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Relationships: Speed Dating

Discuss the current and possible relationships on the show: romantic, familial, mentor, friendships, etc.

 

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So Barry Allen has ...

  • 2 dads (father Henry, and foster father Joe West)
  • 2 mentors (Harrison Wells, and Oliver Queen)
  • 1 definite love interest (Iris) plus 2 that are debatable (Felicity, Caitlyn)
  • And several friends/colleagues which are limited because it's TV (Cisco, Eddie, Iris, Caitlyn...)

 

The most complicated relationship is probably Barry and Iris. He has always had a crush on her, but they grew up together, and she sees him as a brother and friend. And I think the show has tried to backpedal on the faux-sibling aspect, but yet they are emphasizing the father-son bond Barry has with Joe. Then, of course she's dating one of his co-workers. Now add in a secret identity that Barry uses to flirt with Iris.

 

But now, he's actually confessed his feelings, and though I wanted it to happen, I'm surprised it happened so soon. Usually these things drag for as long as possible. Now if he would only tell her his other (more important) secret.

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From The Man in the Yellow Suit thread:

 

Plenty of people still think Tommy is going to make a surprise rise from death...and given that show's premise, it wouldn't be too surprising.

 

 

Sure.  Plenty of people also think that Barry and Caitlin are going to get together, and given what happened on the previous Flash show (which ended up kicking Iris off the show completely and pairing Barry with Tina McGee) and over on Arrow (which didn't just abandon the original comic pairing, but trashed and burned it), it wouldn't be too surprising.  I've also seen several people arguing that given just how quickly Flash is moving forward with Barry and Iris, with the love confession just nine episodes in,

and now this apparent kiss coming up in episode 15

, that Iris is going to die or turn evil/completely against Barry in the seasons finale. 

 

I don't have a dog in this race. Right now I'm ok with Barry ending up with Iris, or Barry ending up with Caitlin, or Barry ending up with Supergirl if those crossovers actually do get going, or Barry ending up with someone we haven't seen yet. I just think it's a bit premature to state that Barry and Caitlin will never happen, or will never be anything substantial.  That might well end up being true, but we're only nine episodes into a show that will probably go for five to ten years, so I don't think it's inevitable. And for what it's worth, after episode nine of Arrow's first season, plenty of people thought and said that Oliver/Felicity would never happen.  After episode nine of Arrow's second season, plenty of people thought and said that Oliver would never sleep with Sara again.

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I just think it's a bit premature to state that Barry and Caitlin will never happen, or will never be anything substantial.

 

It's premature to say there will be anything substantial between them romantically. And imo it's downright silly to insist that a pair without a large fandom is going to initiate a series spanning triangle with a popular main couple. Because as I pointed out, while CW has a bad reputation, those toxic triangles only happen when the alternate couple is freakishly popular.

 

As of now, I've seen no hints of a romantic arc brewing between Barry/Caitlin (chemistry testing actors does not make for romantic progression). Until I do, I will regard it as nothing but shipper tosh. 

 

And all those other speculations about Iris getting written off are offensive on top of being shipper tosh, but this isn't the place to discuss that. 

Edited by driedfruit.
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It's premature to say there will be anything substantial between them romantically. And imo it's downright silly to insist that a pair without a large fandom is going to initiate a series spanning triangle with a popular main couple.

 

 

But at no point did I say will.  I said could. Big difference. I also stated, in my original response to this, that Barry/Caitlin might run a couple of seasons - not the entire series.  Might. Could. That it was unlikely that the show would avoid it completely. 

 

Regardng your second point...I actually agree with you completely: I see no reason for a show to turn a popular main couple into a triangle, short term or series long. I'd even argue that doing that has harmed various shows (hi, Bones!)  That said,....well, this is the same show that started out with a love triangle between three series regulars (Barry/Iris/Eddie) and set up something fairly substantial for Iris/Eddie, who are now moving in together. It's written by the same showrunners who thought it would be a good idea to bring in Brandon Routh as the third in a triangle for a very popular couple, although it's anyone's guess at this point how long that will last. And it's produced by a guy notorious for putting love triangles into all of his shows.

 

And, well.

 

Back in season one, episode nine of Arrow, most viewers said that the show would never ever abandon Oliver/Laurel (who had their fans at that point, and indeed still have) for Oliver/Felicity.

 

After that, I refuse to rule out anything from this group. Iris/Barry, Caitlin/Barry, heck, Iris/Caitlin. Even if it results in people calling me "silly" and "offensive." 

 

Well, ok, I will rule out Barry/Gorilla Grodd. I'm assuming the show still has some standards.

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Well, here's the thing: these aren't the same writers as the ones on Arrow. The creators were the same, but the actual people developing plotlines and writing scripts here are not the same as the ones on Arrow. Not a single one. So whatever happened on that show actually has nothing to do with what's going on this show. I am somewhat sick of hearing "Well look at what happened on Arrow! They never planned Olicity! Look at them now!". Honestly...fuck Arrow. It has nothing to do with this.
 

But since people want to compare things, how about the fact that the main difference here is that the Arrow writers screwed themselves with their horrible writing for the Laurel/Oliver pairing and the Laurel character as a whole, and had no choice but to rearrange things? In 9 episodes, I've already seen better foundation for Barry/Iris, better chemistry between the actors than Katie/Stephen, and better characterization for Iris than Laurel. They've got a decent thing going here, and it's entirely up to them to keep it moving in the right direction. There's no reason why Barry and Iris can't get together, and stay together. I can't say for sure what the writers have planned, but seeing as how we've been hit over the head with how much Barry believes Iris is the one for him, how Joe mentioned the universe wanting them together, how everyone that comes within 20 feet of them can see their connection, I think it's safe to say that the writers intend for them to be "the couple" of the show.

