“The Flash’s” hunt for a new Firestorm to help Dr. Stein (Victor Garber) stabilize is officially on — but the search is going to an emotionally difficult one for a specific member of the STAR Labs team.
Caitlin’s (Danielle Panabaker) husband Ronnie (Robbie Amell) was originally Dr. Stein’s other Firestorm half, but when they separated in the wormhole both Caitlin and Dr. Stein lost someone important to them. Finding a new other half means different things for both of them, but ultimately is an important step in Caitlin healing after Ronnie’s death.
“She’s so connected to Stein and cares so deeply about him and for him because he’s this last connection to Ronnie,” Panabaker explains to Zap2it and a small group of reporters at an episode screening event. “She’s particularly invested in taking care of him, getting this right and not messing up and making sure that his next partner is just as good, if not better, than Ronnie was.”
The time jump from the end of Season 1 to the beginning of Season 2 helped spread out Caitlin’s grief and allow her time to find herself, but episode 4 will help her really make peace with the fact that Ronnie isn’t around anymore.
The bittersweetness of that moment is something that executive producer Andrew Kreisberg explains couldn’t have happened in Season 1.
“It feels like the show got more mature over the past year. Every one of the characters has grown up a lot. Everyone is not dealing with things in a very raw, I’m happy, I’m sad. People are starting to grow up and realize that there are complexities,” he says at the same event. “There’s grief and happiness and sadness in joy and you can still find your way.”
That maturity will also lead Caitlin to larger responsibilities at STAR Labs and within their team.
“It’s a conscious effort on our part [to make Caitlin more active]. The thing that Iris [Candice Patton] adds to those scenes when she’s in them in the cortex is the heart that is something they don’t always have as a bunch of scientists talking about things,” Kreisberg says. “Caitlin especially has taken the reins in a lot of ways because they can also spend a lot of time arguing about a bunch of things.”
Leadership isn’t the only change in store for Caitlin. Sparks have already started to develop between her and Jay Garrick (Teddy Sears), which is something that will continue to grow over the course of Season 2.
“Obviously we are building a relationship with Caitlin and Jay. There’s going to be some fun and surprises there,” Kreisberg teases. “He’s a fellow science nerd. What could be better for Caitlin?” Panabaker adds.
“The Flash” Season 2 continues Tuesdays at 8 p.m. ET/PT on The CW.