The Flash hasn't always been good to its female stars. In the past, it relegated Iris West, a fierce character in the DC comics, to a journalist who wasn't really working. In fact, she spent most of her time — after discovering Barry Allen's secret — hanging out at S.T.A.R. Labs and basically playing a cheerleader.
The series also used Caitlin Snow, a brilliant scientist, as little more than a prop, bringing her out when necessary to save a life or fall in love with a man whom she was going to lose. Afterwards, she would wander around the lab in misery while everyone tried not to talk about the loss of her husband or the maniac she fell in love with.
After two seasons of wasting the talents of Candice Patton and Danielle Panabaker, #TheFlash finally saw the light and jumped into the twenty-first century with Season 3. Arguably, the season itself wasn't the best, but it did crack open the boxes that Iris and Caitlin had been sequestered in, allowing them to have moments of brilliance worthy of these formidable actresses.
The Savitar Plot Divided Audiences, But Gave Us An Amazing Performance From Candice Patton
Though fans had conflicting opinions about Iris's future death, as many believed that she was being portrayed as a victim, this plot line allowed Patton to display some of the best acting that we've ever seen on the series. She was a woman facing her own mortality, and though she was scared, she didn't curl up into a fetal position and do nothing.
Iris could have retreated to a safe place or tried to stay hidden. She could have given up, but she kept fighting alongside the team, and in the final 24 hours before Savitar tries to kill her, she records a message for Barry that is heart-wrenching and poignant.
In addition, Iris showed a strength that many of us might not have had. The writers gave Patton much more screen time in Season 3 and opened the doors for her to show just how important she was to the overall storyline — not just as Barry's future wife.
Caitlin Snow Becomes Killer Frost, One Of The Show's Best Villains Ever
This was, by far, one of the best parts of Season 3. Finally allowing Caitlin Snow to go from good-girl bioengineer to ruthless villain — who doesn't hesitate to drive an ice stake into Barry's leg — was a stroke of genius. With each passing moment, Caitlin dissipated, replaced by a version no one wanted to know.
In one of the strongest scenes, Caitlin tells her friends at S.T.A.R. Labs that she never loved them. After spending two and a half seasons as a friend, confidante and colleague, she walks out on Team Flash, leaving them, especially Julian (Tom Felton) devastated.
Thankfully, the writers didn't make Caitlin all better before the end of this season, which means Panabaker will continue to be able to explore her dark side. The edginess of the character is a refreshing change from the do-gooder with the broken heart.
With Killer Frost still on the loose and Iris West at the helm of Team Flash when Season 4 debuts, the writers have already laid the groundwork for these two women to have even more momentous scenes. It took them awhile to figure out what to do with these characters, but now that they've actually created plots for Patton and Panabaker, let's hope they don't drop the ball from this point forward.
What did you think of Iris West and Caitlin Snow's performances in The Flash Season 3?