Arrow Meets The Flash: 8 Things to Know About Barry Allen's Introduction -- and His Future

Arrow Season 2 SpoilersThe Flash’s alter ego, Barry Allen (played by Grant Gustin), is zipping into The CW’s Arrow this Wednesday at 8/7c, and he’s making fast friends with Oliver’s Girl Friday, Felicity.

So how will Starling City’s vigilante deal with the younger competition? How different is the show’s incarnation of Barry from others you may have seen? And what’s the future of the Flash pilot?

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Following a screening of Arrow‘s fall finale (airing Dec. 11), executive producers Andrew Kreisberg and Greg Berlanti, writer/DC Comics Chief Creative Officer Geoff Johns and Gustin answered those burning questions and offered up eight things to know about Barry’s introduction.

HE’S A NICE GUY | “Barry comes to Starling City because there is an unexplained robbery at Queen Consolidated, and Barry is very interested in the unexplained, for reasons we find out over the course of these two episodes,” Kreisberg teased. “He’s the opposite of Oliver in a lot of ways — outgoing and funny, a little bit unsure of himself and smart.” The physical contrast, too, between the square-jawed vigilante and Gustin’s lanky, youthful alter ego is “both comical and fun.”

GUSTIN WOULD BE BARRY’S PAL | The Glee alum, who was the first person to read for the role, “immediately thought [Barry] was funny and endearing, and I hadn’t done anything like that,” the actor said. “He’s fun to play. He’s likable. I would be his friend. I haven’t had the opportunity to play a character that I would actually enjoy spending time with.”

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SPARKS FLY | In trying to figure out a way to introduce Barry into Arrow‘s world, the writers spent a lot of time “talking about Oliver and Felicity and their growing … feelings for each other,” Kreisberg revealed. “[Because] Barry and Felicity are so similar — they’re both a bit uncomfortable in their own skins and very likable and personable — it just seemed like they would instantly hit it off, which would just complicate things for Oliver even more. It felt like the right way to go.”

The ScientistTHERE WAS A CHEMISTRY TEST | And we don’t mean one performed by Barry. Emily Bett Rickards, who plays Felicity, was brought in to read with Gustin, after which “it was like a done deal,” Kreisberg related. Joked Berlanti: “We wanted to make sure he didn’t seem like jailbait next to her.”

YOUNG JUSTICE | “We’d always seen [Barry] as being a little bit younger,” allowing for a few playful jabs at the scientist’s expense to address the elephant in the room, said Kreisberg. Not being super-confident and strong, Barry “needs the bolt of lightning to be a hero in a way [Oliver] doesn’t need the bolt of lightning.” Added Johns: “[Oliver] needs the heart, Barry has the heart. [Oliver] has the body, Barry needs the body.”

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HIS FUTURE IS BRIGHT | Now that The Flash is getting its own pilot rather than a backdoor one, “Episode 20 will just be an episode of Arrow” — which has actually turned out to be a blessing, Kreisberg admitted. “[A backdoor pilot] actually made it a little bit harder because we were going to have to take a right turn [from] where we were in our ongoing story to incorporate that.” Although Barry may no longer be getting his own episode toward the end of the season, viewers will still hear “about what happened to him in the way that you’re hearing now about Star Labs on the periphery, and certainly in terms of Felicity since she has a connection with him,” revealed Berlanti.

THE DC LORE RUNS DEEP | “We’re using a lot of mythology and characters from the comics in the development of The Flash,” said Johns. For one, the tortured backstory for the character in the comics will play a big role in the pilot. “To use how he reimagined the character’s origin and to have it be so emotional and to now actually be able to render that in pilot form has been terrific,” Berlanti raved.

OTHER FLASHY HEROES | “In success, 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 [on Arrow],” said Kreisberg, adding that “there’s a hint of a major character in the [Flash] pilot,” but he warned that it could be cut.

