Since learning Barry Allen’s secret, Candice Patton‘s “Flash” character, Iris West, has taken her life into her own hands. She has both become a well-regarded reporter at Central City Picture News and developed bonds with characters like Linda Park, in addition to going on adventures of her own during her investigations. Despite her fiance Eddie’s death, she has powered forward, becoming a valuable member of Team Flash.
However, Iris’ new, semi-charmed life has recently taken a hit. Not only has she learned her mother is alive, she’s also discovered that she has a brother — the incoming Wally West. Now, Iris finds herself in a similar situation to the one Joe and Barry were in last season, lying to them about her newly-discovered secret, and dealing with a hypocrisy she is aware of but seems unable to work past — for now.
In speaking with CBR News about this recent turn of events, Patton shared her insight into Iris’ relationships with characters like her father, Barry and Patty, and expressed her admiration for the character’s strong moral compass and protective instincts.
CBR News: Last season, Iris had an amazing scene where she took Barry and her father to task for lying to her. Now, she’s been placed in a similar situation with her mother and brother. How has she been coping with the decisions she’s made?
Candice Patton: She’s in a difficult position, you’re right. Having seen her really take Joe and Barry to task for keeping secrets in Season 1, we ironically see Iris in a similar situation of having to keep a secret in order to protect the ones she loves — or so she thinks. I think she’s really struggling with being a hypocrite in a way, but also finally understanding what it means to lie and keep secrets in order to protect the ones you love. Her moral compass is so strong I don’t know that she can sit on that information and keep secrets and lie for much longer.
Has any of this changed the way she sees about her father at all?
Yeah! I think when her father revealed that her mother was still alive we saw a new version of Iris understanding that his intention wasn’t to harm her, but rather to protect her and keep her safe. There’s an understanding, with Iris having gone through Season 1 and seeing what Joe, Barry, Team Flash and the city are dealing with, that everyone is really just trying to protect each other. At the end of the day, that’s kind of what the West family and the Allen family are trying to protect — we’re all just trying to protect each other.
It’s finally out that not only is Wally West is headed to the show, he’s Iris’ brother. Can you tell us where she is emotionally right now, having recently made this huge discovery?
It’s a whirlwind. It’s like being slapped in the face. She finds out that her mother’s not dead, and now she’s realized her mother had another child and that this child is her biological brother, perhaps. It’s a lot of information, and then deciding that’s something that she should tell Joe — it’s a huge, huge weight on Iris.
Iris has had her fair share of action sequences this season. What was that like for you, and can we expect to see more of that as the season moves forward?
I’m always an advocate of Iris being a badass. I love seeing her hold a gun, I love seeing her be fearless and jump out of windows. It’s a really important character trait. As she gets stronger and just evolves as a woman, I think we’re seeing more and more of her strength. I think we can expect to see more as episodes come and seasons come.
How has Iris’ relationship with Linda Park evolved since last episode?
Not much. It’s just Iris’ instinct, I think, to protect people. She’s a hero in her own right, you know? She may not have super powers, but in those moments, you see Iris will defend the weak if she’s able — and even when she’s not able, sometimes.
I can say, she definitely cares about Linda and there’s a friendship there and she and Linda share a lot of similar qualities. I think you’ll see, in episode seven, that — now that Erik Larkin has died — Linda wants to help. She wants to be a part of helping take down the people who are responsible for this, which is something Iris can definitely relate to, wanting to be a part of the team and wanting to help.
Also in the last episode, we saw Patty and Iris interact with each other very briefly. How would you like to see that develop?
They have the potential to have a very amicable friendship. They both care about Barry. I think Iris likes Patty. I think she thinks she’s smart and funny and witty and has all of the right qualities for Barry. There’s potential for them to have a really great female friendship. I think Iris can offer a lot of insight on Barry to Patty.
Between Eddie’s death and learning she is (allegedly) destined to marry Barry, Iris’ relationship with Barry took a couple hits last season. However, they continue to be very comfortable with each other this year. How would you describe where they are right now?
There’s so much on both of their plates, it’s just not a focus. I think their relationship is very much best friends. They still confide in each other and look to each other for advice in daily life, but Iris is still grieving the loss of her fiance. Barry is struggling with this doppelgänger that looks like Harrison Wells, and now Zoom, and kind of having feelings for another woman. They both have their own lives that they’re dealing with. I think what we can always expect is that Barry and Iris will have a friendship and will have some sort of relationship where they need each other in their lives.
How is she dealing with facing Earth Two’s Wells?
I think, like everyone else, it’s a bit of a mind-bender. It’s hard, because he looks like the person who was responsible for her fiance’s death. It’s a lot, but she’s really struggling with the concept of it — first of all, that there is an Earth Two, and that there’s a doppelgänger, and learning how to separate the fact that this is not the same person that we knew from Season 1. It’s a lot for her, and I’m sure a lot for Barry and everyone else.
What do you think Iris’ Earth Two doppelgänger is like?
I think Iris is kind of the salt of the earth, just a great, good girl. It’d be fun to see the 180 of that, a villainess version of Iris. Everybody wants to play the bad guy every once in a while.
If you could have a superpower, what would it be?
To power nap. Right now, that’s the first thing that comes to mind. Power napping. That’s something I’m not able to do.
“The Flash” airs Tuesdays at 8 pm EST on The CW.