While it’s great to get more of your favorite show, episode wise, it’s not always what’s best for the storytelling side of things. One of the things that The Flash, along with other DCTV shows, has fallen victim to is stretching out the season’s central arc over the course of 22 episodes.
Given the midseason break – which would break it apart as 8 and 14 episodes, respectively – there’s been this question of if The Flash and its counterparts would consider splitting the season into two central arcs thus eliminating the filler episodes with no context or drawn-out storytelling.
So would The Flash be open to it?
“We’ve thought about doing it,” showrunner Todd Helbing told us during a roundtable interview at San Diego Comic-Con. “I think (Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.) did three arcs one season. There’s a format to our show that we follow…But this year, we’re looking at Chapter One, Chapter Two. I think you’ll see some of that.”
Helbing noted that with 22 episodes that it’s difficult to avoid that sense of dragging out one over-arcing storyline throughout a season. But he looked to the show’s first – and, in my opinion, best – season for some guidance.
“Similar to Season 1, we had a lot of episodes that sort of broke up that long-arcing mythology,” he said. “We’re trying to do that this season, as well.”
As for Season 5, they will be “a direct pick up” following last season’s cliffhanger, where Nora Allen showed up revealing that she’s Barry and Iris’ daughter, and also that she made a “big mistake” that will no doubt guide much of the arc.
While Nora’s arrival will provide some amazing family storytelling on Barry, Iris, and Nora’s part, it also sounds like we’re going to see Barry come full-circle with helping Nora navigate the difficulties of time travel.
“Nora just explained who she is, that she screwed up majorly, and it has a ripple effect,” Helbing said. “It’s funny, we’re not doing Flashpoint, but we’re doing something that affects the future. Now that Barry has screwed up one or two times – with the time travel eagerness, you could call it – he’s sort of the coach in that he’s trying to get her back to the timeline, sort of back to where it needs to be.”
Watch our interview with Helbing below, where he discusses plans for The Flash’s 100th episode, the season’s big bad, and more.
The Flash season 5 premieres Tuesday, Oct. 9 at 8/7c on The CW.