Three of The Flash’s original stars, Jesse L. Martin, Danielle Panabaker, and Candice Patton, have signed deals to return for season 8. The Flash premiered in 2014 and is set to release its 8th season on November 16. The series follows the adventures of speedster Barry Allen (Grant Gustin) and has managed to maintain its status as the Arrowverse’s most popular show for years.
Season 7 shook things up a bit with some cast departures. Two of the The Flash’s originals, Tom Cavanaugh and Carlos Valdes, departed at the end of season 7. Valdes portrayed Cisco, a staple in Team Flash since season 1, while Cavanaugh portrayed several variations of Harrison Wells throughout the series. Making up for the departures was the elevation of Team Flash members, Chester Runk and Allegra Garcia, to series regulars in season 7. While season 8 will look very different without Valdes and Cavanaugh, it will still include some familiar faces, as well.
As reported by Deadline, three of The Flash’s original stars have agreed to return for season 8. Martin, Panabaker, and Patton’s original contracts only went up to season 7. However, they have now closed new deals with Warner Bros. that will see them return to the CW series for another season. Gustin will also be returning, as his current contract extends through season 8. Martin will return as detective Joe West, Panabaker as bioengineer Caitlin Snow, and Patton as Iris West-Allen, Barry Allen’s wife.
It has not yet been revealed if season 8 will be The Flash’s final season, or if it will return for more. However, for now, The Flash’s last four original stars will be returning for one more season. This news, in itself, gives us some hints as to what season 8 might hold. The show’s most recent episode ended on a cliffhanger that left some fearing for Joe West’s fate in The Flash. However, this extension of Martin’s contract confirms that West will be returning for season 8. Meanwhile, the series has dropped some hints that Iris may be pregnant, so Patton’s return may allow the series to explore this possibility a bit more and might also make room for the return of Nora West-Allen (Barry and Iris’ future daughter).
Ultimately, these three stars’ returns bodes well for season 8. With Valdes and Cavanaugh’s departures and the expiring of contracts, many questioned whether the other staples of the series would be returning or exiting. However, this confirmation of their return extends the possibilities for season 8. There may be a deeper exploration into Team Citizen, Barry and Iris’ future together, and Joe West’s future after his early retirement from the force. Martin, Panabaker, and Patton’s return also signifies their intense dedication to the series. 7 years and counting is quite a long time for any actor or actress to remain on one television show. However, their devotion has brought them back for yet another season as they allow their characters’ stories to continue in The Flash season 8. The 8th season is bound to look different from previous seasons, but these stars’ returns will be a huge comfort to fans and will aid in maintaining the show’s popularity.