The Flash season 8 is just around the corner and this year will be a special one for the long-running CW drama. Not only is the fastest man alive becoming the next Arrowverse series to hit 8 seasons, but the show will be opening up with a special 5-part event titled Armageddon, which will see several heroes in the franchise come to Central City. As Barry Allen faces the villainous Despero, The Flash recruits some of his Super-Friends to take on the alien and according to showrunner Eric Wallace, this is a game-changing event.
The Flash Podcast recently had the opportunity to chat with Wallace once again to get some new details about what’s going on with Armageddon, especially as the opening for season 8. Ever since Armageddon was announced, it has become one of the most highly anticipated events for The Flash. While it’s not a crossover, it’ll feature Arrowverse heroes like Black Lightning (Cress Williams,) The Atom (Brandon Routh,) Batwoman (Javicia Leslie,) Sentinel (Chyler Leigh,) Ryan Choi (Osric Chau,) and Green Arrow (Kat McNamara.) As details are being kept heavily under wrap, Wallace sat down with The Flash Podcast to expand a lot more on what fans can look forward to in Armageddon.
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The Flash Podcast: So the last time we spoke, you couldn’t say too much about Armageddon. But now, we finally have some information. So how did Armageddon come about? What pieces had to come together for this 5-part event to happen, especially during this pandemic?
Eric Wallace: Great question! Two things combined kind of surprisingly, to create the storyline you guys are about to see. I originally had an idea four years ago, and it was right after Crisis on Earth-X. Because my first season on The Flash was season 4. And because I’m that guy, I thought to myself, ‘Well, if I ever get to do a crossover, I have this crazy idea’, and it was the kernel of what is Armageddon. It was with a different villain, not Despero. But it at least started from the same place and the whole nine yards. Then cut to 4 years later, The CW called up and said, ‘Hey we’d like to do not a crossover,’ because I want to make it clear to everybody: it’s not a crossover. A crossover is a show with 20 heroes all in one scene taking place on 20 worlds, it costs a billion dollars, and it takes all this extra time to shoot. We’ve none of that due to COVID. So this is a 5-part special event, which means instead of a story that’s revolving around Kara, Barry, and Oliver, this is just Barry. This is Barry’s story. It’s the story of Barry’s worst day ever, how it affects his marriage, and how it affects Iris.
So when The CW called and said, ‘Hey, we don’t want to do a crossover. Because we know we can’t due to COVID, but what could you give us for some kind of story that’s 5 episodes long, that’s a little bit bigger, and has a little bit more spectacle than your usual five episodes?’ And I remembered my idea from 4 years earlier, and I said, ‘I’ll get back to you in a week.’ I thought about the heart of the story, which is Barry’s emotional journey. And I realized there’s an even better way to tell this story. And I call it “The Cloverfield Model”, which is based on a movie that I really love. It’s a story of a monster rampaging through New York and destroying everything. But it’s told in a really intimate, small way. It’s about those characters, right? Well, that’s what we have here. We have the fate of the entire world at stake here. Cosmic proportions are at jeopardy in Armageddon. But we’re telling it in a very small, intimate way that’s so Barry and Iris-centric, you’re going to be amazed. And that turned out to be the key. And I had to make some changes, obviously. It’s 4 years later, there’s a different team in place, different characters, Barry’s on a different kind of arc, and all that good stuff. But it turned out to be the best thing ever. It wasn’t the right time for it back in season 5, but it’s the perfect time for it now. And that’s how Armageddon really got started.
The Flash Podcast: Well, I know you have a lot of characters coming from the other shows. The one character that I think everyone is very excited about – because this will be her first time in an event like this – is the new Batwoman. With Ryan Wilder (Javicia Leslie) getting to meet the rest of the Arrowverse, how does she kind of work with the rest of the already-established character dynamics? I know a lot of fans really want to know if she and Iris have any scenes together, especially after she and Candice shared all of that social media love while filming the episodes?
Eric Wallace: I’ll answer those two questions in reverse. Yes, I’m wonderfully excited, and happy to report that one of my favorite scenes in Armageddon is when Iris and Ryan finally meet. It’s just gold! They are best friends in real life, and that wonderful love that they have for each other, That chemistry comes right through on screen. It’s incredible. So yes, I too, wanted to see that as a fan of the show. And I wanted to make sure that it got in. I won’t tell you how – because it’s kind of it’s very funny, actually- kind of the way Batwoman is drawn into The Flash family. It’s very funny. But it is also very emotional, and they’re just terrific together.
The Flash Podcast: How does Ryan play into the rest of the franchise, and what brings her into Armageddon? Does Barry even know there’s a new Batwoman?
