The Flash is currently on hiatus following the intense Season 4 finale that introduced Nora West-Allen, saw the birth of an adorable new member of Team Flash, and returned Ralph Dibny to the land of the living. Fortunately for fans who were devastated at the death of Ralph in Season 4 and have been wondering how much he'll be around in Season 5, The Flash isn't stretching out the suspense until the Season 5 premiere. Hartley Sawyer will officially be a series regular on The Flash in the upcoming fifth season.
The CW confirmed Hartley Sawyer's promotion to regular status to CinemaBlend, and it's just the latest piece of news to ramp up excitement for the next season. It was announced earlier this week that Danielle Nicolet received a bump to regular status as well, which should mean a lot more Cecile in Season 5. The Flash seems to be mixing things up in some ways that can only be interesting. Between characters gaining superpowers, doppelgangers from other Earths, and the occasional betrayal, Team Flash has changed many times over the years, and it should be entertaining to see how more of Ralph in Season 5 changes the status quo.
Ralph was seemingly gone for good after the Season 4 episode that saw The Thinker kill him as he'd killed the other bus metas to absorb their powers, and The Flash showrunner Todd Helbing's comments after Ralph's death seemed to point toward Ralph never coming back. Losing Ralph changed Barry as he headed toward the final showdown with The Thinker, so big Elongated Man fans could make their peace with his death due to the fact that it served a purpose, however tragic. Then, the finale revealed that The Flash had a trick up its friction-proof sleeve to bring him back.
Since The Thinker was using Ralph's body as a vessel, it was possible -- thanks mostly to the efforts of Barry and Cecile -- to bring Ralph's consciousness back from The Thinker's mind and restore him to his body after The Thinker was gone. This wasn't the first time that The Flash brought a character back from what seemed like a permanent death, but it has to be one of the most creative.
Now that Ralph is alive again and Hartley Sawyer is on board as a regular, we could see more of him in big Arrow-verse events such as the annual four-show crossover. That event won't air for many months, but we already know that a certain Bat character will make an appearance, so there will clearly be room for newer characters to fit into the action. That said, we have to hope that the 2018 crossover won't feature as devastating a twist as the 2017 crossover. Two happy weddings weren't enough to soothe the sting of poor Martin's fate.