Joe West was missing for much of The Flash season 5, even though the character has been a central part of the show since season 1. The Flash season 5 saw an extreme reduction in the role of the main cast member: Jesse L Martin’s Joe West. Joe West is Iris’s father, police for the Central City Police Department, and Barry’s guide and father figure. He’s assisted Team Flash and supported Barry since the start, and has been tangled into the framework of the show, as well as the hearts of fans.
Joe West’s absence
Some fans seem to recollect that in season 5, Joe West’s screentime reduced drastically, which may seem weird considering how crucial of a character he is, and how vital he’s been in previous seasons. While the show explained it away with the excuse that Joe was offscreen taking care of his newborn child, his reduced role was actually due to Martin taking holidays as medical absence from filming due to a back injury
During the show’s interval, Martin suffered a back injury which resulted in him having to temporarily leave the show after episode 4 of season 5. In order to cure properly, Martin left the production of The Flash, which lead to the absence of his character for eleven episodes, returning in season 5, episode 15, “King Shark vs. Gorilla Grodd.” When Joe rejoined the show, his absence was explained by him taking a trip to Tibet with his son, Wally West, which covered the span of time he was gone.
After being MIA for most of season 5, Joe returned to The Flash, where he’s remained on the show since. However, Joe’s short departure isn’t the sole thing that got fans talking for several seasons now there, have been rumors that Cisco will be departing the show; however, while the character may have been missing for a few episodes, it looks like he’ll be around for at least a while longer.