Eric Wallace: I can’t go really deep into that because that would be a huge spoiler. Yes, she is the Batwoman that we all know and love from her show. Everybody knows her, everybody loves her. She’s a hero in her own right. Barry knows her. So she fits right in. I can’t tell you how, because there’s a bit of a twist. But it has nothing to do with Batwoman. It has to do with the villainous agenda of Despero. [laughs] And all of the horrible things that he is putting Barry and his family and friends through.
The Flash Podcast: Since you have so many characters, was there a particular character that you were like, “Oh my God, I’ve been dying to write for this character for years”?
Eric Wallace: You know, it’s funny…I would say that about ALL of our guest stars. I was very excited to really write Mia Queen. I haven’t really written a lot of the Arrow characters, even though I’m in the Arrowverse, and the staff felt the same way. We also got to write again for Cress Williams, who we love. We love writing Cress’ dialogue especially. It’s so fantastic, it just has this gravitas. So Grant and Cress scenes – of which there are many, obviously – they’re very exciting to write for. The Javicia and Candice scenes, they were very exciting to write. But I got to say, I’ve never really written personally for Chyler Leigh’s Sentinel character, Alex Danvers. I’d written a little bit for Ryan Choi, but I just wet my beak on it. I wanted to do a little bit more. But I especially loved writing for Mia Queen because she’s the person who has inherited the mantle of the Green Arrow from her father, Oliver. I have to say there’s a really great speech in one of the episodes, where we get an incredible moment between Iris and Mia. That was one of the most fun things to write in the entire event! Kat McNamara is awesome in this show. And I would say to folks, maybe you should rewatch that backdoor pilot episode for Green Arrow & The Canaries.
The Flash Podcast: Oh, interesting!
Eric Wallace: You might need to. I’m not saying the Black Canaries are in the show alongside Mia, but those events mattered, right? They mattered. So be prepared to continue Mia’s journey in a very unexpected way, but yet in a way that makes sense and honors her past. That was very important to us.
The Flash Podcast: I know I’m attempting to get through the vault and I know it’s probably not going to work that much but similarly to Crisis on Infinite Earths in The Flash season 6 for graphic novel two, does Armageddon kind of setup whatever graphic novel we’re getting in season 8? I don’t know what the exact format is for season 8, but I assume it is still graphic novels we go with. So would you say Armageddon has ramifications for the rest of the season?
Eric Wallace: Oh, yes, it does, my friend! It’s a 5-night special event and it’s called Armageddon. But to be honest with you, we approached it just like ‘Okay, this is the next graphic novel and graphic novel number five, right?’ And like all of our initial graphic novels that kick off a season, the ramification and the stability, always for the rest of the season sinned out of the events of Armageddon. The events of Armageddon touch throughout the entire season. Also, the events of the Godspeed War too spin out a little bit. They’re very connected. I won’t say we’re a serialized show, but for every graphic novel, there’s a reason for it.
I think by the time Armageddon ends, and especially as we transition after Armageddon, we have a few episodes what are called Interlude episodes, which are our standalone ones. As we go into the next graphic novel, and if all goes well, the plan is to have 3 graphic novels this year. That’s going to be something new, which I’m very excited about. Because Armageddon is a little shorter, so we’ve more room, quite frankly, it’s only 5 episodes. It’s not like the Mirrorverse storyline, which was 10-11 episodes, or something, where we’d a little more room to experiment. But those next two graphic novels, knock on wood if we can get that 7th one out – because this will be 5, 6, and 7 – all of the seeds are being planted in Armageddon, all of them.
The Flash Podcast: So does that mean we’ve like an expanded episode order this season, more than 18 if we’ve more graphic novels?
Eric Wallace: Well, we’re still doing 18, but you never know what’s going to happen, you never know! We’re just going to try and fit it into those 18 episodes.
The Flash Podcast: You’ve been teasing that Iris’ time-sickness plays a huge role in the whole season. How does it come up in Armageddon because the fans are worried, I’m worried, Eric, so what’s going on with her?
Eric Wallace: Well, I’ve good news for you and bad news for you! I’ve not been lying, Iris’ time sickness is a huge part of this season. It does have its place in Armageddon in a good way. But for Iris, if Armageddon is Barry’s worst day ever, the fallout of Armageddon is Iris’ worst month ever. Because her time sickness isn’t going to get better overnight, it’s going to get worse. What happens as a result of this is going to change Team Flash forever. And no, no, Iris is not going to die! Calm down, we’re not killing anybody. I got to say that out front, I don’t want people to worry, okay? Barry and Iris are not dying, they’re not going anywhere, it’s going to be okay. However, what happened before they can get to a happy ending at the end of season 8 will change them forever. It’s going to challenge their marriage on every level, at every single level and they’ll not be the same as a result.
The Flash Podcast: I’m excited for all these guest characters, but I was just wondering, were there any characters that you had on your wish list that you were trying to get, like maybe Superman or Supergirl, but couldn’t maybe for scheduling issues?
