Sarah Carter Talks Being the First Female Big Bad on 'The Flash'

Sarah Carter is late to the game as an antagonist for season five of The Flash. The actress, best known for her work on shows like Falling Skies and Rogue, appeared in the closing minutes of last week's episode, revealed as a time-traveling version of Grace Gibbons, the niece of Cicada. Except, with Orlin Dwyer (Chris Klein) having given up his powers, she has now become Cicada herself and taken on her father's twisted mission of killing as many metahumans as possible. The time-travel shenanigans were a lot to take in for Carter, who admitted during an interview with that just getting a handle on the show's continuity was the first hurdle after getting the job.

"It was a lot," Carter admitted. "That was one of the first challenges I had fun with, was the bible of the show and what each character was about, and their super powers and how they use them, and how they relate to each other. Then, of course, the future timeline was one of my biggest challenges because my character comes from the future. So, it was contending with who she is in the present and how people know her in that way and exactly what she's come with from the future. I was definitely thrown into it. It makes it fun, though."

(Photo: Warner Bros. TV/The CW)

Presumably, coming from the future would put Cicada II on a crash course with XS, the daughter of Barry Allen and Iris West-Allen, who came from the future to alter the past. So far, though, Carter says that she has had relatively few scenes with Jessica Parker Kennedy, who plays XS...although the two are friends from a previous work experience.

"I did a film with Jessica not too long ago, so it was great to see her on this show," Carter told, saying that Kennedy was part of "a warm welcome" from Team Flash. "We're hoping to work with each other more. We've had I think just two scenes together and they were great, but so far we haven't done as much as you might think we would do together. I think that's coming."

Her role in the series will be similar to what Dwyer's has been up to this point -- but now that Dwyer has been largely redeemed, what is the relationship she has with her former father figure? According to Carter, it's mostly good...but not uncomplicated.

"First of all, Chris Klein is wonderful. He acted like a father as soon as I arrived on set," Carter said. "He was making sure that I knew how to wear the costume 'cause it's pretty cumbersome. He was helping me with exactly how he holds the dagger and exits and enters frame. He really took me under his wing, in a way that he didn't necessarily have to. He made sure he was with me on set through all the fight scenes. That was a huge blessing. In terms of our characters, he's just happy to see that I'm alive and well. He's had the dark matter removed from his system, so he's kind and gentle and loving and nurturing. I've come with a mission that we used to be sharing, to kill all metahumans. I'm happy to see him, too, from that little girl place, but I'm more focused on the mission and he's more focused on our relationship."

If you ignore The Mechanic, who never had powers and was not a physical threat to the team, Cicada II marks the first time that any Arrowverse series other than Supergirl has featured a female big bad. That is not lost on Carter, who has spent her career being a professional badass.


"I feel privileged to be the first woman villain bad ass. It's definitely important to have the most 'power' on the show, to be the one that is the biggest threat to The Flash, and have the face off be a woman versus man," Carter said. "I think it does say something. I love it, and I love Danielle. We worked together on Shark and I would say that she is one of the stronger female characters that's fully-rounded on the show because she does have the dark side that she taps into and because she was untouchable by Orlin. That makes her a focus for my character, as well. I see her as the biggest threat. That also makes it interesting to have these two powerful women as equals. I think we're gonna see some play on that in the future."

The Flash airs on Tuesday nights at 8 p.m. ET/PT on The CW, before episodes of Roswell New Mexico. Tonight's episode, titled "Time Bomb," will deal with some other future issues -- notably, the relationship between Nora West-Allen and Eobard Thawne (Tom Cavanagh).