 

And honestly, if Barry and Iris weren't the real deal, there was literally no point in even using the Iris West character. As mentioned, she was left out in the 1990 version (though it's possible they could have brought her in later had the show lasted), and in some versions of the comics. But to actually cast her and not have her as the love of Barry's life would be like having any version of Superman with a Lois Lane character and them being like "lol, they're just meant to be friends". It would be utterly pointless and a complete misuse of the comics. To kill her off or have her turn evil (is that really a theory?)...I am honestly getting annoyed just thinking about it, because why? Why would they do that?

 

As far as people shipping him with Caitlin...I don't even know what to say about that. I don't understand how we even got here. They barely speak if it's not involving work, and they are both in love with other people. Why is it that every time a man and a woman even look at each other, people go wild and start saying they are meant to be? It's clear that they don't even think about each other in that way (right now, at least), so the fact there's even this big "debate" going on is just absurd to me. 

 

I don't believe that Barry and Iris will get together and never fall apart. I don't believe that they will never break up or date other people. But my thing is...why pair him with Caitlin? She and Barry are coworkers and good friends, why screw that up with a stupid romance? She has her own storyline, and her own destiny. She also has her own love interest, where the dynamic between them would be so much more interesting than a workplace hook up (hello, they are literally fire and ice). If they wanted a second option for Barry, a potential romance lingering in the background, they could have literally used anyone else or created an original character. They could have called her Courtney Winter and called it a day. Instead she is Caitlin Snow, destined to become Killer Frost, and destined for Firestorm. Why mess with that? Why?

 

If Barry were to ever get romantically involved with Caitlin, the options here are that they shelf comic book canon and toss Iris aside to give Barry and Caitlin a serious romance, or they create a pointless love triangle, giving Barry a quick fling with Caitlin, that will still ultimately lead to Barry "picking" Iris. I can't say for sure that neither will ever happen, but I can say I am not okay with either of those things and will drop this show if I even see a hint of it coming. I have no interest in a storyline like that. 

Edited by shar.
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Regarding the 90's show, I expressed this more fully in the Comics Questions thread, but even though it used Barry's name, everything else about it was taken from the then-current Wally West run in the comics. Hence, Tina instead of Iris.

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Why is it that every time a man and a woman even look at each other, people go wild and start saying they are meant to be? It's clear that they don't even think about each other in that way (right now, at least), so the fact there's even this big "debate" going on is just absurd to me.

THANK YOU! It really can get annoying and make it difficult to enjoy the online discussions about shows. Not every young pretty woman and gorgeous man that interact on a show has to become romantically involved. Sometimes a friend or colleague is just a friend or colleague. It would be nice, for once, to watch a show with a fandom that didn't become bogged down with debating who will (or should) end up with whom and who is "end game."

That said, I like Barry/Iris. I like what they've done with their relationship so far. I see the chemistry and potential there and would like to see it explored more. I'm open to both having other relationships, as Iris is doing now, as long it is written well (meaning no one is thrown under the bus to make it work). Which I think for the most part they've done with Iris/Eddie.

At this point, I'm most curious about Iris' relationship with Joe. The way he responds to her is just so over the top. Over the holidays I went back and watched all the episodes to date and was struck again by how overbearing he is with her. He loves her obviously, but if he had his way she wouldn't do anything but stay home and maybe work at Jitters. I wonder why is that? Is his overprotectiveness related to how Iris' mom died? I hope one day we'll learn how she died.

Also, I find it interesting that in the 5th grade Iris had her mom's wedding ring and was wearing it, I'm assuming, on a chain similar to the one Barry gave her for Christmas. You'd think Joe would've held onto the ring instead (even years later he still wears his wedding band). So did Iris have a relationship with her mom? How old was she when her mom died? I'm guessing it hadn't been that long before the incident when she lost the ring. I hope we find out. She obviously died when Iris was very young and before Barry moved in.

Edited by Enero.
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As mentioned, she was left out in the 1990 version (though it's possible they could have brought her in later had the show lasted), and in some versions of the comics.

 

 

Iris was cast in the 1990s version and appeared in the opening episode.  After his accident, Barry told her that he loved her and wanted to marry her. She freaked out. Drama ensued; later on in the episode they slept together and seemed to be on good terms....

 

....and then she was gone in the next episode. Tina McGee was the main love interest after that, although the show never did that much with it.  

 

The creators were the same, but the actual people developing plotlines and writing scripts here are not the same as the ones on Arrow. Not a single one.

 

 

Not true. Two of the showrunners (Berlanti and Kriesberg) work on both shows. Geoff Johns, Ben Sokolowski and Kriesberg have scripted for both shows; Berlanti has story credit (i.e., developing the plotlines) for both shows.  The writers all work in the same building, and the shows often use the same sets and the same extras, strongly suggesting that the writers for both shows are doing a lot of coordinating, if only to juggle the sets.

 

But since people want to compare things, how about the fact that the main difference here is that the Arrow writers screwed themselves with their horrible writing for the Laurel/Oliver pairing and the Laurel character as a whole, and had no choice but to rearrange things?

 

 

 

 

In 9 episodes, I've already seen better foundation for Barry/Iris, better chemistry between the actors than Katie/Stephen, and better characterization for Iris than Laurel.

 

 

 

Agreed with this. I was on the Oliver/anyone but Laurel train by episode two of Arrow, but as of now, I'm ok with Barry/Iris.  And my original post on this was saying exactly what you're saying, that I think that Iris was developed specifically to avoid all of the issues with Laurel on Arrow, and with one exception I think they succeeded.

