‘The Flash’: Jordan Fisher on the West-Allen Family Reunion & Bart’s Extreme Emotions
[Warning: The below contains MAJOR spoilers for The Flash Episode 150 “Heart of the Matter, Part 1.”]
It’s a family affair in the 150th episode of The Flash! Barry (Grant Gustin) and Iris’ (Candice Patton) kids from the future, Nora/XS (Jessica Parker Kennedy) and Bart/Impulse (Jordan Fisher), time travel to when Team Flash is busy dealing with the Godspeed war, and things quickly take a turn.
By episode’s end, after refusing to sit on the sidelines and let his uncle Jay (John Wesley Shipp) fall victim to the Godspeeds — especially since the speedster kills Jay in the future, making him Bart’s Thawne — Bart is left in a deep comatose state. In order to figure out why, in the future, Godspeed went to the Flash museum, they must unlock the memories of the speedster in the present day … when August Heart has no idea who he is. Barry takes a trip into his mind in the episode’s final moments.
TV Insider caught up with Fisher to discuss the West-Allen family dynamics and playing Bart and to try to get some teases about the season finale.
We start by seeing Bart’s fun and impulsive side, then you start peeling back the layers as this episode goes on. Can you talk about stepping into the role?
Jordan Fisher: Anything that I knew about Bart before going into the show was Young Justice Impulse. I grew up reading comics, but I didn’t really get into The Flash too much, honestly, until I found out about all of this. But the way that I function, I dive headfirst and I do not come up for air until I’m overloaded with information. I like to study. I’ve always wanted to play a superhero. But as a fan of superheroes and as a fan of comics, I veered on the side of caution: If I’m going to play a superhero, it’s gotta be the right one and I have to make sure that the fans of this character — not necessarily the show or the whatever — are satisfied and are happy with where it’s at.
Ultimately I based that off of how I feel because I’ve become a fan. So going into this, it was like, it’s going to be a dream. It’s going to be a lot of fun. But it’s just such a well-oiled machine already. I don’t know how I’m going to be embraced. I don’t know how fans are gonna feel. I don’t know how people on set cast, crew, whatever. It’s just kind of what it is. But a lot of my career has been going into things after they’ve already been established, so thankfully I have some experience there. Then on top of that, I was warmly welcomed by the most lovely cast, the most lovely crew, production teams. Everyone involved has been so lovely and I’ve had the time of my life genuinely. So hopefully that reads.
Last we see Bart, he’s in a deep comatose state. What can you tease about what we’ll see of Bart and his condition in the season finale?
You know I can’t say anything! [Laughs] What I can say is that I do think that fans are going to be very satisfied [and] very thrilled with what they see in the finale. It’s a lot of surprises, a lot of excitement. People are going to be pretty freaking happy with the finale.
There’s so much to unpack [with the different sides of Bart]. Obviously with the timeline of The Flash as well, it’s very, very complicated. But you will continue to get to know Bart and the rest of these characters throughout and see some sides of some of these characters that are so beloved that you haven’t seen yet. That’s a thrilling thing. It’s a thrilling time to be a part of the show.
Barry’s gone into August Heart’s mind. How much will Barry hear about Bart that hasn’t been said yet? Because we do know Godspeed kills Jay but given what we know about Barry and Thawne and since Godspeed is Bart’s Thawne… I feel like there’s a lot more going on, right?
Yeah, I’m twiddling my fingers like a mad scientist right now. I genuinely think that I would be hunted down if I say anything at all. It is so complicated.
With Godspeed being Bart’s Thawne, is there anything you studied from what we’ve seen of Barry to parallel that?
Bart is very different from Barry in a lot of ways and very similar to Barry in a lot of ways. The things that are very similar where Bart and Barry are concerned are the importance of family orientation and family dynamic. You definitely get to see that with Impulse and with Bart’s impulsivity and how hotheaded he can get. It all comes from a place of passion, of his heart being so big, and caring so deeply about people that are around him in the same way that Barry does. Mannerisms, physicality, little things like that, you can pick that up if you watch a few episodes and see choices that Grant makes and why he does things the way that he does. But without it being too familiar or too similar, my goal was to let there be a little familiarity in my interpretation of Bart where Grant’s version of Barry is concerned. That “Oh, let’s see a little bit of his dad in him” is a really sweet thing. It’s a nice little dynamic that people can pick up on if they choose to look out for it.
