The Flash: Nicole Maines Talks Her Dreamer Return, Dream Puns in "Wildest Dreams" (Exclusive)

The Flash returns Wednesday night after a brief one-week break but the long running The CW series doesn't come back alone. This week's episode, "Wildest Dreams", sees the return of Nicole Maines to the Arrowverse as Nia Nal/Dreamer makes an unexpected visit to Central City. The Supergirl hero comes to town seeking help from Iris West-Allen (Candice Patton), but for fans, it's not just the ladies' team up that's exciting. Fans have been excited to see Maines return as the character since it was announced late last year, and the fans are not alone. recently spoke with Maines about this week's episode and she's just as excited to be back as the beloved and iconic character.

"I have the pictures from the fitting, and I have a stupid smile on my face," Maines said. "It felt so good. It felt so good to get to put this super suit back on again. It was kind of like that moment in Sweeney Todd when he is singing 'My Friends' and he gets his knives back for the first time. He's like, 'At last, my arm is complete again.' It felt very like that."

Getting to come back as Nia also allowed Maines to further explore a character that has become, as she describes it, a core part of who she is. For Maines, it's a nice bow on not just Nia Nal's journey, but her own as a performer and a person.

"Nia is such a core part of who I am at this point. I love her so much," Maines said. "And my journey as a performer is very similar to Nia's journey as a superhero, coming into something feeling completely unprepared, not knowing what anything is anything means. I hadn't really spent that much time on a film set at all. I hadn't prepared. I hadn't trained traditionally as an actor. I'd only really done high school and college theater. So, I felt green and so new and that was very similar to how Nia entered the show as a cub reporter."

She continued, "She's got the powers that she doesn't know anything about. She hadn't prepared for that. She spent her entire life thinking it would go to somebody else and so as Nia grew on the show, I grew through as a performer and as a young adult as well. A lot of the journeys in my life were mirrored by what was happening on the show and so now, coming back, we're seeing a Nia who has done the work and who is more confident in herself. And similarly, with me as a performer coming back, not as the new kid on set anymore. I felt, at least to some degree, I knew what I was doing. Getting to come back with that added level of assuredness and confidence in myself mirrors Nia. The lines between us continue to blur."

But while there's a significant journey being reflected in Maines' Nia return, the episode doesn't forget the fun as well. There are dream puns in the episode — and Maines said they actually weren't entirely her idea. She had help from the episode's director.

"I love the dream puns, but you know who else does? Jesse Warn, who directed," Maines said. "We worked together on Supergirl, and it was always the conversation between us, because he knows that I have an entire note app on my phone full of dream puns for Dreamer. So, whenever we were on set together, we'd always cycle through them and we'd be like, 'All right, what's going to work for this episode.' So, it was some me, some Jesse."

The Flash airs Wednesdays at 8/7c on The CW.

Were you excited to see Nia Nal/Dreamer again? Let us know your thoughts in the comment section!