[SPOILERS ahead for those not caught up on The Flash.]
The CW’s DC Comics shared universe first began with the grounded take on comic book superheroes with Arrow, following Oliver Queen (Stephen Amell) as he returned to his home and attempted to save his city. The first spinoff, The Flash, took a notably lighter route in tackling superheroes, helped along by the optimism of Barry Allen (Grant Gustin). The CW’s DC TV universe has since grown to include the ensemble time travel drama Legends of Tomorrow and Supergirl, which aired its first season on CBS and will make the move to The CW starting with its second season.
However, season 2 of The Flash has seen Barry come up against his most dangerous foe yet: Zoom (Teddy Sears). In the most recent episode, ‘Invincible’ – which featured Barry at his most optimistic after his time in the speed force – Zoom killed Barry’s father Henry (John Wesley Shipp) in front of the hero. Now, The Flash star has commented on Barry’s optimism and whether he will be able to maintain it in Season 3.
In an interview with ComicBook.com, Gustin responded to whether Barry and The Flash will lose the optimism fans have come to associate with the character and the show:
“We won’t lose it, though, I will be adamant! I don’t know what’s going to happen in season 3, how they’re going to write it, where they’re going to go, but Berlanti and Kreisberg and Geoff – I actually don’t know how closely Geoff’s involved anymore – but all those guys know The Flash better than anybody, and they know that he has to have the optimism. His whole perspective on life is to constantly move forward with his life, and let his past be a part of it, but stay optimistic and kind of live your life.”
Certainly, Barry’s optimism has been one of his key characteristics on the show and has additionally worked to distinguish The Flash from The CW’s fellow DC Comics series. But, Barry has suffered a number of heartbreaks throughout season 2 – ranging from his breakup with Patty Spivot (Shantel VanSanten) to seeing an alternate universe version of his surrogate father Joe West (Jesse L. Martin) die on Earth-2 to the most recent loss at the hands of Zoom. But, as Gustin says, Barry has managed to move past traumatic events in the past with his optimism intact:
“He lost his mom at a young age, he saw her right in front of him, then went back in time and watched it again… He’ll find a way to deal with this. He’s not going to let it ruin him. It’s going to be hard to come back from this one, but he’ll stay optimistic Barry.”
That being said, there’s only one more episode of The Flash season 2 left, the finale titled ‘The Race of His Life,’ and promo images revealed Zoom isn’t done torturing Barry. So, while Barry may be able to regain his optimism in season 3, it seems the rest of season 2 will primarily focus on the final showdown between Barry and Zoom. Still, Gustin’s comments should help to assure fans that The Flash will likely stay true to the character established so far in the series, the “optimistic Barry,” as he says.
The Flash continues with its season finale “The Race of His Life” next Tuesday @8pm on The CW.