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Detective Joe West has his hands full.
After discovering that Barry Allen (Grant Gustin) was the crimson-suited speedster The Flash, Joe is still trying to come to terms with his surrogate son’s superhuman abilities, in addition to a new world order where metahumans are the norm. On Tuesday’s The Flash, Joe comes face to face with Barry’s STAR Labs cohorts, including the mysterious Dr. Harrison Wells (Tom Cavanagh).
“It’s definitely a balance,” Jesse L. Martin tells The Hollywood Reporter. “Joe’s having a hard time with [Barry’s new abilities], to be honest. He doesn’t know how to deal with it. It seems crazy to him what’s going on, and he’s really worried for Barry.”
And with good reason. Barry will reach his physical limits when he begins to pass out during routine crime-fighting sprees, forcing the STAR Labs crew to work furiously to find a solution and the cause.
Joe’s daughter, Iris (Candice Patton), will begin on her own journey investigating what Central City papers have dubbed the Red Streak. “She seems interested all of a sudden in what’s going on — the impossible Red Streak,” Martin says. “He becomes a big ball of worry.” And Martin is hopeful that viewers will meet Joe’s wife down the line. “She may resurface at some point,” he hints. “She’s definitely a missing link.”
As for Iris’ journalistic endeavors, executive producer Andrew Kreisberg says that The Flash isn’t just an origin story for Barry Allen but for others as well. “We’re seeing her from the ground up. She’s starting as a blogger, and as the season progresses, we’ll see her take journalism to heart, and that’ll be her beginning. There’s a great line when Barry says in episode two, ‘We were all struck by that bolt.’ Everybody on the show was changed that night whether they know it or not,” he says.
Adds Kreisberg: “For Iris, The Flash appearing and her interest in it — you’ll find out more about why that’s happening — has really changed the course of her life, and it’s what sets her on the path of becoming her ultimate comic book character.”
Iris’ life will be threatened as a result of her newfound interest, even though she may not be aware of it immediately. “It’s going to create all sorts of problems because Joe wants Iris not to know more than anything in the world, and Barry is dying to tell her,” Kreisberg hints, referencing a comedic scene in Tuesday’s episode. “It’s going to lead to some heartbreaking things that happen early on and also some hilariously funny things.”
Another secret Joe won’t be too happy about will be the secret romance between his partner, Detective Eddie Thawne (Rick Cosnett), and Iris. “A) That’s Joe’s partner and if his partner is hiding that from him, that’s not a good partner, and B) that’s Joe’s daughter. She’s a grown woman, so she can date who she wants, but she can’t date his partner,” Martin says. “There’s definitely a line.” Ask the veteran thespian whether Eddie may be hiding more secrets and Martin begins to ruminate on the possibility. “I never went that far. It never occurred to me that there might be more [to Eddie],” he says, deep in thought.
With STAR Labs now in Joe’s life, his suspicions grow about their — more specifically, Harrison’s — true motives.
“They’re the ones who got Barry into this mess in the first place. Second, they seem to be encouraging him to be going out there and catching bad guys,” Martin says. “Joe’s whole thing is, ‘You’re a forensic investigator and you’re really good at it. Go do that. Stop putting yourself in danger just because the people you admire tell you to.’ “
As Martin explains it, Harrison is No. 1 on Joe’s list of people to keep an eye on. (At the end of last week’s premiere, Harrison was seen walking into a secret room and peering down at a newspaper dated 10 years in the future with the ominous headline “Flash Missing: Vanishes in Crisis.”)
“He feels Harrison is pushing Barry out into the street to be a crimefighter and putting Barry in danger on a regular basis,” he says.
As for the mystery surrounding Harrison, even Martin isn’t sure of the particle accelerator creator’s whole story. “Are you kidding me? [I’m] completely unsure!” he says with a laugh.
The Flash airs 8 p.m. Tuesdays on The CW.
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