The Flash midseason finale left us wanting a lot more of Wally West. Here’s what we can expect from the rest of season 2.
Last week’s midseason finale of The Flash ended hanging from a rather steep cliff. The West family Christmas party was brought to an emotional halt when Joe West’s surprise son, Wally, comes knocking at the door. His arrival comes quite shortly after Iris revealed Wally’s existence to Joe in the first place. Of course, Wally West’s arrival marks a new chapter in the West family’s emotional life, but fans are also gearing up to see the character don a supersuit of his own as a speedster.
5. Will he join the West family right away?
Wally is here, Flash fans, and I as a diehard fan of the Justice League cartoon will be cheering loudly all the way through the midseason hiatus. He’s here, fans, but will he stay right away? Wally came to introduce himself to the father and sister he never knew and it’s likely (read: definitely happening) that he will try to become a part of their family with time, but Francine (Wally and Iris’s mother) is still alive, though not for long, facing the end stages of MacGregor Syndrome.
I would say it’s likely that Wally will try to be a part of Joe and Iris’s life as the family he has (Francine) slowly dies. (Wow, this is a really sad plot you’ve crafted, Flash writers). Iris has known about her brother for a while now in the show’s timeline, so she is much more prepared to take on the role of sister to this new young man than Joe might be to being a father. But based on who Joe has been to Iris and Barry in the series, it is safe to say that Joe will put a great deal of effort into trying to be there now as a father for Wally. But Wally actor Keiynan Lonsdale has given us some insight that the Joe/Wally relationship will not be quite so simple.
We know that Joe blames himself for not being a part of Wally’s life and Lonsdale has confirmed that Wally blames him too. Fans should prepare for some friction between Joe and Wally before all is said and done. Especially considering what Lonsdale has revealed is Wally’s go-to hobby…
4. What’s all this about drag racing?
At this point, one of the few things we know about Wally West is that he is, for better or worse, an active drag racer. Lonsdale has brought this fact up in multiple interviews mostly to hint at Wally’s relationship with Joe and Iris. “… Wally’s really into drag racing, which is not the ideal thing when your father is a detective and your sister’s a reporter. [Laughs.] So that’s going to cause some tension, and Iris, especially…” I’m making the assumption we are talking about (criminal) street racing rather than the regulated motorsport form since Lonsdale stated that this causes problems for Joe as detective. So, if Wally is technically a criminal the tension between father and son may be even harder to overcome this season.
While this feels somewhat out of nowhere, it sounds like it will certainly be a powerful source of internal conflict for the West family and will be a central focus for the latter half of season 2. Plus, it’s certainly a nice nod to Wally’s future as a speedster himself. After all, drag racing is all about speed right?
3. Will he and Barry get along?
As a new adaptation of the DC Comics characters, the most interesting mystery still in store is how the changes the show has undergone will affect the relationship between Barry and Wally. In the comics, Barry was a mentor to Wally (and technically an uncle) and the two held a very close relationship as speedsters and various versions of The Flash.
But in the series, Wally is now Iris’s Brother, and therefore, in a way, Barry’s. But that is not to say that Wally will feel a brotherly love for Barry, at least at first. “…Wally’s trying to find his place in this family, but his place is almost already filled by this other son that Joe has,” says Lonsdale. Barry is now sort of a rival for Wally, and in some ways a threat to Wally joining this family after years. (I think the racial aspect of this relationship could be very interesting to analyze as well, but that’s a thought for another time, as I’m not the right person to write about it.)
Of course, a major part of the Barry/Wally relationship is based on the fact that they share the power of the speed force and the mantle of the Flash. So…
2. Will he become a speedster?
Though we have only just met him, Wally seems to be a normal teen without any superpowers to speak of. Though it’s almost guaranteed we will see Wally gain the powers that have made him as famous and popular as Barry Allen. In the comics, Wally gained his powers from the same accident that gave Barry his (a little derivative, guys), and Barry took the boy in to mentor him as a speedster.
Already, Barry and Wally have a much different relationship than in the comics, so it would be no surprise if Wally’s journey to becoming a member of the Flash Family will follow a different course. Flash Executive Producer, Andrew Kreisberg mentioned that the show would integrate Wally into the S.T.A.R. Labs world, meaning there is plenty of chance for the young man to gain some superpowers.
This implies something major might be happening soon in the Flash universe considering most of the heroes and villains in the series were given their powers by the catastrophic particle accelerator malfunction. Something serious will have to happen in order for Wally to be imbued with the speed force. Something that I conjecture will have to do with defeating the villain Zoom.
1. A Question of Names
If (read: when) Wally gains the power of the speed force, will he be Kid Flash? He’s 18, so that seem condescending.
Perhaps Impulse? The name is usually associated with Bart Allen but could easily be given to Wally for this series.
The Flash? We already have two ‘The Flash’s between Barry and Jay, so I’m sure there’s room for a third.
Whatever he’s called when he dons a Flash-related costume, it seems there is a long way to go before Wally will gain his powers. Until then, it’s clear the young hero will have his hands full trying to make a new life with his new family.
We will have more answers when The Flash returns Jan. 19th!