What Happened to Barry’s Father in ‘The Flash’? Is He Out of Prison?


It is known that Barry Allen suffered a family tragedy when he was just a boy, and that event shaped his whole life. When his mother was murdered, Barry did not just lose her, but, in a way, he also lost his father, Henry. In this article, we’ll look into what happened to Barry’s father in the movie ‘The Flash’ and explain what happens to him in the end.

Henry Allen was in prison for many years after being wrongfully accused of murdering his wife and Barry’s mother, Nora. As his appeal hearing was closing in, Barry found out that the evidence that was supposed to free his dad would be useless in court since it won’t provide a solid alibi for his father. So, Barry decided to travel back in time to change the past. Eventually, Barry’s father is released from prison thanks to Barry, who tampered with the events in the past.

Barry’s father spent years in prison for a crime he did not commit, and the tragedy that struck the Allen family scared them for life. Barry was always sure his father was innocent and never gave up proving that. In the movie ‘Flash,’ he finds a way to free his father, and we’ll talk more about it in the next few paragraphs.

Barry’s father spent years in prison for a crime he did not commit

Billy Crudup as Henry Allen in Justice League

Barry lost his parents on one tragic night as a little boy. His mother was murdered, and his father was falsely sentenced to life in prison as the main culprit. Barry never got over that because he was sure his father was innocent, and there was no way he could be the killer since he was at the store buying canned tomatoes at the time of the murder. There was no way of proving that then, so he ended up in jail.

Years later, thanks to Wayne’s modern technology, security footage from the store where Henry was buying canned tomatoes could be remastered, presenting a clear image of what was happening there. As Henry’s appeal hearing was closing in, Barry had high hopes as this was the only alibi that could save his father.

Unfortunately, Bruce Wayne informed Barry that he had some bad news – the footage won’t serve as an alibi since his father never raised his head and looked up, so the camera did not catch his face.

After watching the footage himself, Barry was devastated. He and Henry talked over the phone later, and Barry had to tell his father the hard truth – the appeal hearing won’t go as well as they had planned. The Flash promised his father that he would never stop trying to find a way to get him out of prison. The two talked a lot, remembering their beloved Nora and all their memories together. Henry said it is easier for him to be in jail, imagining that his wife is still alive, than to live without her.


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All of that made Barry very emotional; the thought of his father being in jail for something he did not devastate him, so with that in mind, Barry ran, and he ran faster than ever before. The Flash outran the speed of light and realized he could go back in time that way. He shared his newfound realization with Bruce Wayne, who warned him that it was dangerous and reckless.

The Flash goes back in time and creates an alternate timeline

Barry was aware of all the potential dangers that could arise with him meddling with the past, but he decided to try anyway. He considered that as long as he changed just one thing, which would make his mother pick up the canned tomatoes in the first place, and if he didn’t interact with anyone in the meantime, everything would be fine.

So, Barry did go back in time and put the canned tomatoes in his mother’s shopping cart, which saved her life. However, all that produced a whole set of other problems and complications that tend to come with time travel. Barry met his younger self and lost his powers in the process. Not only that, but he realized that he is stuck in the alternate timeline, where many things are different, including the fact that the Justice League does not exist.

Barry tracked down the Batman of the alternate timeline and explained what was happening. Bruce explained how time travel works – it changes future events and everything else that happened before, creating multiple overlaps of different realities and meddling with the multiverse. Flash realized that some constant points and events couldn’t be fixed in the time-space continuum no matter how much one tries. He called them destiny or fate and, unfortunately, later realized that trying to save his mother was doing more harm than good.

So, he returned and removed the canned tomatoes from his mother’s cart, ensuring Henry would later go to the store and pick them up. However, Barry did change one thing – he put the can on the upper shelf this time. His father later picked the can from the upper shelf and looked up enough so the security camera could catch his face.

Barry returned to his timeline just barely before his father’s appeal hearing. And this time, the security footage showed without a doubt that Henry was in the store at the time of the murder and there was no way he could kill his wife. The newfound evidence proved his innocence.


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Of course, Barry’s minor change with the placement of canned tomatoes freed his father, but other consequences happened. A new Batman was in his timeline, and Aquaman apparently became an alcoholic. Some future DC projects might explain what that means for our beloved speedster and his squad. We’ll see.

What did you think about Henry’s story arc in ‘The Flash’? Share your thoughts in the comments below!

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