 

That exception: the lying. And in this case, I think the lying is worse than it was on Arrow.  Oliver had legitimate reasons to lie to Laurel: he was a serial killer, and he knew Laurel had excellent reasons not to trust him.  In this case, Barry has no reason to lie to Iris other than "Joe told me to." She likes Barry, and she liked the Flash up until recently.  Flash hasn't killed anyone and has saved several people.  And at this point, Barry's identity is now known to Cisco, Caitlin, Joe, Wells, Oliver, Felicity, Diggle, Roy and Lyla - which makes Iris at best the ninth (living) person to find about this, depending upon how many people at ARGUS Lyla spoke to.  The end result is that the Barry/Iris relationship can sometimes come off as manipulative and dishonest, at least on Barry's side.  Of course, now Eddie's going to be lying to her too.....auugh. I really hope the show drops this, soon. Like by the next episode, or February sweeps. Or at least by the end of the season.

 

 

They barely speak if it's not involving work, and they are both in love with other people.

 

 

Half agreed with this. They are both in love with other people. But it's not true that they barely speak if it's not involving work - we've had a couple of scenes with them at a bar with Cisco, they've both discussed their relationships and other things about their past, and there was the Christmas party thing.  The main reason we mostly see them at work is the same reason we mostly see Iris at the coffee place and why everyone is spending so much time in Joe's living room: this show has a limited budget and likes to stay with the same sets. You can technically make this same argument about the Iris/Flash scenes - they're mostly discussing what he's doing as Flash, not the latest sports scores.  Largely because for the most part, the show is focusing on Flash's work chasing bad guys, not Barry's downtime.

 

But my thing is...why pair him with Caitlin? She and Barry are coworkers and good friends, why screw that up with a stupid romance?

 

 

Television :)  See,  X-FilesBrooklyn Nine-Nine, The OfficeParks and Recreation, Bones (not Booth/Brennan who were an OTP; the side couples), Scandal, Leverage, Angel, The Mentalist, Castle (with Lanie and Esposito), virtually everyone on ER, some of the Star Treks, the last season of Stargate Atlantis, Warehouse 13.... It's a very, very long list. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't.  (I remain at a complete loss to explain Rodney and Jennifer except that maybe people were passing around Colorado flavored brownies in the writer's room.)  And for what it's worth, multiple fans over on Sleepy Hollow seem to be arguing that the show should ditch the canon, married couple for the coworkers/good friends pair, arguing that focusing on the married couple is harming the show. 

 

If they wanted a second option for Barry, a potential romance lingering in the background, they could have literally used anyone else or created an original character. They could have called her Courtney Winter and called it a day. Instead she is Caitlin Snow, destined to become Killer Frost, and destined for Firestorm. Why mess with that? Why?

 

 

Well, as I think we're all agreed, we don't know that they are messing with that. But if they do - well, they've said they like messing with expectations, especially comic book expectations, and surprising viewers. 

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I also wonder why SnowBarry is even discussed right now given that it's currently a crack ship. We should at least wait for one of them to be on board. 

Edited by Xander.
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I also wonder why SnowBarry is even discussed right now given that it's currently a crack ship.

 

Exactly.

We're better off discussing the romantic potential of Wells/Joe, at least they've been on a date, sort of. lol

 

You'd think Joe would've held onto the ring instead (even years later he still wears his wedding band).

 

Iris might have asked to keep it if it was something she remembered her mother always wearing. And if Iris asked, I can't see Joe refusing. Though he probably regretted that when Iris lost it. 

Edited by driedfruit.
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Not true. Two of the showrunners (Berlanti and Kriesberg) work on both shows. Geoff Johns, Ben Sokolowski and Kriesberg have scripted for both shows; Berlanti has story credit (i.e., developing the plotlines) for both shows.  The writers all work in the same building, and the shows often use the same sets and the same extras, strongly suggesting that the writers for both shows are doing a lot of coordinating, if only to juggle the sets.

 

Ben Sokolowski only co-wrote one episode of Flash and that was the crossover episode. Johns and Kreisberg are the only two who've written scripts for both shows on a regular basis, though Johns hasn't worked on Arrow since season 2. 

 

As for the relationships on The Flash, Barry and Iris are clearly the root for couple. Their relationship is (very likely) important to the plot and future stories, so I don't think the writers will be in any hurry to pair Barry with anyone else. I certainly do not see Caitlin as a serious option, especially given that her and Barry are in love with other people. And considering how much the writers have emphasized Barry's love for Iris, he'd just be settling for someone else...that is, until the inevitable Barry/Iris (re)union. 

Edited by GraceAbigail.
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I don't really care about Barry's love life (if I had to ship him with anyone, it would be Felicity, because that girl totally deserves better than Oliver and they have good chemistry), but I think it's way too early to say about endgame couples and stuff. The CW, as a rule, is very influenced by audience reaction when it comes to shipping, so if any one pairing will be very popular, there is a good chance it will become endgame (assuming it makes at least some sense for the characters involved). While Iris is definitely the "default" love interest here, the writers do keep their options open - I mean, there eas some pretty unsubtle Barry/Caitlin ship tease in the pilot, for god's sake (he was compared to her fiance because both of them made her defrost). It's quite possible it may happen at some point, especially if they have fans. This is just how these shows roll. If you expect Barry and Iris to hook up in s1 finale and be together for the remainder of the show, you'll be disappointed.

That said, the most compelling things about the show so far are the platonic relationships, so even if Barry were to marry Iris and never look at another girl until the series finale, I wouldn't really care. Although I'd find it a much bolder choice if it happened with Iris and Eddie, because both making him evil and killing him off would be way too predictable.

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That exception: the lying. And in this case, I think the lying is worse than it was on Arrow.  Oliver had legitimate reasons to lie to Laurel: he was a serial killer, and he knew Laurel had excellent reasons not to trust him.  In this case, Barry has no reason to lie to Iris other than "Joe told me to." She likes Barry, and she liked the Flash up until recently.  Flash hasn't killed anyone and has saved several people.  And at this point, Barry's identity is now known to Cisco, Caitlin, Joe, Wells, Oliver, Felicity, Diggle, Roy and Lyla - which makes Iris at best the ninth (living) person to find about this, depending upon how many people at ARGUS Lyla spoke to.  The end result is that the Barry/Iris relationship can sometimes come off as manipulative and dishonest, at least on Barry's side.  Of course, now Eddie's going to be lying to her too.....auugh. I really hope the show drops this, soon. Like by the next episode, or February sweeps. Or at least by the end of the season.

