Barry Allen is feelin’ the love tonight!
The Flash welcomes Central City Picture News reporter Linda Park (played by the lovely Malese Jow) and she immediately clicks with Barry (Grant Gustin), bringing out a different side to the Fastest Man Alive.
“She’s a sparkplug, she’s a firecracker, she’s ballsy, she speaks her mind and she’s cool. And he can’t believe that someone like her is interested in him,” executive producer Andrew Kreisberg previews. “Barry suddenly having somebody like that in his life will suddenly cause all the other women in his life to maybe see green.”
"When [Barry] starts dating Linda, like Caitlin said, you change things when you put that out there," Kreisberg says of Barry's unrequited "I love you" to Iris. "It's definitely weighing on her and it's goingn to weigh on Eddie and it's going to weigh on Caitlin and it's going to weigh on Linda a little bit. Watching what putting that out there is a lot of the emotion in the back half of the season."
Jow (R.I.P. Star-Crossed) jumped on the phone with ETonline to chat all things Flash – including her thoughts on why Linda may be Barry’s best romantic match
What's your version of Linda Park?
We meet Linda and instantly see what she’s all about. She’s very straightforward, she’s very fiery, she knows what she wants. That’s kind of refreshing to see a strong female character that is outspoken and secure, which is awesome, and she immediately does her thing with Barry and he gets her phone number off the bat. It’s interesting to see how it all unfolds between those two.
We certainly see them bonding almost instantaneously!
It is instantaneous. They’re both immediately intrigued by each other because he’s not used to someone being so straightforward and she’s not used to someone so mysterious and charming. It’s really cute!
Linda works at Central City Picture News, the same place Iris was just hired as a cub reporter. What’s their first encounter like?
There’s definitely – I don’t want to say tension – but there’s definitely something in the air. They meet at the end of this episode and Iris is kind of like, “Woah!” because Linda is a veteran [at Picture News] and now she’s all of a sudden the new woman Barry is suddenly going out with, so Iris is having the wind knocked out of her a little bit. Like, “What’s going on? Back up.” There’s something in the air when they first meet.
Not necessarily friends, but acquaintances?
Definitely not besties off the bat, I can tell you that. (Laughs.)
This isn’t the first time we’ll see Linda Park, as the character made a cameo during last season’s two-part Arrow arc reporting on the particle accelerator explosion. Any chance we’ll revisit that moment in time?
Not really. I know people were asking about that because, obviously that wasn’t me [actress Olivia Cheng played the role then], but the masterminds behind the show have a reason for everything to think “Oh hey, Linda Park may actually be a good idea after all.” They made her a real presence on the show. But I don’t know. We don’t really clarify that whole thing but I’m glad they decided to bring Linda onto The Flash.
Things seem to start off extremely well between Barry and Linda, but sometimes all good things have to come to an end. How quickly do things take a turn for the worse?
Things are always slightly turning because Barry is fresh off of telling Iris how he feels and really baring his soul to her, and getting rejected yet they’re still friends. Iris and Barry have a history that you can’t just sweep under the rug, so things are always turning to now this love triangle that’s going on. Linda’s not stupid, she can sense their bond that unfolds – everyone’s trying to stay amicable so these next few episodes are really fun to watch.
Does Linda bring out a different side to Barry that we haven’t seen yet?
Oh yeah! I definitely think so. In the second episode, it’s the date episode, and all the scenes are adorable. But like I said, she knows what she wants and I really feel like she makes Barry step up to the plate and I think he likes that. We see him going out of his way to be a gentleman and have fun. That was definitely one of my favorite episodes to shoot.
Is there a chance Linda could figure out the Barry-Flash connection before Iris does?
Right now we haven’t really touched on Linda finding out anything about The Flash. She more has the intuition going on with Barry and Iris, so we don’t delve into the Flash world too much yet.
Could we learn more about Linda’s past, family history and why she is the way she is?
That’ll be a later time. She definitely has a lot of layers, which people will see. She’s secure but there’s a reason. I think there’s been some trial and error in her life and hopefully we’ll get to dive into it at some point.
And she’s not just simply a foil for Barry and Iris?
I don’t think she’s just a catalyst, I think they do end up having real feelings for each other and she’s a part of that whole ride.
Does Linda interact with anyone else outside of Barry and Iris?
Yes, there is an episode that will also incorporate Eddie into the mix. You’ll have to stay tuned for that too.
Share one nugget for an upcoming scene.
I’m excited for the date episode. It’s a cute adventure that Barry and Linda go on. That should be fun for everyone to watch – they get to see him lighten up a little up, have fun, go out on the town and paint the town red.
Safe to say things don’t exactly pan out the way both may have hoped?
Maybe… maybe not. You just never know!
How much of a departure is it for Linda from when we first see her to where she ends up after the four-episode arc?
I don’t want to reveal too much but things get revealed and all these characters have to work through different things – plus life happens. But Linda’s still around.
So we’ll see you come back later on…
Yes, I think so.
Are you excited about Linda Park’s introduction? Tell us your thoughts by tweeting Philiana Ng at @insidethetube, and don’t forget that #ETnow hashtag!
The Flash airs 8 p.m. Tuesdays on The CW.