Legendary relationships can become landmarks for certain TV eras, and West-Allen is no exception. In a world of TV shows where commitment and long-lasting devotion have been cast aside for cheap overnight romances, West-Allen is like a breath of fresh air.
Barry- “I love you Iris.”
Iris- “Aw, I love you too.”
Barry- “When we were kids I loved you even before I knew what the word ‘love’ meant.” (Season 1, Ep 9- The Man in the Yellow Suit)
Iris is the one constant Barry has ever had in his life. She is his safe place, his sounding board. She is his heart and his home.
Iris “I don’t want you to think that there’s nothing for you here….do good, Barry, and then come home.” (Season 2, Ep 13- Welcome to Earth Two)
Iris- “Barry, you’ve always had someone to come home to. Me.” (Season 2, Ep 20- Rupture)
Iris has a superpower, her superpower is that she can reach Barry’s heart when no one else can. She was the sweet hand that picked him up when his life was torn apart as a child. She has been his greatest source of strength, comfort, and represents the beautiful things in his life. She’s his soft place. That’s what women can bring to men, beauty, comfort, security, compassion, and life. It’s a uniquely feminine touch, and without Iris, Barry would have lost that the moment his mother died.
Barry is a hero, he has been his entire life, even before he became The Flash. Barry runs headlong into danger without question, it’s who he is. Being around someone like Barry her whole life has changed Iris. His brokenness taught her compassion, his heroic heart inspired her, and his steadfast loyalty and will to keep trying is a light that she has relied on for years. Barry brings that light to everyone around him, he has a magnetic pull that draws people in. Iris knows he will always be there for her, she knows he is someone she can count on.
Iris- “Barry, I need you to know, that it doesn’t matter to me if you’re the Flash or not. You, Barry; that’s who I want to see if I have a future with.”
The years of sweet memories built between them are firmly rooted in going through the bad and the good times together. When one makes a mistake or a poor choice, the other person is willing to call them on the carpet about it. But they are also both willing to walk through the consequences of those mistakes together.
Any moments either one shared with Linda, Patty, or Eddie simply pale in comparison to the connection that these two have.
When Barry was lost in the Speedforce, it was Iris’s voice that called him home. He rose from speaking to his “mother”, the symbol of his past, and stepped forward to take the hand of Iris, his future.
“Come home to me.”
She’s been his home since his life fell apart. When he broke, she put the pieces back together again.
Iris has also felt lost and alone in her life. Being abandoned by her mother has left sore places in her soul.
“I never really liked that book…..because it was about a mother who was always there for her child and that wasn’t my mom….we never had anyone who was just right for us.” (Iris, Season 2, Ep 21 – The Runaway Dinosaur)
That line speaks volumes about Iris’s brokenness in her past. Growing up without a mama is hard, she had to learn some things about becoming a woman all on her own. But Barry has seen her from the beginning. He knows what a spectacular person she is, he knows what she has meant to him all of these years.
“All I know is you’re everything to me and you always have been, and the sound of your voice will always bring me home.” (Barry, Season 2, Ep 21, The Runaway Dinosaur)
Speaking of those mistakes.
Iris wasn’t my favorite person in Season 1. The fact that she was with Eddie instead of Barry felt so wrong. We knew it, he knew it, Joe knew it, and somewhere deep down inside, Iris knew it. We can’t exactly blame Iris for the mistakes she made in Season 1 regarding the Flash, she had no idea who he actually was. But, the Iris of Season 1 made choices with far less maturity than the Iris of Season 2.
Still, Barry was forgiving. He loved her through it all, valued her opinion, and desperately wanted her to be an even more intimate part of his life. When she lost Eddie, Barry didn’t push. He didn’t force anything with, despite the fact that his love for her hadn’t changed. Barry helped her heal, he put her needs ahead of his own.
We all know what mistakes Barry made in Season 2. The Earth 2 field trip was a big disaster. Our season finale ended with the biggest mistake at all, Barry’s choice to go back and save his mother. It was maddening, heartbreaking, and we all know there will be nasty repercussions.
Still, Iris didn’t judge. She stood beside Barry, called him on the carpet when he was being foolish, held his hand when he was hurting, and was his refuge whenever he needed it. Now Barry is going to need to heal, he’s making mistakes and he’s blinded by his pain. He’s hurting so bad he can’t even accept the one thing he has always dreamed of; being with Iris.
But Iris doesn’t panic or lay it all down, instead…
“Barry, listen to me. You waited for me for years, you let me get to a place where this was possible. So I am telling you, I am gonna do the same thing for you. Wherever you need to go, whatever you need to do, do it. And when you get back, I’ll be here.” (Iris, Season 2, Ep. 23 The Race of His Life)
“I love you, Barry.” (Iris)
“I love you too….and I always will.” (Barry)
True love waits.
Loving someone means that you put their needs above your own. It means that you are in tune with where they are at and you seek to fit your life around that person to help them be okay.
Loving someone means that you listen, you comfort, and you encourage. Both Barry and Iris have been given opportunities to be this for each other.
Barry and Iris are the perfect couple because they have grown strong together through their imperfections. Their interaction is beautiful because they have been there for each other through the beautiful and the ugly times. They don’t give up, they hang on for the long haul. They are a team, the best of friends. They better together than apart.
I am so utterly delighted that we are able to enjoy such a great romance such as West-Allen. Big thanks to The Flash writers, and to Grant Gustin and Candice Patton for bringing this legendary couple to life. We can all learn a lot from watching these two, and I can’t wait to see what Season 3 has in store!