 

Agreed.  I'll wait and see what they do with Eddie, but Joe's already got him in the "we can't tell anyone" bullshit, so I'm not optimistic.  I realize that the show's material is based on the comics, but I care about the writing on the show.  The writers made a significant misstep with Barry not telling Iris.  For my part, I don't care who gets romantically involved.  But if you (the show) want me to be interested in Barry and Iris as a couple, you need to do better than Barry being a "Nice Guy" and in love with Iris.  And while I assume Iris and Eddie aren't long-term, I still think he's a better match.  Of the men in her life, he's the only one who seems to see HER and respects her.  Even if the show goes the obvious route and makes Eddie a bad guy, that won't automatically persuade me that Barry is a better match. 

 

Speaking of manipulative and dishonest, I'd like to see Joe 1) actually share scenes with Iris that have little or nothing to do with Barry, and 2) regard and respect her as his daughter AND an adult.  This relationship is also a significant misstep by the writers.  It's so horribly underwritten, and I don't understand why.  I'm pretty sure I'm supposed to like Barry and Joe, sympathize with their perspective, be impressed by their father/son dynamic, but...not so much.              

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While Iris is definitely the "default" love interest here, the writers do

keep their options open - I mean, there was some pretty unsubtle Barry/Caitlin

ship tease in the pilot, for god's sake (he was compared to her fiance because

both of them made her defrost). It's quite possible it may happen at some point,

especially if they have fans. This is just how these shows roll. If you expect

Barry and Iris to hook up in s1 finale and be together for the remainder of the

show, you'll be disappointed.

 

Truth be told, I'd prefer that Iris finds her own life away from the controlling  jackasses in her life so I'm with you if he can get with Felicity and not mess with Iris's life I'd be all for it.  That being said....

 

The teases that you refer to have been ridiculously one-sided. Throughout the show we've seen Caitlin pretty much  throw herself at Barry and let's be honest her ulterior motives towards not wanting Barry anywhere near Iris were starting to show, hell I even sensed a bit of tension from Caitlin to Iris in the last episode. And yes we've even had Barry compared to Snow's fiancée in terms of being a hero, which is what draws her to him.  There's been no reasons shown as to why Barry should even be remotely interested in her. Maybe if this was another superhero's origin story, that might be an interesting thing. But....

 

Here's the thing about Iris, she's not some throw-off love interest  who if she doesn't work, you have a hero-backstory that you can fall back on. 

She's the queen of the Flash family.

There is no keeping your options open on that. You either put them together or don't put her on the show.  Obviously they're not going to get together and stay together forever, that would just be silly to think that but at the same time she's definitely end game.

 

As to the other argument that the other show had Iris and didn't keep them together, I only have one question. How long did that series last?

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I don't think that comics canon is THAT important to the TV show. I mean, who is Felicity Smoak in the Arrow comics? Definitely not the main love interest. And they've eventually made her such, simply because of her popularity. So it's too early to discount anything.

 

My biggest problem with any romance, right now, is that both girls (and sadly, there are only 2 on the show - compared to 4 males!) aren't developed enough as their own characters and don't have enough agency. Iris' role is love interest for Barry and Eddie, first and foremost, and then as Joe's daughter and object to protect. Caitlyn is a doctor, yes, but her prominent story is also related to romance - with her not-quite-dead fiancee. Compare with Arrow (definitely not a model how to deal with women, but still) - s1 had Moira as a villain and Thea as a sister, while Laurel was both a love interest (granted, a terrible one) and a lawyer (a function much more prominent than Iris' blog, but YMMV).

 

Overall, I just want more strong female characters on the show. Hopefully, s2 will bring its own Sara, only here to stay instead of her ignominious fate on the parent show.

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I don't think that comics canon is THAT important to the TV show. I mean, who is Felicity Smoak in the Arrow comics? Definitely not the main love interest. And they've eventually made her such, simply because of her popularity. So it's too early to discount anything.

Well, not that Arrow has anything to do with anything, but the Green Arrow's love interest is not and has never been as important or consequential as Barry Allen's. Iris West is Wally West's aunt and the grandmother of Bart Allen. Her wikipedia page actually has the character listed as "Iris West Allen", because in most versions where we see the Flash, she is not even just his girlfriend, she's his wife. The Flashverse depends on their union. Sure, they COULD do whatever they wanted with these characters, but why would they? Felicity being bumped to the main love interest on Arrow was not a result of the writers wanting to shake shit up for fun or thinking "anything goes". The writers clearly intended for Laurel and Oliver to be the real deal (and there's still no saying that they won't find their way back to each other eventually) because we had two seasons of people saying things like "It's Laurel and Oliver. It's always going to be Laurel and Oliver". But it wasn't working. The critics didn't like it. The fans didn't like it. They HAD to rearrange things or otherwise, further annoy and alienate their fans who didn't like them together. So they chose the bubbly, I.T. girl who a lot of the fans were already suggesting would be better for Oliver. If fans and critics had reacted to Lauliver with more positivity, there's no doubt in my mind that we'd still be going round and round with them until the end of the series.

 

If the writers didn't want the pressure of trying to make a classic comic book couple work again, they would have left Iris out of this version. My guess is that this time, they have a better idea of how to do it right. As a previous poster said, they either put them together or don't put her on the show and well, she's here so...

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The CW, as a rule, is very influenced by audience reaction when it comes to shipping, so if any one pairing will be very popular, there is a good chance it will become endgame (assuming it makes at least some sense for the characters involved).

