Before I start this piece, let me just say: yes, I love Barry and Iris' relationship, but that love has a limit.
I'm not willing to sacrifice Iris as a well-developed, strong, black woman with a degree in journalism for the sake of Barry's "hero's journey."
So, no, as things are now, I don't want Iris to marry Barry because the writers won't bother to write her as Iris West anymore... she'll just be Mrs. Barry Allen.
Over the past three seasons, Iris has constantly been reduced to being a love interest for Eddie (during The Flash Season 1) and Barry from then on. Her story has been Barry-centric, or Joe-centric, or Wally-centric.
If it weren't for the men on the show, Iris wouldn't have a story, and that's not right.
Iris is a strong, black woman that represents a large part of the world's population, so why aren't the writers giving those people this opportunity to be represented?
She has a career in journalism, a brother and soon-to-be husband that are both speedsters, and a cop as a father. Her life is anything but ordinary.
Even her friendships have been left unexplored by the series. We know that there's an upcoming episode involving a girls trip (The Flash Season 4 Episode 5) where Felicity will be crossing over.
Iris is spending her bachelorette party (supposedly) with Felicity, a character she's never really interacted with, and Caitlin, who we're supposed to believe is Iris' close friend without any proof of this in the past 69 episodes.
That aside, Iris has just been used as emotional leverage for Barry, Joe, Wally, and Eddie and it's disappointing to see such potential go to waste.
Candice Patton is a talented actress and her talent is being wasted.
Where Iris Could Go
Don't get me wrong, I'd love to see Barry and Iris get married. But not at the cost of Iris' identity.
We saw in the Season 4 trailer that Iris would be taking up a lead position on Team Flash in Barry's absence.
This opens up a role for her as the moral compass of Team Flash. She isn't ruled by powers or the threat of destruction to the city, but to justice as a journalist.
Also, it doesn't make sense why Iris' career hasn't been a crucial point of Team Flash's strategy.
Instead of just using the meta-human ability radar, they could use Iris' leads or even use Barry's job as a CSI more.
There are many stories that could be created by Iris investigating a story and realizing there's a connection that's something Flash should be handling.
On top of this, we really need to see more female relationships on this show. They're practically non-existent, which is also the case on Arrow.
Linda and Iris became friends through work, which we saw on The Flash Season 2, so why isn't she being brought back (especially given Wally and Linda's relationship in The Flash comic series)?
Iris has so much potential outside of being "Mrs. Barry Allen" so why isn't that being taken advantage of? Her role as a reporter and her relationship with the Flash and Kid Flash opens up endless possibilities: both positive and negative.
Where is Iris being conflicted over her ethics over a story involving the Flash? Or Iris trying not to let on too much at work, fearing that one of her investigative coworkers might figure out what she's hiding?
There's so much potential for decent storytelling with Iris involved, yet she's always sidelined for the men of the show, which creates a bigger question: does The Flash not know how to write female relationships?
Does the Arrow-verse not know how to write female relationships in general?
There's a staggering lack of female friendships on Arrow and The Flash and of Legends of Tomorrow Season 1 (Season 2 was slightly better with Vixen and Sara).
The Arrowverse is so unfriendly to female characters that they're usually the ones being written off, replaced, or killed. For example, Patty Spivot, Moira Queen, Laurel Lance, the list goes on.
Does Iris' lack of story have something to do with the fact these writers seem to be incapable of writing a story for a woman? Just because it's a comic book show, doesn't mean it's only men watching.
Plenty of women are fans of the Arrowverse, and are due their share of representation to (and not just as the love interest). If fans weren't so strong about their love for Iris, she might've been killed off already.
Just like Laurel was once they decided she was no longer considered as Oliver's love interest.
That made the writers give up on her story because they aren't sure how to write something where a female character isn't downgraded to just being the love interest for the hero.
If Iris wasn't so prominent in the lives of the three characters The Flash focuses on mostly (Barry, Joe, and Wally), would she still be around given they don't really know how to write her?
What do you think? Leave your thoughts in the comments below!
The Flash Season 4 premieres Tuesday, October 10 at 8/7c on The CW.
Jay Ruymann was a staff writer for TV Fanatic. He retired in January 2018.