‘The Flash’ Featurette: Barry’s Relationship Woes

Published 4 months ago by

If positive early critical reactions and a tonally pitch-perfect trailer are any indication, the CW has another hit on its hands with its Arrow spinoff The FlashPoised as an about-face in tone and atmosphere from Arrow‘s grimness, fans have so far had a mostly positive reception of what we’ve seen of the newly-powered Barry Allen (Grant Gustin).

The show will not bow for another few months, but CW is wasting no time in rolling out the PR machine, having already released a featurette focused on Barry’s new friends at S.T.A.R. labs, who care for Barry after he awakes from a lightning-induced coma with his super-speed abilities. Now, we have a second featurette centered around Barry’s relationship with his longtime best friend Iris West (Candice Patton), which you can watch above.

In the pre-New 52 comic book continuity, Iris West is Barry’s wife and the aunt of Barry’s successor as the Flash, Wally West. The DC rebooted universe retcons their relationship as platonic but “complicated,” and The Flash series appears to be using the New 52 version of Barry and Iris as a jumping off point.

Candice Patton and Grant Gustin in The Flash The Flash Featurette: Barrys Relationship Woes

As narrated by Candice Patton, Barry grew up with Iris when her detective father took Barry in following his mother’s death, for which his father was convicted and incarcerated. Iris may not be aware of Barry’s feelings for her, and his painfully awkward way of telling her doesn’t help, but the scene above teases what is likely to be a main sub-plot of the show.

A “will they or won’t they” subplot for two leads of a superhero show nudges The Flash into the campy terrain of Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman, at least on paper. It also reinforces the more lighthearted tone the CW wants for The Flash, but it also brings to mind some of the more teen-centric offerings the network is famous for (The Vampire DiariesBeauty and the Beast).

Fans of Arrow and its terse, dark universe may know going into The Flash that they’re getting something lighter, but even with the well-cast leads in place, will the fluffier aspects of the show mesh with Barry Allen’s quest to solve his mother’s murder? We may have to wait until The Flash is a few episodes in to find out if such tonally-opposite arcs will work.

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The Flash will air Tuesdays @8pm on The CW starting this fall.

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  1. Really excited for this show, but does anyone else think this friendzoned step-brother relationship feels a little Lannister-esque? eh?

    • Not really, no. This kind of relationship has happened in books, plays, TV shows and films for centuries.

  2. I won’t mind it as long as it isn’t too fluffy and saccharine. Then again, I come from spending most of the 90s being one of many viewers of a popular adult sitcom called Men Behaving Badly with a character called Tony trying to win the heart of the neighbour, Deborah, despite him and his roommate Gary being complete A-holes and cheering him on when he finally got his girl after several years and many, many episodes.

    If the “will they, won’t they” relationship in The Flash can even slightly resemble that and not the usual romanticised that’s typical of most TV/film love stories then brilliant because life isn’t a fairytale without complications so it would be nice to have it weave in and out of the classic superhero tropes we’re expecting from this show.

    I also wonder if they’ll consider using Wally West since The New 52 had him show up as an African-American (a term I hate, by the way….it’d be like calling Queen Elizabeth II a German-English woman due to her heritage, just seems wrong, if you’re born in America, you’re American, no other nationality should ever come into your racial description) from the future with a darker Flash outfit.

    • He wasn’t from the future but he did appear as a younger wally. The change in wally was possibly inspired by the TV show, so I believe there will be wally. I think they are trying to have some sort of continuity with the show.
      It also appears that they are taking some aspects of barry and iri’s relationship from The New 52 with the whole will they, won’t they thing.

  3. This continues to look really, really good.

  4. I think it’ll be really good. I don¡t feel like both arcs are opposites, they can work out Barry’s relationships around his Flash problems, like they did with Arrow. It’s just tht with Oliver they started with him as a killer, and that, I think, allowed them to build up thi darker tone, but wit The Flash, they’re working with a character who just wants to do the right thing (and in a more friendly neighbour-esque way than the usual vigilante).

  5. I am really pumped for this show, despite some initial misgivings because Barry didn’t look like….well, “Barry” (canon–comics–you know….). Still, I am hopeful as this series looks like it has potential, and Flash is one of my favorite DC heroes (Barry Allen one), after Green Lantern (Hal Jordan one). I can see what Barry would see in this version of Iris….she is a Q-T!

  6. the awkwardness presented would make friend-zone loyalists proud.

  7. So I guess they’re throwing the whole Felicity/Barry relationship they teased in Arrow out the window & completely ignoring it. Wonderful. :(