A couple of episodes ago, Team Flash lost one of its core members, as Wally West made the decision to go off to Blue Valley to do some soul searching after getting that Dear John hologram from Jesse on Earth-2. And as some might have guessed, the decision to give Kid Flash some alone time wasn't solely for plot purposes. During a press screening for The Flash episode "Elongated Journey Into Night" that CinemaBlend's Eric Eisenberg attended, executive producer Andrew Kreisberg explained Wally's departure was both to save money and to keep things from getting stale.
If creating all of the effects work for Barry's Flash causes stress over how much it strains the budget, then imagine what that's like when there are two speedsters running side by side every episode. One might say, "Well they wouldn't need to do it every episode," but then that would present a situation where Barry is running around saving things while Wally is just hanging out at S.T.A.R. Labs watching Cisco do computer wizardry. Barring constant dangers happening at S.T.A.R. Labs itself, it wouldn't make a whole lot of sense for either of them to stick around while Central City is plagued by villains.
Similarly, showing both Barry and Wally fighting a villain is a bit of a hassle, since it's probably even more expensive to show them doing any super-special tag-team maneuvers, and then it creates some storyline issues for how to finagle things so only one of the speedsters has the actual showdown with the episode's foe. And so, in an effort to save some moolah and some brainpower, the team decided just to temporarily set Wally on the wayside, while also giving the character a mental vacation from having to keep Central City safe during Barry's absence. Plus, he's got a new baby brother or sister on the way, which might be hard for him to handle, considering how his family life has gone thus far.
All that said, fans shouldn't expect for Wally's Kid Flash to be gone forever. In fact, he'll be returning to the show relatively soon, just in time to get set for the Earth-X crossover. According to a somewhat hesitant-to-reveal-things Andrew Kreisberg:
Kreisberg's explanation above also offers some insight into why Jesse Quick hasn't been popping up in Season 4 as some might have hoped. And while it seems like thelack of a speedster villain might have offset some of the CGI costs, it's not like the show just stopped doing other stunts and effects sequences. Plus, if that four-way crossover is as big and crazy as we're expecting, then the Arrow-verse shows likely had to put every salvageable penny into things to make it look spectacular.
Get a look at a completely different kind of hero when Elongated Man makes his big debut on The Flash on Tuesday, October 31, at 8:00 p.m. ET, only on The CW. Check out one of The Flash's most headscratching WTF moments ever, and then to see what other superhero shows are left to debut in 2017, head to our fall premiere TV schedule.