The Flash Season 2 Henry Allen

The Flash Stars Talk Henry Allen's 'Confusing' and Abrupt Departure

If you’re still scratching your head over Henry’s sudden leave of absence on The Flash, you’re not the only one. The cast of the CW series is just as puzzled by Mr. Allen’s hasty exit from his son Barry’s life mere hours after leaving prison.

“First of all, I was shocked that happened that quickly, like a lot of the viewers were. It was like, ‘I’m out! Gotta go!'” star Grant Gustin says.

Jesse L. Martin, who plays Barry’s surrogate and last remaining father figure Joe, is just as perplexed. “I didn’t realize it was a competition!” he says with a laugh. “I’m still grappling with the fact that the dude just left. I don’t get it. You’re finally free to have a relationship with your son, and he felt like he had to leave. I don’t know how much me, Jesse, understands that decision.”

Although Henry is “still a part of [Barry’s] life,” Gustin speculates that the two are “talking less right now than they probably even did when he was in prison.”

From Gustin’s perspective, “Barry was not really understanding why, but trying to just give it to him and be supportive of him needing space, I guess, even though it’s kind of confusing to Barry. He’s not sure if he’s supposed to reach out or not right now, but he’ll be there again when Barry needs him.”

Adds Martin: “Maybe he has things he needs to do with his own life, and Barry’s a grown man — and also a superhero! Maybe he felt that getting out of his way would be a better thing. I still don’t get it, though.”

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58 Comments
  1. Cornelius says:

    I still don’t get it. Was so abrupt and out of the blue. Your finally out of prison and the first thing you do is leave your son who’s been with you the entire time.. like how does that make sense.

    • John Wayne says:

      No matter where he goes, Barry can visit him in 10mins, duh.

      • Fido says:

        We don’t see Barry zip to neighbouring states to save people so I can’t see him visiting his dad.

        • Well, except for all those times he has crossed over with Arrow going to Star City and even around the world to Nandu Parbat in the Far East.

          • John Wayne says:

            James Attwood, that was what I had in mind. Remember Superman in 1978’s Christopher Reeve movie going around the earth? That was what I envision Barry can do. Just because Barry doesn’t go to other cities to save people, doesn’t mean he can’t. It’s not about other cities.

    • nevesnetwork says:

      I just don’t get it why people have to tell what is going to happens on the next episode I have not seeing yet the father from Flash getting out prison Darn I hate when people spoil for others stupid morons

      • Kaity says:

        Why do you read these then? Don’t go searching out Flash articles if you’re not caught up. Darn, I hate when stupid morons (like you) comment their stupid complaints.

  2. Yes, Mr. Martin, it’s the Last Father Figure Standing competition – and you’re winning! I love both Henry and Wells, in different capacities of course, but if I had to pick one to keep, I pick Joe. Keep Joe. Joe wins.

  3. aa says:

    It had to be some sort of scheduling conflict or personal issue with the actor and creative team. Otherwise, it just wouldn’t make sense.

  4. Christine says:

    I feel like he either he got involved in something in prison that he needs to stay away from his crime fighting son and will come up later in the season. Otherwise it could just be that he has so much reacclimating to do after 15 years and he doesn’t want to put pressure on Barry to help him with that when he has so many other things going on.

  5. DavidJ says:

    I kind of understand what the writers were trying to go for, which is that Henry didn’t want to be a distraction to Barry when there were so many important things for him to do as the Flash….. but it would have been cool to at least see that play out over an episode first instead of having him take off almost immediately!

  6. David says:

    My guess he is the Flash from the 90’s series who has gone crazy and has become Zoom. He left because he hates Barry, and doesn’t want him finding out that he killed his dad and took his place.

  7. Mr. Tran K says:

    I don’t understand why Henry Allen has to leave because he’s been a central figure to the series. It’s going to be so emotional with or without him.

  8. Jen says:

    I still think there’s going to be a reason for it. The look between Henry and Joe when Henry was hugging Barry goodbye seemed like there was something else going on but maybe that’s just wishful thinking

  9. Rachel says:

    It’s comforting to know that the actors are as perplexed as we are, lol.

    • Gilded Lady says:

      Or disheartening. The actors should have a sense of why is something going, even if the viewers don’t! If they don’t, it points to bad writing more than anything.

