This week's episode of The Flash saw Cisco Ramon/Vibe (Carlos Valdes) and Chester P. Runk (Brandon McKnight) end up stuck in 1998 in a situation that left them limited resources in terms of trying to figure out how to get back home as well as something of a race against the clock in order to do so. The episode also marked the first real major adventure for Chester, one of Team Flash's newest members, one that ended up having very personal stakes and meaning. According to McKnight, what Chester experiences in "The One With The Nineties" will change everything for the character going forward.
Warning: spoilers for this week's episode of The Flash, "The One With the Nineties", below.
In the episode, Chester and Cisco discover that the piece they need in order to fix the device that will ultimately let them return to the present requires Chester to face his father. It's a painful situation for Chester as we learn that not only did Chester think that his father valued his work more than their relationship, but that the day they're stuck in is also the day before his father died. Chester has carried that pain with him ever since. However, after going to speak with the elder Mr. Runk, Chester learns that his father loved him deeply and everything he did had been for him. It shifts Chester's view of the past and, as McKnight recently told ComicBook.com, it changes everything.
"So it changes everything for him. The biggest thing about Chester is he's such a fun-loving guy and such a happy dude. But the way I like to explain him is he's a fan of the show who's on the show and he's a kid in a man's body," McKnight said. "And so with that being on Team Flash and seeing these people who do the things that he loves to do and the things that he loves to witness at the highest level, there's a little bit of imposter syndrome in there and there's a little bit of lack of confidence and not really knowing where he stands and not really knowing if he fits and if he's smart enough to do this and if he can handle all the things that come with being a member of Team Flash. So going back in time and dealing with some of these things that he's been carrying, that's direct correlation to his relationships with the people in his life and the people in his past where he hasn't always felt like he measured up."
He continued, "So going through this thing that he goes through in this episode and rebuilding those connections and realizing things that he wasn't even aware of, it was a big, big boost to his confidence, big boost to his belief in himself. And he has something to emulate now. He has something to look up to, where before he didn't have that figure in his life where he could look at and say, 'Oh, I want to be this.' He's just been figuring it out. Now he knows that he has that thing and that, yeah, it's going to change him a lot moving forward."
The episode also sees Chester doing something proactive with his new view on the past. As the episode closes, Chester picks up an unfinished project his father left behind and it sounds like that project will have a major impact going forward itself.
"Well, that project for Chester, yes, that's definitely a deeper... You can almost look at that as like a passion project for Chester," McKnight said. "As to what it is and what it does, I can't tell you that. You're going to have to wait and see, but that's definitely something we're going to see developed over time with Chester and it's going to play a very large role in the story and in assisting Team Flash. And that's one of the ways we see Chester step up and take a more heroic role in helping the Team out."
The Flash airs Tuesdays at 8/7c on The CW.