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  1. nate says:


    • They seemed to confirm it in previous interviews. Hell with how the season’s been going it’s like the theme is, “Superpowers Arrive!” Seriously, the Brother Blood plot, the island plot with the healing, now the particle accelerator thing which just seems destined to be tied to Barry…

    • Evan says:

      The original idea was for him to have his actual origin in the 3rd episode/backdoor pilot. Now it will probably happen in the official pilot. But you won’t be seeing them during these two episodes. It hasn’t happened yet.

  2. Lysh says:

    I hope we learn more about Felicity. We know nearly nothing about her, yet most of the fan base loves her. I think she’s great. But who are her parents? Where is she from (besides going to MIT)? Maybe through Barry we can learn some things. I’m looking forward to his introduction!

  3. Ella says:

    I’m totally on board for Barry/Felicity! <3 Anything to keep her away from Oliver, I cannot BELIEVE the writers are compromising the integrity of the comic books and going there. They need to focus on writing Laurel better because Katie Cassidy is awesome and Dinah Laurel Lance is Oliver Queen's true love and counterpart.

    • Gaara says:


      Thank god nowadays Marvel/DC are exploring new paths instead of blindly follow the comics. That’s one of the biggest MCU’s keys to success imo.

      • Lisa London says:

        Could not agree more.

      • Kate says:

        I totally agree with you, Gaara. Also, I have to say that I love how “Arrow” can change SO many other things from the comics, but people only cry “canon!” when it comes to Oliver’s love life. Stephen and Katie have ZERO chemistry and pushing them together just because of the comics (that not all of the fans have even read) would be a disaster for the show. I want them to go with what works and what makes the show good, not rehash the comics word-for-word.

        I’m tired of everyone blaming the writing for the issues with Laurel. How is it they have no problems writing for anyone else, yet that’s supposedly the entire problem with Laurel? Sorry, but I don’t buy it. I liked Cassidy on Supernatural, but she just isn’t suited to this show, for whatever reason. Laurel is boring and I’d love nothing more than for her to be written off the show.

        • I actually really like Laurel and look forward to her character’s progression. That said, I agree that the show needs to go with what works and grow organically in its own right rather than following the comic lore religiously. Which, of course, is already the approach it takes, which is why it is so good.

        • V. Mance says:

          I honestly believe that the main reason why Katie is so bad on Arrow, yet good on shows like SPN, GG, and Melrose Place is because Katie is good at being the bad girl or HBIC. Laurel is none of that, she’s (at least in the way the writers are trying too write her) is a girl-next -door type. Katie is not good at portraying the girl next door type. She’s good at being catty, witchy (with a b), badass; Katie works wonders when the role is meant to be a love to hate her, but hate to love her bad girl type character.

          The writers need to throw this whole Dinah is a girl next door thing out the window, and give her some edge. They should let Katie Cassidy do what she is good at, and write Laurel as a rebel, a bad girl with a hidden soft side. Katie is NOT frakkin’ Katie Holmes, they need to stop making her act as her on Arrow.

          • Grey says:

            She wasnt suited to the role, this is what happens when nepotism is at work, for some reason CW thinks she is all that and just give her roles. Though I dont rate katie cassidy’s acting skills she is at least tolerable at doing bad girls/ or spoilt rich girls, better in soap opera like dramas not action shows.

            As a Black Canary fan, I dont want her to ruin her, yes it would have been nice to see the actual Dinah lance as the BC, but it means nothing when the acting is terrible, they never thought far ahead either to get an actress with a suitable physique and skills to carry the role either, again nepotism or favoritism at work. I like Caity Lotz, she is doing justice to the Black Canary, they should keep her.

      • Mel says:

        So true! That’s what I’ve liked most about these past few episodes, laurel wasn’t in them. But then again I don’t know anything about the original comics and I understand that the story ought not be sacrificed for the sake of pleasing the fandom. I like Felicity too much for her to be another notch on the preverbial bed post anyway. Oliver gets around. BUT I don’t want to rule Olicity out either! This is a good show, can’t wait for the next episode.

    • Sara says:

      Totally disagree. I think it’s a good thing they aren’t blindly following the comics. How boring. Oliver and Laurel have such sad chemistry.

