No Slowing Down: Tom Cavanagh Directs The Flash’s 100th Episode

Well, that was quick.

With all the consideration being given to subsequent week’s “Elseworlds” crossover, it’s straightforward to miss the truth that The Flash is hitting a exceptional milestone tonight—it’s 100th episode. Fittingly, the four-plus years because the collection made its debut have handed shortly, however they’ve left some really memorable moments of their wake, from the reveal that the trusted Dr. Harrison Wells was truly the Reverse-Flash, to the Flash’s scary first confrontation with Grodd, to Barry’s fixed time-travel shenanigans, to final season’s wedding ceremony between Barry and Iris.

Many of these moments get revisited in tonight’s landmark episode, “What’s Past is Prologue.” Directed by Tom Cavanagh, the hour finds Barry and Nora going again by means of time to acquire issues they should defeat Cicada, and within the course of, witnessing a number of the defining moments of Barry’s life…and the collection. To study what we will about this pivotal season 5 chapter, and uncover what hitting 100 episodes means to the individuals concerned with the present, we sat down with Cavanagh for a dialogue about all issues Flash, together with what went into creating the episode, how he feels about his character this season and which of the various Wells we’ve seen thus far has been his favourite.

First and foremost, how does it really feel to be at 100 episodes?

It’s onerous to know what to make of it, to inform you the reality. DC is clearly a well-liked model. There’s an urge for food for it. But our perspective isn’t like, “Yeah! Sure! Of course, we got to one hundred!”

It was extra like, “One hundred? Are you kidding me?”

It’s like we fooled someone someplace they usually hold permitting us to do that present. This is my third present for Greg Berlanti. The first two exhibits weren’t lengthy lived, and I keep in mind Greg telling me early on, once I was enjoying the Reverse-Flash—episode 9 was referred to as one thing like “The Man in the Yellow Suit.” We have been bringing [the Reverse-Flash] story up fairly shortly, after which we had Grodd within the combine, and I keep in mind saying to Greg, “Are we at all worried about story? We’re really getting this stuff out in a hurry.”

And Greg stated, verbatim, “Tom, there’s always more story.”

More typically than not, in tv a present will get taken from you earlier than you’re able to let it go. That’s virtually all the time the case. So, for this one, we stated we have been going to do season one in addition to we will, and if we don’t get renewed, at the least we’d have the ability to say that we did it. We received the story on the market and we’re pleased with it. Cut to 5 years later, we’re at episode 100 and nonetheless going.

It’s a shock and an honor any time you get anyplace close to triple digits, and for us to do it on this present that all of us actually look after, we’re simply actually grateful for that.

How did you wind up directing the episode? That looks like it might be a reasonably large thrill as properly.

Yeah, it’s nice! I direct our present typically, they usually requested me if I needed to direct this one. And I stated, “Are you drunk?!?”

They claimed to not be, and right here we’re!

Did you already know what it was going to be about at the moment?

We knew the broad strokes, however [Executive Producer] Todd Helbing and the writers and I spent numerous time crafting it. My primary misgiving was that if you do a benchmark present, I feel the temptation is to provide a nod to the moments, characters and storylines that acquired you there. But the hazard is that you’ve fifty minutes of tv, and in the event you image it as I do, as one comedian guide, you need the one that’s opening that comedian guide to be delighted by the point they shut it. You don’t need them to assume that each one we did was numerous cataloguing and referencing. My vote was to inform a very good story proper now, and that might be our approach of honoring the hundred—with a superb, clear story.

Todd and the writers got here up with this concept that Barry and his daughter, Nora, have to return in time to get sure instruments with which they will defeat our present villain, Cicada. It was sort of a genius concept as a result of then we might brush shoulders with a few of the moments and issues that we actually loved doing, however we’re doing it in an natural style. It was a very good conceit that allowed us to not bury our storyline an excessive amount of, but in addition permit us to honor the second and the folks that received us to at least one hundred.

Was it enjoyable revisiting a few of these earlier seasons?

It’s fascinating since you don’t ever do an episode considering, “Yeah, we’ll do this again at some point!”

As an actor, I don’t watch my stuff, however as a director, I consider in being as meticulously ready as one may be, and that includes understanding the whole lot there’s about what you’re directing. In this occasion, it’s these prior exhibits. It was so bizarre for a man who by no means watches his stuff to be put able the place I needed to watch these episodes many times and once more. But it was all to make our 100th episode that a lot better.

