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In past seasons, The Flash has largely shied away from doing topical episodes or storylines that reflected the real world. However, that’s about to change in Season 7. The Flash showrunner Eric Wallace revealed how current events have shaped Joe West’s Season 7 arc and explained the ways in which he “rises up” to meet the challenge.
Considering that Jesse L. Martin’s Joe West is the captain of Central City’s police department, it’s a wonder that the superhero series has never addressed issues of police brutality and other injustices. That said, Eric Wallace doesn’t confirm the particular angle, only that Joe will be dealing with issues that are more realistic than what The Flash has done before. Here’s what Wallace told EW about Joe’s upcoming storyline:
As we're working our way through Joe's wonderful storyline this year, Joe gets challenged by the events of the world that are going on nowadays. Of course, in a sci-fi superhero way, because we're on a superhero show. And he really rises up. I'm so proud of the character and I'm so excited for Jesse to take Joe in just a little bit of a new direction. Because Joe's a good man with a good heart. And if he sees injustice, he's not a person who turns a blind eye to it. He's a person who says something and does something.
I’m certainly happy that Joe will be getting more of a storyline in The Flash Season 7. It’s been some time since the beloved character has gotten something for himself. That said, the details of what he’ll be getting up to are still rather vague. Eric Wallace does go on to add that Joe ends up in a “place that’s unexpected for him,” and that Joe will be very aware of today’s problems with law enforcement.
However that plays out, Wallace is certainly excited about writing it. Ultimately, The Flash showrunner wants to keep the tone in line with that of the series (which is typically light, but has gone to very dark places) while also grappling with real-world dilemmas in a way that makes sense. Here’s how Eric Wallace puts it:
Joe’s storyline this season is inspired by the societal changes happening in today’s world. Because with everything we’re all waking up to each day in 2020, I felt there was a great opportunity here — even within our fantastical, family-oriented show — to comment indirectly on truths folks could easily recognize. And do so in an entertaining way.
The Flash Season 6 got cut short due to production shutdowns and its unintended season finale ended with Eva killing off her husband and Candice Patton’s Iris disappearing from the mirror world. However, the Season 7 trailer confirmed that Iris hasn’t left the mirror world just yet but is somehow confronted with different versions of herself. My guess is it’s a mind trip, but we’ll have to wait a few more months to find out.