The Flash saved the day but not without a major loss.
In the penultimate episode of the season, Zoom took the life of Barry’s father Henry. It was a devastating moment that will change Barry’s life forever.
After defeating Zoom, Barry frees the man in the iron mask only to discover that it is the Earth-3 doppelgänger of his father, but his name is not Henry. He is the real Jay Garrick.
It was a nice twist that now allows TV’s 90’s The Flash star John Wesley Shipp to suit up again. Plus, Earth-3, isn’t that where Supergirl lives? Just saying.
Distraught after having now lost both of his parents, Barry decides to run back in time and stop the Reverse Flash from killing his mom, effectively changing the entire timeline.
For more on what that could potentially mean, check out this link: Is The Flash doing Flashpoint in Season 3?
The man behind the iron mask, John Wesley Shipp spoke to both Entertainment Weekly and TVLine. Excerpts from those interviews are below. He talks about when he found out about being the man in the iron mask and what’s to come in Season 3.
TVLINE | When you first joined The CW’s The Flash, did you get any hint that there was a long-term plan for you, or did you assume your casting was just a knowing wink to the 1990s series?
I figured that I was brought on for a number of reasons. One, there was still a very loyal fan base for the first show — including [Flash executive producers] Andrew Kreisberg and Greg Berlanti and [DC Comics chief content officer] Geoff Johns, who informed me that they had been fans growing up with the first show and wanted to include me on some level. I figured from the beginning that my job was what they said it was: to play Henry Allen; to sort of graft my following onto Grant [Gustin], which was a joy and a pleasure to do; and to be a tool in Grant’s tool box, a place where Barry could come when the special effects stopped and really bare his soul to the audience, through Henry Allen. I figured once that was completed, and Barry had fully accepted his role as a superhero, my job was done. So, I have to say that Henry’s death this season was not a surprise to me; I was fully anticipating it. What I wasn’t anticipating was what comes next, and that blew my mind. Blew it right off its hinges.
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: When did you first find out that a version of Henry Allen from another earth was actually the man in the iron mask?
JOHN WESLEY SHIPP: I went up March 1 to shoot my last four-episode arc. I knew that Henry Allen would be dying, but that’s all I knew. I went for my first costume fitting, and I was trying on this shredded [costume], what looked like a prison uniform. I’m thinking, “This is interesting.” Then, a mention was made of an iron mask. Then I had a conversation with Grant and Jesse [L. Martin]. They were like, “Yes, do you know what’s happening?” And I’m like, “Yup, apparently I’m the man in the iron mask.” They were like, “That’s all you know?” “What do you mean, ‘That’s all I know?’ Isn’t that enough?” They said, “You better call Greg [Berlanti].”
I immediately emailed Greg, who of course has six or seven projects going; he’s the busiest man in Hollywood. Three minutes later, he emailed me back and we had this long conversation. Later on, I had one with Andrew [Kreisberg], who flew up to Vancouver. They laid out this story, everything that they wanted to do. I have to tell you, my jaw dropped. I didn’t see it coming at all. I remember saying after he had told me the whole thing, I said, “Well, take me out of the equation, this is brilliant television, and it’s also a brilliant channeling of fan expectation.”
From the very first moment it was announced that I would be on The Flash, everyone was saying, “He’s got to be Jay Garrick.” That was not my choice. My first choice would’ve been Henry Allen, because it was an acting role, it was a non-costumed character. I felt that, in this medium, I could legitimize myself as an actor with the quiet moments. It was all about the truth of the moment. Now having played that, to turn around and morph me into the character that the audience wanted me to play from the beginning is a brilliant stroke. That they can make it work, I’m still dumbfounded. I am very excited, bordering on nervous to see what the reaction will be [Tuesday] night.
EW: Regarding the man in the iron mask, were you in the costume the whole time?
I wasn’t in it until the finale. Let me give the actor who was in it all the kudos in the world. He was apparently told to study three different actors and how we use our hands; I was one of them. The morning where he filmed those scenes where he’s communicating with his hands, he was told it was me. Judging from what I saw and the reaction of my friends who were actors, that actor did a remarkable job.
EW: On the one hand, Henry Allen has died and Jay Garrick has left Earth-1. On the other hand, Barry has gone back in time and saved his mother, which changes everything. What does this mean for your future on the show? Are we going to see you back next season?
Yes. I’ve been given permission to say that yes, they have all kinds of exciting and interesting plans for me, that are interesting not only in the context of the storyline, but they continue to spin out, which will be very challenging for me as an actor. That’s all I’m allowed to say about that. But yes, I will be back next season.
TVLINE | Have you been told anything about the show’s version of Earth-Three? On Earth-Two, for example, people tend to be opposites, there’s a “retro” veneer to the aesthetics…..
The only thing I know about Earth-Three is what I gathered from the comics, that that’s where Jay Garrick is, that that’s where these old villains go. Indeed, that’s what happens at the end of our finale — Zoom turns into Black Flash and goes off to Earth-Three, so I’ll be very interested when we get to the point of exploring exactly what Earth-Three is like and how close they’ll stay to the comics.
TVLINE | And there’s always the opportunity for you to play Earth-Two’s Henry.
He’s been mentioned but never seen, right. Listen, Greg and Andrew flew up from L.A. during the filming of the last episode, and we had a good, long conversation…. I always knew Henry Allen was closed-ended. He was there for a specific purpose, to get Barry to the point where he could fully own his powers. Henry always had a limited shelf life. But morphing into this new character, the opportunities are limitless, because, as you mentioned, there are limitless worlds, there are so many different things that could happen…. In fact, Greg told me that one reason they were so excited about having me morph into Jay Garrick is that there are so many more ways that they could use me. I can’t wait to see what they are.
The Flash will return this fall on The CW.