 

Well, that's just the point. Barry and Iris have been on the track of becoming one of the network's most popular couples. Which is why I can't see any third parties sticking around too long. Does that mean they'll be together for the rest of the series? Not really. (Though that's not unheard of, as OTH had their fan-favorite pair marry by the end of the first season and stay married for eight more). But I don't see this show turning into a shipper carousel. Not when they have a solid default couple and a demo that's not particularly interested in romance. As one of the disinterested, I hope the romance is downplayed as much as possible, and for no lasting (read: toxic) triangles.

 

Iris' role is love interest for Barry and Eddie, first and foremost, and then as Joe's daughter and object to protect.

 

Iris is part of the legend and as the writers have explained this is also her origin story. I'm personally coming to love her character more and more as the series progresses, and am eager to see where she goes as a character. To compare her (and Caitlin) at this point to the women of Arrow who have had seasons to develop is unfair, because if you think back, nine episodes in Laurel, Thea, and Felicity weren't exactly doing all that much either. 

 

And I loath the term "strong" female character and the idea that all women in fiction need to be depicted as such. There are many essays on how that term is far more harmful than it is helpful. Also boring. 

Edited by driedfruit.
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Iris and Caitlin both have great foundation laid to be well written characters, IMO. The fact that they're love interests for different men don't negate all the potentially good and interesting things about them. Why do we criticize their roles when all Cisco does is name villains and the only purpose Eddie serves is to kiss Iris so we get a perfect shot of Barry's head in the middle of them looking displeased? This show hasn't fleshed out anyone all that well so far. Reading spoilers, I'm getting the impression that they will but I'm not seeing why the problem supposedly lies with the women on the show. 

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Well, that's just the point. Barry and Iris have been on the track of becoming one of the network's most popular couples.

 

No, they haven't. So far, audience reaction is more neutral than anything. IMHO, there aren't any really popular couples on the show yet (which is okay, these things take time and sometimes don't happen at all). But if a few years later, some pairing suddenly does become popular, I think it's very possible it will become canon then.

 

To compare her (and Caitlin) at this point to the women of Arrow who have had seasons to develop is unfair, because if you think back, nine episodes in Laurel, Thea, and Felicity weren't exactly doing all that much either.

 

Moira, Felicity and Sara were interesting basically since their first appearances (I mean s2 Sara, not her in the flashback with another actress). Iris is really hurt by being love interest who doesn't know the hero's identity and doesn't do anything useful, while with Caitlyn, her actress is just not that good, at least so far. Both of them are still better than Laurel, so at least there's that.

 

But I definitely want a more dynamic female character with more agency to join the cast. 

Edited by FurryFury.
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No, they haven't. So far, audience reaction is more neutral than anything. IMHO, there aren't any really popular couples on the show yet (which is okay, these things take time and sometimes don't happen at all).

What makes you think they aren't popular? Which outlets and social media have you polled and interpreted? Something being popular/unpopular isn't something that can be in someone's humble opinion. It just is or isn't. Westallen was popular enough on Tumblr for me to become curious and check out the show. They've trended worldwide on twitter multiple times. They win every "who's the best girl for Barry" poll (rme). They came in 3rd place for best couple of 2014 with over 20,000 votes only second to couples from OAUT and TVD, and beat couples from shows that have been on for way longer with way bigger fanbases. That's pretty big for a show that's only been on for 9 episodes. You don't think that's slightly impressive or shows some form of them being favorable with the audience?

Edited by shar.
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What makes you think they aren't popular? Which outlets and social media have you polled and interpreted? Something being popular/unpopular isn't something that can be in someone's humble opinion. It just is or isn't.

 

I don't watch Arrow anymore, yet I see Olicity everywhere. Tumblr, livejournal, mentions on the boards discussing other shows. Hell, if we take other shows, I see people mentioning, say, Bellarke when talking about The 100 very often, or Captain Swan or Swan Queen when bringing up Once Upon A Time. I don't see anybody mentioning Iris/Barry even when The Flash is mentioned. I'm 100% sure they aren't anywhere as big as Olicity or some other popular fanon/emerging canon pairings on some other shows.

 

They are probably The Flash's most popular pairing right now, but it doesn't make them a really popular pairing, if it makes sense. There's definitely potential for something else to eclipse them later in the show's run, Sometimes, the canon pairing in the show becomes undeniably popular early on, but this isn't the case, imo.

Edited by FurryFury.
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Well, no one said they were the MOST popular couple. Of course they're not as big as Olicity and Captain Swan. The show has been on for 9 episodes. It was said that they were "on track" to becoming very popular, you said very plainly that they weren't. But...they are. They actually are. The fact that they're even included on those types of polls and are able to make a dent after only 3 months show that they are "on track" to being just as popular. Just because you don't see people talking about it doesn't mean they aren't. 

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I don't watch Arrow anymore, yet I see Olicity everywhere. Tumblr, livejournal, mentions on the boards discussing other shows. Hell, if we take other shows, I see people mentioning, say, Bellarke when talking about The 100 very often, or Captain Swan or Swan Queen when bringing up Once Upon A Time. I don't see anybody mentioning Iris/Barry even when The Flash is mentioned. I'm 100% sure they aren't anywhere as big as Olicity or some other popular fanon/emerging canon pairings on some other shows.

 

Firstly, you're comparing apples and oranges. Iris and Barry are a lot more popular now than Olicity or Bellarke were by their first respective mid season finals. 

 

Secondly, that's not even true. Other than livejournal which is antiquated (and fan forums which vary, as the main one I frequent other than p-tv is all for Iris/Barry), tumblr and twitter are the best gauge of current fan-popularity and both have been giving Westallen a lot of love. Just go to their tag and see the amount of activity it gets, the mass hysteria over the spoilers. And in CW polls, with only their 9eps, they're tagging just behind the biggest hitters on the network like Olicity and Bellarke. 

 

I remember having this same argument with Nate/Blair fans when Chuck/Blair were first getting notice, around 1.08, and I guess you can pretend a fandom isn't getting big if you're looking the other direction, but that doesn't make it true.  

