'The Flash': John Wesley Shipp Talks Reuniting With Mark Hamill Onscreen, Savitar Threat

The increasing troubles with Savitar (and Dr. Alchemy) will send Barry Allen on a journey to Earth 3 to ask Jay Garrick for help on Tuesday night’s “The Flash.”

And the new episode – the show’s midseason finale – sees John Wesley Shipp back as Jay Garrick/Golden Age Flash.

Barry Allen (Grant Gustin) arrives at a less-than-convenient time, though, as Jay has an Earth 3 villain to contend with – the Trickster, played (again) by Mark Hamill. 

“[Barry] comes to Earth 3 to ask Jay about Savitar and he stumbles into what’s going on between the Earth 3 Trickster and Jay Garrick. And so he gets involved a little bit at the end of that,” Shipp told AccessHollywood.com. “But then, things turn quite serious when he says the name Savitar.”

Before the two get into the Savitar threat, there’s something immediate to deal with – the Trickster. Shipp and Hamill played The Flash and the Trickster, respectively, in the 1990 television series “The Flash,” so Tuesday’s on-screen match up in new versions of those roles should provide for some very meta fun. 

“People have asked me since I came back to the new ‘Flash’ — has it felt weird? And I always said no, because Henry Allen is such a different character in Geoff Johns’ reiteration of the Allen family that I just felt like I was playing a brand new part. But once I was in a Flash suit, going up against Mark – it was crazy,” Shipp said of reuniting with Mark on screen in those roles (the two previously shared the screen in Season 1 of “The Flash” when Shipp was playing Henry Allen).

“One of the pictures that’s been released is Mark and I face to face. … Right after they yelled cut on that, he looked at me, he said, ‘We’re grownups,'” Shipp recalled, with a laugh. “So it’s wild and wacky. And you know what I really appreciate is everybody from Rachel [Talalay], the director, to obviously Andrew [Kreisberg] and Greg Berlanti and the Helbings [Todd and Aaron] — everybody has such a joy about bringing these elements from the original show into the new show. It’s a lot of fun. I can’t wait for people to see that moment, actually, with me and Mark.”

And the Jay/Trickster interaction should feature some nods to Shipp’s “The Flash” series.

“Without saying too much, it is very reminiscent of a scene that Mark and I did . Some of the elements are the same and the hardcore fans will immediately recognize it from ‘The Trial of the Trickster,’ which was our very last episode from 1991,” he said.

When Jay hears about Savitar from Barry, though, the name rings a bell. Shipp said his character has heard of the super-speedster.

“Yes. Hasn’t seen him, and isn’t quite sure whether he’s a myth or whether he’s real. But the myth is terrifying and it’s clearly something that I was hoping that this younger speedster would never have to deal with, quite frankly,” he said.

While it’s cause for alarm, seeing how Jay reacts to the request for help should be interesting considering these two men don’t have the same relationship Barry Allen had with the previous character Shipp played – Henry.

“In order to give us somewhere to go, we start with a little distance. Jay isn’t entirely sure who is this guy. Is he making decisions based on personal whims or does he really care about the speed force?” Shipp said, referring to Jay and Barry’s last scene together in episode 2 of the current season (at the diner). “So Jay’s looking at him sort of out of the corner of his eye and asking him what kind of superhero does he want to be. Jay, I think, is also invested — he’s not egoless and he is invested as being the original speedster, which is so funny. There are so many overlaps between me having played The Flash back in 1990 and working with a young actor who I’m so fond of who’s playing it today. And there’s so many levels.”

“It’s like they say ‘OK, what was the dynamic of the original Flash? What is the dynamic, on a personal level, of having the guy who played The Flash 25 years ago in a show about The Flash starring someone else? How can we bend and how can we play and overlap what’s going on between John and Grant, and what’s going on between Jay and Barry,” Shipp continued. “And that’s what excites me also about this episode because we try to start where they were in the diner, and then this is the most involved I’ve been in any episode of the new show so far, and so there is a bit of an arc. There is a bit of what happens. How does Jay react when Barry crashes Earth 3? How does he react when he finds out that Barry is actually dealing with Savitar, this thing that I think is a speed force myth, that I’m not even sure is real, but I know is extremely dangerous? And so we get into some of that. What kind of bonding takes place in the course of this episode, and what is it that Jay and Barry share? There’s a very vital element at the end of the episode that they share, which will give fans a lot to chew on during the long winter break.”

“The Flash” midseason finale airs Tuesday at 8/7c on The CW.

Jolie Lash