‘The Flash’: 3 Ways the Show Can Write Around Hartley Sawyer’s Exit

After racist and misogynistic tweets from Hartley Sawyer surfaced, The Flash promptly fired the actor, who played Ralph Dibney, from the show. That could make things a bit tricky for season 7 but also has the potential to turn into an interesting story development.

The Flash: Hartley Sawyer
Hartley Sawyer | Colin Bentley/The CW

Previously on ‘The Flash’

In the season 6 finale of The Flash, Ralph and new love interest, Sue Dearbon, fought alongside Team Flash allies against Eva McCulloch, aka Mirror Master, and her underlings. It seemed that they might be headed for Happily Ever After until they discovered that Eva had framed Sue for her husband, Joseph’s murder.

Fans were left wondering how Ralph would help Sue out of that jam in season 7. Now they are pondering how that twist will be resolved without Sawyer around to wrap things up. Since Ralph was entangled in that juicy subplot with Sue, it may be difficult to explain the character’s sudden absence.

The Flash show boss, Eric Wallace, has yet to reveal how the story will go down now that Sawyer is out, which leaves room for plenty of speculation until the show returns. With that in mind, here are three ways that The Flash could handle Sawyer’s exit.

Ralph and Sue could go on the run

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So I like messing with him so SUE me.

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Eva’s frame job could be the perfect plot device to remove Ralph and Sue from the storyline. Since Sue is in hot water with authorities, who believe she killed Joseph Carver, it would be plausible for her to go underground until she can prove her innocence. When it comes to Ralph, the affable gumshoe has developed feelings for Ms. Dearbon, and could — very believably — run away with her without a second thought.

The idea of Ralph and Sue going on the lam could be executed without the participation of either actor. The lovebirds could simply leave a note for Team Flash, never to be seen on screen again.

Ralph could get a new face

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Ralph has a proven ability to alter his appearance — even down to the race. It was pure comedy gold when he previously used his metahuman abilities to masquerade as Joe West.

Ralph’s power to bend, stretch, and transform could be just the tool The Flash writers use to keep the character on the canvas with a different actor in the role. The possibilities for recasting Ralph, if the showrunner chooses to do so, are boundless.

‘The Flash’ could kill off Ralph

It is not beyond the realm of possibility that Eva — or another foe — would harm a member of Team Flash. Although Ralph’s final moments would probably be left to the imagination, the news of his passing could be written into the narrative with a sweet memorial by Barry and the rest of his cohorts. Although the death of a character is always sad, it is a surefire way to handle sudden casting shakeups.

Fans will have to sit tight until season 7 to see how the writers will craft Sawyer’s exit. Until then, previous episodes of The Flash are available on Netflix.