The Flash EP Explains How The Office, Lost And More Inspired The Show’s Series Finale

 Grant Gustin as Barry Allen in The Flash Season 9
Grant Gustin as Barry Allen in The Flash Season 9

We're nearing the end of an era, as The Flash will officially air its final episode this week on The CW, marking the conclusion of the Arrowverse in the process. The upcoming finale won’t include fan-favorite Cisco, though it still appears set to give longtime fans a number of major moments to appreciate. Showrunner and EP Eric Wallace has been previewing what lies ahead in the last chapter in Grant Gustin's run as the Scarlet Speedster. And believe it or not, he revealed that it was actually inspired by some fan-favorite shows like The Office and Lost.

Ahead of Wednesday’s finale, Eric Wallace spoke about the final episode during a lengthy chat with Entertainment Weekly. Writing a series finale seems very hard, as one must tie up loose ends, honor things that have come before and more. And even before all of that, Wallace had already had to do some reworking this year, as he cut some Flash storylines from the final season. This is because he didn’t have enough time to utilize them. When it came to crafting the finale, Wallace -- a TV fan in his own right -- couldn't help but look to some familiar titles for inspiration:

Before sitting down to even conceptualize and write this, I watched a whole bunch of series finales, and I'll tell you the ones I loved and used as inspiration: Lost, Angel, and The Office, ironically. I love the Lost finale so much because it was two hours and it's full of emotion. They cried and I cried, and everybody cried. But the one that I went back to as being a perfect series finale, in my opinion, was Angel, the Buffy spin-off.

Perfect finales, depending on how you look at them, are rare and can even vary amongst themselves. It all comes down to whatever is right for a specific show. Some may want to go for something more emotional, while others choose to forgo sentiment for something sillier. While all three shows that Eric Wallace mentioned are different, their finales were all impressive on multiple levels. Also, that's some serious praise for Angel, which had to close out its run on a somewhat ambiguous note after it wasn't picked up for a fifth season.

As you would expect, The Flash's EP couldn’t say too much about the series finale. However, his tease suggest that he and his collaborators were incredibly thoughtful when it came to plotting out the last portion of Barry Allen and co.'s stories:

I thought a lot about it, what's really good in this, and what do we need to pull out? I'm not saying it's the same storyline — it's not even close to the same storyline, but it's all about the feelings. There's similar feelings in that series finale that I wanted to get across, and same thing with Lost.

Another series finale that had fans in their feelings was The Office, as the workplace comedy provided a surprising sentimental conclusion to its story. By the sounds of it, this one has a lot of personal significance for Eric Wallace. And there's a specific scene that was running through his head when it came time for him to write the finale for the Arrowvese show:

People think as I like horror movies and action, that I don't like comedies, but The Office was a great series finale, and if you look at The Office series finale and our series finale, you might actually see some similarities in the strangest way. As a viewer who had been watching The Office for nine seasons religiously, I wanted so badly for [Steve Carell's] Michael Scott to come back to that show, and I recognized that feeling that I got when he showed up. I'm like, 'I have to deliver a similar feeling in our series finale.' That's when I decided there had to be a lot of faces from the past.

The final season of The Flash has featured many familiar faces already and even gave fans the long-awaited return of Stephen Amell as Oliver Queen. It sounds like there could be at least one more surprise visitor in Central City for the finale, and the list of possibilities is endless. Eric Wallace and co. are certainly facing a lot of pressure to stick the landing, but his latest comments make me hopeful that they'll be able to pull everything off smoothly.

Don't miss The Flash's series finale when it airs this Wednesday, May 25 at 8 p.m. EST on The CW. In the meantime, check out the 2023 TV schedule to learn about upcoming premieres and returning shows.