Typically on television shows the relationships that resonate most with me are the ones with romantic implications (I’m looking at you, Arrow and The 100). But from the pilot of The Flash I’d realized what the most important relationship on the show was for me: Barry Allen and Joe West.
There are different forms of love: romantic, friendship and familial. But at the root of all of those is the same thing: love. It’s caring, worrying and looking out for someone who you would put before yourself.
So it’s no wonder that my favorite relationship on The Flash is Barry and Joe. The father-son duo that has completely stolen my heart. They aren’t related by blood, which makes it all the more beautiful to me. To quote The Fosters, “DNA doesn’t make a family. Love does.” And there is nothing but exponential love between Barry and Joe.
The whole “You’re not my father” issue was addressed head-on in the show’s second episode, when Barry was angry at Joe for being the overprotective father that he is. He went off on Joe about how he’s not his father, which frankly was the only time I’ve actually wanted to slap Barry Allen. He was such a brat.
But by episode’s end, Barry realized the error of his ways and admitted he was wrong, as well as delivered a heartfelt speech that brought me and even Joe West to tears. Joe was the one that kept Barry fed and clothed; who comforted him when he was scared; who helped him with his homework; who taught him to drive and to shave; who dropped him off at college…
Barry’s birth father might still be his father – despite being locked up in prison for the murder of his wife that he didn’t commit – that doesn’t make Joe anything less than what he is to Barry: a father.
The heartwarming moments between Barry and Joe through just nine episodes have brought me to tears. Every new episode I crave their interactions and watching the natural chemistry between Grant Gustin and Jesse L. Martin flourish.
The dire circumstances that Barry finds himself in every episode are enough to make any parent nervous, but it’s worth it when we get moments like in the midseason finale when Joe opened up to Barry about how much he not only changed his life but brought light into it. It’s those scenes that bring out the very best in the show.
It isn’t the visual effects (which are incredible) or the action (which is badass) that are the most important aspect of The Flash. It’s the heartfelt relationships that remind us of the love we have for those in our lives that truly impacts us on a deep and emotional level.
Yeah, I love ships as much as the next girl (looking at you WestAllen and SnowBarry), but it’s a different kind of love that has claimed my heart on this show.