As one of The Flash's core characters, Iris West really hasn't had much to do in the past couple of seasons. Don't get me wrong, Iris is an awesome character — she's assertive, her dialogue is fantastic because she speaks her mind, and she's not one to shy away from a fight. Yet, Iris isn't beloved among fans, which might be because the writers don't seem to know what to do with her.
Despite her job as an investigative reporter, Iris is often confined to the sidelines, with her subplots usually dealing with her dating life or her family. Obviously, adding Wally West to the cast was crucial for Season 2, and Iris's role in that plot was essential.
But if our time on Earth-2 proved nothing else, it's that Iris West is a stone cold badass when she's given the opportunity — and we're hoping Season 3 gives her all the opportunities she deserves.
Iris West: Ace Reporter
In the comics, Iris's job as an journalist provided plenty of plot fodder, as she investigated everything from corrupt politicians to gang wars. Although she occasionally runs into trouble thanks to her reporting, her position at the Central City Picture News hasn't really been used to its full plot advantage. Which is a shame, as we saw the beginnings of an interesting journalistic plot in Season 1, when Iris's former mentor Mason Bridge started to look into Harrison Wells, only to get murdered for his trouble.
Journalist characters are the staple of many a superhero story, as they provide plenty of plot possibilities. Lois Lane is the quintessential superhero reporter of course — both Lois & Clark: The New Adventures Of Superman and Smallville used her reporting as the starting point for many story arcs. More recently, Netflix's Daredevil featured a fascinating journalism plot in Season 1, as Karen Page teamed up with Ben Urich to follow the trail from her corrupt former employers to Kingpin himself.
Suffice it to say, journalists can be super interesting for superheroes, if used to their full potential. And there's actually the perfect opportunity to do this with Iris in The Flash Season 3, now that we know the next season will adapt the comic Flashpoint.
In Flashpoint, Barry wakes up to find a changed world — Iris doesn't know him, he doesn't have powers, and Leonard Snart is the hero of Central City. Known as Citizen Cold, Snart is ruthless in his method of crime fighting, leading intrepid reporter Iris to investigate the apparent vigilante, along with her photographer nephew Wally West. Wally ends up getting iced by Snart, as he discovers the truth of Citizen Cold's history as a crook. When she finds out what happened to Wally, Iris freezes Snart with his own cold gun, and it's pretty awesome.
This could be a really interesting plot arc to explore in The Flash Season 3, as Iris investigates the hero Central City seems to love. Not only would this have fantastic potential to drive the plot of the season along, we'd also get to see Iris doing what she does best — being a badass as she is determined to find out the truth.
Team Flash & Cop Iris
Even if the writers wanted to deviate from the classic Flashpoint plot, there are still plenty of options to use Iris West to her full potential of badassery. Thanks to Barry's reset, Iris won't grow up under the shadow of Nora Allen's murder, meaning Joe might not have prevented her from becoming a cop.
We already saw a version of this story in Season 2, as Barry discovered that Iris's Earth-2 doppelganger was a detective in the CCPD. This two episode arc really showcased Iris's badass potential, as Detective West teamed up with the Earth-1 gang to lead the charge against Killer Frost, Deathstorm, and Reverb. Her characterisation was slightly different from the Iris we know and love — more rough and ready, Earth-2 Iris is something of a hardboiled noir detective. These episodes definitely left us wanting more from Iris's doppelganger.
But even when Barry resets the timeline (which we assume will happen, as that's how Flashpoint ends... kinda) there's still a lot more the writers could do with Iris, by giving her a bigger role in Team Flash.
We caught a glimpse of how Iris integrates with the team at the end of Season 2, when she and Cisco worked together to stop the zombified Girder in "The Runaway Dinosaur". The two characters bounced off each other perfectly, and Iris proved that when it comes to fighting metahumans she's a valuable asset to Team Flash.
Overall, we're hoping that The Flash Season 3 uses Iris to her full potential, instead of shunting her to the sidelines. Iris might be Barry's love interest, but she's so much more than that — she's a fantastic character who deserves to drive the plot of the show. And we can't wait to see how she'll shine in Season 3.