Why Did Cisco Leave the Flash?

Since premiering on The CW in 2014, The Flash has become one of the network's most popular and longest-running superhero shows. Over its seven seasons and counting, viewers have grown attached to Barry Allen and his tight-knit team of allies at S.T.A.R. Labs. One of the original and fan-favorite characters from season 1 was Cisco Ramon, played by Carlos Valdes. In season 7, however, Cisco made his exit from Central City, leaving many fans wondering — why did Carlos Valdes leave The Flash?

Revisiting Cisco Ramon's Importance on The Flash

Cisco Ramon, portrayed by Valdes, was instrumental to The Flash from the very start. Serving as part of S.T.A.R. Labs' triumvirate alongside Dr. Harrison Wells (Tom Cavanagh) and Dr. Caitlin Snow (Danielle Panabaker), Cisco played a crucial role as the team's engineering genius.

With his technological expertise, Cisco was responsible for developing Barry's original Flash suit, as well as many other gadgets and solutions that helped the speedster take down metaphumans. Cisco's vibing abilities, which allowed him to see into other timelines and dimensions, also came into play on many occasions.

Outside of his superhero credentials, Cisco connected with fans as a lovable, pop culture-referencing comic relief. His camaraderie and brotherly relationship with Barry brought heart to the show. Overall, Cisco established himself as an indispensable member of the S.T.A.R. Labs squad.

Why Carlos Valdes Exited the Role After 7 Seasons

In the season 7 episode “Good-Bye Vibrations,” Cisco reveals his decision to leave Central City and his role on Team Flash. He accepts a job offer from A.R.G.U.S. to work on technology in Star City and moves there with his girlfriend Kamilla.

For fans, Cisco's departure came as a major surprise. Why would Carlos Valdes leave such an integral role on a hit series?

As it turns out, Valdes' exit was in the works for some time. Speaking to Entertainment Weekly in June 2021, Valdes explained:

“It was just a combination of a lot of different things, like any major life decision. But at the end of the day, I had to do what was best for my mental health. I had to really take care of myself, take care of my mind, take care of my energy. And so it just felt like the right time, you know? It just felt like the right time to make this decision.”

While Valdes affirmed that he cherished his time on The Flash, scheduling conflicts with other projects played a part in his departure as well.

Shooting Conflicts With Other Projects

In 2021, around the time Valdes left The Flash, he was simultaneously involved with another CW series — Up Here. Valdes served as executive producer on the musical comedy-drama and starred in the pilot.

Juggling both shows proved challenging, as Valdes explained:

With Up Here, the schedule was really sort of antithetical to the schedule on The Flash. So juggling both was very, very difficult. And so I think just knowing that I had to dedicate a lot of my time and energy to Up Here for the foreseeable future, it felt like the right time to make that decision.”

Unfortunately for Valdes, Up Here was not picked up to series after the pilot stage. But at the time, the scheduling conflicts still prevented him from continuing as a season regular on The Flash.

A Fond Farewell For Cisco

Rather than killing Cisco off or having him exit abruptly, the Flash writers gave the character a deserving farewell storyline in season 7. Showrunner Eric Wallace said:

“Carlos valiantly returned this season to wrap up Cisco's story in a way that truly honored the character and gave him the loving sendoff he deserved.”

In “Good-Bye Vibrations,” Cisco is offered his dream job at A.R.G.U.S. to build new technology for their field agents. He grapples with the major life decision, not wanting to leave his friends in Central City. But ultimately, with the support of his loved ones, Cisco decides to embark on this new chapter.

The emotional episode highlights Cisco's lasting bonds with Barry, Caitlin, and the rest of the team. And the door is left open for potential guest appearances down the line. As Wallace put it:

Cisco Ramon will always be a part of Team Flash and we can't wait to see Carlos back again.

Carlos Valdes' Thoughts on His Flash Exit

For Valdes, saying goodbye to Cisco was bittersweet. In an interview, he expressed:

Goodbyes are hard, man. They're never easy. But I love this character. I love bringing this character to life. And it's been an unbelievable experience being part of this show that has such an amazing legacy. I'm so proud of the work that we've done and I'm so happy to leave this character, honestly, in the hands of the amazing writers that we have because I know they're going to do amazing things with him.”

The actor also spoke fondly about his relationship with Grant Gustin, who portrays Barry/The Flash:

Grant has been one of my dearest friends over the last seven years. He's an amazing guy. Our bromance is real. It's real! We bonded over a love of performing and acting and we nerd out over business stuff and life. I learned a lot from him professionally and personally and I know we'll be buds for life.”

Though no longer a series regular, Valdes did return as Cisco for guest appearances in The Flash season 7 finale and season 8 premiere to give the character additional closure.

Looking to the Future

With Carlos Valdes departing Team Flash, it marks the end of an era on The Flash. Cisco Ramon had been with the show from the very first episode and became an instantly beloved character. While fans will certainly miss seeing Cisco every week, his legacy remains, and the door is open for potential special cameo returns.

As for Valdes, he is keeping busy with other projects, including voicework on the animated Batwheels series. The actor also has aspirations to work behind the camera, as he told ComicBook.com:

“I'm interested in developing things and writing things and directing things. And I think that my time on Flash was like the best education I could get in terms of just understanding the makings of a show like that.”

Only time will tell what Valdes' next move will be following his incredible Flash run. But after seven seasons of creating such an iconic character, Carlos Valdes has certainly earned new adventures ahead. For now, fans can re-watch Cisco Ramon's greatest S.T.A.R. Labs hits and stay tuned to see if and when everyone's favorite vibing hero pops up in Central City once again


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