The CW’s long-running superhero series The Flash is in the midst of its seventh season, and is gearing up for some of its biggest shake-ups to date as two founding cast members have announced their plans to leave the show.
So why is Tom Cavanagh, aka Harrison Wells/Reverse-Flash, hanging up his super-suit?
Cavanagh has co-starred in the series since Season 1 as various versions of Harrison Wells from across the multiverse, as well as the face-stealing baddie Eobard Thawne, and his presence has been a paternal constant for the younger Team Flash ever since the show’s launch. But with the show heading into a new era, Cavanagh says he decided it was time to part ways, making clear to Entertainment Weekly it was “definitely [his] decision” to leave the show.
"At a certain point I [thought] in the back of my head, ‘I'm going to do this for as long as I really feel challenged and it's enjoyable and that I'm contributing to Flash's story line,’” Cavanagh told EW. “I thought after [in a French accent] Sherloque was tracking down himself, the Reverse Flash [in Season 5], even early on in that season, ‘Yeah, this feels like I might be heading towards the exit now.’ I thought [that would be] a perfect denouement. The Wells characters have been fun, but like we say, the show is called The Flash and it'll be fine without me.”
Though he’s decided to bid farewell to the Arrowverse for now, Cavanagh made clear he remains honored to have had the chance to play so many fun and unique characters over the past few years — and if the call comes — he’s always game to return for a few more adventures through the Speed Force.
“I feel like all of us on The Flash feel a certain sense of propriety toward the show and when Greg Berlanti calls, I don't think there's ever any hesitation,” he said. “I think one of the grand things about the show is the collaboration I've had with him. It's not just a sense of, ‘When this guy calls, he's so prolific, I best go.’ It's more a sense of, ‘When this guy calls and he's so wonderful, I can't wait to go.’”
Cavanagh’s exit has already happened story-wise, in a sense, though he’s expected to make another appearance or two this season to wrap up his arc. After sacrificing himself, Wells returned as a multiversal being who can travel through time (comic books, we know), and he’s currently back in the timeline a decade or so, reliving the last few years of his late wife’s life.
In addition to Cavanagh, original cast member Carlos Valdes (aka Cisco Ramon) will also be exiting the series this season. The narrative in Season 7 has already planted the seeds for his departure, too, with Cisco gearing up to move away from Central City to start a new life.
The Flash airs Tuesday nights on The CW.