We did see a big difference, though, when Bart says to let the Godspeed clones kill each other. Barry gets this look because that’s something he wouldn’t let happen.
Yeah, when Bart hurts, he hurts, and when Bart’s angry, he is angry. When he’s happy, he is happy. It’s extremes for Bart, very much so. Certain things are unforgivable to Bart. Certainly, like you said, there’s definitely a lot of range and a lot of dynamic, a lot of layers to peel back. And hopefully, we can continue to do so, but, but I definitely think that with these [last two] episodes [of the season], it’s going to be a roller coaster, especially where Impulse is concerned.
Talk about Bart’s relationship with his parents. We see that he has a good relationship with them, just in the way he greets their present selves, but then at the same time, they’re not yet his parents.
I tried to wrap my mind around what would that be like? What would that feel like going back in time? Right now 2021, what would happen if I went back in time and met my mom and she was younger and getting to be like, “Hey, I’m your son in the future. I know I don’t look the way that you probably imagined.”
My mentality is like, “OK, well, these relationships are so established for him. Yeah, going back in time, even though the parents don’t necessarily know me that way yet, there’s gotta be some sort of love there.” I can’t even wrap my mind around what it would feel like to meet my 19-year-old son when he hasn’t even been born yet. That blows my mind. But I think that for Bart and for Nora, Iris and Barry are Mom and Dad, and that’s it, the end of the day, they are Mom and Dad, period, the end, and the love is unconditional. Bart is definitely a momma’s boy. I’m excited for people to see the relationship between Bart and Iris and how Iris has the ability to reach Bart in ways that his dad doesn’t. It’s a mother’s touch.
And this family’s so used to time travel, it’s not a big surprise.
[Laughs] Right. “Oh, you’re my son for the future? Alright. Cool.”
From the beginning, we get the big sister/little brother vibe from Nora and Bart. Is there any sense of betrayal on his part when she tells their parents he can’t keep his cool with Godspeed?
Yeah, I think so. She knows that he’s my Thawne and I have to handle things a certain way. She’s really only concerned about me. “Why wouldn’t you have my back? How could you not have my back on this?” I think that’s the place where Bart comes from. “With [everything] we have been through, what we have sacrificed, and how we are doing everything that we can to make sure that everything works out for all of us, so we can be a happy family together in the future and everything be OK, I know what needs to go down and you agree with me, how can you not have my back in this moment?” It’s a hurtful moment, a very painful thing because if I don’t have my sister, if I don’t have Nora, who do I have? We’re the ones that are in this together. We’re the ones that came back together to do what we need to do. How can you stand there and not let me be useful, be helpful? Because dad says so? That’s tough.
I loved that conversation at Joe and Cecile’s house.
I appreciate that. That was a really, really good moment for sure. I’m grateful that they let me just have freedom and make the choices that I wanted to make and do what I wanted to do.
Especially because of where it took place.
On the couch, in the living room, having a good sibling moment. And what I love about Nora in that moment as well is you can see her mom in her, you can see the gentle, constructive, loving, nurturing dynamic that Iris has for people and for her kids especially. It’s a really special moment.
We really saw Bart’s impulsive side come out when Jay was in trouble, and we know what his uncle meant to him with that conversation.
He’s a mentor. We all have those people in our lives that are not our parents or our actual aunt or uncle by blood, but we love that way. It takes a village. That relationship is so deeply meaningful to Bart and nothing bad can happen to anyone in Bart’s life, but especially a couple of people: his family — his mom, dad, and sister — and Jay, truly. Those are the most important people to Bart.
Jay definitely has a major impact on how Bart is who he is. We even say in that scene on the couch: Jay is the reason why I am who I am. He is the person that helped me find my strength and my impulsivity and my hyperness and my energy. He’s the one that even though everybody else was like, “That’s going to get you in trouble, that’s going to get you killed,” Jay said, “No, that’s your strength.” I needed that. I needed someone in my life that could be that person for me, and Jay became that person for Bart. That’s a special thing
We got a real sense of the future relationships Bart has with the team just from their greetings — Chester [Brandon McKnight] helping with Bart’s homework and things like that.
Right! It’s so sweet. Filming all of those moments was a blast. That’s so fun. [A] little time travel never hurt nobody.
The Flash, Season 7 Finale, Tuesday, July 20, 8/7c, The CW