The Flash was doing so well in Season 2. After a season of unnecessary lies and secret keeping that alienated members of the cast, everyone was involved. There was greater sense of camaraderie, unity and all around good feelings — even as The Flash introduced killer metahumans from a different world. The lies are back though as Iris has vowed to keep life-altering information from her father, Joe, in “The Fury of Firestorm.”
Spoilers Follow for The Flash episode “The Fury of Firestorm”
After months of speculation, The Flash has finally revealed how comic fan favorite character Wally West will be introduced. Iris has a secret brother that was born eight months after her mother Francine abandoned Iris and Joe. In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, it was confirmed by executive producer Andrew Kreisberg that this brother is indeed Wally West. Unfortunately in that same interview Kreisberg also confirmed that Iris keeping the secret of Wally’s birth from Joe will not be a temporary thing. The decision will “weigh on her” as she keeps this secret. Quite simply, this is an awful idea.
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Has The Flash Learned Nothing from Season 1?
The worst part of The Flash‘s mostly strong first season was how it shut Iris out of almost all the action. Joe and Barry lying to Iris went on for far too long and negatively began to effect Iris’ character and the story. The Flash had to bend over backwards to make it “plausible” that Joe and Barry wouldn’t tell Iris their big secret. It was all in an effort to drum tension but really it was just frustrating. The Flash had no idea what to do with Iris and the character floundered because she wasn’t involved in Team Flash’s activities.
Now Joe is in a better position than Iris was in Season 1. Keeping Iris out of Team Flash made it hard for the show to establish her character. Joe has a very defined role and knowing or not knowing about Wally won’t change that. Yet the frustrating element of secret keeping remains. The Flash gains nothing really by keeping Joe in the dark. It’ll give Candice Patton some meaty angst to work with for her character. Admittedly she is very good at playing that emotion, but that’s not enough. Consider how tumultuous Iris’ arc was last year, The Flash doesn’t really need any more of it. Wouldn’t it be much better to repair the broken family than keep it apart?
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Joe Has a Right to Know
This leads me to the second point, Iris’ resolve to keep the secret of her brother’s existence makes very little sense. The initial reaction makes sense. Joe, an amazingly compassionate father, would be devastated to learn he had a son who grew up without him. The pain this information could cause would be terrible for Joe and Iris, as a loving daughter, would want to spare him that. This should only be her first reaction. There is obviously no guarantee that Wally would accept Joe after all these years but it’s important Wally be given the chance. If Iris keeps Wally from her father, she is not that much different than her mother, Francine.
It doesn’t help that, as fans, we all know Wally has been cast. Wally is coming to The Flash which means Iris won’t be able to keep this secret forever. The truth will come out. When it is revealed Joe would have every right to be angry at his daughter for this huge lie of omission. There is no reason to further strain the relationship of the West Family considering how integral it is to The Flash.
Is There a Way This Could Work?
Even though this development fills me with a lot of apprehension and anger, I foresee a situation where it could work. The best solution is if that the next episode begins (or ends) with Iris coming clean and telling Joe everything. I doubt that is going to happen. I would be thrilled if it did, but it’s unlikely. If The Flash wants to keep to Iris lying to Joe, there is a way to do it without messing with the show dynamics too much.
First of all, Iris needs to tell someone. Whether it be Barry, Cisco or even Caitlin she shouldn’t have to suffer this burden alone. This would also take care of the potential problem of Iris becoming too isolated from the main group. If she is harboring this secret, she could withdraw completely from Team Flash and all the work it took to get her there would be for naught.
Secondly, Iris should meet Wally for herself. She should put her investigative reporting skills to the test and track down her brother. This way Iris’ story is a little more active. It isn’t just keeping the secret and presumably avoiding Joe. She could find Wally, establish a relationship with him. Iris’ end goal would be putting the family back together. She could test the water to see if it is alright to have her brother meet her father.
Iris was so mad when Joe lied to her Season 1 for her protection, it makes very little sense that she would turn around and do the exact same to him. If Iris was keeping the secret, so she could lay the groundwork for an eventual family reunion that would fix the issue. There would be an actual reason for the lies. She is actually protecting her father and trying to save him from further heartbreak. The Flash absolutely just can’t repeat the same type of story from Season 1 but swap characters.
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What do you think? Will Iris keeping Wally a secret be different from Joe lying about The Flash? Did you guess that Wally was Iris’ brother? Are you looking forward to meeting him? Do you even think Iris is justified in keeping Wally’s existence a secret?
The Flash season 2 airs Tuesdays at 8pm on The CW.
(Images courtesy of The CW)