‘The Flash’: Andrew Kreisberg On The Return Of Reverse-Flash, Jay Garrick’s Condition

Not long after Team Flash took The Turtle off the streets of Central City, an old threat sped into town – Eobard Thawne.

Reverse-Flash, Barry Allen’s nemesis, somehow appeared in Central City in last week’s mid-season return of “The Flash,” despite the character having been defeated and erased from history (due to Eddie Thawne’s self-sacrifice) at the end of Season 1.

Matt Letscher dons the yellow suit on Tuesday night’s new episode of The CW superhero series, playing villain Eobard Thawne/Reverse-Flash again, and our heroes at S.T.A.R. Labs are about to get the shock of their lives when they cross paths with the formerly late Professor. Executive Producer Andrew Kreisberg previewed the big drama ahead in a new interview with Access Hollywood. But, before rapid firing our Reverse-Flash-related questions, we had the EP tell us more about the serious situation facing Earth 2’s former speedster – Jay Garrick.

Matt Letscher as Eobard Thawne/Reverse Flash, Grant Gustin as The Flash, Grant Gustin as Barry Allen/The Flash and Amanda Pays as Christina McGee in ‘The Flash’ Season 2, Episode 11 — ‘The Reverse-Flash Returning’
(The CW)

AccessHollywood.com: Jay Garrick is sick! What’s wrong with him? How much time does he have left?
Andrew Kreisberg:
Everybody has a secret on our shows and the secret that Jay has been hiding is that he is sick, and for anybody who thought that Jay was just square-jawed and heroic, he’s actually been hiding this. And I think for him as a character, it’s really difficult to admit to being sick, to needing help, especially when you’re somebody who is a hero, but it gives Caitlyn/Danielle [Panabaker] something different to play because both times with Ronnie [Raymond, Caitlyn’s fiancée-turned-husband], he was snatched right out of her life like, in an instant. But now, with Jay, he’s slowly dying. She can now galvanize all of her resources and fortunately, it’s resources in her specialty — in biochemistry —  so she’s not going to let history repeat itself. She’s going to work night and day to figure out a way to save Jay.

Access: The Matt Letscher scene [in last week’s episode] where he was back  — the street looked exactly the same [as Season 1]. When did you guys film that?
I think it happened… at the same time of year, but it was just a sort of happy coincidence.

Danielle Panabaker as Caitlin Snow and Teddy Sears as Jay Garrick in ‘The Flash’ Season 2
Danielle Panabaker as Caitlin Snow and Teddy Sears as Jay Garrick in ‘The Flash’ Season 2 (The CW)

Access: Did you always know you wanted to bring Matt back onto the show in some capacity?
Yeah. I mean, the Reverse-Flash is really the sort of, the villain of this series, I think, and we’re so lucky in that we have two talented actors to play him. And we’re friends with Matt. We worked with him on ‘Eli Stone’ years ago – Greg [Berlanti] and I – and we couldn’t really think of anybody [better] to sort of like, play the original Eobard Thawne. And it’s sort of an interesting thing — I don’t think there is quite a character like this on television that’s sort of played by two different actors at the same time, and then you can see one or the other and still be completely satisfied. And we’d always sort of had this idea, and especially [with] these episodes. Most of our shows tend to build up to some incredible climax at the midseason break, and just because of the nature of storytelling, sometimes things don’t get going again for a few episodes, and we really didn’t want that to happen this year with these episodes. We really wanted all of them to be kick-ass and special and have something amazing in them, so the idea of bringing Matt back in what could’ve been the dog days of winter, and instead, turning this episode into one of our favorite episodes of all time, just felt like too good of an opportunity.

Access: Why is this one of your favorite episodes of all time?
Andrew: … It’s just one those stories that the whole thing broke so easily and the Reverse Flash is just such a great villain and it’s great emotional stuff for Barry to be dealing with. And it’s just one of those stories that once we decided to do it, making it turned out to be really easy because we all knew we were all rolling in the same direction. And to have Matt come back and to have scenes between Matt and Tom [Cavanagh] — which were exciting — it’s just a really great episode.

Access: How similar is Season 2 Eobard to Season 1 Eobard?
Well, he’s actually the Eobard Thawne before last season happened. … Now that time travel has been accepted by the audience as a concept and they’re sort of — they’re willing to go with it, we’re able to do new and different and sometimes more challenging things and this is one of those episodes where they’re meeting him out of continuity. … This is the first time he encounters all of them, so this is the sort of the beginning of his journey, so it’s a pretty interesting story. And I don’t think it’s too confusing, but it’s certainly the groundwork for some really fun stuff.

Access: Does he still have a major chip on his shoulder and a lot of anger toward future Barry?
Oh yeah. He still has all that. Don’t worry. They’re not (laughs) kosher. Let’s say that.

“The Flash” airs Tuesday at 8/7c on The CW.

Jolie Lash

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