Eric Wallace: Yeah, I actually wanted both of them. Obviously, Melissa who I’ve worked with before on the last crossover, she’s such a delight. I already miss her show, I already miss her. I’d love it if she’s ever interested in coming back to play Supergirl. I would love somehow to get her back on The Flash. But it was, as we’re shooting Armageddon, they were shooting the final episodes of Supergirl ever. Chyler [Leigh, who plays Alex Danvers/Sentinel] was talking about what an emotional week it was where she had to go from shooting the series finale right to us. I mean, with no time off, we almost didn’t get her, it was very intense! We had to shoot out of order, we had to do all sorts of tricks to make sure that she was a part of this and we just barely pulled it off.
Same thing with Tyler [Hoechlin, who plays Clark Kent/Superman on Superman & Lois.] I called Tyler up, I’ve known him since my Teen Wolf days, and said ‘Hey, Tyler, can I run a favor past you?’, We tried and he wanted so badly to be on this, but he did say to me, ‘I’ll give you some good news. Eric, I’m so sorry, because of scheduling conflicts and COVID, I can’t do Armageddon. But I owe you one and I’ll be on your show the next time you call’ and I said ‘I’m going to hold you to that!’ [laughs] So hopefully we’ll get him because again, I’ve known Tyler for years. He’s such an incredible guy and Bitsie [Tulloch who plays Lois Lane on Superman & Lois] who I met on Crisis on Infinite Earths. She’s just a sweetheart, I can’t wait to have them over on The Flash. Just not this time.
The Flash Podcast: For my final question, we’ve talked about the heroes but you have a lot of villains in Armageddon and not just Despero. We also have Reverse-Flash and Damien Darhk. So what roles do these two gentlemen play alongside Despero? Is it a team-up with Despero or may Barry have to align himself with some evil forces?
Eric Wallace: [laughs] I can’t reveal that, that’s spoilers! I’ll give you this and this is actually true; you’re going to see a side of both Reverse-Flash and Damien Darhk that you may not have seen before. I think one of the most powerful themes – in fact, there’s two, as far as the villains are concerned – two of the most powerful scenes in the entire Armageddon 5-episode event. One is between Reverse Flash and Caitlin – and I won’t tell you what episode this scene is in – that sent shivers down my spine. Because there are 8 years of relationship anger that needs to be worked out between these two people! [laughs] And boy, does Armageddon [do that] because it’s so heightened since it’s Barry’s worst day, let’s just say it all finally comes out, which was terrific.
Similarly, with Damien Darhk, oh man, that guy’s scary and he’s up to his villainous tricks here. But surprisingly, though, the scene that might make me cry the most tears in Armageddon is with Damien. It’s really wild, but it was really unexpected because sometimes when you’re trying to deal with cosmic events, weird things can happen. So I’ll leave you with that. I just think you’re going to see a side of Damien Darhk that you might not have expected in the middle of his same old villainous hijacks, because boy, is he a bad guy! But it’s very interesting, I think everyone’s a little grayer, if I can use that term, and that’s true for Despero, Reverse Flash, and Damien Darhk, who are all bad guys. Let’s face it, they’re because some of them are doing some really bad things in this. But hopefully, you’ll see their agendas make sense from their point of view.
Armageddon, Part 1″ – (8:00-9:00 p.m. ET) (TV- PG, LV) (HDTV)PART ONE OF THE ARMAGEDDON FIVE EPISODE EVENT – When a powerful alien threat arrives on Earth under mysterious circumstances, Barry (Grant Gustin), Iris (Candice Patton) and the rest of Team Flash are pushed to their limits in a desperate battle to save the world. But with time running out and the fate of humanity at stake, Flash and his companions will also need to enlist the help of some old friends if the forces of good are to prevail. Brandon Routh guest stars. Eric Dean Seaton directed the episode written by Eric Wallace (#801). Original airdate 11/16/2021. Every episode of THE FLASH will be available to stream on The CW App and CWTV.com the day after broadcast for free and without a subscription, log-in or authentication required.
The Flash: Armageddon begins on Tuesday, November 16th at 8/7c on The CW – stream the next episode the following day only on The CW and The CW app! The Flash Podcast will be live covering the Armageddon event every Wednesday at 6 PM ET on DC TV Podcasts’ YouTube channel, so be sure to tune in on the following links:
The Flash Podcast Armageddon Live Show – Part 1: https://youtu.be/VdifbRQWuxE
The Flash Podcast Armageddon Live Show – Part 2: https://youtu.be/nwVeixY4l0o
The Flash Podcast Armageddon Live Show – Part 3: https://youtu.be/gOXx5bbnsrk
The Flash Podcast Armageddon Live Show – Part 4: https://youtu.be/zDEmV5FuKmE
The Flash Podcast Armageddon Live Show – Part 5: https://youtu.be/nVubgMhuUEc
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