Remember how The Flash introduced Wally West / Kid Flash (Keiynan Lonsdale) as a speedster in Season 3, and how he was faster than Barry almost immediately? And then they gave him a cute speedster girlfriend, which seemed like it could be the makings of a great crime-fighting super-speed duo? And then The Flash realized that Barry should probably be the fastest speedster, so ret-conned that whole plot and broke Wally and Jesse up and then banished Wally to a meditation retreat because it had no idea what to do with him? So that when he landed on Legends of Tomorrow it was like, Oh! Finally! This makes more sense.
Well, The Flash giveth and The Flash taketh away. According to TVLine, It looks like Wally will be back on the speedster series for Season 5, at least for its premiere. That’s a disappointing development, because Wally barely had time to establish himself as part of the Waverider crew. And now that Legends Season 4 is going to moving more into magic (with Matt Ryan‘s John Constantine joining as a series regular), it’s actually a great place for a speedster to be. In a regular Earth-1 environment, Barry’s powers (like Supergirl’s) are pretty much God-like, which has consistently been a problem when it comes to the show finding season-long villains for him to face. Super speed fixes a lot of problems, pretty much immediately, so finding compelling stakes is hard.
One of the best things about putting a speedster amongst magical creatures, though, is that speed doesn’t automatically solve everything. We already saw a little bit of this at the end of Legends‘ (excellent) third season — Wally’s powers were convenient, even occasionally used for comedy, but they weren’t what saved the day. The love of Beebo saved the day, which honestly worked a lot better than the suddenly shoe-horned “for the love of Ralph Dibney” that Flash gave us.
The Arrowverse has several characters that bounce around among its shows though, including Katie Cassidy‘s Laurel Lance / Black Siren, as well as Wentworth Miller‘s Captain Cold / Leo Snart. So it’s certainly possible, and likely, that this won’t be the last the Legends see of Wally. He might be dropping in from time to time. In the meantime, we’ll see if The Flash has found a better way to incorporate him into the narrative of their show, which could also use some other upgrades for Season 5.
… And just before I hit publish on this initial news, Lonsdale has responded on Twitter, explaining: “I’ve changed a lot in the past year (as you’ve probably noticed lol), and for infinite reasons my perspective on life and what I want from it now is just completely different. Because of that, my heart told me it was the right time to continue my journey on an unknown path.” He also wrote, “It’s definitely not a total goodbye or ‘see ya never’ situation. Wally West will still be around when you need him most.”
The Flash and Legends of Tomorrow both return this fall on The CW.