The Flash: The “Death” of Joe West Explained

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At the end of the second episode of The Flash’s “Armageddon” event, “Armageddon, Part 2”, fans of The CW series were hit with a stunning development. Joe West (Jesse L. Martin), Iris’ (Candice Patton) father, and Barry’s (Grant Gustin) father figure was revealed to be dead. He’d died, off-screen, six months prior and Barry had somehow forgotten this major life event. It furthered the idea that Barry was losing his mind and, thus, the cause for the impending end of the world. But this week’s “Armageddon, Part 3” brought Joe’s death into greater focus and while the beloved character does appear to be dead, it’s not exactly straightforward – and it may not stick.

In “Armageddon, Part 3”, Iris begins to take another look at her father’s death and begins to realize that something about the official story isn’t quite right. When she goes to the site of Joe’s untimely death – it’s revealed that he fell onto train tracks accidentally and met his end when an ahead of schedule oncoming train struck him – she starts to notice weird particles in the area. It’s eventually revealed, with the help of Deon (Christian Magby), that someone has been utilizing a Reverse Still Force to essentially rewrite the timeline. Joe wasn’t supposed to die. His death was set up, presumably as part of a larger scheme to drive Barry mad.

But who would want to do that? The end of the episode offers a major hint. Barry goes to 2031 – when Armageddon is supposed to take place – and finds Eobard Thawne/Reverse Flash (Tom Cavanagh) having apparently completely manipulated reality in order to get his ultimate victory over The Flash. While “Armageddon, Part 4” will likely flesh out more fully, if Thawne is messing with reality for his own ends, it could mean that by the time the “Armageddon” event ends, Joe will be restored. If Joe does get restored after having been “dead”, it would line up with showrunner Eric Wallace’s previous comments about Joe’s journey in Season 8.

“Let’s just say that Joe is going to get an incredibly different perspective on life, and it’s going to lead him to, I think, a really big choice,” Wallace said. “Everybody seems to think the big choice he made was last year, to put down his badge, but there is a much bigger choice coming his way in Season 8 that takes the character down a path that he didn’t know he was on, but that will feel like it’s the place he always needed to go.”

The Flash airs Tuesdays at 8/7c on The CW.

What do you think about the situation with Joe West on The Flash? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.

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