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

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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