The Flash is slowly getting the audience acquainted with its main characters as the first season kicks off, but there’s still one character who is a complete mystery: Eddie Thawne. Even though he is Joe West’s partner and Iris West’s boyfriend, the series is largely keeping Eddie to the sidelines, and beyond knowing that he has a charming personality (a little too charming),we don’t know much about who he really is. Actor Rick Cosnett is well aware of his character's enigma, but Cosnett assures fans that there is a plan for the character that will highlight his differences with Barry Allen.
“I hate to say too much. I'm always dancing around what people really want to hear because it's really intriguing, the whole mystery and history behind Eddie Thawne. I have a clear trajectory. The writers have dropped bombs on me as we've sort of gone along, but Eddie is very much the opposite of Barry. The audience is very much in the dark and Eddie, at the moment, is very much in the dark. It's fascinating to play the state of not knowing.”
Fortunately, we won’t have to wait too long for some of Eddie’s layers to be peeled back. Cosnett told The Hollywood Reporter that, “things happen very quickly in the first nine episodes.” Quickly...interesting choice of words, Cosnett. Are you speaking generally, or perhaps literally? Recent set photos have shown Barry fighting The Reverse-Flash, one of his most dangerous enemies from the comics. Some have speculated that Eddie is in the suit, while others think Harrison Wells might be the one kicking Flash’s ass. If Eddie is the one donning the yellow costume, there’s clearly more to him than the “golden boy” personality that Cosnett is playing with.
When the show was in preproduction, Eddie’s character description stated that he held a “dark secret.” That could be anything from committing murder to stealing to accidentally buying the wrong type of hair gel once. However, if you’re looking for hints on where the show might take Eddie, just turn to the source material.
There will be spoilers for storylines from the comics ahead, so if you want to stay in the dark, take a cue from Flash and speed out of here.
Eddie’s name shares similarity with Eobard Thawne, a.k.a. Professor Zoom. In the comics, Eobard is a fan of The Flash’s from the 25th century who tried to become like his hero. After gaining super speed of his own, he went back in time to meet Barry Allen, but soon grew emotionally unstable and became one of The Flash’s worst enemies. Thanks to time travel, Thawne has been able to rewrite history multiple times, including his own, but his biggest moment came in the miniseries The Flash: Rebirth when he told Barry that he was responsible for every bad thing that happened in his life, including murdering Barry’s mother when he was a child.
The show has already established that the “man in the lightning” killed Nora Allen when Barry was young, but we still don’t know who that man is. Going off his name and mysterious past, it could be that Eddie came from the future and murdered Barry’s mother after years of battle with his arch-nemesis. On the other hand, we also know that Harrison Wells is a time traveller who has an interest in keeping Barry safe. It might turn out that Wells is the Reverse-Flash while Eddie is Wells’ ancestor. Perhaps it’s a mix of both. Maybe Eddie will someday become a Reverse-Flash, but won’t be the first one we see on the show. The series is keeping this particular story at a slow burn, but viewers would be wise to keep their eye on the Central City detective. There’s something off about that guy.