Warning: spoilers ahead for Episode 15 of The Flash Season 4, called "Enter Flashtime."
The Flash forced Barry (Grant Gustin) to face one of his most dangerous threats to date in the latest episode when a nuclear explosion threatened to destroy Central City and everybody in the vicinity. Barry's superspeed allowed him to desperately work on a plan to stop the explosion from going off, and he recruited the help of Jay Garrick (John Wesley Shipp) and Jesse Quick (Violett Beane). The good news was that Jay had the experience and expertise to be a major asset in this mission; the bad news is that he no longer had the stamina to keep up with the younger speedsters. Luckily, Jay Garrick wasn't taken out of the fight until The Flash did something new and fun with the character. Actor John Wesley Shipp spoke with CinemaBlend about "Enter Flashtime," and he said this about what he got to do as Jay:
Well, the interesting thing was I really got to see, and this again I think is because a legacy person like [DC Comics writer] Sterling Gates [is around], we really get that Jay Garrick was a scientist and we shot some stuff where we're trying to figure this out from a nuclear fusion, nuclear fission, this vs. that, we're trying to figure this whole thing out. We really get to see Jay Garrick the scientist and I had a lot of fun with that. And as I already alluded to, the fact that the relationship between Jay and Barry, they're partners now. They're working together. There isn't the skepticism that existed at the beginning when I wasn't sure if he was going to change the timeline every time he had a fight with his girlfriend. At the beginning Jay was very skeptical of this new kid on the block. Well, now they're working together and all three, if you want to look at it like generations because Jesse is younger, although not young enough to be Grant's daughter, but you know it does appear that way, that there are generations of Flash working together to solve a common problem as partners. And no one member of the group is more important than the other. Jay is as impressed by what Jesse is coming up with as the others are by Jay's scientific knowledge.
"Enter Flashtime" delivered a side of Jay Garrick that The Flash hasn't fully explored in the past when he was given the chance to use his scientific knowledge to help work on a plan to save the day. His knowledge of nuclear fusion and fission (among other subjects) helped set the speedsters on a path to try and stop the explosion. Although the initial plan failed and Barry didn't seem inclined to heed Jay's warning not to send the explosion into the Speed Force (as it would destroy the Speed Force and deprive all speedsters everywhere of their speed), he was instrumental in helping rule out options that wouldn't work. Even though Iris was ultimately the one to figure out how to stop the explosion from destroying everybody and everything, Jay (and Jesse) helped him stay alive long enough to do it.
The episode also revealed a new dynamic between Jay and Barry. Although the two were allies prior to "Enter Flashtime," Jay understandably had his doubts about Barry after his use of time travel for personal reasons, which ultimately created the Flashpoint timeline that caused a lot of problems for just about everybody. Jay evidently felt comfortable enough with Barry in "Enter Flashtime" to work with him as equal partners, which was essential in making any progress in stopping the explosion. Throw in Jesse, and Jay had another generation of speedster to interact with during his trip to Earth-1. John Wesley Shipp's comments about the speedster episode already indicated that some very important things would happen, and we now know how The Flash intended to explore some new stories with Jay. Shipp went on to say this about certain key story elements of the "Enter Flashtime" hour:
It's a really cool episode. I'm just very excited about people seeing a real speedster episode where the stakes are high and there's a severe time constraint on what needs to happen. Those are two elements when you're doing acting exercises in class, you have to have the task that you have to perform and then you have to give yourself a time limit in which you have to perform it, and the drama comes out of those two elements.
All things considered, we can only hope that The Flash will bring Jay Garrick back at some point in the not-too-distant future. He ended the episode determined to train Jesse to become an even better speedster, which could open the door for both to come back. Besides, Jay may not have the stamina of a younger speedster anymore, but he's still an asset in some key ways. Besides, John Wesley Shipp is always a fun addition to the show, whether he's on board as Jay or the late lamented Henry Allen.
We'll have to wait and see. New episodes of The Flash air on Tuesdays at 8 p.m. ET on The CW. The next speedster other than Barry Allen to appear will be none other than Iris West-Allen due to some truly bizarre circumstances, so be sure to tune in. For your other viewing options, don't forget to take a look at our midseason TV guide and our 2018 Netflix premiere schedule.