      • prish says:

        Well, on the Blacklist the Tom Keen actor never knew anything about his character’s backstory, then at the end of the year, he finds out he was a deep cover spy and quasi-evil doer for hire who fell in love with the…etc. The over-controlling production people, whoever made the decision that the actor should know nothing, in order for a “mystery” to remain, messed up in not letting the actor create depth with his subtext. In other words, I’m with you on that.

  10. Luc says:

    I feel like it was just a case of bad writing
    What if he would have stayed? How would that character be involved in the story?
    I get the feeling the writers couldn’t come up with a satisfying answer (for now)

  11. Terry says:

    Even if they didn’t want to pay for the actor, there was no reason to put the character on the train. We don’t see Barry’s life 24/7, so we could just assume he’s visiting/helping his dad out off screen between emergencies.

  12. Diz says:

    If I was wrongly imprisoned and got out I sure as hell wouldn’t stay in the same area either.

  13. Original Trickster says:

    Maybe it’s something like the movie 48 Hours where he has to honor a debt for someone who protected him in prison and now he has to take care of that before he can come back. Maybe he’s just a selfish prick who needs to get laid. Maybe who cares…

  14. Joseph says:

    Why keep an expensive actor for few lines around when you have no story usage for him?

    • Kim says:

      They didn’t have to have him on screen though. The character didn’t have to leave town, he could have just “been there” and not seen.

      • Exactly. Like Linda. She was gone for several episodes in a row then boom, she is back S2 ep 2 like she has never been gone. Or they could have just said that he needed to visit his sickly old aunt who has been in a nursing home for 20 years and is near death. And the home is in Florida. Whatever.

  15. I’m stilling hoping that he is Barry Allen from another Universe.

  16. Jenner says:

    right before he left I was getting the feeling he would tell Barry he had cancer or something and was dying. Just something about how he was talking. Maybe he left to keep it a secret and seek treatment or something?

    • This is exactly what I was thinking too. He wanted to tell Barry, but realized that it would distract him/keep Barry from doing the things he needs to do as The Flash. This way he can slip away to get treatment/die without putting Barry in jeopardy.

  17. Tony says:

    I figured behind the scenes, scheduling conflicts or some disagreement was the reason. On screen, I got the sense they hinted at Henry having some kind of secret. If that’s the case, maybe they should have let the cast in on it….unless they are and are playing dumb to maintain the element of surprise.

  18. prish says:

    They might have made him too interesting, unintentionally. Remember that when Mitchell wrote Gone With the Wind, Melanie was the original main character with Scarlett taking over. Sometimes, you have to whack to stay with an original intent, I’ve found out from fiction writing attempts.

    • Maryann says:

      Why not go with the side-track and see where it leads? You can always go back and rewrite. Sometimes when minor characts or unintended stort directions take over a story, you end up with a better story than the one you preconceived.

  19. ToyCannon says:

    Shipp was also suddenly jettisoned from “Dawson’s Creek”. Perhaps this was for the same reason?

  20. Agent 86 says:

    They really handled the whole thing poorly. Not only was the major driving force of the first season, being Barry freeing his father from prison, abruptly dealt with in a few minutes, but Henry’s departure was poorly scripted.

    I don’t know why they didn’t simply have Henry saying that he needed some time to adjust to being out of prison and that he didn’t want to remain in the same town where everyone believed that he was a murderer for almost 20 years. Henry could have said that he was going to spend some time in a remote mountain/beach/desert town and Barry could have pointed out that he’s happy to support his father no matter what and that he’d be able to visit Henry anywhere in the US (and possibly the world) in mere minutes anyway. They could have even agreed to have regular Sunday night dinners. And then Barry could simply reference off-screen meetings with his dad in future episodes.

    Instead, Henry not wanting to “distract” Barry from his superheroics, was a lame excuse for leaving Central City. How do Joe, Iris, Caitlin, Cisco, Martin, etc not “distract” Barry from his superheroics? And Henry could have actually supported his son’s career as The Flash since Barry regularly needs medical attention which Henry would surely be better qualified to provide than Caitlin and Cisco.

    • T says:

      This. Have the writers read this!!! Seriously. This makes sense. And what actually happened on screen MADE NO SENSE on so many levels.

