When Robbie Amell's Ronnie Raymond sacrificed himself on The Flash, it seemed like a pretty definite end to the character. While some might argue that there was always room for him to come back, his role as half of Firestorm was taken over by Jefferson "Jax" Jackson so it seemed unlikely that he'd be popping up anytime soon.
That's not to say that some weren't hopeful that he survived, however, and now that hope is paying off. It's been confirmed that Amell is returning to The Flash in the second half of season 3, though there's no word yet on just how that's going to be accomplished.
The scoop was revealed by Entertainment Weekly as part of its "25 Scoops in 25 Days" event. According to EW, details on Ronnie's return are being kept under wraps but it's been confirmed that he'll be appearing in a winter episode. The site speculates that we might see Ronnie as an alternate version of himself from a different timeline or perhaps as a doppelganger from a different universe. These are just two possibilities, however, and it's possible that the producers have something different in mind.
Some fans believe it's possible that Ronnie survived the collapse of the singularity that was thought to have killed him, even though his survival was unlikely. His body was never shown, believed to have been destroyed by the singularity or lost somewhere in the multiverse. If he did survive then his return might be to help his wife Caitlin Snow, who will embrace her destiny as Killer Frost sometime in the second half of the season. There has been speculation before that Firestorm might play some part in saving her, and Ronnie's return could play into that.
The big question is whether Ronnie will retain any semblance of his powers as Firestorm upon his return. Given that Martin Stein now has Jax as his partner, it's possible that Ronnie will simply be a standard human again. This may depend in part on whether Amell plays the original Ronnie or a timeline alternate or doppelganger as well, since if that's the case then we may see a Ronnie who never developed metahuman powers in the first place. Of course, if that were to happen then it wouldn't be Caitlin's Ronnie who returns... which could be what drives her to fully embrace Killer Frost.
We don't know exactly when Ronnie will return to The Flash, but we'll likely learn more within a few weeks. Until then, fans can look forward to the return of one of Central City's fallen heroes and the mystery of how he returned from what seemed to be certain death.
The Flash returns with ‘Borrowing Problems from the Future’ on Tuesday, January 24th at 8pm on The CW.