'The Flash': EP Aaron Helbing Talks 'Flashpoint,' The Rival & Barry Allen 'Wooing' Iris West!

It’s “Flashpoint” day! “The Flash” Season 3 premiere arrives Tuesday night on The CW, and it will give viewers a look into Barry Allen’s new world.

While Barry (Grant Gustin) is heartily enjoying life three months from where things last left off — with both of his parents alive (thanks to Barry saving mom Nora at the end of Season 2) — there are unexpected problems to contend with. Central City has a new villain — The Rival. And, Barry is also about to find out that when you change your past, it affects your future. The memories he made and the powers he got before he ran back in time and saved Nora will be impacted in “Flashpoint.” And, of course, “Flashpoint’s” Iris West doesn’t really know who he is.

When Access Hollywood spoke with Executive Producer Aaron Helbing, he shared a deeper insight into Tuesday’s new episode, addressing the problems Barry will be dealing with, and hinting at some of the nice things headed the way of our main character, including some sweet interactions with Iris West (Candice Patton).

AccessHollywood.com: Obviously we know from the episode description that came out that Barry’s memory issues and his powers are going to start to be affected [in ‘Flashpoint’]. How is our poor Barry Allen going to take the news that those things are happening to him? It’s got to be crazy enough going into a world that you don’t recognize, but then things that you know and can do are changing – that’s got to rock his world, right?

Aaron Helbing: Yeah, I mean, when he starts off, he’s living the dream. I think he’s essentially living what he’s wanted since he was 14. He has his mom and dad and they get to be a family the way, in a way the first 10, 11, 12 years of his life were, and so everything is great except for his relationships are different, he doesn’t really have a relationship with Iris or Joe because he didn’t grow up with them, and so he’s essentially strangers to them. When we first meet him, he’s just living the dream, but there’s Kid Flash so he doesn’t need to be The Flash. And what we’ll learn is as The Rival – this guy Edward Clariss, who’s The Rival – starts terrorizing the city, there’s always that innate heroism inside Barry and so he has to help, but as he helps, he does start getting hit with these memory lapses and his speed is more intermittent and so that’s kind of something that he has to grasp with is, ‘I have everything that I’ve ever wanted in this life, but at the expense of my other life,’ and he has to figure out, can he continue on knowing that his relationship with Iris in the previous timeline is going to disappear, all those memories of his life with Cisco and Joe and Caitlin. What’s worth it? Is it more important that I stay with my parents or do I have to go back? And it’s something that he grapples with throughout the episode?

Access: Tell me about Todd Lasance coming in as Edward Claris. Obviously he was on ‘Spartacus’ … and ‘Vampire Diaries,’ recently too, but [tell me about] bringing him in and what kind of paces you’re putting him through in this role.

Aaron: I love that we got to work with Todd again. [Editor’s note: Aaron was a co-producer on ‘Spartacus: War of the Damned,’ which Todd was in] I loved him as Julius Caesar. I thought that he brought this incredible intensity to the character. … So being able to work with Todd again – especially in this role, because The Rival is, I don’t want to say he’s like Julius Caesar, but he does have that intensity because he wants to be the best no matter what and right now, standing in front of him, is Kid Flash, and then there’s eventually The Flash, and so Todd brings this gravity and this intensity and this — essentially like the feeling of being put upon and like someone has always tried to keep me down, and I’m not going to take it anymore, I’m going to prove that I am the best no matter what, and I feel like Todd just – he hits it out of the park every single take. It’s amazing.

Access: Are we going to get to see him out of his mask too?
Aaron: Oh yeah. Edward Clariss is a pretty bold guy and so he’s not hiding who he is at all. Barry and Wally will learn who he is pretty quickly.

Access: Let’s talk about Barry and Iris. Candice [told us at Comic-Con] there’s a really great interaction between Barry and Iris in the premiere. The thing about Barry and Iris is we always get little teases about the chemistry that they have if they could be a possible romantic item. Are we going to get a little bit more of a promise of that as we jump into the ‘Flashpoint’ world?
Aaron: Yeah, I mean, we’ve been basically laying the groundwork since Season 1. Barry in Episode 109 confesses her love for her, and she’s with Eddie Thawne, but then, in Episode 115, they’re faced with a tidal wave and they both — I think all of their feelings came up and that was their first kiss and then Barry had to erase it to save the world, save the city from the timeline, so it’s something that we’ve been building towards. And then last season, especially in the Season 2 finale when they kissed, that’s something that we’ve wanted to explore for a while now and in Flashpoint, the thing about Flashpoint though is Barry didn’t grow up with Iris, so he doesn’t have that relationship with her, so now he has to approach it as I would say most men in the world who are trying to get a girl’s affection — he has to earn it from her, and so he has to first rekindle their relationship and kind of get her interest and slowly let it unfold from there.

Access: A little wooing going on there from Barry’s part then?
Aaron: Yes, there will be some wooing. Yes. Definitely. And the two of them are amazing. The two of them together, you can just see their chemistry and their electricity together, so you know, for us it’s really exciting. 

“The Flash” Season 3 premieres Tuesday at 8/7c on The CW.

Jolie Lash