Moving fast into a crisis on multiple earths, a new baddie with the speed force at his command, our hero Barry Allen (Grant Gustin) The Flash is suffering from a lack of parental guidance when after finally getting out of jail Henry Allen (John Wesley Shipp) also exits Central City, leaving fans asking: Why?
A wormhole opens up above Central City potentially unleashing one of the greatest threats ever to enter our world and introduces Earth-2 into the DC TV Universe! The Second Season of The CW’s The Flash is off to a winning start igniting every DC Comics fans imagination. Jay Garrick (Teddy Sears) the “original” Flash is now running alongside our own CSI investigator Barry Allen (Grant Gustin) and helping the Flash tackle menaces like Atom-Smasher and the calculated schemes of the menace known as “Zoom”!
The S.T.A.R. Labs team is once again reunited and have welcomed a new Firestorm (Franz Drameh) into the matrix, and Iris West (Candice Patton) has taken up a full-time seat as a journalist for Picture News. Detective Joe West (Jesse L. Martin) has a new role heading the CCPD’s Metahuman Task Force. His evil nemesis the Reverse-Flash (Tom Cavanagh) has been defeated and in his wake has given Barry exactly the confession that he needed to free his father Dr. Henry Allen (John Wesley Shipp) from Iron Heights Prison.
But in the final act of the Season 2 premiere “The Man Who Saved Central City” after welcoming Henry home after fourteen years of being wrongfully accused of murdering his wife and Barry’s mother Nora (Michelle Harrison), Henry does something that left audiences wondering why? After waiting so long to be reunited with his son, Henry now a free man, decides that it may be best if he leaves Central City — lives Barry behind. It’s an unexpected and uncharacteristic maneuver, but as Henry explains: “Central City needs Barry to be the Flash; not Henry Allen’s son.”
No sooner had the father and son shared a toast to new beginnings, was Barry dropping him off at the Central City bus station for parts still unknown. This left fans with quite the conundrum of emotions. After all the actor who plays Henry Allen on The Flash portrayed the Scarlet Speedster in the original CBS 1990s series, John Wesley Shipp had ceremoniously passed the baton to his successor Grant Gustin, and to the delight of fans across generations, brought a great deal of heart to the show in his role as Dr. Allen.
“It made sense at the time,” explained John Wesley Shipp, “that Henry would want to give Barry a wide breathe to explore his superpowers. Can Barry really be the Flash worrying about whether or not Henry is safe all the time?” In that poignant final moment between the two characters, Henry proclaims that Barry has enough on his plate and that he must embrace this new role of his as Central City’s the Flash. “It seems strange that after spending so much time apart — fourteen years to be exact,” the actor continued, “that Henry would leave — but he does!”
While promoting the new season, several cast members were asked about Henry’s decision to leave town, and especially so quickly. Both Jesse L. Martin and Grant Gustin have expressed their bewilderment over the writer’s decision to have Henry explore new frontier. Gustin was quoted in TV Line as admitting that Barry may not entirely understand his father’s motivations for leaving Central City, “but trying to just give to him the support and need for space. Even though it’s kinf od confusing to Barry, but [Henry] will be there again when Barry needs him.”
Executive Producer Andrew Kreisberg also reassured audiences that they’ve every intention of bringing Henry back this season. He told Entertainment Weekly: “You’ll see [Henry] as much as you saw him last year. He’s already in a bunch of episodes coming up.” That should settle fans who’ve been concerned that with Henry out of the picture, Barry’s emotional center may get derailed, but with this time apart perhaps it’s a good idea that Henry has given his son the room to stretch his legs and chart a new course as Central City’s the Flash!
John Wesley Shipp has said he’s looking forward to soon returning to Central City and especially back into his son, Barry’s life — and he will! But he’s mostly curious about exploring more of Henry’s backstory. “We still don’t know a lot about Henry,” Shipp expressed. “Is there perhaps a reason why he feels he needs to get out of Central City so quickly…something he himself is chasing after? I’m interested in finding out if Henry has more of an edge then he’s leading on.” But in the meantime, the actor is confident that Barry is in good hands.
“In season one,” Shipp added, “we dove into the Allen family, and Barry was solely dedicated to saving his dad — and he did that — but this year we’re looking at the West family and what Joe and Iris mean to Barry, and that leads down an entirely different path that fans of The Flash have always been waiting for.” After all, the one element that was most inherently absent from Shipp’s own run back in 1990 was that after the pilot episode Iris West (then played by actress Paula Marshall) was written out. “Barry needs Iris — and it is great seeing that story start to develop.”
The Flash continues to run steadily into Season 2 every Tuesday night @ 8pm on The CW.