Why The Flash's Big Speedster Episode Is So Important, According To John Wesley Shipp

the flash jay garrick john wesley shipp

The Flash may be the story of Barry Allen as Central City's scarlet savior, but it has also introduced a number of other speedsters who turn up to help Team Flash every once in a while. One of the most notable speedsters is none other than Jay Garrick, played by John Wesley Shipp. Jay will be back in the mix in the Season 4 episode that brings him to Earth-1 when Barry is in need of help from other speedsters. Jay and Barry will team up with Jesse Quick to assist in slowing down time to stop a nuclear bomb from destroying Central City. John Wesley Shipp recently spoke with CinemaBlend about why the speedster episode is so important to The Flash, saying this:

It's one thing I so appreciate and I think the addition of Sterling Gates from DC Comics to the writing staff and producing staff is so important. I see his handprints all over the pages while we were shooting it and he was there and couldn't have been more delighted moving us around like a master chessman with all of us chess pieces on the board. It's all about legacy. Of all the superheroes, Flash legacy is the most important, I think, in my experience to Flash, because you have the Golden Age Jay Garrick and then you have the Silver Age Barry Allen and then you have the modern age Wally West. And then of course Jesse Quick. And so legacy is terribly important, and by fan mail that I get, from Twitter messages that I get, other social media, I know that legacy is very important to our core audience. Also questions that I get at comic cons, which I've been doing on three continents. It's been incredible, the amount of enthusiasm. But always comes back to the speedsters working together.

Legacy is an important element on The Flash, and the big speedster episode will honor the Flash legacy in some significant ways. Although Wally West presumably won't turn up due to his connection to Legends of Tomorrow, the episode will feature Jesse Quick as a speedster of the generation following Barry. Even though Jesse technically isn't a whole lot younger than Barry, he did have a great deal of experience as a speedster by the time she showed up with powers, and Jay Garrick was already a veteran speedster by the time he met Barry. This episode will be the first time we see these three speedsters of DC Comics fame working together on one mission, and it should be pretty fun for viewers and comic fans alike.

John Wesley Shipp definitely has a point about Flash being the most prominent superhero in DC fame to have a legacy spanning multiple generations. Unlike instances when big-name heroes like Batman were temporarily replaced by other heroes in the comics, each of the characters to wear the Flash cowl held onto the title for a long time. Judging by Shipp's comments and the reactions of fans he's seen on social media, DC Comics writer Sterling Gates has been a major asset to The Flash since joining the team.

As it turns out, the legacy of the Flash as a superhero isn't the only reason why the big speedster episode is important. John Wesley Shipp went on in our chat to explain how the dynamic between the various speedsters will change in the episode:

When are we gonna see a real speedster episode with all the speedsters working together again and it's coming on Tuesday night, and I'm very excited about it. And not only that, but it's one of these instances in which while we're telling the story, the relationships change between the speedsters. Barry and Jay's relationship starts to warm up. I, for the first time am working closely with Jesse Quick and seeing in her things that are incredibly admirable for the first time. That's what you hope for, not only that there will be a great adventure story but that it will also progress the relationships. I believe from what we shot, of course I haven't seen the finished product, you know what you shot but you don't always know what they're gonna include and what they're not. But what we shot was a lot of character and relationship development while this--pardon my French--kickass story is being told.

The three speedsters will impact each other in ways that we can only hope will last beyond their episode. The clock will be ticking as the trio tries to stop a nuclear bomb from going off, which means they'll be working together under a lot of pressure. Barry and Jay haven't worked together on this type of mission in the past, and Jesse is a new variable in the mix. Three speedsters will surely be better than two, and we can be confident that they'll succeed in stopping the bomb. After all, The Flash probably won't go so dark as to blow up Central City. We'll have to wait and see how they join forces to stop the catastrophe before it strikes and how their bonds will all change in the aftermath.

You can catch new episodes of The Flash on Tuesday nights at 8 p.m. ET on The CW. For more of John Wesley Shipp as Jay Garrick, you can find the first three seasons of The Flash streaming on Netflix. If you're still in the market for other shows, be sure to swing by our midseason TV premiere guide, and don't forget to stay tuned to CinemaBlend for more from John Wesley Shipp.

Laura Hurley
Senior Content Producer

Laura turned a lifelong love of television into a valid reason to write and think about TV on a daily basis. She's not a doctor, lawyer, or detective, but watches a lot of them in primetime. CinemaBlend's resident expert and interviewer for One Chicago, the galaxy far, far away, and a variety of other primetime television. Will not time travel and can cite multiple TV shows to explain why. She does, however, want to believe that she can sneak references to The X-Files into daily conversation (and author bios).