For fans of veteran TV actor Jesse L. Martin, he’s in a good news/bad news situation.
TVLine reports, that he’s been tapped as the lead in the NBC pilot The Irrational. He will star as Alec Baker, “a world-renowned professor of behavioral science who lends his unique and unexpected approach to understanding human behavior to an array of high-stakes cases involving governments, law enforcement and corporations.”
The Irrational is based on Dan Ariely’s book Predictably Irrational and follows Baker as “he meets his match in a female domestic terror suspect who turns his world upside down.”
Unfortunately, for longtime viewers of The CW’s The Flash, this means Martin will no longer be a series regular on the superhero show where he plays Barry’s father-in-law Joe West. Though, he’s still expected to be in multiple Season 9 episodes. As disappointing as this news is, I can’t say I’m surprised as Joe’s role has been reduced in the last few seasons. Sometimes it’s due to Martin’s request or schedule, and sometimes it seems like there’s no rhyme or reason to it.
As we previously reported at The Root, The Flash was renewed for Season 9, which is rumored to be the series’ last. Then again, fans thought that about the current season. If the show is headed for a shortened final season, Joe’s absence won’t seem so jarring. Seriously, how many emergency meetings, out-of-town investigations or top-secret safe houses can one person deal with?
Adding the Law & Order star to the cast gave The Flash an air of credibility beyond its comic book origins. It also signaled that the show wasn’t afraid to modernize outdated stories by making Joe and Iris West, the family that took in orphaned Barry Allen, a Black family. The casting made the series more important than the others in its Arrowverse franchise.
I hope Jesse L. Martin’s new NBC show gets picked up, but I also hope we get plenty of his beautiful dad pep talks on The Flash. Of course, more than anything, I hope we get to hear him sing on TV again because that didn’t happen nearly enough in the last eight seasons.
The Flash airs Wednesdays at 8/7c on The CW.