Much is in regular at The Flash, (nearly ) all of it created of this pandemic pressing pause production. But what could that delay mean for Season 7’s newest”graphic novel” arcs?
Season 6 of The CW’s No. 1 series introduced exactly what then-incoming showrunner Eric Wallace dubbed a”graphic novel” format, seeing as the first eight episodes needed to put the stage to the”Crisis on Infinite Earths” crossover event and were a little standalone. As such, “Graphic Novel No. 1” had its own Big Bad at Dr. Ramsey Rosso aka Bloodwork, while Graphic Novel No. 2 (which kicked off post-Crisis) focused on Eva McCulloch’s evolution into a new Mirror Master.
The abrupt stoppage of manufacturing in mid-March abandoned The Flash with three written but uncompleted Season 6 episodes. Those episodes will today, in some form, lead Season 7 off, triggering a ripple effect that will alter the rollout of their following, new Graphic Novels.
“Because The Flash, there is a massive twist after each season, and that twist is now kind of coming in the center of the [start of the] season,” Wallace told TVLine. “And that’s affected our storytelling to get all of Season 7,” that is expected to premiere in January 2021.
Wallace, however, chooses to see that the ripple effect as”yet another blessing in disguise,” akin to the way Crisis drove the first half of Season 6. “Amid the terror and the tragedy of what is happening with this outbreak, if we could locate some type of lemonade in the lemon, then it is us having to rethink a few things about how a Flash season looks, given that’ story unpredictability’ into the season.
“There are going to be more Graphic Novels next year,” he promised, “but they’re not going to be broken up in the way I believe people anticipate .”
When we talked with Wallace, he was already mulling whether to bring Caitlin/Frost back earlier than intended (since Danielle Panabaker’s maternity leave wouldn’t longer be a problem ); the same goes for Carlos Valdes’ Cisco, who had stumbled on a mission to Atlantis but might have been back from the finale. Nevertheless, he teased at the moment, “Not only do we know what happens at the end of Season 6, but that I could tell you of Season 7 at the moment.”
An additional wrinkle has since surfaced, when show regular Hartley Sawyer, who played Ralph/Elongated Man, got fired in early June for a series of racist, misogynistic, and homophobic tweets he authored years ago, before linking The Flash. So while Wallace in mid-May anticipated a”wee bit of tinkering” to Season 6’s final 3 scripts (if only to reverse any season finale crowd scenes now rendered impossible by COVID-19 restrictions), Ralph’s sudden absence — supposing there is no recast — will even have to be written.