In the “Flash of Two Worlds” episode of The CW series The Flash, written by Aaron and Todd Helbing, viewers will get to know Jay Garrick (Teddy Sears), a mysterious man from Earth-2 who appears at S.T.A.R. Labs with a dire warning about an evil Speedster named Zoom, that’s set on destroying The Flash. As a result, Barry Allen (Grant Gustin) and the team must quickly decide if they can trust this stranger, as they face yet another powerful meta-human.
Collider was recently invited, along with a handful of other press outlets, to screen Episode 2 of the series and learn a bit more about what’s to come with Jay Garrick and his relationship with Barry Allen. During the interview, actor Teddy Sears and executive producer/writer Todd Helbing talked about bringing this character to life on The Flash, whether we might see more universes with so many breaches, what Jay Garrick’s ultimate goal is, how Zoom is different from Reverse Flash, making the costume work, and whether Jay is being entirely truthful with the team. Be aware that there are some spoilers.
Question: Teddy, what’s it like to get to bring Jay Garrick to life?
TEDDY SEARS: It’s thrilling, but I didn’t anticipate how thrilling it was going to be when I said yes. Besides the obvious stuff, where suddenly I’m eight years old and running around in the backyard playing superheroes with my friends. It’s a given that that would happen, but what I didn’t anticipate was how important it felt when I was doing it. It’s weird and hokey and maybe very actor-y, but there was something very important that began happening, most specifically when putting on that helmet. There’s a scene where I’m reunited with the helmet for the first time, and shooting it, there was a real awe and reverence for seeing this thing, and that was absolutely not acted, at all. There really was such substance in that moment. I just keep coming back to this feeling of, “Wow, this just feels really important.” I can’t sum it up any better than that.
With so many breaches, will we see more universes than just Earth-1 and Earth-2?
TODD HELBING: Right now, I think it would be a little confusing to have Earth-17, so we’re just going to keep it at two.
SEARS: I love the possibility that an Earth-17 exists. We’re only in Season 2 right now, but with 52 different choices, the possibilities really are limitless.
HELBING: There are a lot of fun things to explore, down the line, potentially.
What is Jay’s goal? Does he want to get back home?
SEARS: Jay’s biggest rival is Zoom, and he needs Barry’s help to defeat this guy. He arrives without his speed and he knows what Zoom is capable of, so he very much needs to enlist Barry and have Barry harness these powers to depths that he didn’t really know he could reach. He needs Barry to achieve these things, in order for him to defeat Zoom. That’s where the mentor-mentee thing starts to develop. I don’t know what his larger goal is. I think he just wants Zoom gone, and he certainly can’t do it by himself.
Is there a specific reason why Zoom doesn’t just try to kill Barry himself, instead of bringing these meta-humans into Barry’s world to do it for him?
HELBING: Yeah, there is a reason, but you’ll learn that down the line.
How is Zoom different from Reverse Flash?
HELBING: He’s a speed demon. Wells had to hone Barry to get what he wanted, but Zoom is just your worst nightmare. If he doesn’t get these guys to do what he wants, he’s going to eventually show up and try to take him down himself. He’s the scariest speedster on the planet.
Will we ever see Jay get his powers back?
HELBING: The thing that Jay wants more than anything is to get his powers back. It’s something that’s definitely on his mind, but right now, he’s focused on stopping Zoom.
This Flash has such a retro costume, but it really works. What was it like to put it on and make it work?
SEARS: That was really fun. I wasn’t sure what they were going to do or how they were going to handle it. They have successfully modernized it with this really cool motorcycle jacket aesthetic. The jacket is wonderful. It’s all good with the pants and the boots. But, it’s really the helmet. The helmet caps the whole thing off. And I love what they did to the helmet. If you look at the helmet, and you’ll certainly have enough opportunities to, it’s been around. It’s beaten up and it’s got the dings. It’s seen its share of battles. So, the detail that the team put into those little things to have it arrive with a story, a history and a past, is really what made it work for me. They took my measurements, and it just fit.
How has it been for you to go all-in with this superhero world?
SEARS: It’s very exciting, just in that it’s a character that’s no longer in the courtroom or wearing a lab coat. He’s got a uniform, like a handful of other characters that I’ve played, but it feels wonderful. It feels like it’s such a tremendous honor to try to attempt to fill this guy out and give him a real third dimension. And that aspect of a third dimension is a little bit different than playing the foil in a three-piece suit on a law show. The goal is to make this guy a human being who has a past, a history, conflicting feelings, and the things that make humans so wonderful and complex to watch.
How would you describe the developing relationship between Jay and Barry?
HELBING: It’s like a coach-athlete relationship. Jay is the older brother that Barry didn’t have. He’s more experienced and his attitude is a little bit more confident. He’s the teacher to Barry. Last year, Barry didn’t really have anybody that he could speak about being a Speedster with. It’s not like he could go out and have drinks with Wells and talk about being a Speedster, but he can with Jay. And Jay can mentor him on some of the powers that he has and figure out the best way to get him to use those.
SEARS: I like the brother analogy versus father. That is a very different dynamic. There are certainly going to be some overlaps, but there are things you can only talk to an older sibling about that you wouldn’t talk to a dad character about. And I really like Grant [Gustin], as a person. It’s hard not to like Grant. And for Jay and Barry, that translates. There’s a desire to want to help, and it’s just fun to play with him.
Even though Jay doesn’t have his powers in this world, is there anything for him to learn in this world?
SEARS: That’s a really good question. Jay has dialed in with his abilities in a way that he’s able to use to teach Barry some things he didn’t know he was capable of doing, but I don’t know if it works in reverse.
HELBING: It’s like as an older brother, you feel like you can teach your younger brother a lot, but every so often, you find yourself learning something from him.
Are there any lingering frustrations with Jay’s inability to use his powers to help the team?
SEARS: I would certainly say that there are frustrations to not being able to do what he’s used to doing and not being able to help in the way he’s used to helping. But given his background as a scientist, he’s able to put that into play. So, even though he’s not able to physically do what he’s used to doing, he’s absolutely able to help with his knowledge.
HELBING: He still has a brain that he can use, and it’s a really good brain.
SEARS: And because of that, he can’t do it himself, so he might as well use what he knows and push Barry to go further and deeper. Maybe he would have just jumped to do it himself, but he’s got this young guy, which strengthens that coach-athlete dynamic.
Caitlin is clearly interested in Jay. How will that develop?
SEARS: There’s a connection that these two have, and an instant comfort level that you don’t get with too many people in life. I think they’re going to explore that a little bit. Jay and Caitlin are part of this bigger team at S.T.A.R. Labs and they’re going to have a series of interactions that we’re going to explore a little bit.
Is Jay keeping any secrets, or is he being entirely truthful?
HELBING: There’s something that he is struggling with that you’ll start to learn about in the next couple of episodes. That’s partly where Caitlin comes into play, to help him with something.
Will we see any flashbacks to Jay’s life on Earth-2?
HELBING: That’s a good idea. Not right now, but possibly.
SEARS: That’s a fantastic idea! Put that on the list. I’m all for it.
The Flash airs on Tuesday nights on The CW.