The Problem with The Flash’s Iris West

The Flash Iris West
Now the problem isn’t with her, but with the writing. Despite the promise that Iris would get a story involving her journalism career, her role on The Flash has been continuously reduced to being Barry’s love interest, and nothing has changed in Season 3.

Iris West has always been used as a love interest prop when her character has the potential to become so much more. She’s a journalist, but other than the few times in Season 1 when she was writing about The Flash and the few times her role as a journalist has catapulted a meta-human of the week story, she’s practically non-existent.

It’s not the story that refuses to allow Iris to be involved as an actual character; it’s the writers that continuously proven they don’t know how to write for female characters.

Aside from the Killer Frost story for Caitlin Snow in The Flash Season 3 and the rare appearance of Jesse Quick, who have both previously been written to boost the main, white males stories, the writers are unable to carry out a story involving a female character of substance for more than one episode.

Iris West is more than just Barry’s love interest, or Joe’s daughter, or even Wally’s sister, and Candice Patton, when given the chance, has continuously proven she has the acting chops to hold an emotional and powerful story.

So why is it these writers have the inability to provide decent stories for women across all of the DCTV series (excluding Supergirl, of course)?

Sara Lance is the only female character that is given a story of her own, and that seems to be because she’s an original creation, whereas the comic book characters such as Iris West and Laurel Lance fade to the background and only get self-sufficient stories about once a season?

The problem with Iris West is that the character and the writing don’t match up. Iris, when given her own stories, is very capable of being a strong character, yet such as we’ve seen, she’s just written as a catalyst for Barry and his story.

These female characters are not just love interests, and they deserve the respect from the writers and the stories that they and the actresses deserve.

The Flash continues Tuesday, November 15 at 8/7c on The CW.

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