SPOILER ALERT! This post contains details from the series finale of The CW’s The Flash.
The Flash came to an end Wednesday night after nine seasons, wrapping up a four part series finale that spanned the entire month.
Wednesday’s episode, titled “A New World: Part 4,” opens with Team Flash developing a plan to defeat Eddie Thawne, who has just become the new avatar of the Negative Speed Force, when they get an alert that Barry (Grant Gustin) has made it back to present day after being stuck in 2049. Meanwhile Eddie is summoning Zoom, Reverse-Flash, Savitar and Godspeed to help him with his plan to destroy Barry and his legacy.
Eddie visits Barry while he is in the hospital with Iris (Candice Patton), who is giving birth to their daughter Nora. Barry leaves Iris to draw the threat away from her, and he meets Team Flash for a face off with Eddie and his team of villains. It doesn’t take long for Team Flash to gain the upper hand, but in order to take out Eddie, Khione tells Barry that he needs to change Eddie’s point of view.
“I really enjoyed that episode, and I like where we leave them all,” Gustin told Deadline. “The show was always about family, and we finish it off by Barry and Iris bringing Nora into their world and into the family and going into the future together — and we saw that glimpse into 2049 and Team Flash is still together protecting the city.”
Gustin spoke with Deadline more about filming the final episodes of The Flash and the legacy he hopes to have left.
DEADLINE: Have you seen the final episode yet?
GRANT GUSTIN: No. Actually, I haven’t seen any of this season yet. I saw half of the episode that Kayla Compton directed, because she had a bunch of friends over to have a viewing party and it started late. I had to get home to my baby. So, I saw like half of it. But other than that, I haven’t seen any of this season. I was waiting until it was done. We’re going to binge watch it soon.
DEADLINE: So now that you’ve had a bit of distance from production, how are you feeling about the way that the story wraps up?
GUSTIN: I felt good in general about the last few [episodes] and some of the story points that we were able to hit. I loved the episode that, I believe was one Eric [Wallace] directed, where we put a bow on the Reverse Flash storyline and visited the night Barry’s mom was murdered again and he got to spend all the time with his parents one last time. I really enjoyed that episode, and I like where we leave them all. I’ve been talking a lot about his family. The show was always about family, and we finish it off by Barry and Iris bringing Nora into their world and into the family and going into the future together — and we saw that glimpse into 2049 and Team Flash is still together protecting the city. So I think it was just a good testament and indication of what the show had always been and that there was a lot of hope on the horizon as we wrapped up the last couple episodes.
DEADLINE: There were so many characters from the Arrowverse who returned for the final season, including Tom Cavanagh as Reverse Flash. What did it mean for you to reunite with all of them one last time?
GUSTIN: It was great. That was for sure one of the things that, every time a script came out, I was most excited about. I think the whole cast would say the same. We knew going in that it was our last season, which made it, I think, a lot easier for us to all enjoy every day, every scene in a different kind of way than we have in the past. Then to get to reconnect with people that we hadn’t been around for a few years and knowing when they’re coming in that this is going to be their last episode…. You know, we got the picture wrap a lot of guest stars when they would come back and leads from other series. One of the most fun parts of the nine years on the show is the really, really talented guest stars we all got to work with. So it was really fun to bring back old friends and do it one more time.
DEADLINE: Do you remember what the last day of filming was?
GUSTIN: It was all greenscreen. Our final day was filmed on a Saturday, actually. And we typically finish episodes with greenscreen. It’s usually our second unit day, when the next episode is starting on the main unit. But for this one, there was no next episode. So we had our whole main crew, but we were on Stage D, which is one of our main stages that also had Barry’s lab and Jitters and the police station. That’s where we always filmed the greenscreen work, and we had a few things we had to pick up because the schedule had to get changed around last minute during the finale. They had to shoot some stuff that they were inserting me into from a location from a week before. But then I had just a lot of typical greenscreen work of me running. The last shot we filmed was actually the last shot of this series of this big, sweeping crane shot that comes down on Barry as he’s running through Central City and a smile comes across his face and that’s where we go out on. That was the very, very last thing we shot, which was pretty cool.
