‘The Flash’ Star Candice Patton Talks Wally West, Iris’ ‘Meaty’ Family Drama

the flash candice patton enter zoom
Courtesy of The CW

The Flash” has already introduced plenty of powerful villains, but in the Nov. 10 episode, we’ll get a proper look at the show’s most formidable foe yet — the “speed demon” known as Zoom — when Barry Allen (Grant Gustin) and his team devise a plan to take down the big bad who has been grabbing metahumans from Earth-2 and depositing them in our world with a directive to kill our titular hero.

Last week, Team Flash had to wrap their collective minds around a doppelganger of Harrison Wells (Tom Cavanagh), the arrogant founder of STAR Labs, and a villainous version of Linda Park (Malese Jow) from Earth-2, where she’s known as Dr. Light. This week, Linda will be right back in the action, thanks to a plan from Iris (Candice Patton) “to lure Zoom out by using Linda” as a Dr. Light decoy, according to Patton.

In last week’s episode, Iris saved Linda’s life during Dr. Light’s attack by proving she can be just as quick with a gun as with a pen when the need arises, and Patton tells Variety her character will have more opportunities to kick butt and be proactive this season. “It’s nice to get to play that; I’ve always been an advocate of that side of Iris and I think that’s how we know her in the comics … it’s just the beginning of a lot more of that for Iris,” she teases.

Fans will see that assertiveness in the Nov. 10 episode, titled “Enter Zoom,” and Patton says, “It’s so nice to see Iris as part of Team Flash and helping come up with ideas and supporting him in capturing a big villain.”

The actress says she’s a big fan of the Iris-Linda dynamic we’ve seen in recent episodes: “I love seeing female friendships on TV and the fact that they work at the same newspaper and have a lot in common, it’s a great opportunity for a great female friendship.”

Still, don’t assume Iris will turn to Linda for advice over her ever-evolving family drama — Patton admits “Iris is having a hard time processing” the fact that she has a brother that she and her father, Joe (Jesse L. Martin) never knew existed. “I think it’s gonna take time for her to decide what she’s gonna do with the information about this new family member,” she says, observing that Iris will have a chance to see things from Barry and Joe’s perspective after the duo kept Barry’s superhero identity a secret from her last year.

“It’s kind of ironic that Iris of season one was so adamant that people be honest with her and stop trying to protect her, and now we see Iris having this experience of having to keep something a secret in order to protect the people she loves, so it’s taking a big toll on her, because part of her feels like a hypocrite,” Patton says. “She’s finally understanding what it feels like to keep a secret, so we’ll see how long she can actually sit on that.”

Since executive producer Andrew Kreisberg recently teased that the show was about to go “doppelganger-a-go-go,” Patton admits she’d “love to see a doppelganger of Iris from a different earth — there’s so many possibilities.” As for what kind of changes she’d like to play in an alternate version of her character, the actress says, “I would love to be evil. Iris is such a good-hearted good soul; she’s the girl next door that you love, but it would be fun to play the bad girl for once.”

Some of the most satisfying scenes this season — for viewers and Patton herself — came when Iris got the chance to confront her mother in “The Fury of Firestorm,” and Patton promises there’ll be more family-focused scenes to come. “It was nice to have those scenes where we finally see Iris’ point of view and what she’s dealing with in her life … the struggles she’s had to overcome and now will continue to have to overcome. It was really nice to share those scenes, and there’ll be more of that,” she says. “It’s nice to have these meaty storylines. Andrew has said that last season was a lot about the Allen family being the heart of the show and really this season is about the West family being the heart and family element of ‘The Flash,’ so there’s gonna be so much more of that.”

Patton promises that fans can also look forward to more “West-Allen moments — and I mean that literally, the West family and the Allen family,” when Barry’s father Henry (John Wesley Shipp) returns in an upcoming episode, since the bond between the two families continues to be the emotional center of the show.

As for when we’ll see Iris’ brother, Wally West (Keiynan Lonsdale), make his much-anticipated debut, Patton remains tight-lipped. “I have met Keiynan, there are scenes that I’m hearing about … I know the Wally stuff is going to be heavy second half of the season. As for now, I don’t know really how or where he’ll show up but you can count on Wally [in the] second half of season two.”

“The Flash” airs Tuesdays at 8 p.m. on The CW.

