While The CW's The Flash is, first and foremost, a superhero show police work plays a significant role. Both Barry Allen/The Flash (Grant Gustin) and Joe West (Jesse L. Martin) are both on the police force, with Barry working as a CSI while Joe is the captain of the Central City Police Department. And while The Flash may be set on Earth-Prime, with all of the real-world conversations and protests surrounding social justice, racism, and police brutality, showrunner Eric Wallace says the series has a social responsibility to address those issues on the show as well -- specifically with Joe's story.
During the series' DC FanDome panel on Saturday, Wallace explained that events still unfolding in the real world are informing how the series approaches Joe's story in Season 7 in a positive way as part of the series' responsibility to help make the world a better place.
"The world right now is on fire," Wallace said. "We have to look at what's around us. It definitely informs specifically Joe's story, but in a good way, and in a positive way because we need to be socially responsible as artists. Yes, I love comic books, and The Flash, but I'm a person first. We have to be people first and work together to make the world a better place. I believe that that's where those changes are coming from so yeah, you'll notice some changes, definitely."
In a previous interview, Wallace elaborated just a bit on how the show will approach this, teasing that that the plot will take Joe to an unexpected place -- and that he can't wait for fans to see it.
"As we're working our way through Joe's wonderful story line this year, Joe gets challenged by the events of the world that are going on nowadays. Of course, in a sci-fi superhero way because we're on a superhero show. And he really rises up," he said. "I'm so proud of the character and I'm so excited for Jesse to take Joe in just a little bit of a new direction. Because Joe's a good man with a good heart. And if he sees injustice, he's not a person who turns a blind eye to it. He's a person who says something and does something."
Wallace continued, "I'm happy to report that we're working that actually into the scripts right now. It's not in the first batch. It's more in the middle of season 7. It will be very obvious as Joe goes through these changes and ends up in a place that's unexpected for him, but that is honorable and very aware of today's problems from a law perspective. So, it's made the storytelling for his character's story line, I think, the most exciting thing that I've been able to write for him since I've been the showrunner. I just can't wait for folks to see it."
The Flash is expected to return with new episodes in 2021 on The CW.