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How The Flash's Spring Premiere Showed The Series Could Survive Without Barry Allen

Bart and Nora on The Flash
(Image credit: The CW)

Warning! The following contains spoilers for The Flash episode “Impulsive Excessive Disorder.” Read at your own risk!

The Flash returned with an exciting episode for Season 8 and an arc that once again proves that speedsters need to stop traveling through time. Barry and Iris’ kids Bart and Nora accidentally meddled in the timeline in their brief trip back to see their parents’ vow renewal, and in an effort to correct that mistake, made things a lot worse. They did mainly fix things in the end and proved to me that The Flash could absolutely survive Grant Gustin’s potential departure. 

It felt almost prophetic that Jay Garrick (who is alive again in Bart and Nora’s future thanks to the timeline alteration) told Bart that he’s capable of becoming the next Flash because I had the exact same thought many times in the episode. Jordan Fisher and Jessica Parker Kennedy already left a strong impression in their previous appearances, and they crushed it in this episode. These two had such a natural brother and sister chemistry and were able to command each scene together.

That’s a big deal, especially considering that these two were effectively the main characters of the episode. This isn’t like when Chester came in to replace Cisco or Allegra’s increased role in the story following all the drama with Hartley Sawyer. This was two actors stepping into the lead in a show that Grant Gustin has shouldered for eight seasons and counting. If the actor departs anytime in the near future, I now feel confident after this episode that The Flash could absolutely continue with Jordan Fisher and Jessica Parker Kennedy at the forefront. 

For those not keeping up with news on the show, there’s a reason to look at that possibility. Grant Gustin could reportedly only appear in 15 episodes of Season 9, if The Flash is renewed for another season, and he’s only signed on for another year. While that naturally raises the question of whether the show will end with Season 9, there's a possibility that the show is still planning to continue past that without Gustin as leading man. 

If the spring premiere of The Flash was a test run of what that might look like, I’d say The CW series passed with flying colors. Sure, the main Flash cast had supporting roles as Bart and Nora traveled through time, but some of this episode’s best moments were just Bart and Nora interacting and trying to save the day. I’m really hoping we see more of them in this arc and see for sure if they’re worth carrying The Flash mantle beyond Grant Gustin's tenure. 

The Flash airs on The CW Wednesdays at 8:00 p.m. ET. It’s one of a few great returning shows on television right now, so be sure to keep an eye on primetime over the coming months. 

Mick likes good television, but also reality television. He grew up on Star Wars, DC, Marvel, and pro wrestling and loves to discuss and dissect most of it. He’s been writing online for over a decade and never dreamed he’d be in the position he is today.