'The Flash': Will Barry's Father Learn His Secret?

The Flash S01E01 John Wesley Shipp Still - H 2015
Jack Rowand/The CW

The Flash S01E01 John Wesley Shipp Still - H 2015

The Flash is getting a family reunion Tuesday, and it's not under the happiest of circumstances

Barry's (Grant Gustin) father, Henry (John Wesley Shipp), who has spent years in prison after being wrongly accused of killing his wife, will help Barry's adoptive father, Joe (Jesse L. Martin), solve a crime from within lockup. Things go very wrong, and Henry gets beaten to a pulp by his fellow convicts, until he is rescued by The Flash.

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What follows is a scene unlike any in the series so far, says Shipp. Henry is taken to the infirmary, where Barry gets to be by his side, not separated from his father by glass. The big question of the episode will be whether Henry realizes his son is the scarlet speedster.

"Does Henry know Barry is The Flash? Does he not know?" Shipp tells The Hollywood Reporter. "If he does know, would he tell Barry, or would he let his son tell him himself?"

Shipp, who played The Flash in the 1990 CBS series, has enjoyed plenty of dramatic scenes from behind bars in The CW update. Barry's journey to clear his father's name and prove Reverse-Flash was responsible for his mother's death has been the through line of season one. Shipp predicts the prison storyline will eventually give way to new arcs for the character.

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"That arc can't go on forever, says Shipp. "But who knows what awaits Henry once he gets out." 

Shipp already has shot one of the most anticipated episodes of the season, which will reunite him with Mark Hamill, who in the original The Flash TV series played the villain The Trickster — a flamboyant practical joker in the comics. He's playing an older version of the villain in the CW show, with Devon Graye cast as a younger, copycat version of The Trickster.

"What we get to see with Mark is there's a new depth, a new edge a new gravitas to his menace. They don't lose the over-the-topiness," says Shipp. 

The Flash airs Tuesdays at 8 p.m. on The CW. A date hasn't been set for Hamill's episode. 

Email: Aaron.Couch@THR.com
Twitter: @AaronCouch