Spoiler Alert: This article contains some spoilers for Season 7 of The Flash.
Although showrunners first mentioned Ralph Dibny in Season 1, it wasn't until Season 4 of The Flash when viewers were first introduced to Hartley Sawyer. But after several seasons of assisting Team Flash in their crime-fighting adventures, Hartley's role as Elongated Man came to an end after a series of offensive tweets surfaced online.
It wasn't long before showrunners announced that Hartley was fired and would no longer star in The Flash, leading fans to wonder what would become of Elongated Man, who wasn't looking so good when we last saw him. But did Ralph die in The Flash'?
Did Ralph die in 'The Flash'?
After showrunners were made aware of Hartley Sawyer's tweets, they announced that the actor would be written out of the series. But fans won't have to say goodbye to Elongated Man just yet. According to Eric Wallace, Ralph Dibny did not die in the horrific incident that left his face deformed, but he will be recast.
"In order to wrap [the Season 6 arc] up, which we're going to do at the top of Season 7, Ralph has to be part of that. Now thank goodness, Ralph is a guy who can change faces and his appearance in many ways," Eric Wallace told Entertainment Weekly.
He added, "Without giving any spoilers away. There are a couple of ways that we can have Elongated Man still appear in at least one episode this season to wrap that storyline up, that gets us what we need and still allows fans to say goodbye to the character, at least for the indefinite future."
Reports suggest that Ralph Dibny will remain on a hiatus, but he will be back for another episode before the season ends. Though he's been referenced in previous episodes, we still haven't seen him back. But upon his return, Elongated Man will look much different. Eric shared, "One could say it is a recasting, but we're going to do it in a way that I think honors the spirit of the character and provides not only a satisfying conclusion to Sue's murder mystery but also it's done with some humor."
According to actor Hartley's IMDb profile, things have been pretty slow for the actor since he was accused of being racist and homophobic. Although he apologized for his previous transgressions, there's no indication that he'll return to the series at any point in time. So who will replace him?
Who will replace Ralph Dibny in 'The Flash'?
More than midway through Season 7, reports teased that the new Ralph Dibny would make an appearance before the season finale, but it's still unclear who will replace him.
Although Ralph was involved in a severe explosion that should have killed him, he bounced back like the rubberband man he is and rode off into the sunset with Sue Dearbon to continue his recovery. According to fans, his replacement could be anyone at this point — even Jim Carey.
One fan wrote on Reddit, "Although this is beyond likely, I have often been interested in seeing how Jim Carrey would play him, if not for the age difference between character and actor."
They added, "But on a similar issue if Hartley Sawyer does not return, any actor who can give the same iconic 'Ralph sass' could be him. Unlike most shows, the timeline and meta abilities present in Flash allow for a plethora of not only acceptable but enjoyable ways."
For now, fans will just have to wait and see who will reprise the role of Ralph Dibny upon his return to Team Flash. Catch new episodes of The Flash on Tuesdays at 8 p.m. EST on the CW.