SPOILER WARNING: This article contains major spoilers for "The Flash & The Furious," the mid-season premiere of The Flash Season 5.
The Flash's Joe West has been missing for several episodes, and now we know why: he is off visiting his son Wally in Blue Valley with his daughter Jenna.
Jesse L. Martin, who plays Joe, took a medical leave of absence from the series in October due to a back injury he suffered during the show's summer hiatus. In his Season 5 appearances to date, he was seated for almost every scene due to his injury. Despite this, he has taken an active role; in his previous Season 5 appearances, Joe West co-parented his newborn daughter Jenna with Cecile, offered Barry and Iris plenty of advice and was even held hostage by antagonist Cicada.
Though Martin will be back by episode 15, showrunner Todd Helbing promised there would be an in-show reason for Joe's absence. "The Flash & The Furious," the mid-season premiere, made good on that. Just before Cecile prosecuted Weather Witch in court, she mentioned that Joe had taken Jenna to visit her brother. This will explain why Joe isn't part of the action for a few more episodes.
Airing Tuesdays at 8 p.m. ET/PT on The CW, The Flash stars Grant Gustin, Candice Patton, Carlos Valdes, Danielle Panabaker, Tom Cavanaugh, Jesse L. Martin, Danielle Nicolet, Hartley Sawyer and Jessica Parker Kennedy.