Flashback Dads: TV Fathers Only Seen in Flashbacks

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LOS ANGELES, CA - FEBRUARY 01: Actor James Remar speaks onstage during the 44th NAACP Image Awards at The Shrine Auditorium on February 1, 2013 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images for NAACP Image Awards)

USA's legal drama "Suits" recently tapped former "Rescue Me" star James McCaffrey to play Harvey's deceased father, Gordon. While Harvey's father has been mentioned frequently on the show, he has never appeared on an episode in the flesh. That's because Gordon is dead.

McCaffrey will play Gordon Specter in a flashback episode airing this August. Gordon will be tasked with giving Harvey some helpful career advice. But will Harvey take his dad's advice?

McCaffrey's role on "Suits" will induct him into the pantheon of other TV dads who have only appeared in flashbacks. Here are some other examples of fictional fathers who only appear in flashback scenes.

Harry Morgan, "Dexter"

Harry Morgan was dead before "Dexter" began, but he's still appeared in every episode of the series. Harry is often shown in flashbacks, most notably flashbacks where Dexter is learning Harry's code. Harry is also featured as the embodiment of Dexter's conscience in every episode. Even though Harry had been dead for a long time before the "Dexter" story began, his impact has resonated throughout the entire run of the show thus far.

Alfred Mosby and Marvin Eriksen, Sr., "How I Met Your Mother"

Since nearly every minute of "How I Met Your Mother" is technically a flashback from the perspective of future Ted, everyone's fathers are technically only shown in flashback. Ted's dad Alfred and Marshall's dad Marvin are beloved by fans, despite the fact that they're just minor flashback characters.

Christian Shephard, "Lost"

Because of the nature of this twisty little show, a great number of characters only show up in flashback sequences. Jack's dad Christian is one such character. After Jack turns in his alcoholic father due to malpractice, Christian runs off to Australia. Jack was supposed to bring his dad's body home on Oceanic Flight 815.

Giuseppe Salvatore and Mr. Petrova, "The Vampire Diaries"

While the majority of "The Vampire Diaries" takes place in the present day, there are occasional flashbacks to the 1400s and the 1800s to reveal the origins of certain vampire characters. Katerina Petrova's father was revealed in a flashback episode set in the 1400s, while the Salvatore family patriarch was also revealed in flashbacks set during the Civil War.

Interestingly enough, Giuseppe Salvatore is played by James Remar, who also plays Harry Morgan on "Dexter."

Archibald "Archie" Whitman, "Mad Men"

Don Draper's biological father has only been seen in flashbacks. That makes sense, since he died when Don was still just a kid. Don's sort-of-father-figure Uncle Mac has also only been since in flashbacks.

Dr. Bartlet, "The West Wing"

President Bartlet's relationship with his father, Dr. Bartlet, informed his attitudes toward politics and education. Dr. B only appears in flashbacks, though many fans note that the President's angry monologue in "Two Cathedrals" was as much directed toward Dr. B as it was toward God.

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