Heading into tonight's Season 8 finale of The CW's Grant Gustin & Candice Patton-starring The Flash, there were already some things we knew about the ninth season. As of this past week, we were able to say that Gustin, Patton, and Danielle Panabaker would be returning, but we learned earlier this year that Jesse L. Martin aka Joe West wouldn't (though he might be available for a guest appearance). Showrunner Eric Wallace made it known that he would love to have Mia Queen aka Green Arrow (Katherine McNamara) back but there might not be time during the season to address any lingering DC's Legends of Tomorrow storyline threads. And then earlier this month in the Arrowver canon-approved DC limited comic book series Earth-Prime, we saw Ramsey Rosso aka Bloodwork (played by Sendhil Ramamurthy in The CW series) finally escape ARGUS custody (detained since the sixth season) and begin working on his new plans. Cisco (played by Carlos Valdes in The CW series) discovers the "big bad" is missing but not in time, as we're left with a panel that reads, "To Be Continued in Season 9 of 'The Flash'". That brings us to tonight's S08E20 "Negative, Part Two" and what it might've told us about what's to come. Consider the "MAJOR SPOILERS AHEAD!" sign on and just before we throw down the spoiler image buffer, a quick note. While there will be some spoilers, we will try to limit the details as much as possible to lessen the spoiler impact.
In the following highlights from his post-mortem interview with TVLine, Wallace discussed the Flash/Reverse-Flash dynamic (and Tom Cavanagh returning for "some reason" in Season 9, how Barry & Iris' quality time will improve, what the deal is with whoever came out of that machine at the end, what we should know about that blue crystal in reference to the negative forces searching for a new avatar, and what the prospects are of Season 9 being the show's last (Wallace is writing for Seasons 9 & 10):
Wallace on If Final Flash/Reverse-Flash Face-Off Has Been Mapped Out: "No, not yet — because when we were writing the finale for Season 8, we thought that was the series finale. So we were like, 'We've got to have the greatest, most epic battle ever between Grant [Gustin] and Tom! That's how it has to end.' And after the script was done and we were getting ready to start prep, that's when we got the news that we would be getting a ninth season. So we were like, 'Oh crap, we just did the ultimate battle. How are we supposed to ever top that?' Then it was like, 'Let's just kill him for now and worry about that later.' [Laughs] Because Reverse-Flash and the Negative Reverse-Flash, just like Frost, are dead. I mean, they are dead. Now… having said that… it is a comic book show, and I'm pretty sure that in Season 9, there's some reason that you might see Tom Cavanagh again. I won't go into it, but that's a pretty safe bet."
Wallace Promises More Barry/Iris Quality Time (?!?!?): "OK, OK, I hear the note underneath the note. Yes, I can unequivocally say that in Season 9 you will see much, much more of Barry and Iris together. Not just together in the same room, but together in all ways. It's something that is a part of the new approach for the new season. Every season is different, and Season 9 is going to be very, very fun and very exciting. The reason we can do that is because of what [Barry & Iris] have been through over the last season-and-a-half specifically, being apart and growing individually. As we see in this finale, Iris was the last person to have not "leveled up" yet, and we get to see it actually happen in the episode. Now that she has completed her journey of leveling up, she and Barry can both face what is coming in Season 9 together, as a couple. So you will see much more of them together, unlike what you saw in Season 8 at times."
So We Thought Frost Was Dead? "Danielle [Panabaker] told the truth, and I'm keeping my promise to her. Frost is dead. But Danielle Panabaker is still a regular on 'The Flash,' and we heard her voice speaking to Mark…. That begs the question, who's in there? Is it Caitlin, or is it something else? That is something we will see immediately at the top of Season 9 — and I think everyone will be as surprised as Mark is."
Comic Book Fans Will Get What the Glowing Blue Crystal Means: "The hardcore comic book fans know what's coming; those who don't, I'm not spoiling it here, so it's going to be a big surprise for them. But yes, we're pulling directly from the comic books here, and boy is it going to be fun." In DC Comics, Cobalt Blue was known as Malcolm Thawne, the long-lost twin brother of Barry Allen (created by Mark Waid and Brian Augustyn and debuting in Speed Force #1) whose hatred & jealousy of his sibling knows no bounds.
So Will Season 9 Be the Final Season? "I still do not know. I do not know. I hope it's not. I've got plenty of plans. The first three seasons [as showrunner], 6, 7, and 8, really is one big omnibus. And that whole story is now done. I'm now formulating a new, shorter, two-season plan, for Seasons 9 and 10, so I sure hope I get to tell that story because I know where I'm driving to."
The CW's The Flash stars Grant Gustin as Barry Allen / The Flash, Candace Patton as Iris West-Allen, Danielle Panabaker as Caitlin Snow / Killer Frost, Danielle Nicolet as Cecile Horton, Kayla Compton as Allegra Garcia, Brandon McKnight as Chester P. Runk, and Jesse L. Martin as Detective Joe West. Based on the characters from DC, The Flash is from Bonanza Productions Inc. in association with Berlanti Productions and Warner Bros. Television, with executive producers Greg Berlanti (Superman and Lois, You, Riverdale), Eric Wallace (Teen Wolf, Eureka), and Sarah Schechter (Batwoman, You, Riverdale).