    • Alan says:

      so you have no problem with barry and felicity but you do with oliver and felicity, yeah that makes sense.

      • Weston says:

        Please, the Olicity fans are the Queens of hypocrisy and double standards. Many of them ship Lois/Clark because they are comic book true love and iconic couple, what is Laurel and Oliver again.

        They are hating on fans who are shipping Barry/Felicity because Barry should be with Iris like in the comics, the massive irony coming from an Oliver/Felicity fan. Do these hypocrites hear themselves when they are speaking.

        • Alan says:

          hey im just pointing out another person’s hypocrisy, i don’t buy into any of that shipping nonsense anyway but i do care when people are being that hypocritical.

        • V. Mance says:

          I’m an Olicity shipper and my DC otp is Superman/Wonder Woman (aka Clark and Diana). I’m an Olicity shipper and I multi-ship Oliver with both Felicity and Sara and Felicity with both Oliver and Barry. So I think that whole “Olicity fans are the Queens of hypocrisy and double standards.” might be a bit much. I’m open to different romantic interests. I think it’s realistic, we as people love and fall in love a number of times, it’s part of being human. It’s part of growing and learning. I believe it’s the people we meet and love (of hate) that teaches us and prepares us for who we might become in the future and who we ultimately end up with in the end. I like seeing the different kinds of lovers leading up to The One.

          • Weston says:

            This is why I used words like, “Many of “, dont act like the victim here, obviously I don’t mean every one of you, just the majority of you.

            Not that I was generalizing you but if you dont want people to be generalizing you ship fanbase, then you need to get your acts together and start addressing the problems in your fandom, address the crap that many of your members do. By not doing so you are telling us its ok and its acceptable behaviour that you endorse and love. They are the people who will give your fandom a bad name and reputation, because they are the majority, and doing nothing about it just means you are in it too, then you kind of deserve to be painted with the same brush. Though, I try to remember that they are a few good ones out there.

            I have seen it, some Olicity fans bullying fans who dare to like Barry, Barry/Felicity and saying very mean things about him, because its all about the stereotypical macho looks and everyone who like something different is wrong.

    • Mongoose says:

      Right, because Barry Allen going out with someone other than Iris West is so less of a comics continuity issue.

  4. Allison says:

    I am so glad the writers aren’t restricted by following the comics. If they were we wouldn’t need to watch as we would know how the story ends. They’ve shown just enough guts to make me believe they will be true to where Arrow the television show is going instead of where the comics went.

    I also think that they could send Laurel to a deserted island and make Sara the Black Canary.

    As far as a chemistry test with EBR, they’d be hard pressed to find someone who doesn’t have chemistry with Felicity. She elevates all her scenes and the people in them. She’s a good percentage of why Arrow is working. Her part in Team Arrow took the show to a new level.

    • Mary says:

      I personally couldn’t stand Sara and her pouting lips, but different strokes for different folks, I guess. As for Felicity, I like her, but I honestly don’t understand all this fan girling over a rather ordinary “adorable geek” type of character. Apart from her almost unreal hacker powers (I mean, it’s a bit when the writers make her hack into RUSSIAN goverment sites!) we know hardly nothing about her. I wish the writers would spend some screen time fleshing out her character rather than concocting all these contrived “Olicity” moments or have her flirt with Barry just so that the Olicity shippers can get their “feels” on and fantasize about how Oliver will get “jealous” or discover his “true feelings” for her (squee!).

    • K says:

      The Hunger games, Harry potter, even Twilight etc are big blockbuster movies yet pretty much everyone knows how they end from their originals sources, they end mostly like they did in the books and are yet still successful. Its not about getting new ideas and completely changing the source material on shows/movies based on a prior existing source, its about bringing the source to life and the execution is whats most important not originality.

  5. Josh says:

    I’m pretty interested in how they handle the CW versions of the Flash villians, Smallville was kind of hit and miss but Arrow has done them pretty well. Hopefully we can also get appearances by Deadshot and Deathstroke on both shows too.

