It finally happened. Iris (Candice Patton) came clean about her romantic feelings for Barry (Grant Gustin) on “The Flash” and the WestAllen shippers rejoiced. Unfortunately what should have been a special moment for a couple that is fated to be together was instead forced, clunky and a little confusing.
While the most die-hard of fans will tell you this has been a relationship long in the making, with both Barry and Iris dropping hints about their lasting feelings for each other, the truth is a bit murkier.
Season 1 of “The Flash” saw a Barry who was clearly smitten with Iris, even though she was very much in love with Eddie (Rick Cosnett). Meanwhile, Iris largely saw Barry as a brother in the beginning. After the death of Eddie and dating her boss (Tone Bell) for a grand total of about 30 seconds, something began to change.
That all led to her declaring her love for Barry in last week’s episode, “Rupture.” While that would be a nice way to end the story, the way she went about it has to make you wonder how genuine her feelings are.
As Iris has come to terms with her feelings throughout Season 2, it’s always been with the caveat that a newspaper from the future showed her married name to be Iris West-Allen and the fact that on Earth-2 she and Barry are married as well.
While some may argue Iris has come about her feelings organically on the show, this is how she explained them to Barry:
“I can’t help but think about us. What Wells said about us being married in the future and on Earth-2. And I can’t help wondering if maybe we were meant to be together.”
Those are not the words of someone in love, but rather someone relying on outside factors to determine their fate. Are Barry and Iris destined to be together? If the comics are any indication, they sure are.
However, letting that destiny rule over them defeats the power of that love and those characters as individuals. Iris West is not a character who would just give into what outside forces are telling her. She’s a powerful woman who normally takes zero crap from anybody. Basing her love off of being told what’s happening in the future and in an alternate universe just seems strange for her.
That’s enough to make us wonder if this is simply the next twist in this particular relationship — rushing into what you’re mistaking for love in the middle of a pretty horrible situation simply because it’s the safe option.
Maybe that’s the intention here, maybe it isn’t. Regardless, it will be interesting to see how genuine Iris’ feelings for Barry are in the coming episodes of Season 2.
We don’t doubt she feels something real and true for Barry, the only question is whether it’s romantic love at this point. It will be one day, but maybe that isn’t today.