The winter premiere of The Flash ended in Barry’s heartbreak. Barry’s adorable girlfriend, Patty, decided to go back to school, leave Central City and effectively break up with him. It was tough to watch, especially since Barry clearly had such strong feelings for Patty but it did get me wondering. Now Barry is single again and so is the (apparently ex) love of his life, Iris West. Is it time for Iris and Barry to finally get together? Or should Barry stay faithful and hope for Patty to return to Central City? The Flash fans are now facing an age old love triangle question; who should Barry choose?
The Case for Patty and Barry
The Flash did an excellent job of making us care about Patty and Barry’s relationship in quick order in season 2. Shantel VanSanten and Grant Gustin have a wonderful, fun chemistry. They have cute banter and scenes between them have a breezy energy. They get along so well together, that we have fun watching them have fun.
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Patty is also a very capable character. As Cisco pointed out she fired bravely at a gigantic walking shark and wasn’t afraid of backing down from whatever Central City threw at her. Patty might not have known that Barry was The Flash but it is hard to argue that she was hero in her own right. Patty is driven and determined. She takes her job seriously but still has a smile on her face.
In their short time together, Patty understand Barry. Patty knew there was something going on with Barry but she didn’t push. Patty didn’t nag and annoy Barry until he told her the truth. Patty tried to make her relationship with Barry work in the best way she knew possible. Even if it fell apart at the end there was clear sense of affection from both of them. Also, maybe most importantly, no one is mistaking Patty and Barry’s connection for a brother and sister bond.
The Case of Iris and Barry
“Potential Energy” was oddly focused on reminding viewers that Iris and Barry were raised together. Patty called Iris, effectively Barry’s sister and Wally (Iris’ real brother) compared himself to Barry. If The Flash is actually serious about Barry and Iris becoming a couple, it seems weird to continually point this out. However, it also has to be mentioned because of their shared past that Iris knows Barry better than anyone. If Barry had followed Iris’ advice it’s likely that he would still be with Patty. This suggests that Iris knows what is best for Barry. She understands him, which is something Patty was never able to fully do.
There is also no overhanging mystery hanging over a Barry and Iris romance. Iris knows that Barry is The Flash and that means any date that were interrupted by heroics would be accepted. Iris respects and admires Barry’s role as The Flash. The same goes for Barry with Iris’ job. The two of them support each other completely. It’s the basis for a strong friendship but it would translate well to an equally strong romance.
There’s also something between Iris and Barry that Patty and Barry were never able to recreate. There is a sense of destiny between the two of them. In the comics, Barry and Iris were married for decades. On TV, Barry and Iris have already seen a glimpse of a future where they are married. The midseason trailer showed that we might very well meet an alternate version of Barry and Iris from Earth-2 who are in a relationship. They’ve been in each other’s lives for as long as they can remember and it looks they will always be there.
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In fact, the only thing that is holding back an Iris and Barry romance, is the ambiguous feelings between them. It appears that Barry has moved on from Iris but I think it’s safe to assume love like that doesn’t go away quickly. Iris hasn’t expressed any feelings of her own for Barry, except in another alternate timeline from season one, but a certain reading of Iris’ actions this season suggests otherwise. Iris is acting eerily similar to how Barry did in season one when she was dating Eddie. Iris expresses happiness for Barry multiple times that he has found Patty but there is also a tinge of sadness.
Let’s take Iris’ actions in “Potential Energy” for example. When Patty asks Iris for advice about Patty’s relationship with Barry, Iris takes several long breaths before answering the questions. Iris is clearly choosing her words very carefully. Is it because she is trying to make sure Patty gets the best advice or is Iris hiding her own affection for Barry?
But what do you think? Who is Barry meant to be with? Is Iris secretly in love with Barry? Is Iris in Barry’s past and Patty in his future? Who do you want to Barry to be with? Is either lady the right one? Or would you like Barry with someone else? Do you think Patty will come back to Central City?
The Flash season 2 airs Tuesdays at 8pm on The CW.
(Images courtesy of The CW)
Contributing Writer, BuddyTV
Derek is a Philadelphia based writer and unabashed TV and comic book junkie. The time he doesn’t spend over analyzing all things nerdy he is working on his resume to be the liaison to the Justice League.