'The Flash' : Jesse L. Martin Talks Barry's 'Huge Decision,' Teases 'the Gist of the Finale'

"When [Iris] finds out she's being kept out of the loop, she goes hog wild," Martin tells PEOPLE

Photo: Jack Rowand/The CW

As The Flash gears up for a dramatic season finale, Iris (Candice Patton) has finally learned the secret identity of her best friend – and will soon learn that she was the last to know.

In a chat with PEOPLE, Jesse L. Martin, who plays Iris’ father, Joe, tells PEOPLE that she’ll react to that lie of omission from her loved ones about as well as you might expect.

Martin, 46, also reveals a little bit about the events surrounding the Flash finale and the “huge decision” that Barry (Grant Gustin) will need to make if he wants to save his parents from the man purporting to be Dr. Wells (Tom Cavanagh).

Now that Iris knows about Barry being The Flash, is she going to be angry with anybody for not telling her sooner? It seems like she was the absolute last person to know.
If you know anything about Iris, you know that she hates being kept out of the loop, and that when she finds out she is being kept out of the loop, she goes hog wild. You can expect her to be pretty damn upset, particularly with Joe. He should have included her in the secret but he thought he was doing better by keeping her safe. But sometimes, Joe forgets that she is a grown woman and also an investigative reporter, so, eventually she’s going to find out. And when she finds out I didn’t tell her, all hell is going to break loose.

Speaking of Joe forgetting that Iris is a grown woman, I love how he’s also weirdly invested in her love life. Is her relationship with Barry going to move forward at all as we get closer to the finale, or is she just going to be upset with him forever?

Well, Barry kept something from her and that obviously makes her very, very upset. However, now that she’s in the loop, she gets to see what Barry has been dealing with over the last year, which is all these meta-humans, the notion of time travel, all of this technology that Wells and Cisco [Carlos Valdes] have come up with. The amount of information they know that the general public doesn’t know, that’s like gold for Iris. Her learning all of these things is going to play out somehow, publicly, because she has the power of the pen.

So, will the blow be softened a little bit now that she’s opened the door on all this new information?
[Laughs] Well, I wouldn’t say that. We are talking about Iris. She’ll hold on to her anger and disappointment with us for a while, I’m sure.

What’s going to happen to S.T.A.R. Labs now that Wells has gone? Are Team Flash going to claim it? Is Wells just going to go ahead and release all the meta-humans?
The idea that all of the meta-humans that have been kept at S.T.A.R. Labs may get loose and wreak havoc. Wells is really trying to tear things down. Grodd being released, in particular, is frightening to Joe, who has a normal fear of gorillas. So, the idea of a 14-ft., telepathic, evolved gorilla gives him another reason to really have a problem with Wells!

It becomes all about just really finding Wells and finding out what it is that this guy needs and wants because whatever it is, he’s doing everything he possibly can to get it. Meaning, killing everybody in his sight if need be.

Joe acts as a de facto father figure to Barry, but he kind of blew Barry’s opportunity to get his biological father out of prison. Is that going to cause tension in their relationship?

Barry doesn’t blame Joe, but Joe certainly blames himself enough. He carries that guilt no matter what Barry says or does to make Joe feel better about it. Unless the situation is righted, Joe will never be able to feel right about what happened, and he doesn’t know how that could possibly happen.

He learns a few things in the upcoming episode – particularly going toward the finale – that things may be able to be changed. There’s this whole notion that Barry has discovered time travel and if he could go back and change things, would he? That’s the whole gist of our finale.

Barry has the opportunity to maybe go back and change the way things went down but if he changes anything, that means his relationship with Joe may never exist, with Iris, with all the people he’s come to know. But he will have the happy life he thought he’d have with his mom, Nora, and his dad, Henry.

So, it’s a huge decision for Barry. He goes to Joe to ask for advice and Joe says what Joe would say: “If you have a chance to change your life and to save your parents then you should do so. Don’t worry about what that means for us.” And the big thing in the finale is whether he does or not.

The Flash airs Tuesdays (8 p.m. ET) on The CW.

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