Back when The Flash pilot aired I was sure that Eddie Thawne would be the character that I ended up hating or at the very least disliking on the show, whether that was because I thought he posed a threat to Barry/Iris or because he was destined to destroy Barry, I don’t know. But it didn’t take long after that first episode for me to fall for Detective Pretty Boy.
Rick Cosnett brought a charm and relatability to the character that took this Detective Pretty Boy and made him into a hero. Even when he was punching Barry – after Barry confessed his love to his girlfriend and Eddie was completely justified – he was still a character that we related to and rooted for. Through his struggles as a detective and his incredible commitment to Iris, Eddie became a character that we all rooted for. I won’t call him a Felicity Smoak (let’s not get into this), but he was one of the surprises of the show.
With the Eddie Thawne name, comic fans assumed that his character would take a darker path. But instead of being the villain we all thought he’d be he ended up being the hero we didn’t see coming.
There were times this season where I felt like Eddie’s character was being misused as simply a love triangle device for Barry and Iris; times where his character was misused and underused. And I was hoping that it was just filler for what would be an incredible arc for his character. And it was.
After Eddie learned that Barry was The Flash and the seriousness of the situation with Reverse Flash, his first instinct was to tell Iris the truth; he was the only person who felt strongly that Iris needed to know the truth. But he also maintained his honor in keeping Barry’s secret and personally taking the blows from Iris for lying to her even though he was the only one who wanted to tell her the truth, and the one that actually told her half of the truth; that he was working with The Flash.
On the surface, Eddie is a pretty face with a detective shield. But below the surface, Eddie is a passionate, caring and honorable man who proved that he was someone worthy of Iris’ love, as well as Barry and Joe’s respect.
But then The Flash pulled a Tommy Merlyn on us and proved that it’s not just the titular hero of the show that could say the day and sacrifice himself, but his friend; someone very human. Honestly, I’m still struggling to deal with Eddie’s death. I can’t believe it, won’t believe it that Eddie is permanently dead and gone.
But look at Arrow and how it’s managed to bring Colin Donnell (Tommy) back even though his character is very much dead. But Arrow doesn’t have the capabilities that The Flash does in terms of its more scientifically-advanced universe aka time travel.
Now on a show like The Flash in which time travel has opened up door after door after door as far as possibilities are concerned, there’s always that possibility that Eddie can return in some way. And with the existence of alternate universes it’s possible that Eddie Thawne – who is Reverse Flash in the comics – could return to the show in an alternate universe as another Reverse Flash somewhere down the road.
The fact that they brought Reverse Flash – Eobard Thawne – into the show so quickly makes me wonder if they weren’t so much going all-out or if perhaps they were setting up some larger endgame. With a show like The Flash that could easily exist for 10 seasons should the show keep up its incredible storytelling and consistency, there’s no way that Reverse Flash isn’t somehow a major player several seasons down the road. And perhaps the Reverse Flash that Barry will face will be Eobard in his true form; or Eobard in Wells’ form; or even Eddie Thawne in his true form.
All I know is that as we head into The Flash’s second season this fall, I can’t help but strongly believe that Eddie isn’t dead and gone for good. Not on a show like The Flash Not when Eddie still has so much more to contribute as a character on this show. I don’t know when, be it a year, two years, three years, five years, but I believe that have not seen the last of Eddie Thawne on The Flash.
The Flash returns with all-new episodes this fall on The CW.