'The Flash's Candice Patton Talks Iris' Reaction to That Westallen Family Bombshell (Exclusive)
By Meredith B. Kile
The Flash dropped a Westallen bombshell in their season five premiere -- and it's going to have lasting effects on the whole family.
Following the reveal that the Central City stranger who kept running into (no pun intended) Team Flash was in fact Nora West-Allen (Jessica Parker Kennedy), Barry and Iris' daughter from the future, the team also learned that Future Barry has been MIA for years, and wasn't there for most of Nora's life growing up.
The news was perhaps even more of a shocker to Barry (Grant Gustin) and Iris (Candice Patton) than Nora's existence in the first place, and will continue to ripple throughout the season, both in the couple's relationships with Nora and with each other.
"For Iris, I don't think she realized that Barry was gone for that long and that she was raising Nora by herself," Patton told ET's Philiana Ng at The CW Fall Launch Event, in partnership with #SeeHer on Sunday. "What that means when your husband has been gone, what kind of mother you become to protect your child, I think that wasn't a dynamic that Iris was expecting."
"I think she saw Nora back from the future and she thought, "Oh! We get our happy ending and everything's perfect." There's this caveat that Barry's not there and it affects their relationship, and I think it's a really hard thing for Iris to deal with."
The first episodes of season five also show Iris getting back to her roots as an investigative journalist, something Patton was happy to see, though she admits that she's constantly pushing for dynamic story arcs for her character.
"I think I'm never quite 100 percent satisfied. That's me being a perfectionist and that's me also fighting for great story lines for women of color," the actress explained. "I'm the female lead on this show and Iris is such an important character in the comic books. I'm not just fighting for myself, I'm fighting for every girl who looks like me, every character who may look like me in the future, every woman of color who gets put in this position of being a female lead who has a diverse background. I want them to have a very well-rounded storyline. It's something that I'm always pushing for."
And while the surprising arrival of their daughter may throw a wrench in the works for Barry and Iris, the couple certainly has the history to weather the storm together.
"They're so steadfast," Patton told ET's Leanne Aguilera during San Diego Comic-Con this summer. "[They've been together] since childhood, and I think there's something really endearing about that. Everyone wants that, everyone wants a relationship [with] someone that you can count on and trust and to tell you the truth and I feel like Barry and Iris have that. They're kind of just like an ideal couple."
The Flash airs Tuesdays at 8 p.m. ET/PT. See more on this season in the video below.