DEADLINE: How would you describe the atmosphere on set that day?
GUSTIN: It was fun. We had gotten a lot of the emotion out of the way the week prior. Everyone else was wrapped on Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday. On the last day of work, the first shot was me and Jessica Parker Kennedy as Nora, and she was dressed as XS and I was in my Flash suit. The rest of it was just me. It was a really short day actually. I think all of it was like a six-hour day. We did a lot of crying throughout the week as other people wrapped, but the final day was really just me for the most part and we were just kind of joking around all day. My wife and my daughter were able to come by and see my final shot, which was really special… I didn’t get emotional, honestly, until the last couple months since I’ve been done. It’ll hit me in waves. But I felt really good that week. I just felt really proud of everything we had done and I didn’t really get too emotional about it until more recently.
DEADLINE: The Arrowverse has spanned so many years and has such a large fanbase now. When you found out this was the final season, was there anything in particular you wanted to leave the audience with? Did you have any goals for the season?
GUSTIN: Not in that sense, necessarily. I mean, when it comes to the scripts, for the most part, I don’t really insert myself too much. I’m not a writer, personally. I’ve come to protect my character in certain ways and will have dialogue with writers and the showrunners. We’ve had, when scripts come in, I’m like ‘Hey, can I adjust this in this way?’ ‘Can I say this?’ But for the most part, I accepted what my material was for that episode. Going into the season, I didn’t really try to expect anything specific story wise. I kind of approached it the same way I always have, which is roll with the punches and then do the best I can to make it work for me. When it comes to the greater Arrowverse or just the reach of the show, it’s something that I didn’t spend a lot of time thinking about while I was making it, because I think it would have been overwhelming for me on a day-to-day basis while I was actually trying to do the work. Even as we were doing the last season, I knew it was all wrapping up, which was obviously really important to me and really special to me, but I still was like ‘One day at a time. One scene at a time. Do the work that’s in front of me, and everything else will just work out the way it needs to if I just stay focused on the work.’ I just never really allowed myself to get to the big picture when it came to the show.
DEADLINE: What will you miss most about working on The Flash?
GUSTIN: I mean, the people for sure. The obvious and the true answer is the cast and the crew and the routine. I mean things that become routine that you take for granted. We became family. We were all really well taken care of. You just fall into a rhythm with everything, and that’s just the rhythm of the work and the people I got to work with. The surprising thing I’ve found is I will miss putting on the suit. I mean, the suit could be tough to work with, but…as much of a challenge as it could be at times with different iterations of the suit — and different challenges each one would present and us trying to figure them out — as tough as that could be, I never tried to take for granted how cool it was that a superhero suit had been made for me. I knew as the season was winding down that that was going to be a bittersweet thing when I took it off for the last time. I don’t get to stand on some street corner in downtown Vancouver in the suit in the middle of a night shoot and have people freaking out that they see The Flash.
DEADLINE: What has been your favorite part about developing this character over nine seasons?
GUSTIN: I think just growing up with him. Going in, I wanted to be perfect, which I was never going to be. I wanted everyone to be pleased. I wanted to be pleased with myself, and I was setting, I think, impossible standards for myself and putting too much pressure on myself. I think I realized early on a lot of my life and his life and experiences were parallel in a lot of ways. I got to grow up with the character. Another thing I’ve spoken about recently is, it’s a cliche, but it is true when you are doing a show for so long and you’re doing it for so many months out of the year and you’re working such long days in your formative years of your life — like all of my 20s and then my early 30s — it gets lost where you begin and the character ends. There’s some days where it feels like one. As the show ended, he’s starting his family in the present day and now, I mean, my only priority and goal is to be a good father and a good husband. I get to start this next chapter with my family. So it’s just really special to me that I got to become an adult with Barry, and now we get to both step into these next chapters of our lives with our families.