'The Flash': Hartley Sawyer Says Ralph is a "Very Different Person" in Season 5

Hartley Sawyer's portrayal of Ralph Dibny/Elongated Man shifted the status quo of The Flash last season, and fans can safely expect the same to happen in Season 5.

ComicBook.com got a chance to talk to Sawyer during last month's San Diego Comic-Con, where he spoke about Ralph's future in Season 5. Ralph was essentially killed and absorbed by Clifford DeVoe/The Thinker (Neil Sandilands) midway through Season 4, only for Barry Allen/The Flash (Grant Gustin) to rescue him in the season finale. And according to Sawyer, that experience will give Ralph a new sort of perspective in future episodes, something that ties right into his "found family" of Team Flash.

“I think, for Ralph, he finally got to the point where he was really willing to sacrifice himself for something greater than himself." Sawyer explained in our interview, which you can check out above. "Which is the family, the team that he considers family, Team Flash. And I think doing that, I don’t think he expected to come out of that. But he did. And so I think he’s just a very different person than he was when we met him in episode four last year. Very very different.”

This will surely be intriguing news for fans of The Flash, considering the way that Ralph's storyline was received last season. But according to executive producer Todd Helbing, having Ralph come back was always in the cards, even after the rest of the team spent time processing his death.

"We never want to make the experience for the audience feel cheap, or like it's not earned for him to come back," Helbing told ComicBook.com around the Season 4 finale. "With The Thinker and DeVoe's plan, it hit a lot of story points with us. The reason why he was jumping through all these other metahumans was to take their powers, and we knew that when he finally got to Ralph, [the question was] how do we keep Ralph alive and bring him back and with his powers?"

"DeVoe was able to return to form and we could pay off the Weeper storyline and emotionally, we could really get something that hit home with the team and send the team on a journey, dealing with a team member's death, and ultimately how this brings them closer together." Helbing continued. "They all have to work as a team and then it just felt like the best time to bring him back, in the finale, when he goes into the mindscape and he finds Ralph Dibny still alive."

And considering what we already know about The Flash's fifth season, it will surely be interesting to see how this "different" version of Ralph factors into things. The season already has quite a lot on its plate, with the reveal of Nora Allen/XS (Jessica Parker Kennedy), and the threat of David Hersch/Cicada (Chris Klein). But according to other comments from the cast and crew of The Flash, it sounds like Ralph's role could involve a bit more sleuthing.

"Ralph is going to be doing a lot more detecting this year than he did last season, and I think the description of Elongated Man was that he has the detective skills that rivals Batman's" Helbing said in a recent interview. "So, we want to get him on his journey in that regard this season."

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Are you excited to see what's next for Ralph in The Flash's fifth season? Let us know what you think in the comments below.

The fifth season of The Flash will debut on Tuesday, October 9th, at 8/7c on The CW.