 

But I definitely want a more dynamic female character with more agency to join the cast.

 

You keep using the word agency, but I'm not sure you're clear on the definition. In what way does Iris (or even Caitlin) lack agency? Who determines anything Iris does but Iris? And she makes a habit of going against Joe, Eddie, Barry, and Flash to do it. Also, how are Iris and Caitlin not dynamic? 

 

And LOL at Felicity being used as an example of good female writing. I love EBR, but I have no doubt both Iris and Caitlin will be far better treated by the writing staff than Felicity has been in 2.5 seasons. 

Edited by driedfruit.
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Felicity has been treated better on this show in her 2 episodes than she has on Arrow for awhile. 

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I wouldn't say she's been treated better - actually, Arrow doesn't treat its female characters well at all (otherwise, I'd still be watching). They are just way more interesting than Caitlyn or Iris and better acted (except you-know-who). i genuinely want to like Caitlyn and Iris, but so far, they aren't there yet and even if they get there, I want the male to female proportion to be more even.

As for Iris/Barry - so far, a resounding "Meh" on the relationship. It's not bad, but it's mediocre and I have seen no real reasons for me to like them and root for them.

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So far for me, Iris/Barry aren't toxic like Oliver/Laurel. But they are still "meh". I have no connection to them, maybe that'll change. I also don't go for "because comics" I go by what's happening on screen. 

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I wouldn't say she's been treated better - actually, Arrow doesn't treat its female characters well at all (otherwise, I'd still be watching). They are just .. better acted (except you-know-who).

 

I agree, Laurel, Thea and Moira were way more interesting in S1 Arrow than Iris and Caitlyn are on Flash. However, with the exception of ST (whose acting was great) and KC (whose acting was oftentimes bad), the other regular female cast were about on the same level as CP and DP are on this show. They did a good enough job with the material they were given, but neither EBR or WH were IMHO blowing the roof off.  

 

BOT - I hope do hope that Iris and Caitlyn don't remain so isolated to their work and love interests. I'd like to see them develop genuine friendships (either with each other or other female characters) outside of the men folk.

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Moira was the best character on Arrow, but other than her, I can't say I found any of their females very interesting for a long time. Felicity was comic relief, so basically our Cisco. Laurel was misused. Thea started out grating and took three seasons to become interesting... I personally see a lot more potential for Caitlin and Iris than I did for the younger female cast 9eps into Arrow.

 

But I definitely agree on wanting more women to join the cast.

 

That said though, I wince at fandom's tendency to criticize female characters for things that aren't really worthy of criticism. It never happens with the male characters.

 

And anyone criticizing Candice's acting, are you for real? Seriously? Ugh.

Edited by driedfruit.
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The CW, as a rule, is very influenced by audience reaction when it comes to shipping, so if any one pairing will be very popular, there is a good chance it will become endgame (assuming it makes at least some sense for the characters involved).

I think this is false, from a comic perspective. If you think back to Smallville, the writers didn't let that happen. Chloe/Clark never became the go to couple, even though that fan base was really, really rabid and extremely loud. They actually stuck with comic canon on that with Lana and Lois. None of that changed. None of it. DC comics likely would have stepped in if they'd tried to make Chloe/Clark the OTP over Clois. There is just no way.

The ONLY show that it changed for was Arrow and I think it was extenuating circumstances that led to that. First, the writers screwed up the Laurel/Oliver dynamic and the writing for Laurel. Then, the show dropped another female character into Oliver's midst and had him in constant scenes with her - that's just crazy if you want fans shipping the OTHER pairing, lol. And finally, Oliver/Laurel and Green Arrow/Black Canary aren't comic book royalty like Barry Allen and Iris West or Clark Kent and Lois Lane. Literally the next generation (2) of future flashes depends upon Iris West and Barry Allen being together. They hold a position as a comic super couple - and honestly, that's how the writers are treating them on this show. This is treatment Laurel/Oliver simply didn't get.

And as another poster mentioned, the Flash show from the 90s supplanted a lot of Barry Allen stuff with Wally West, hence the changes there.

But Geoff Johns wrote a TON of the current Flash comics - that's really his universe. Plus, I think they expected some of the hesitation some fans would have about Barry/Iris (or even just Iris) from the start (heck - even before the pilot aired) because they (the exec producers) told Candice Patton to stay off of social media (they knew EXACTLY what she'd find and I think they just wanted her to focus on her role and not get distracted by all of the shipping and other mess out there).

I think that when the writers talk about subverting expectations, I am not sure they mean Barry/Iris really - they're telegraphing the heck out of that using phrases about the universe wanting them together in the writing, etc.. I think they mostly mean stuff about Reverse Flash, Eddie=Reverse Flash or Wells=Reverse Flash or what have you... that's the keeping us on our toes bit.

Also - I think the show Linda Park thing coming up illustrates that the world will still pretty much revolve around Barry/Iris...

I don't think that means there won't be obstacles, but hopefully the writers learned from Arrow not to put too many obstacles in the path of a couple - though Barry/Iris don't have the chemistry challenges that Laurel/Oliver had.

And as for Barry and Caitlin - well, I never saw chemistry there, still don't and don't understand the shipping there. At all. The only time I felt something chemistry-wise from Caitlin was with Ronnie... which makes sense, given that she loves him.

The chemistry - imo - with Barry and Iris and The Flash and Iris is just off the charts. That scene on the rooftop with Flash/Iris (when he was behind her and slowly advancing on her) literally made me break out in goosebumps.

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because they (the exec producers) told Candice Patton to stay off of social media

 

Really? Where'd you hear that?

