Joe West (Jesse L. Martin) is going from send-off to timely stories on The Flash.
As showrunner Eric Wallace told EW, the character will get involved in a story broaching topics of policing in 2020. Since the show began, Joe has been a detective and, well, the events of the last few months have put cops — and their depiction on television — under the microscope. Indeed, Law & Order: Special Victims Unit has re-arranged its planned storylines to discuss both COVID-19 and excessive force while the cast and creators of Brooklyn 99 have openly questioned how to tell funny stories set in a cop shop.
Though the topic may be timely, Wallace said it will still fit into the The Flash milieu. “Joe gets challenged by the events of the world that are going on nowadays,” he told the site. “Of course, in a sci-fi superhero way, because we’re on a superhero show. And he really rises up.”
The story will take place in the middle of the season and see Joe entering an “unexpected” place. “We were laughing about it the other day in the writers’ room. We’re like, ‘I never saw this story coming for Joe. How cool was this?'” Wallace added.
Indeed, it is a relief to hear the character will get a little bit more of focus as Martin’s health led to a reduced role in recent seasons. Shortly before Season 5 began filming, the actor suffered a back injury. He was able to film a few scenes while sitting down, but soon, Joe was sent to Tibet while Martin recovered. Though he returned later than year, Season 6 also saw less time for Joe, culminating in an oddly poignant send-off for the character late in the season despite returning just two episodes later.
And as we can tell you, the cast loves Martin. Stronger material for the actor to chew on can only be a good thing. We hope it turns out to be one of the better Flash stories told on the series.
The Flash returns in January.