At the recent Heroes & Villains Fan Fest in San Jose, The Flash star Rick Cosnett made a shocking announcement about the role he signed on to play. Cosnett portrayed Eddie Thawne in Season 1 of The Flash until his character heroically sacrificed himself to save the future. However, Cosnett revealed that the character he originally signed on to portray was called Jay Garrick. Comic book fans will know Garrick as the original Flash, who eventually showed up on the TV series in the Season 2 finale.
Something obviously changed and the produces instead cast Cosnett as Thawne — an ancestor of the villains Reverse-Flash Eobard Thawne. But it's very interesting to think that Cosnett's original role could have completely changed the series and The Flash very well may not be the same show it is today. Let's take a look at some of the ways Cosnett's original role as Jay Garrick could have drastically changed the show.
A Different Flash
We all know and love Jay Garrick as the Golden Age Flash of DC Comics. That same lovable speedster veteran would make his debut in The Flash in the Season 2 finale as the Flash of Earth-3. However, Cosnett's original role not only suggests that the creative team planned on introducing Garrick into the show a lot earlier, it may indeed also suggest that they were intending on making his Flash the main character, and not Barry Allen.
Nobody knows how long before the rest of the cast that Cosnett signed his contract. Was he being lined up to be the series' leading man before Grant Gustin appeared as Barry Allen in Arrow? A solo show based on the legendary Jay Garrick's origins as the Flash would have certainly resulted in a completely different type of show than the one we currently have.
Back in the show's first season, there were some critics who claimed that Rick Cosnett would have been a more suitable choice for Barry Allen than Grant Gustin because his blonde hair. It's ironic to think that he was originally cast as a different Flash altogether.
Of course, The Flash was probably going be about Barry Allen all along — Grant Gustin did appear on Arrow as the character long before the CW the spin-off to series. It's unlikely their original backdoor pilot idea would have involved a completely different Flash. However, that doesn't mean that Jay Garrick couldn't have been a part of it. Perhaps Jay Garrick was also a victim of the Particle Accelerator incident and gained super-speed. Or perhaps he could have been someone for the Flash to look up to?
The Flash has done such a great job at reinventing things so there's always the possibility that this Jay Garrick may not have even been a speedster. They could have been saving his Flash days for later in the show, or maybe they even had a big twist planned like they did with Zoom in Season 2.
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No Love Triangle
One of the primary arcs of Season 1 was Barry struggling with his feelings for his best friend, Iris who was in a relationship with Eddie. Meeting just before Barry got struck by lightning, the two became really close and ended up falling in love while Barry was in a coma. However, over the course of the season Iris begins to realize her feelings for Barry and struggles between her love for Eddie and her love for Barry — as well as the knowledge of her future marriage to Barry.
Throughout the season, Eddie and Iris fell in love, moved in together, almost got engaged, broke up and finally got back together. This had significant effects on the show in general as Iris stood by her man, despite fate trying to tell her otherwise. If Cosnett had ended up with his original role of Jay Garrick, would someone else have been cast as Eddie Thawne? Or would this arc have remained absent from the season?
Without Eddie and Iris' relationship, Barry wouldn't have been upset at the thought of them being together because Eddie wouldn't exist. There would have been no awkward Joe and Eddie moments in the car, no one for the Flash to focus his rage on when he got whammied by Rainbow Raider and no one to subsequently save him from the Rogues.
The Eddie and Iris relationship ended up influencing a lot of the major events on the show and Season 1 would have been drastically different without it.
The Eddie/Eobard Thawne Saga
From the moment we found out that Cosnett would be portraying Eddie Thawne, our minds immediately thought of one person — the Reverse Flash, Eobard Thawne. After months of wondering why Eddie had this name and why the Reverse-Flash was called Harrison Wells, we discovered that Eddie was Eobard Thawne's present day ancestor. Becoming arguably the truest hero of them all, Eddie sacrificed himself to erase his descendant from history, saving the present and rewriting the future — without the Reverse-Flash. It was an acclaimed but poignant ending to one incredibly well-written storyline.
If Cosnett had maintained the role as Garrick in the beginning, it's possible that this amazing storyline would have never come to fruition. And while I'm sure that the talented writers could have come up with some equally amazing twists, the thought of losing Season 1's epic storyline is one I can't bare thinking about.
Some of these points prove just how pivotal the character of Eddie Thawne ended up being. Even without his presence in Season 2, imagining the show's word without him ever having existed seems quite impossible because Eddie's presence had some major effects. From his relationship with Iris to his heroically tragic exit, Eddie Thawne was one of the most important characters on Season 1 of The Flash, and had Cosnett been cast as Jay Garrick, we may not have witnessed the awesome Eddie come to life like he did.
While I have no doubt that Rick Cosnett would have been an amazing Jay Garrick, I am so glad that he was our Eddie Thawne.
Do you think Rick Cosnett should have remained as Jay Garrick or were you a fan of Eddie? Let us know in the comments!