‘The Flash’: Kausar Mohammed on That Speed Twist, Trusting Eobard & More
[Warning: The below contains MAJOR spoilers for The Flash Season 8 Episode 18 “The Man in the Yellow Tie.”]
As he discovers throughout the course of “The Man in the Yellow Tie,” Dr. Meena Dhawan (Kausar Mohammed) gets her speed from the negative speed force, which in turn affects her emotions to the point that she tries to kill The Flash. Fortunately — and surprisingly — she has her own lightning rod in Dr. Eobard Thawne (Matt Letscher), who has no memory of being a villain and whom they assume the time wraiths saved after he sacrificed himself on Legends of Tomorrow (after a conversation with Brandon Routh’s Ray Palmer). The hope is that their bond can help Meena control her powers.
Here, Mohammed discusses Meena’s dark turn and relationship with Eobard as well as what’s ahead, including Fast Track’s suit.
That brief evil turn was a nod to the comics where Meena was brainwashed by Grodd, right? So had you known there would be that bit of a turn to the dark side but in a different way when you signed on?
Kausar Mohammed: I didn’t, so initially I got the dummy sides. Initially, all I knew was this was a scientist who wanted to democratize healing powers for the world and that she ends up needing Flash’s help. I had no idea about the juiciness of all the stuff and the arc that was gonna come from the character. But I have to say I am a huge, huge fan of horror and I’ve always wanted to play somebody possessed, so it was a dream come true. [Laughs]
I was going to say it had to be fun because you go from playing this good person who’s worried about hurting the Flash to evil and trying to kill him.
Yeah, and it was. Working with the director, Marcus Stokes, to figure out that arc and being able to work with the other actors from Grant to Matt, it was just such a fun, fun place to play and have this dynamic arc within the episode.
How is Meena feeling about her speed, with Eobard as her lightning rod, at the end of the episode? Like it could work?
Yeah. We’ll definitely find out moving forward in the other episodes, but there certainly is a feeling of hope and maybe there’s a way and with Eobard as her lightning rod, what are the possibilities? We get to see more of that moving forward.
We know Eobard’s her lightning rod, so what made her fall for him? His intellect? Desire to save the world? Sacrifice to save her when she went into cardiac arrest?
In my head — and this is totally not on paper and Eric [Wallace] can be like, “What are you saying?” — as an actor and from the story I created, it’s the acknowledgment of two very, very smart people. To me, Meena was falling in love with Eobard even before any of that sacrificing stuff happened. It was just knowing that she found a partner who she could talk with, work with, collaborate with, and dream with. Then the sacrificing was the deal sealer. [Laughs]
Have any of the events of this episode or what she’s heard changed how Meena feels about Eobard?
I think it certainly reestablishes their bond. Also, we hear more about this character named Vinnie, who was her past partner, and how that might affect the way she operates now. In my head, the character is getting a second chance at love with Eobard and the end of the episode just solidifies that she does deserve that second chance and she can move forward and rewrite her own narrative around that.
Meena doesn’t know the Flash’s identity yet. But does she suspect?
Personally, in my mind, in that scene where they see each other, there was no suspicion.
Do you think she can be trusted with his identity, given what just happened?
We’re gonna have to see and find out. We get to see a lot more of Meena and her [going] through her own struggles and emotional arc. So we’ll find out.
We’re seeing the Flash helping her, but how is she going to help him as we near the season finale?
We’ll discover that along the way: what she brings to the table and how does her work lead to our season finale.
Talk about filming the scene when Barry first meets Eobard, because that’s so interesting. All the history there and Meena is just so oblivious and even Eobard is oblivious.
That was a really fun scene, and again, both Grant and Matt were just such amazing scene partners. I remember we were working it through and talking it out, and it definitely was that element of, there is clearly tension here that only Flash knows about, so what does that mean in how we’re interacting with each other? I think we really got to find it in the scene. And again, both of them are such giving and fun actors, so it was certainly a really rewarding scene to do.
What is Meena and the Flash’s dynamic like moving forward? There’s the possibility that she could turn again.
Absolutely. Moving forward, they are now allies, they’re working together. But we see how Meena is still struggling with her powers and how is Barry helping her with them and how are they working through that?
Do we see Chester [Brandon McKnight] hanging out in the lab? Because he loved that lab.
Oh my God, yes. Chester is welcome to come to Fast Track laboratories at any time. If I was really CEO, I’d be like, “Hey, Chester, come work here.” [Laughs]
Meena hadn’t had any luck hiring anyone before Eobard.
Right. I remember being like, “Man, this is rough. I feel for her.” Also, just the whole set of the Fast Track laboratories is so cool and was so much fun to shoot in.
Eobard showing up at the right time could’ve made her suspicious, but she wasn’t.
Yeah. We get to see a little more of their relationship and how everything plays out. But I think if anything, this last episode maybe raised some questions and we’ll certainly get to continue to explore them.
So does she fully trust Eobard at this point?
Yeah, I think their relationship is solid. She and Eobard are in love.
And there’s the matter of Fast Track’s suit. What can you say about that?
I can say that it was so awesome, literally a dream to be in that suit. It looked really cool too, which was all due to the amazing team that put it together from Kate [Main], who did the costumes, to makeup to the hair and people dreaming it up and thinking of it. It was quite a feat to fit into. In case anyone’s wondering, those suits are not that stretchy, so not the best if you’re trying to do dance moves, but really great if you want to feel like a superhero.
What about in-show? What can you say?
You get to see the suit soon.
The Flash, Wednesdays, 8/7c, The CW