Spoilers ahead for anyone who’s not caught up with the latest episode of The Flash. Get up to speed with this pre-episode interview here.
In the “Run, Iris, Run” episode of The CW series The Flash, fans got to have some fun, seeing Iris (Candice Patton) suit up, learn what it’s like to be a speedster, and maybe even teach Barry a thing or two. And while it was all just temporary, the experience that they each had filling in for the other will give them a deeper understanding and empathy, going forward.
After a screening of the episode at the offices of The CW, Candice Patton and executive producer Todd Helbing spoke to a handful of media outlets about Iris’ return to journalism, the girl power present in the episode, getting to wear a superhero mask, how this experience will affect Iris and Barry, whether we might ever see the Purple Flash again, and how dangerous the Thinking Cap could be for Harry (Tom Cavanagh).
Question: Iris is finally getting back into journalism. Why was that important for her to do, at this point in her journey on Team Flash?
CANDICE PATTON: This episode clearly shows that having Barry’s powers really made her realize what she’s passionate about. She understands that having speed is what gets Barry up in the morning and what’ he’s passionate about, and I think it reignited for her that she still has to find that. Journalism is a thing that she put to the side to take up the mantle at S.T.A.R. Labs, but it’s still a part of her and it’s the reason why she gets up.
TODD HELBING: It’s certainly something we knew we wanted to get back to, and this episode felt like the most organic time to have this reawakening. Once Barry went into the Speed Force, Iris made the decision to become team leader, and this was the best time to get her moving back down that track.
PATTON: We’ve still got that article from 2024 that we’ve gotta deal with.
There’s a lot of girl power support in this episode. What did that feel like to you, and to get to be a superhero with that girl power support behind her?
PATTON: I understand the importance of it, being a woman and being a black woman. With the times that we’re living in, it’s so important for young girls of any color to see diverse women as the heroes of their own story. It’s been a long time coming, and we’ve seen that in little ways, with Iris and Caitlin and the other female characters on the show, saving the day without powers, but there is something cool about going to the movies and seeing a strong, bad-ass female superhero. It gives young girls something to aspire to. I walked out of Wonder Woman with my girlfriend Caity Lotz, from Legends, and we were like, “This is what white men must feel like, every day!,” with Batman and Superman. I walked out like, “I wanna crush someone’s head!” It’s important for young women to walk out of the movie theater and watch these TV shows, and just feel strong and empowered. In a small way, this episode, even though it’s a one-off, could do that for someone watching.
What was it like to put on the mask?
PATTON: The mask was a bit of a challenge, and it evolved through trial and error.
HELBING: You decide, “Candice is gonna have powers!,” and then you design the costume, but you have to figure out the mask and how to organically fit that into the story. The first version we had her put on, I got this text from Candice that was, “This is not happening!”
PATTON: It was supposed to be Ralph Dibney’s mask, but he’s a structured man, so that was not cute on my face. We put it on at the fitting and I immediately told Todd, “No.” I trolled him, all day, sending him photos of what I thought I looked like, like a Minion. I was like, “Please don’t make me look like this on screen.” I trolled him all day with photos, until he said, “Okay, let’s figure something else out.”
HELBING: As a guy, sometimes I don’t know what’s gonna look the best.
PATTON: Finally, we came up with the Domino mask.
HELBING: It looks great!
PATTON: You just stick some tape on it and stick it on your face. It’s not super fun, but it’s not a cowl.