Candice Patton is joining onscreen husband Grant Gustin in divorcing Team Flash, claims celebrity insider Daniel Richtman in a recent exposé. The Jackson native is the latest cast member rumored to be leaving the Arrowverse after season eight of The Flash, following series regulars Carlos Valdes and Tom Cavanaugh’s scheduled departure this season. While ratings remain promising, the show’s views have plunged to a measly one million after four seasons of increasingly dwindling numbers. The seventh is its lowest recorded yet, in either category, with future estimates unlikely to exhibit any improvements. With fellow CW contemporaries Arrow and Supergirl already axed, sources close to The Flash allege the show is next on the guillotine.
While Grant Gustin provides the diegetic backbone of the show, Candice Patton serves as the emotional linchpin; her Iris West is the beating heart that keeps Gustin’s Barry Allen going, from past to future, the Speed Force, and beyond. Losing her puts Barry on a ticking clock, and losing Gustin as Barry is analogous to canceling the entire show. In the comics, other speedsters have taken on the mantle of the Flash in Barry Allen’s absence, his most prominent relief being Wally West. Barry himself is a replacement, taking over from Jay Garrick during the Silver Age. Suffice it to say, the Flash comic books have persevered time and again without our favorite Flash conveniently filling up the timestream; after all, the concept of time remnants ensures the timeline stays constant with or without a speedster to regulate it.
Hollywood operates much the same way. Nothing could be more fitting for a superhero that happens to exist beyond time. Besides, a new Flash is about to make its debut in a little over a year. Season eight of the CW Flash premieres on November 16, 2022, 12 days after Ezra Miller’s Flash hits theaters. Andy Muschietti’s Flashpoint movie is rebooting the DC Extended Universe on the same month Grant Gustin’s The Flash may be leaving us. Coincidence? We think not. This is Warner Bros..
Not only that, The Flash is closing in at eight seasons soon and most Arrowverse shows routinely end around that mark. It would make an awful lot of sense to respect tradition by keeping all continuities equal; none of the original titles would go on without the others in tow. The Arrowverse shows have functioned in relative sync with one another since Grant Gustin’s The Flash was introduced in 2014. This allowed the CW side of the DC TV universe to launch crossovers whenever it pleased, without worry of time paradoxes or otherwise conflicting plot threads.
The Arrowverse prides itself as the closest Warner Bros. has to the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and if it has to go, it has to conclude as one entity. The first set of CW shows constitutes one series, since they roughly started around the same time, with time-traveling epic Legends of Tomorrow serving as both transition and overarching narrative. In a sense, Legends can continue indefinitely, while smaller arcs like Grant Gustin’s The Flash could go at any time. Newer CW shows like Batwoman and Superman & Lois have only just begun rebuilding the Arrowverse to suit their storylines and place their heroes at the axis of the general continuity; theoretically, they can pick up where the older titles left off and it would still work brilliantly.
The Flash stars Grant Gustin as Barry Allen, Candice Patton as Iris West-Allen, Danielle Panabaker as Caitlin Snow, Carlos Valdes as Cisco Ramon, Tom Cavanaugh as Harrison Wells, Jesse L. Martin as Joe West, Kayla Compton as Allegra Garcia, Brandon McKnight as Chester P. Runk, Jessica Parker Kennedy as Nora Allen, and Jordan Fisher as Bart Allen. Season seven is currently airing on the CW with new episodes every Tuesday.