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  1. Debbie says:

    First of all, thank you for giving us Iris’ (Candice Patton’s) perspective. You have achieved more in a few paragraphs than the show has in its 2nd season so far. Patton portrays an awe inspiring Iris and does justice to the character when the writing allows it. It seldom does. Have the @Flashwriters even viewed the 1st season? Barry Allen is completely out of character. The same guy that took almost fifteen years to tell the love of his life his feelings has no problem dating both his and her co-workers? The same guy who couldn’t tell Iris his identity even though his silence threatened their friendship, easily told Linda Park. And what the hell was that with the ghost pepper at CCN? His best friend has been sidelined as little more than furniture to moved around to offset his libido? Not only does Iris West deserve better, the viewers deserve better. Try harder writers. The story line of Barry Allen was innocent and fans were pulling for him to win Iris. Now we just want to see him realize he’s “Barry Allen.”

  2. Change the title of The Flash to "The Flash of Interest" says:

    A big long prevaricated article in Variety doesn’t make up for the lack of screen time and overall participation on a show that touts one as a “lead actress.” The title should be changed to “former lead actress, replaced” in favor of someone who looks more like the producers think the most valuable fans would rather see kiss the star of the show. The Flash is just…..messed up. I’ll never watch it again and I’m sad for Candice Patton. I hope she finds a job where her employers value her.

    The same thing happened to Taraji P. Henson on Person of Interest…………

  3. Patton forsaken in favor of "other" women says:

    After tonight’s episode of The Flush, it is difficult to believe anything said in the above interview. It reads like lip service to get fans to continue to watch the show, but how can anyone really believe Patton is not being completely sidelined?

  4. trish says:

    More Iris and WestAllen scoop I live for those thanks for this interview. I am so ready for Wally s arrival and Big sis Iris bring it season is kicking into gear finally

  5. If Only Candice Patton Was Treated Like a Lead Actress Instead of a Diversity Token says:

    Sure, Jan.

    Bless Candice Patton’s heart for ” give away nothing, be careful not to say the wrong thing, Team Paycheck” speak. With the way The Flash arbitrarily CUTS SCENES, after advertising them profusely, and brings in Fake Felicity types to appease all the little racist fanboys and jealous evil fangirls, anyone who champions Patton will be lucky if she (Patton) gets to say a few lines and appear in more than a few episodes. There is absolutely NO reason to trust or believe Andrew J. Kreisberg or anything he says. (See Supergirl epic fail ratings) The other show runners have no credibility either.

    Iris West is an important part of The Flash legacy. Her character has been minimized, marginalized, insulted, backburnered, and for all intents and purposes, removed as the love interest of hero Barry Allen, even though their relationship is comic book canon. I think this has happened because Patton is Black.

    Iris WAS NEVER ENGAGED TO EDDIE, but Patton has obviously been instructed to say the two were engaged. More CW/ The Flash horse patoooeeey!

    Patton shouldn’t promise anything, with regard to the show or her character. The bozos in charge are subject to change as the wind blows or the fanboys screech. Didn’t she already say she has ONE line in episode eight?

    Candice, please think about hiding under your bed until the powers that be learn how to accord you the same amount of respect some of your co-stars receive. You might believe what you are told to say, but your fans don’t. In the meantime, cash that paycheck. It’s free money for very little work.

    YOU ARE WORTHY OF AND DESERVE BETTER TREATMENT !

    • Rich says:

      Where do you people get this stuff? Making this a racist thing is way out of line. Most people find the character boring, i myself thought she was quite annoying last season. This season she has improved IMO. I get that Iris and Barry’s relationship is comicbook canon and a lot of people want that to play out on the show so, do you want that right away? Where’s the fun in that? That wouldnt be interesting at all. Isn’t the pursuit and overcoming things to eventually be together against all odds what makes for good programming? Also, with so many characters how much screen time do you think there is? Be patient or turn the channel. The Flash is the best comic show on today, enjoy!

      • Behave says:

        THE RACE CARD? RACE IS ALWAYS A FACTOR! Anytime someone mentions race someone says the “race card” as a distraction to the issue …like it does not exist. LOL… Know this.. This is about race…

  6. Cilla says:

    Really looking forward to Wally coming, and I can’t wait to see his relationship with Iris. I am glad that the 2nd half of the season will be Wally heavy I hope Iris is at the forefront of this. Looking forward to the West-Allen family moments, and I hope we get some Barry/Iris moments as well. Nice interview, thanks.

    • cj says:

      how pathetic is the race card whiners here. this has nothing to do with her race-I think she is really boring,have thought so from day 1.

      • Jeff says:

        Blame the writers for portraying her as a boring character. From my recollection, I remember Iris West being a pretty cool character in the comics, the fact that the writers didn’t display that to the viewers in season 1 shows that the writers need to work on their writing. I personally love the show, I just wish the writers would portray the characters in the show the same way they are portrayed in the comics.

  7. Emily says:

    Thanks for this! I’m super excited to see more West-Allen interaction, whether it’s familial, friendly or romantic! It’s about time Iris got to be the center of a story.

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