Barry Allen is about to face a very dangerous enemy to his The Flash alter ego – a metahuman nicknamed Blackout.
Appropriately named (or about to be named in the episode by Cisco Ramon), Blackout/Farooq is an "electrical vampire," according to the guest star playing the role, actor Michael Reventar.
"He's cursed with the urge to drink," Michael told Access Hollywood. "So just the way a vampire needs blood, he needs electricity, and when he meets The Flash face to face… he starts to drink him and he's never tasted anything like that. Because of The Flash's speed, he is his own energy source."
Encountering someone with super speed is something different for the latest metahuman to cause problems for our hero in Central City, and young Barry Allen becomes a sort of drug for Blackout/Farooq.
"Now what's interesting with that is he drinks his drug dry and… The Flash loses his ability to run," Michael said of the twist. "And that's where it's like, 'Hold on. What's going on?'… The Flash loses his power and imagine [a] metahuman shows up and gets in S.T.A.R. Labs."
Like most metahumans in Central City, Farooq was originally just a guy in the wrong place at the wrong time when the S.T.A.R. Labs particle accelerator exploded during a storm. What happened to him on that fateful night is what inspired his goal of facing off with Harrison Wells (Tom Cavanagh) at S.T.A.R. Labs.
"He's going after them because his friends died. What happens is Farooq is introduced as a young, carefree man, who during a rainstorm, and knowing the particle accelerator's going to be turned on, does what any young man does – he climbs a 65' tower," Michael explained of Farooq's back story. "His two friends, who are the voice of reason, are shouting at him to come down. He's loving life. The particle accelerator explodes. In a panic, he tries to run down, gets hit by lightning. His friends die in that accident. He was in a coma for six months, he eventually comes out and learns that Dr. Wells is the man responsible for the explosion and therefore the loss of his friends."
Transforming into the frightening looking character took about two hours, Michael told Access.
"It was amazing. First of all, the makeup artist is incredible. Her name is Tina Teoli, and she's known for her work on 'Smallville.' She's the master behind the makeup on 'Smallville,' so she knows exactly what she wanted," Michael said. "She designed all my makeup before even meeting [me], just [from] looking off my head shot. She knew exactly what to do. What's kind of cool is there' s kind of veins that run along my face. I kind of have a little translucent skin for some reason, so every day she followed my veins as roadmap to kind of paint them in. It was an amazing process that took maybe two hours."
Michael said the crowning glory of his Blackout/Farooq look was the contacts, which produced a big reaction behind the scenes on "The Flash."
"The contacts were the craziest thing, because when I put them in and walked around, I was glad that I still had sight and visibility, so I was happy about that, but the response that I got, the reaction… literally, ladies were screaming and guys, they were clutching their clipboards. I'm not joking," he continued. "I just knew. You know when you know that this look is pretty crazy and you could think it, but when it's validated and confirmed by everyone around you because they just have this reaction that scares the crap out of them -- it got me ready to play the role."
His spooky contacts took an artist in British Columbia five days to paint, "layer by layer."
"They're the only ones that exist," Michael said.
Working with the cast too was a special experience.
"You can't fake what he's doing and that's why everyone loves him on the show," Michael said of Grant Gustin. "There's such a great vibe on the set -- that whole crew, everyone on the cast, they are family, and to be a part of that family and be welcomed in -- they welcomed me with open arms from the minute that I arrived."
"The Flash" continues on Tuesday at 8/7c on The CW. Next week, "The Flash Vs. Arrow" – the first part of the big crossover, airs on the network, featuring appearances from Stephen Amell, Emily Bett Rickards and David Ramsey.
-- Jolie Lash