The Flash Star Gets His Own Series

Jesse L. Martin, longtime Law & Order and The Flash star, will finally be leading his own series, The Irrational, at NBC starting next year.

By Jonathan Klotz | Updated


Jesse L. Martin, most recently seen playing Joe West on CW’s The Flash, has landed his own network television series at NBC, The Irrational. Details coming from Deadline describe the series, based off of Dan Arielsy’s best-selling novel, Predictably Irrational, as following a world-famous behaviorist (Martin) that helps corporations, governments, and law-enforcement using his unique understanding of human behavior. While that description sounds like fellow superhero alum Tim Roth’s Lie to Me, well, that show has been off the air for awhile, and Martin is one of the easiest actors to root for in Hollywood.

A classically trained actor who has performed multiple times with the legendary company behind Shakespeare in the Park, Jesse L. Martin’s most famous role depends on who you ask. A star in the Broadway production of Rent, Tom Collins could be his best role, or is it as the patient father figure to Barry Allan (Grant Gustin) on The Flash? Maybe it’s his nearly decade-long stint as Detective Ed Green on Law & Order, where he is the fifth-longest serving cast member on the long-running show?

Jesse L. Martin replaced Benjamin Bratt on the flagship Law & Order, stepping in as the new partner to Jerry Orbach’s Lenny Briscoe, then working with Dennis Farina’s Joe Fontana. In 2006, Martin’s Det. Green became the senior detective, working alongside Milena Govich’s Nina Cassidy, and Jeremy Sisto’s Cyrus Lupo. In between Law & Order and The Flash, Martin had a recurring role in the short-lived series The Philanthropist, very loosely based on the real-life story of Bob Sager.

Jesse L. Martin as Joe West on The Flash

On The Flash, Jesse L. Martin’s latest detective character is tasked not with finding suspects in 30 minutes, but with acting as the grounding force for the sci-fi comic book spectacle taking place all around him. The calm, nuanced portrayal of Joe West is a terrific example of the importance of having a non-superhero person for everyone else to play off of, otherwise, the crazy superheroics lose all meaning. Given how often Barry Allen has been resetting the timeline, rescuing people from other dimensions, or traveling to Earth-2, having the unpowered everyman present to continually remark on just how weird the situation is, helps accent just how bizarre the average plot of The Flash is, in all the best ways.

How much crazy has Jesse L. Martin been reacting to for almost the last decade? At one point, his granddaughter from the future, Nora West-Allen, played by Jessica Parker Kennedy, arrives but is then erased from existence following the defeat of Cicada, though a different version of a future character then arrives in a later season to take part in the battle against Godspeed, alongside Bart Allen, another future child of Barry and Iris. If it helps, The Flash comics also sound insane when the plots are explained step-by-step, though they are also really good, it’s just a long way for Martin from say, investigating why a philandering husband was shot in New York’s Upper East Side.

Jesse L. Martin’s first starring series in nearly 20 years, The Irrational, has been picked up for a full season order, but if this last fall season has taught viewers anything, it’s that a full order can just as easily be rescinded. Season 9 of The Flash starts airing on February 8, with a shortened season comprised of only 13 episodes, bringing an end to the very first Arrow spin-off after nine years on the air.