The following items contain spoilers about The Flash.
The Flash Season 9 Episode 1
The Flash will end its ninth season with nine seasons, over 170 episodes, and what appears to be an endless array of speedters, rogues, and other metahumans. It's still difficult to deny the show's loss when both the genre and the network it aided in are in such a state of profound flux.
'Wednesday Ever After,' a season 9 premiere, is one of the series' finest episodes in years, an hour that fully embraces the show's bright tone, genuine humor, and huge heart, which have always been so vital to the series' identity. The episode lays forth themes and character arcs that will surely resonate throughout the series' final run of episodes.
The plot that sparked Season 9 was—Barry still has issues in his past that he must deal with in order to go forward into the future," The Flash showrunner Eric Wallace told Den of Geek. "I look at Seasons 1 and 9 as bookends to Barry's journey. Some of the things that were left hanging in Season 1 have to be addressed, especially in a series finale, in order to get to the wonderful future with Iris and the two children that we all know."
"Wednesday Ever After" is a classic time loop tale that sees Barry and Iris reliving the same day over and over again as they try to figure out how much of their future they should trust to the events they already know about one day. Iris refuses to accept the fact that her choices are somehow different from theirs.
Wallace adds, "Time loop storylines are a staple in fantasy and sci-fi storytelling." "And when I thought about what needed to happen in the season premiere—this is the season of Barry and Iris being together. So I wanted a story in which they were literally together in almost every scene. The time loop trope became the ideal answer."
The repeated scenes of Barry and Iris getting up to greet them over and over again are "hysterical," but Wallace cautions that the repetition also allowed the episode to explore more serious emotional topics.
"We got to explore free will, determinism, and all kinds of things," says the actor. "It became a great way to have the rom-com humor vibe mixed with the more intense emotional things that we've known for over the last few seasons on the program, and to wrap it all up in a really fun package and turn a very familiar trope on its head."
Fans will likely be enthralled by the increased emphasis on the West-Allen connection in season 9, especially after several seasons in which The Flash'smarquee couple have been kept apart by a variety of forces (and Forces) beyond their control.
"This is the season of Barry and Iris," Wallace says. It's a way of saying hello to those babymoon adventures, some of which we'll see on camera. Others that we'll see off-camera. But this is a season-long adventure that they're going to go on. They might even dance at some point early in the season together. They should have fun."
The Flash has been a lot of fun in recent seasons, but fun hasn't often been one of them. They were often caught bogged down in long-form stories about malign anthropomorphic nature gods, including everything from Iris' time sickness and Frost's sudden departure from Central City. Thankfully, that won't be the case in Season 9.
“This season, everyone thinks I’m dark and depressing, but I love soap operas.” Wallace says. Look for a very special episode towards the middle of the season where it’s my homage to Nick and Nora Charles, who are both very funny. It might even have one of my bucket list guest villains to appear on the program for a while.