hersh.

The Flash Season 8 Episode 15 "Into the Still Force": EP ERIC WALLACE DIRECTS – The Flash (Grant Gustin) gets an assist from XS (guest star Jessica Parker Kennedy). Meanwhile, CCPD enlists Chester (Brandon McKnight) for help when a mysterious device is found at a crime scene. The series also stars Jesse L. Martin, Candice Patton, Danielle Panabaker, Danielle Nicolet and Kayla Compton. Executive Producer and Showrunner Eric Wallace directed the episode written by Lauren Barnett & Christina M. Walker.

The Flash
Image: The CW

Showrunner & EP Eric Wallace offered some insight into Deathstorm's "devastating" motivations when viewers will learn the name of the current "graphic novel" arc, and more during a meeting with TV Insider– including how the ending to Season 8 has been in motion since Season 6 as "all one big story":

On How the Poster Ties Into Season Eight's 3 Graphic-Novel Arcs (& When We'll Learn the Title of Arc 2): "The back half of the season, I'm not gonna exaggerate here, some really intense stuff is about to go down. Really intense. And it involves all of the characters. I said at the beginning of the season, the first graphic-novel storyline was "Armageddon." We're in the middle of our next graphic novel now and I'll be announcing the title here in a few weeks because the title is ridiculously spoilery, obviously. For the first time ever, this season we have three graphic-novel arcs and Team Flash will never be the same after the second one. It ties and pushes them emotionally into the final graphic novel and all the people that you're seeing here [in the poster] all have to work equally, as you would imagine, to save the world from another Big Bad. [Laughs]"

If Arc #2 Feels Like a Horror Movie Then Wallace Has Done Their Job: "The working title for this graphic novel, which is not a spoiler, was 'The Blackfire Hauntings.' When I first pitched my crazy ideas, my staff looked at me like, 'What? Are you out of your mind? That sounds like a horror movie.' And I went, 'Yes, it is a horror movie. We're going to do 'The Flash's' version of a horror film over several episodes.' And once they got past that, then the excitement set in"

Wallace Has Known Where This Season Is Going Since Season 6 Since It's "All One Big Story": "I have literally known it for two years and have building and building towards this. As I have been building towards the end of Season 8 — the last three seasons are literally all one big story and it's leading towards one specific event…I have the Post-it somewhere on my desk. I wrote it down two years ago and went, 'That's the end of Season 8.'"

Wallace Suggests Some Screening Homework to Prepare for What's to Come: "What I would tell people to do before watching our Episodes 12, 13, and onward is to rewatch the beginning of Season 6. And I wouldn't watch it for 'Bloodwork,' I'd watch it for all the other reasons. The clues have been there the whole time."

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Ray FlookAbout Ray Flook

Serving as Television Editor since 2018, Ray began five years earlier as a contributing writer/photographer before being brought onto the core BC team in 2017.
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