Where “The Flash” & “Arrow” Will Divide

The CW’s “Arrow” closed out the first half of its second season the other night up 10% from last year’s midseason finale, though down 8% from last week’s season high.

This second half of the two-parter that introduced future The Flash character Barry Allen (Grant Gustin) also saw the origin of Allen’s speedy powers in a laboratory accident involving chemicals, lightning and a malfunctioning particle accelerator.

Gustin recently spoke with CBR about the scene and its impact on the upcoming pilot for “The Flash” spin-off TV series which he’ll be the star of:

“I’m mostly looking forward to getting the pilot script and seeing how Barry’s going to handle this happening to him. He’s not just excited. It’s scary.

That’s what I loved about the character in the audition process – it’s not just he loves superheroes, and he’s a fanboy, and all of a sudden he’s like, ‘I’m going to be one, I’m really stoked about it.’ It’s kind of like, ‘This is terrifying. This is really happening to me.’ I’m really excited to play more of that.”

One other thing the two-parter introduced to “Arrow” for the first time in the series was a villain with superhuman powers, created with the help of the WW2 Japanese experimental Mirakuru serum. It marks a change though – will the show stick with more human characters like we’ve seen so far, or attempt to explore some of the more ‘out there’ names and faces of the DC universe.

“Arrow” co-creator Andrew Kreisberg has revealed to the same outlet that “The Flash” spin-off allows them to have both – keeping “Arrow” grounded while allowing “The Flash” to explore more fantastical ideas:

“We’ll want to keep ‘Arrow’ as distinctive as possible, and ‘Flash’ as distinctive as possible. Part of the fun will be how those two things play out in both shows, if we get that opportunity.

In the same way that ‘Arrow’ was conducive to bringing on characters like Deadshot and the Huntress and some of the more grounded people, hopefully with ‘The Flash’ there’s a way to bring on some of the more fantastical characters, that will probably still go through the grounding lens with which we view everything. But we could tackle some of the bigger villains, and possibly heroes. There’s a hint of a major character in the pilot.

But it’s always important to remember – like with ‘Arrow,’ everybody wants Batman to come on and whatnot, but Arrow has to be the coolest person on ‘Arrow.’ The same thing with ‘The Flash’ – Barry has to be the coolest person. If we’re lucky enough to get to do more past the pilot, it’ll really be about making sure that the audience loves The Flash, and Barry Allen, and Grant Gustin, as much as we do.”

The series returns to screens on January 15th.