Spoilers are below for anyone who hasn't yet watched tonight's episode of The Flash.
Tonight's episode of The Flash went all over the place with Barry's attempts to save Iris from Savitar's deadly grip, including a trip back into the past for an impromptu team-up with Captain Cold, which led to a further team-up with King Shark. It was just before the toothy villain was retrieved, though, that one of the episode's most interesting moments happened. Barry and Snart were walking through the cells of A.R.G.U.S.' facilities and in between nameplates for villains oh-so-familiar to the Arrow-verse, we saw one for a most interesting Wonder Woman villain: Cheetah. Season 4 baddie, anyone?
Cheetah, as many fans of DC Comics are well aware, has been one of Wonder Woman's biggest villains for 75 years now. (Maybe fans didn't know the 75 years part.) And so it was particularly interesting to see her name popping up on The Flash, and during a scene where namechecks were given to several other villains that have indeed already appeared within The CW's comic book universe. Barry passed Grodd's cell first, explaining to Snart the silliness behind the evolved primate's big plan to take over Central City, and they soon passed one meant for Cupid, to which Barry made a comment about it being where Amanda Waller had her Suicide Squad. (No Harley cell, though, sadly.) But for Cheetah's name to show up randomly like that, can it be anything but the writers hinting at what's to come in the future?
Okay, it could easily just be a throwaway easter egg, but those are usually reserved for other comic characters' locations and headquarters, rather than beomg direct references to the characters themselves. (Exceptions exist, obviously.) Cheetah's name popping up so prominently like that implies that one wouldn't be ridiculous for assuming the feline-oriented antagonist could be heading to The Flash when next season comes around.
Note that we definitely don't think Cheetah will beSeason 4's Big Bad, even though it's been confirmed that The Flash won't be taking on a speedster as a main foe next year. And while it's harsh to push a notable villain like this back to case-of-the-week status, The Flash has gone that route with lots of other famed rogues in the past, so it wouldn't be completely out of the blue. Or out of the orange, as it were.
Created in 1943, Cheetah was first the alter ego of Priscilla Rich, and this was the most basic version of the character, who was fueled more by a split personality disorder than any actual superpowers. (Priscilla's niece Debbie Domaine was also a Cheetah for a spell.) In the post-Crisis timeline, Cheetah gained her more goddess-like powers and persona, with Barbara Ann Minerva first taking the mantle and showing off superhuman strength and the powers and appearance of an actual cheetah. (Which definitely seems like The Flash's aim, considering this episode featured King Shark a bunch.) The final notable Cheetah was the sole male, Sebastian Ballesteros, a tycoon who becomes the villain after seeking out the plant god Urzkartaga.
With more attention given to Iris than Cheetah, understandably, The Flash's finale airs next Tuesday night on The CW at 8:00 p.m. ET. Check out our big TV finale rundown for dates on all your other favorite shows' exits, and then head to our summer TV schedule to see when everything else is heading to the small screen in the future.