Death is tricky in comic book stories. When major characters meet their maker, their demise usually isn’t permanent, and eventually they’re revived somehow. The Flash is well aware of tropes on the printed page, and while the show won’t be able to straight-up bring people to life nearly as often, there’s another way viewers will get to see deceased favorites again on the series: doppelgängers.
Executive producer Andrew Kriesberg acknowledged to Variety that despite certain characters being lost throughout the series, The Flash can always bring back actors to play versions of their characters from a parallel Earth, though they may have different personalities. As he put it:
Getting to see who's over there and who's not, and getting to see some of our actors getting to portray different versions of their characters, that's really the fun of when you look at the great sci-fi shows like Star Trek and Doctor Who, when they go into the mirror world. Not everybody will have a sharp Van Dyke to signify that they're evil. But that has been part of the fun of the show. Unfortunately our imaginations are far grander than the pile of money we have, because we would be going the whole hog on some of these things, but so far it's been really great, we've had a lot of fun exploiting the idea. And the other great thing is that while we're solely focusing on Earth-2 for the time being, there's an Earth-3 and Earth-4 and Earth-5 and so on, and there's definitely room to explore all of that, certainly over the life of the series.
Spoilers for The Flash Season 2 premiere are ahead!
Kreisberg’s response was prompted by a question about whether fans would see Ronnie Raymond, who was lost in the Season 2 premiere. After Barry Allen was able to contain the singularity, Ronnie and Dr. Martin Stein turned into Firestorm so they could fly into the eye of it and separate, with the resulting explosion neutralizing the singularity. While Barry was able to rescue Martin Stein, Ronnie was sucked into the dying singularity, leaving Barry wracked with guilt for the next six months. There’s always a chance that Ronnie isn’t really dead, but judging from Kreisberg’s comments, it sounds like if/when Robbie Amell reprises Ronnie on The Flash, it will be a Ronnie from a different world or timeline.
“The Man Who Saved Central City” introduced the concept of the multiverse last night though Albert Rothstein, a.k.a. Atom Smasher. Rothstein, who hailed from Earth 2, killed his Earth 1 (a.k.a. The Flash’s main Earth) counterpart before attempting to kill Flash so main antagonist Zoom would take him home. The premiere also introduced Jay Garrick, the Flash from Earth 2 who’s been at the superhero game much longer than Barry. As for seeing different versions of familiar faces, we already know that To Cavanagh is staying on The Flash to play Harrison Wells from another Earth, and despite Eddie Thawne killing himself to erase Eobard Thawne from existence in the Season 1 finale, there’s always a chance that Rick Cosnett could return to play a different Eddie; perhaps one that isn’t that nice.
We’ll learn more about parallel worlds as The Flash Season 2 unfolds Tuesdays at 8 p.m. EST on The CW.