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In some of Candice's early interviews, she remarks that she was warned to steer clear of social media. And by steer clear I mean - don't read comments on articles, etc.. (not that they barred her from commenting on it or being on twitter, etc.. just that they seemed protective of her and trying to keep her from having to wade through some of the ugly). I think they were trying to protect her from some of the backlash they expected due to her casting (and there was a fair amount of wisdom in their advice based on some of the things I saw). I think it's also why G. Gustin seems so protective of her and the rest of the cast on Social Media - he's been like a one man defense squad at times, lol.

There has been some "crazy" on twitter in the past week - especially after a recent spoiler pic came out. Some fans didn't take it very well.

Edited by phoenics.
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The ugliness is part of what makes me a little extra protective of Candice too. Whenever she gets undo criticism I really wonder if er there isn't more at play than your regular ol' fandom sexism. Especially when imo Candice is a dream, easily one of CW's best female leads. They searched really hard to find her, and it shows. 

 

I think it's also why G. Gustin seems so protective of her and the rest of the cast on Social Media - he's been like a one man defense squad at times, lol.

 

LOL Grant very near created a PR mess with his Westallen love. His protectiveness of Candice makes him seem like a big sweetheart, which is nice to see as opposed to Stephen Amell who can't be bothered to show any support for his female co on social media.

Edited by driedfruit.
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I gave up on Arrow in season one, but I agree with driedfruit in that, at the time, Moira was the most interesting woman on the show.  I understand she's no longer on the show, which is no surprise, given that she was well over 30. 

 

In terms of this show, I have no issues with Caitlyn, Iris, or the actresses.  I wasn't impressed with how Iris as an individual was written at first, but the show is better about that, for now at least.  I don't believe all female characters on the show need to be friends or share scenes together just because they're women, but a Caitlyn/Iris friendship would make sense, particularly after Iris is in the know about Barry.  It's interesting that they would not have been friends, or friendly, before, if Barry was being treated at Harrison Wells' facility.  But I don't remember if the show specified when Barry was transferred to Wells for medical care.  If nothing else, Caitlyn and Iris are among the more mature younger characters, which I appreciate, so I welcome any scenes with them together.

 

I do think the relationship between Caitlyn and Harrison is kind of fascinating.  With Cisco, Harrison seems to regard him in a paternal way most times, and justifiably so.  But he doesn't interact with Caitlyn in that way.  He seems to care and feel responsible for her yet respect her in a way I don't see with Cisco.  Maybe that's just the stereotypical "male protective instinct towards female" trope, but interesting nonetheless.  And as a tangent, I know Wells is supposed to be shady, if not evil, but lordy, Tom Cavanaugh has a stealth sexy thing going on, and I am all about it.     

 

I don't keep up with any BTS stuff about the show, so it's interesting to read how TPTB, and Grant specifically, were so protective of Candice.  I can guess what some (most?) of the anti-Westallen fandom have issues with, but I'm not a current fan of the Barry/Iris pairing because I'm not much of a Barry fan, heh. 

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Started reading fanfiction today and discovered that one shipper name for Caitlin/Cisco is KillerVibe. I don't see them as anything but good friends, but with a cool name like that, I kind of wish I did. I do enjoy their friendship though. There's a lot of trust there. Cisco makes a ridiculously powerful gun that the bad guy gets, and Caitlin is the only one to stick up for him. Caitlin says she saw her dead fiance in the sewer, and Cisco goes with her even though he doesn't believe it. They're able to talk about the deep things or how many bugs Barry swallows in a day. They play hooky from work together. When the series started, I thought they would just be a FitzSimmons redux, but they've developed into their own characters very well.

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From the episode thread:

 

I Like how they're dealing with Iris and Barry for now.  She's been with Eddie for a year, to have her suddenly throw him over would make her a flake.  I want them to have her genuinely work to make a go of it with Eddie(for it not to workout for whatever reason) but to eventually fall romantically in love with Barry. I'd also like for Barry to genuinely try to move on but to eventually realizes he's still in love with Iris. Barry and Iris will always be in each others orbit so while I think it will take time for her to shift her thinking in regards to him she'll have the opportunity to. But they better have her eventually shift her thinking.

 

Yeah, I like how they are handling the relationship. I realize they're "end game" and I root for them to get together, but I'm actually not in a rush to see them together. This is one of the few instances where a slow build up would be more appropriate.

So the kiss (that I unfortunately got spoiled about) concerns me, because I think they may be moving to fast.

 

I noticed that "Revenge of the Rogues" tried to emphasize --again -- that Barry and Iris are 'best friends' instead of pseudo-siblings. But yet they also keep emphasizing the the father-son bond between Barry and Joe. I don't know if they can have it both ways.

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Question: Are we supposed to take it that Barry is still a virgin? In other words, has there ever been any indication that he's ever dated anyone while pining for Iris?

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Lol.  I just realized that I've been considering him a virgin, though his characterization doesn't support that.  He's definitely been into other women before, evidenced by Felicity.  It's likely there were girls in high school or college.  

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There hasn't been any indication but he was interested in Felicity and I really don't think that was his first kiss. In my head, he dated in college but nothing serious. 

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The way Iris talks about his lack of a love life and the fact that his father talks about his putting his life on hold makes it seem that way.

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Though love life and sex life don't really need to be one and the same.  I doubt he's seriously dated anyone before, but his interest in Felicity tells us that he is attracted to other people.  There could have easily been random hook ups here and there.  He's definitely not presented as some fundamentalist who believes sex is only available when love and/or marriage are involved.  

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I would put my money on him not being a virgin. He looked like he knew what he was doing when he kissed Felicity. He even made the first move. He only seems shy when it comes to Iris. I can believe that even though he's always been in love with her, he'd casually pursue other women, but nothing serious, and it always came back to Iris. 

 

Started reading fanfiction today and discovered that one shipper name for Caitlin/Cisco is KillerVibe. I don't see them as anything but good friends, but with a cool name like that, I kind of wish I did.

 

I loved them in the last episode. I would be on board. 

