It took a while, but Iris West is finally on the same page as everyone else on The Flash!
For much of the season the unrequited love of The Fastest Man Alive had been unaware that the scarlet speedster saving Central City was her childhood best friend Barry Allen (Grant Gustin). That all changed after last week's game-changing episode, when an electric shock - the same jolt of lightning Iris felt at the hospital during Barry's coma - passed through her body, serving as confirmation and a revelation that Barry was the man behind the mask. Because of that, their dynamic will change for good.
"It was a relief for me as an actress to finally get to that moment where Iris finds out who The Flash is," star Candice Patton tells ETonline. "It’s been a long time coming and it was a really exciting moment."
Ahead of tonight's brand-new episode (it's all about Grodd!), Patton jumped on the phone with ETonline to dish on all things The Flash – from the repercussions of Barry's big secret to Iris' newfound mission.
ETonline: There seemed to be an outpouring and admiration for Iris following last week's episode, which must’ve been nice to see.
Candice Patton: Yeah! For a long time people have been speculating and a little frustrated about “When is Iris going to find out, it’s taking too long.” The way we revealed it was just perfect. I do feel like it was in the perfect timing. These characters – the Lois Lanes, the Iris Wests, the Laurel Lances – I’ve seen on previous shows where it’s taken seasons for them to find out and so for Iris to find out in episode 20 [of season one], we felt like it was soon. It’s a relief for everyone. Now that she knows, she can help the team.
ETonline: Now that Iris has learned that Barry is The Flash, is there a chance she’ll doubt her own revelation?
Patton: Iris knows for sure. The thing about Iris is she’s extremely intelligent and we revealed that in such a great way with the electric shock. She remembered that from the hospital. Instead of being a brainiac like a Caitlin or Cisco, Iris’ intelligence comes from a more visceral place – it’s intuition, it’s feelings, it’s touches, senses and things like that. The way that she found was through touch, so she knows that’s The Flash and that’s Barry Allen. There’s no doubt in her mind, and she’ll investigate and confront him about that.
ETonline: How does this fundamentally change Iris and Barry’s relationship? Is this going to be difficult for her to get over?
Patton: Yes and no. Barry’s her best friend and more than that, they look at each other as family. It’s really devastating and hurtful to Iris that Barry didn’t trust her enough to tell her the truth, so you’ll see her manifest that in a lot of anger in the next episode. But at the end of the day, because they are family, Iris will be quicker to forgive rather than being angry for so long.
ETonline: Out of all the people who have betrayed Iris with keeping The Flash secret – Barry, Iris’ father Joe and Iris’ boyfriend Eddie – which relationship is the toughest to mend?
Patton: The hardest for her would be Barry. She’s used to her dad trying to protect her – that comes with his job description. It’s frustrating for her but she’s used to it. Barry is someone who she can confide in and someone who gets her, and they’ve always told each other everything, so Barry’s the one she’d least expect to lie to her. I think that’s why it took her so long for her to realize it was Barry because she would have no reason to believe that he would lie to her. They’ve never lied to each other, so it didn’t dawn on her that Barry could do such a thing.
ETonline: Who does Iris start to lean on in the wake of all this, or is she on her own path?
Patton: She’s processing the anger that she has, but there’s the issue of Grodd in the next episode and she just happens to be in S.T.A.R. Labs at that moment. We get to see Iris immediately jump into using her skillset to help the team track down Grodd. While she’s still upset and a bit angry, Iris is going to do whatever needs to be done to help her city and help The Flash. I don’t think she isolates herself by any means.
ETonline: It’s been a big hope to see Iris interacting more regularly with Cisco and Caitlin, and it sounds like we’ll get to see that new dynamic form.
Patton: Yeah, definitely. We’ve only seen Iris outside of the team. We’ve seen her at [Central City] Picture News, at Jitters and at the West house. Now she’s the last character to make her way into S.T.A.R. Labs and once that happens, it’ll be like the team has finally assembled.
ETonline: Eddie was about to propose before Reverse-Flash came in and rained on their parade. Do you think she would have said yes had Eddie gone through with it?
Patton: I don’t think Iris knew Eddie was about to propose, but it goes back to what Joe said in [last week’s] episode to Barry when Barry asks Joe why he didn’t give Eddie his blessing and Joe says, “I know that she would say yes and she would say yes because she loves Eddie but that’s not the person she wants to be with.” She’d go down this path of being married to him but not really being in love with him the way she’s in love with Barry. Maybe Joe was right. She would’ve said yes. Eddie is a great guy. He loves her, he protects her and he’s kind to her; he’s a great man, any woman would be lucky to be with Eddie.
ETonline: Does this open up the possibility of Iris investigating previously unexplained events, such as Mason Bridge's sudden disappearance?
Patton: She will find out more about what happened to Mason, just by being near the S.T.A.R. Labs team. They have information on that and she will become aware of what really happened to Mason. I can only imagine that in the next season Iris will be in line with the whole Flash team in fighting the metahumans and the bad guys in Central City.
ETonline: Will we get hints or Easter eggs to Iris’ mother before the end of the season?
Patton: I’m excited to go down that path too, of finding out the backstory and whereabouts of Iris’ mother. I don’t know that we’ll get to that by the end of the season but I’m more than sure that we’ll address Iris’ mom and what happened there.
ETonline: In terms of Barry and Iris moving forward, what can fans expect between the two in the remaining three episodes?
Patton: You see Iris’ importance in Barry’s life in these last couple of episodes. You see how much she means to him and how much he is buoyed by her to The Flash to be a superhero and how much he leans on her for advice and how much he cares for her. There are some really great scenes coming up before the end of the season where you really get a sense of how important they are to each other’s life, and that Barry runs his most important conflicts and hurdles by Iris because he trusts her and he needs her to be the superhero that he is.
ETonline: Does Iris become aware that in a future timeline she and Barry marry?
Patton: Not that I’m aware of. She is unaware of her future with Barry.
The Flash airs Tuesdays at 8 p.m. on The CW.
Press play on the video below to watch The Flash's Grant Gustin and Rick Cosnett dish on the Barry-Iris-Eddie love triangle!