The Flash may have paired Caitlin (Danielle Panabaker) and Ralph (Hartley Sawyer) up on a new mission to find Killer Frost's origins (and Caitlin's missing dad), but you probably shouldn't expect that partnership to develop into romance any time soon.
TV Guide spoke to Hartley Sawyer at the CW Fall Launch Party about Caitlin and Ralph's new partnership, and he teased that next week's episode, ominously titled "The Death of Vibe," will really dig into that relationship. In fact, he even said it's one of his favorite episodes he's shot so far.
"What I love the most about that episode is we explore Caitlin and Ralph together," Sawyer said. "And I see people all the time thinking like, 'Oh is this going to be a romance?' It's not a romance, but I love what the friendship is... I love those two characters together, the bond that they have, and that bond is going to further as well."
As far as story goes, it's hard to argue with the choice to shift Caitlin and Ralph firmly into the friendship territory considering her history with romance on the show and the path she's currently on.
Caitlin started off the series heartbroken over the loss of her fiancee, Ronnie (Robbie Amell), and though she briefly got him back, he was eventually killed off for real in the Season 1 finale. Then, in Season 2 she had that lovely romance with Jay (Teddy Sears) that turned not so lovely when he was revealed to be Zoom; a one and done romance, once again. In Season 3, Julian (Tom Felton) took up the mantle, and though he and Caitlin's romance was nice enough, it too bit the dust by the time the curtain closed on season finale -- though thankfully this time he at least survived the season.
In Season 4, it seemed inevitable that Caitlin would pucker up again when Ralph joined the team -- she'd paired up with every newcomer in years before after all -- but The Flash smartly chose to keep that relationship platonic while having Caitlin explore her powers and her push-and-pull relationship with her alter ego, Killer Frost. Remarkably (please note the sarcasm) this choice led to Caitlin's best character arc on the series thus far. The dichotomy between these two roles, and the complicated loss of identity she suffered when Killer Frost was mysteriously ripped away from her, provided the kind of meaty storyline that Caitlin's endless line of love interests couldn't hold a candle too.
Still, after a year off from romance, it was easy to worry that The Flash would once again toss Caitlin and her fragile heart back in the ring, and Ralph seemed a likely candidate considering their recently paired storyline. Sawyer's assurance that the show has no immediate plans to hook these two characters up is reassuring. Caitlin's got quite enough on her plate with the discovery that her father has actually been alive all this time, and her mother was actually the one to fake his death certificate! An intense family deep dive should probably take precedence at this point, just saying.
We won't have to wait too long to see Caitlin delve into those daddy issues either. "Obviously we know a lot about the West-Allen family and their history, but I don't think we know a lot about the Snow family," Panabaker told TV Guide. "She's going to get to ask her dad some questions I think she's really been wanting to."
One daddy-daughter reunion, coming up!
The Flash will returns Tuesdays, October 9 at 8/7c on The CW.
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