Edited by shar.
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Reading through this thread kind of makes me realize why I find some of these comic book shows so incredibly frustrating. I hate the idea of a "canon" couple. I want shows to be free to set up whatever works and flow naturally. Arrow has done this with romance successfully but refused to do it with canary.

Although I don't mind the idea of iris and Barry, I'm not excited about it either. I actually like iris/Eddie. They work for me. I don't get how iris Barry could possibly be a hugely popular couple when they aren't a couple at all but ok.

I think I've found Caitlin and Barry more interesting so far in their scenes because there is no pining or other drama. Caitlin doesn't have a perfectly fleshed out character yet but she definitely has more to her than love interest with the fire guy we've barely met.

So, as far as general relationships I enjoy best so far I would say Caitlin/Ciscos friendship, Caitlin/Barry's whatever, Joe and Barry obviously, and everybody with wells. Also iris and Eddie.

Edited by Shanna.
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I don't understand the disdain for canon, like it's a bad thing to write with a direction in mind. To me that's like being put off that Lex Luthor was destined to be supervillain in Smallville. Yeah, the gig is up, but so what? I would much rather have a coherent series spanning story than have the writers disregarding everything they've written on a whim and write in cheap twists for spice--the latter is what I loath about teen soaps like Gossip Girl.

 

Superhero shows aren't teen soaps, so keeping the love subplot simple is a good thing. Some people have crack!ships and that's great. That's what fanon is for. :) 

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Teen soaps? There are quite a few other options than that. The problem with strict adherence to "canon" is that it locks you into way too many things. I like a little mystery. It's not just couples, it's villains and superheroes and all that jazz.

I have no problem with a "simple" romance but that's not what they're trying to sell. Instead we've got unrequited love between pseudo siblings, and a love triangle! If that isn't a teen soap I don't know what is.

I think the reason people root for couples that work together in tv shows (like feleciity and Oliver, and booth/bones, castle/Kate and yes, maybe Caitlin and Barry) is because the characters get to interact about something real rather than just being thrown together as the obvious setup romance. Which is boring, IMO. And if you aren't a comic book person, you may not be closed off to options like Caitlin just because they aren't canon. Not that I'm hopping that exactly either, I just saw some sparks early on. And I really loathe the comic book trope of heroine falling for the hero in disguise but not in real life. It seems shallow.

But I still like iris so I guess we will see.

Edited by Shanna.
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It's not exactly a disdain for canon, but frustration that oftentimes writers will stick to canon despite it not working on screen.  This can be true for any genre.  In comics, Laurel and Oliver might be a thing, but it doesn't work with what they have on tv, glad they changed that.  Laurel might be Black Canary in the comics, but it's a joke that's ruining the show and really should be changed.  

 

Changing canon doesn't have to be about cheap twists or teen soaps.  It could actually be because changing canon improves the story being told on screen.  The Walking Dead and Game of Thrones are just two examples of canon that was altered as part of the adaptation process.  

 

If sticking to canon makes for an incoherent and/or unbelievable story being told, then it something about how that story is being told should be changed.  Contracts make it difficult to change the actors.  Doing a "Days of Future Past" to eliminate continuity concerns isn't exactly all that desirable.  Making alterations to canon is one of the most feasible options available to improve a product.  For comics, it also makes the most sense considering authors change comic 'canon' at the drop of a hat.  

Edited by bluebonnet.
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Changing canon doesn't have to be about cheap twists or teen soaps.  It could actually be because changing canon improves the story being told on screen.  The Walking Dead and Game of Thrones are just two examples of canon that was altered as part of the adaptation process.

 

 

That argument works in certain cases, but not for Flash. Barry and Iris' relationship being disregarded for Barry and Caitlin is completely unnecessary as their canon couple is already plenty popular. And it would in no way improve the show unless you enjoy soapy-romantic drama. Besides, it would disrupt any role important characters and fan-favorites like Wally and Bart would potentially play in the story. 

 

I'm not familiar with TWD but Game of Thrones is not a good example of improvements on canon. More like watered down characterization to fit tropes and enhanced sexist/racist writing.

Edited by driedfruit.
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It could actually be because changing canon improves the story being told on screen.

 

This is the point. What would changing Barry's love interest improve? Nothing. He and Iris fit well together. They don't have to be your cup of tea, but there's no logical reason why they're not "working" or why Barry should suddenly be paired with someone else. Does anyone have one?

And if you aren't a comic book person, you may not be closed off to options like Caitlin just because they aren't canon

 

I'm not a comic book person and would probably stop watching if they switched out Iris with Caitlin as Barry's love interest. Not because of 'canon" because it's just stupid to A. set Iris up as the love of his life and not follow through on that. B. have Barry date multiple women from the main cast. 

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This is the point. What would changing Barry's love interest improve? Nothing. He and Iris fit well together. They don't have to be your cup of tea, but there's no logical reason why they're not "working" or why Barry should suddenly be paired with someone else. Does anyone have one?

The logical reason they don't work for me is because they are siblings (which is a canon change, yes?).  I think they have great on screen chemistry....as siblings and as friends.  I don't need the show to force some unrequited love plot and perhaps a future marriage plot just because Barry Allen and Iris West exist as a romantic pairing in the comics.  Barry and Iris on the show work amazingly well as foster siblings, they are wonderful as friends, they have potential to be awesome partners in the superhero business.  I don't actually need Barry to be paired with anyone, but I definitely don't need to be bludgeoned over the head with Iris and Barry love story at the expense of an amazing platonic relationship between the two.  

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The logical reason they don't work for me is because they are siblings

 

They're not siblings. They don't consider each other as such, Barry had feelings for her before they ever even lived together, and Iris's own father, who's opinion, I think, should matter most in this case, is totally okay with it and egging Barry on. So how is that a "logical" reason why it wouldn't work? It may be a reason why YOU don't like it, but there's no real reason why the fact that they grew up in the same house towards the end of Barry's childhood should stop them from dating. 

Edited by shar.
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