John Wesley Shipp for a long time was The Flash, and by long time I mean from when he wore the costume in the short-lived CBS series until now. No one else had truly “donned” the role. So when he cast in the CW version of the Flash as Barry’s father Henry, we wondered how much of a part he would get to play.
What’s played out so far is a wonderful take on a loving father, as he wants what’s best for Barry, and he believes in him with all he’s got. In tonight’s episode though, we get to see Henry go beyond the looking glass, as Shipp notes:
“In this episode, it moves beyond that, where Joe and Henry — unbeknownst to Barry — enter into, and I can’t tell you how, some kind of partnership with Henry on the inside and Joe on the outside. Barry’s reaction to that, both no longer being Henry’s only access to the outside world, but also concern about his father’s well-being, is very interesting to watch. Also, as a result of getting roughed up, I get out from behind the glass partition. It’s very interesting, and I don’t think it’s an accident that’s also the episode in which I’m the in infirmary and Barry’s right there, and we have no glass between us, as a metaphor for separation. We deal with the issue — does the father recognize the son? Does Henry know that Barry’s The Flash? And if he does, would he say so, or would he open a door for Barry to tell him? And if he does, would Barry tell him? Those are questions that we deal with in the episode tomorrow.
It’s a very special one for me. I suddenly have more than one window on the outside world, and I’m having physical contact with more than one character; not sitting in a chair, talking on the phone. As wonderful for may those scenes have been, it is fun, now, to take him to the next level.