      It’s almost like the writers WANTED us to know they were writing him out on purpose. Almost like we are supposed to assume something negative was going on between the actor and the writers.

  21. The Watcher says:

    Another example where they talk around the issue instead of about the issue.

    Hoping we get this answered at some point.

  22. hi says:

    He didnt even stay for cake…damn! you know how hard it is to get a cake saying… “Yay! you didnt kill mom and you are free!!!”

  23. Gerald says:

    I’m hoping there will be a backstory here that says he was approached in prison or just after by a “future” person or a Baddie that explained Barry would be in trouble if Henry stayed in Central City. I hope that is what the writers were thinking.

  24. Maryann says:

    I just hope we get a satisfactory explanation at some point–like having to do this because he was threatened, for example. This is the first example I have seen on the show to date of apparently just glaringly bad writing.

  25. Diane says:

    They will have to provide an explanation at some point because it’s perplexing otherwise.

  26. morgust says:

    I still think that he went away to Starling City …. some how gets involved with the arrow and that is why the Flash is so mad with him in the flash forward! Arrow and Flash can’t always be friends!

  27. mitva_girl says:

    IMO, I don’t see a problem. The way I see it, the whole point of The Flash was, Barry Allen being “touched” to become a crime fighter known as Flash and at the same time if he could free his dad from
    prison, great. But Henry Allen never was the main point of The Flash. The entire story has to do with Barry Allen (The Flash) not
    Henry Allen or PD Chief West.

    • Katie says:

      That’s fine, but Henry is still a character whose motivations should make sense. A man getting out of prison after fifteen years thanks to his son who never gave up on him would not just abandon his son less than a day later. And the show has themes that Henry leaving contradicts. The entire episode’s theme was “you can’t be a hero alone, you need your friends.” And then we’re supposed to also agree that Henry needs to leave because Barry can’t be a hero with his dad around? What?

  28. Katie says:

    It didn’t make sense at all from a character perspective and took me out of the finale, since it was obvious they were carting John Wesley Shipp – not Henry – off.

  29. Joe says:

    I thought the actor didn’t want to be part of it anymore.

  30. Addicted to Speed...... Force says:

    This was readily explained at the end of the episode when he left. Just like he told Barry (roughly paraphrased), “Do you think you be all that you are becoming with me around?” He is getting out of Barry’s way, letting him be his own man, and the man Central City needs him to be, not Barry Allen, but The Flash. Its really not as big a thing as some of these (apparently earless) fans think it is. Henry knows Barry’s destiny is bigger than all of them, and he does not want to get in the way of that. I am, however, sure he will return, so everyone can un-wad their chonies!

  31. Luis says:

    I think Henry didn’t see a place for himself in Barry”s life at this point in time. Add that with the stress of re-acclimating himself to life as a free man and trying to figure out what he was going to do with himself, he might have felt too much pressure and needed to go some place where he could gain perspective on what he”d gone through. I’m still disappointed we won’t have John Wesley Shipp around on a regular basis, but I hope for a good guest shot soon.

  32. mae says:

    Zoom could’ve killed him if they want to write him out.

  33. Bill says:

    Time for the EPs and showrunner to weigh in!!!

  34. nevesnetwork says:

    I love everything about The Flash the story is alway believable

  35. Matt says:

    A better reason would have been better too. If he’d just said, ‘hey i can’t stay in this city where everyone thinks or thought i was a murderer for 20 years, and getting a job would be so difficult, im going to head somewhere they don’t know me and you can visit anytime’. Bang, its a pretty good reason compared to, ‘Oh you have a Dad and family already, Bye’.
    And he could end up being Zoom from Earth 2, well his double could anyway.

  36. Simon Hampton says:

    What if barry allens father is zoom
    The actor was in flash the original series.he voiced zoom in batman animated series so what if he has returned in this latest installment as zoom, purhaps that ia the reason he left abruptly and didnt kill allen as its strange that zoom who supposedly wants to kill allen chose not to.i may be wrong but im hoping its not just a coincidence.

  37. Emily Grace says:

    The only plausible explanation I can come up with for Henry not showing up recently is maybe he’s the guy in the mask that Zoom has? It would explain why we haven’t seen him in forever, and why he (from what we’ve seen) hasn’t contacted Barry since he left. That, or he’s a terrible father for just up and leaving. Which is why I really hope it isn’t the latter!