It additionally faces its personal problem in that you must revisit these issues, however with a special angle or perspective than you had the primary time. So, abruptly you’re utilizing all of this new know-how—like digi or inexperienced display—all of those parts, and placing somebody in who is probably not acquainted with the scene as a result of they weren’t there the primary time round. We see a lot of this episode by way of Jessica Parker Kennedy’s eyes. We see numerous these moments not via somebody who’s been via them, however by way of somebody who’s by no means seen them. So, it’s primarily the viewer watching the viewer.

This season’s Wells, Sherloque, might be probably the most colourful Wells you’ve gotten to painting for multiple episode. How do you retain him from turning into a caricature?

It’s humorous as a result of within the one-offs I are likely to swing for the fences as a result of you’ll be able to, proper? But even these guys, in my thoughts, they’re actual guys. They exist. The state of affairs is comedian, however they’re not. I feel that’s a part of it.

Sherloque’s a man who’s on a bit of little bit of a run from the ex-wives. He’s colossally clever. I feel when creating this stuff, a part of it’s a query of what we don’t have within the present. Grant [Gustin] is so profitable, Candice [Patton] is so profitable, Jesse [L. Martin], Carlos [Valdes], Jessica, Danielle [Panabaker]… They’re all very constructive fashions. So, once I are available, I’d attempt to discover one thing that isn’t so constructive.

I beloved enjoying Harry Wells. This man was delinquent, boastful and didn’t carry himself with one of the best graces, however finally his intelligence and loyalty helped him carry the day. This was a man who confirmed his bond somewhat than talked about it. I favored that. His actions have been who he was. Because of his cantankerous nature, he was type of a every day antagonist, which we don’t actually have on the present.

So, that what a niche I assumed to fill. Then, once I was doing H.R. Wells, it was an try and lighten issues up and usher in a little bit of humor. He was a very pleasant, enjoyable character to play, however perhaps not the brightest bulb within the bunch.

Now we’ve got Sherloque who’s extremely sensible, so you’ll be able to’t sleep on him. You need to honor the truth that he’s that clever. But additionally, he can deliver a sure comedic factor. I feel it’s good for our present to have that. For me personally, in the event you’re lucky sufficient to do a long-running present and never simply play one character, it’s an unimaginable privilege. I like it.

I really feel like there’s rather a lot we nonetheless don’t find out about Sherloque. We know he’s an excellent detective and that he’s in some monetary hassle. What else are you able to inform us about him? Will we be studying extra?

Sure. There sort of all the time is, proper? I keep in mind with H.R. Wells, from the second Todd Helbing and I got here up with the character, we had these drumsticks as a result of we have been going to create this tableau the place he finally sacrificed himself. The drumsticks have been going fall to the bottom and also you have been going to comprehend that it wasn’t Iris [who was killed by Savitar] in any case, however H.R. That was all the time in our again pocket, however we didn’t inform anyone.

There’s stuff like that happening with Sherloque as properly that I don’t need to give away, however it’s good to play these guys. After I performed the unique Harrison Wells, who ended up being Eobard Thawne, everyone was like, “Harry’s going to be bad! Harry’s going to be a bad guy! You can’t trust Harry!”

We purposely did it that method. Can you belief him, or can’t you? Everybody is aware of that Barry’s good, however if in case you have a personality you’ll be able to marvel about a bit of bit, I feel it helps the present.

Do you could have a favourite Wells?

That’s the query that I get requested probably the most, and it feels like a politically right reply to say you’ll be able to’t decide between them, however I feel it will be a disservice to say that I like one higher than the others. H.R. was a lot enjoyable to play, I really like enjoying Sherloque, and Harry’s gruffness was a blast. It’s a kind of character that I haven’t traditionally had many possibilities to play, and I actually loved having that probability to play one.

To me, the start line, although, all the time shall be Reverse-Flash, Eobard Thawne. I wouldn’t be doing this present if it weren’t for that character. This present is all the time going to should have him popping out of the folds, sometimes.

So, 100 episodes in, is there something you’d like to inform the followers?

Just that, as I discussed earlier, we perceive how uncommon it’s to hit the century mark. So a lot of life is fleeting, and even once you’re on a long-running present, you understand that it’ll be over earlier than you realize it. You might both proceed from entitlement, or you’ll be able to proceed from gratitude, understanding that you simply’re grateful for the second you’ve been given. When I speak about being part of a second like that, to say nothing about appearing in or directing the episode, that’s how I really feel about it. I’m simply very grateful.

The Flash’s 100th episode, “What’s Past is Prologue,” airs tonight at eight p.m. (7 p.m. CST) on The Flash.

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