Barry Allen can finally stop running. The CW has announced that next year’s ninth season of The Flash will be its last. The series has been one of the CW’s highest-rated since it began and was one of the few to survive the network’s recent purge. Earlier this year, star Grant Gustin signed on for season 9, with co-stars Candice Patton and Danielle Panabaker following suit shortly thereafter; Jess L. Martin will no longer be a regular but will show up in a few episodes. Season 9 will be thirteen episodes long, making it the shortest one yet, and will begin filming next month. Greg Berlanti, the show’s executive producer, issued this statement:
“Nine seasons! Nine years of saving Central City while taking audiences on an emotional journey full of heart, humor and spectacle. And now Barry Allen has reached the starting gate for his last race. So many amazing people have given their talents, time and love to bring this wonderful show to life each week. So, as we get ready to honor the show’s incredible legacy with our exciting final chapter, I want to say thank you to our phenomenal cast, writers, producers and crew over the years who helped make The Flash such an unforgettable experience for audiences around the world.”
It isn’t all that surprising to see The Flash end. Nine seasons is a long run, and no matter how dedicated the actors are, they’re likely feeling the itch to move on to new things. According to The Hollywood Reporter, season 8 was intended to be the last one and was designed to function that way; it was only after Gustin and some of the other key cast members agreed to return that the season finale was tweaked a bit to allow for another story. I wonder if this means the Reverse Flash will be back; they said he was gone for good, but they’ve said that about Eobard Thawne plenty of times before, and it would feel strange not to have him be Barry’s final nemesis. Regardless, I think ending the show now is likely for the best. After the first few excellent years, the quality dipped sharply, then ebbed and flowed for a while. Season 8 was a refreshing return to form, and it would be a shame for them to waste a redemption like that by pushing their luck with another extended run. I also don’t really want to see the show without Joe West, who gives it much of the heart that separates it from its Arrowverse brethren; cutting the final season down to thirteen episodes may abate his larger absence, but they can probably only get away with that once. I’m grateful for the many wonderful memories – and forgiving of the not-so-wonderful ones – and I hope next season is the ending The Flash deserves.
And, for the love of God, please don’t kill Barry in the finale. Not every hero has to die.
Are you glad they’re ending The Flash next season? What do you think the story will be? Is it clear how difficult it is to talk about a show called The Flash ending its run without inadvertently making a lot of puns? Let us know in the comments, and stay tuned to Geeks + Gamers for more super-fast news!