  6. Joey says:

    Excited to see Barry’s debut on Arrow on Wednesday.

  7. Avinash says:

    Does anyone know if Flash is actually younger than the Green Arrow?

    • Jon says:

      Unsure about the current so called “New 52” continuity, but in the classic one I’d say definatly. Oliver turned 43 in “The Longbow Hunters” and superheroes generally seem stuck in a late 20’s – early 30’s age while Oliver was generally portrayed as in his mid to late 40’s

      • Avinash says:

        Thanks. I can’t seem to get into the classic comics though because I was born in 89, so I grew up with the 90’s and 2000’s versions of the stories.

        • Jon says:

          If you by ‘classic’ means the 70’s and earlier stuff. Yes, they have aged badly and I can see them being hard to relate to with their moralistic and preachy tone. I would recomend giving either “The Longbow Hunters” and it’s followup Green Arrow comics or perhaps “Green Arrow: Year One” (an album that was a BIG inspiration for the show. Just look at the name of the writer for a major easter egg) a try if you can find them though.

    • Alan says:

      yes. oliver has always been portrayed as slightly older than most of the heroes around him with usually only batman and superman being of similar age.

  8. Andina says:

    Will be amused/entertained by Barry and Felicity, but her and Oliver will always be where it’s at, for me. Hope the writers dare step away from comic book canon since Arrow’s version of Oliver and Laurel have ZERO CHEMISTRY.

    But a possible long-distance relationship between Felicity and Barry? Come on, writers. That’s soapy and cheap. There are better ways to stall things between her and Oliver…

    • Blaze says:

      Im sure long distance Barry/felicity will have more chemistry than Oliver and Felicity could ever have, LOL, I welcome it so much better. The only thing stalling Oliver and Felicity is the lack of chemistry and love story between them, there is no reason why they couldn’t have gotten together by now, no reason at all.

  9. Luke says:

    Actually the Flash Rouges are quite easy to do in the CW style because they normally use objects( weapons) to project their powers. Reverse Flash when he will be done will also make sense since he will have basically the same powers as Flash; the one I am really, really looking forward is Grodd. I seriously want to see how they will do a grounded version of a talking, psychic(or superpowered) gorilla.

    • Alan says:

      oh god grodd, that will be the real test of this new attitude warner brothers have to superheroes, will they finally get over their embarrassment at making superhero stories?

  10. sophia7470 says:

    I’m a bit nervous about Barry appearing – I don’t want anything to come between Oliver and Felicity, as this season has been brilliant at showing their deepening relationship. I’ll be ok with it if Barry/Felicity flirtation serves to rile Oliver up, but I don’t want to see anything *real* develop between them. It’s always fun to see Oliver annoyed because someon’s underestimated him though.

  11. liz says:

    I love flash and I love olicity

    From what I heard, this eps will be the perfect eps for me.

  12. amc says:

    What a complete mess! This guy is so wrong for the part of Flash, but I know why he was hired. Olicity is a stupid concept, I hope they don’t pursue it because she’s just doesn’t have that wow factor. Laurel and Sara??? The powers that be need to find a new casting director.

    • Alan says:

      how do you know he is wrong? have you seen him playing the character yet? go in with an open mind or it wont matter how good he is because all you will see is what you want to see.

  13. Arrow has a dark tone, very understated. I hope this new DC show is a bit flashier.

  14. blaze says:

    Both barry and Felicity look about the same age, so of course Barry doesnt look like jailbat standing next to her, you know like the way Felicity looks like next to Oliver.

  15. Sheldon W. says:

    “[A backdoor pilot] actually made it a little bit harder because we were going to have to take a right turn [from] where we were in our ongoing story to incorporate that.”

    Yup, a right turn that they had plenty of warning about – and months to prepare for. Instead, now The Flash gets a pilot that doesn’t even have a guaranteed placement on the network, instead of the guaranteed audience he would have had on an ep of Arrow.

    What a blessing, indeed!