Why The Flash Delivered That Huge Reverse-Flash Twist In The Season 8 Finale

Tom Cavanagh as Reverse-Flash on The Flash
(Image credit: The CW)

Warning! The following contains spoilers for The Flash’s Season 8 finale, “Negative, Part Two.” Read at your own risk!

The Flash really went all out in the Season 8 finale as a super-charged Eobard Thawne and Barry Allen squared off for the fate of Central City... and maybe even the world. The showdown measured up to all the classic throwdowns these two had in the past, except when the dust settled, it appeared that Reverse-Flash didn’t make it out of the encounter alive. Now, following a massive twist that the series' biggest bad is potentially gone forever after his unbelievable return, the showrunner is speaking out. 

Showrunner Eric Wallace spoke to TVLine about the big Season 8 finale for The Flash, which seemingly killed off Reverse-Flash. Wallace admitted there was a motive behind doing such a massive fight with big results, which should make sense to fans given what went down:

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.

For anyone who thought the Season 8 finale of The Flash felt a lot like a series finale, their instincts were spot on. Eric Wallace revealed that the big reason for the "ultimate battle" between The Flash and his greatest enemy was that they thought the show would end. 

Eric Wallace did confirm that Reverse-Flash is as dead as Killer Frost, but as the Season 8 finale showed, Caitlin Snow managed to succeed in some way with her wild experiments to bring her other half back. Danielle Panabaker looks like she’ll go through some radical change and return as a new character in Season 9, and it appears something like that is happening with Tom Cavanagh as well: 

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.

Tom Cavanagh has played a variety of Harrison Wells characters who weren’t related to the Reverse-Flash, so it’s not surprising to hear he might return in some capacity despite the villain's death. It also wouldn’t be surprising to learn that Reverse-Flash somehow found a way back from what seemed like an incredibly final and irreversible death because, as Eric Wallace said, this is a superhero show.

If the superhero genre has one massive weakness, it's that characters don't always (or often) stay dead when killed off, so I'm not so sure that Reverse-Flash is gone for good. It’s also worth mentioning that Tom Cavanagh is on the record in saying that the series finale should feature a showdown between Reverse-Flash and Flash, so there’s that. Unfortunately, The Flash team just pulled the trigger a little prematurely, and hopefully that doesn’t undermine the series finale down the road. 

The Flash is done for Season 8, but will return to The CW for Season 9 with another familiar villain. For now, Netflix subscribers can always binge the series as they wait for the new season or hope that Season 9 is finally the season we see Tom Cavanagh return as Wells the Grey. I know that’s not happening, but I desperately want it to. 

Mick Joest
Content Producer

Mick contains multitudes and balances his time reporting on big happenings in the world of Star Trek, the WWE, reality television, and other sci-fi shows.