[Warning: Serious Spoilers for 'The Flash' Sit Just Below]
We're now well into Season 2 of The Flash and it's clear that the show is really coming into its own. Barry Allen is a more experienced superhero and under the instruction of Jack Garrick, who barely appeared in the most recent episode, he's becoming significantly more powerful.
Season 2 is really flying by! Already we have Zoom lurking in the shadows, accompanied by an array of frightening meta-humans. With awesomely powerful metas like Sand Demon and King Shark as his whipping-boys how can we expect Flash to best him?
Our Barry Allen needs some help, especially now Firestorm is off to Legends of Tomorrow and Jay Garrick is de-powered. Cisco is on his way to becoming Vibe, which will give Barry a bit of protection, but what he really needs is a sidekick.
Which is why it's so awesome that we have heard our first official reference to Wally West, Iris' previously unknown brother, and presumably soon to be The Flash's speedy sidekick, Kid Flash!
In DC comics Wally West was Barry Allen's apprentice, having become a speedster in a lab-accident identical to The Flash, and eventually went on to replace his mentor.
The show would of course need to find a way to give Kid Flash his superpowers, but historically they've been pretty good at implementing convenient pseudo-science to encourage difficult narratives and bolster the suspension of disbelief.
So far our only reference to Wally West has been included in the rather dry sub-plot of Iris' absent mother, Francine, emerging to bond with her daughter. Iris, who was raised believing her mother was dead, chose to disregard her former drug addict mom, who then claimed she was dying.
Using her skills as a reporter Iris inexplicably -- and rather conveniently, discovers that her mother had a child eight months after having abandoned Iris and her father. Barry's former -- and current(?) -- love interest then enquires as to whether the child is her father's, before cutting her mother off before she can respond.
I'd love to say this is now up for speculation, but with this uncomfortable melodrama unfamiliar to The Flash just thrown in, it's pretty clear that this served as a means of introducing Wally.
The show is making no attempt to hide the following fact: Wally is coming, and he's being played by Keiynan Lonsdale.
Andrew Kreisberg, producer of The Flash, made the great reveal at a recent press screening, stating:
“We always hated on TV shows that it’s year two and somebody’s like, 'Well, Cousin John’s coming!' And it’s like, ‘Oh, good ol’ Cousin John!’ who no one ever mentioned before. It was always weird. The notion that they don’t know Wally was sort of where that came from and then that was the idea that Francine was still alive and then that whole storyline."
It's fairly conclusive that we're soon getting a Kid Flash. Although the jury's out on whether they'll call him "Kid Flash;" if Arrow is anything to go by they will take a crack at superhero names for the sidekicks without them really sticking.
Regardless, this is a hell of a leap forward for The Flash. I speculate that we'll see Barry's mentor Jay Garrick disappear around the same time Barry becomes mentor to his own little-Flash, but let's wait and see what happens!