Why The Flash Season 4 Stars Hope It Gets Back To ‘The Heart’

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Iris West and Caitlin Snow in The Flash.
Iris West and Caitlin Snow in The Flash. CW

The abrupt disappearance of Wally West from The Flash Season 4 raised serious questions about how the series approaches interpersonal relationships and individual character arcs. Criticism of the third season lead the creative team to embrace a more humourous tone, but in focusing on comedy, the series lost what gave it spark in the first two seasons: heart.

“This year, we are focusing on different elements of the show, a lot more of the humor and the spectacle, whereas previous seasons were more about the heart and family relationships. I think that’s truly the core of the show, so I hope we get back to that,” Candice Patton, who plays Iris West, told Player.One at DC In DC during the Black Lightning premiere event.

Patton hopes The Flash will return to exploring Wally as part of the West family, as it did when the character first came to the show. We got to learn a bit about his upbringing, his biological mother, and watch him transform into the hero he is today. But his storyline got lost in the crowd of powered characters on The Flash , especially in Season 4. He left to find himself after Jesse Quick broke up with him, then returned to Central City only to disappear with no explanation. He didn’t even show up to any of Barry’s court dates or attempt to protect the city while Barry was in jail. Thankfully, the writers have found a semi-permanent spot for Wally on Legends, where Patton said he’s in good hands with White Canary.

Patton isn’t the only actor who would like The Flash to shift focus back to to relationship building and personal stories. While the transformation into Killer Frost has finally came to fruition, Danielle Panabaker thinks there is more room to explore the friendship between Caitlin and Iris, or Caitlin and Cisco. While filming Season 3, she had to give Executive Producer Todd Helbing a call. She was frustrated the plan was for Caitlin to get yet another tragic love interest instead of delving deeper into pre-existing relationships or letting the series explore the complexities of her dual identity in one strong story arc.

“All of these are things I expressed for a long time. Season 3 in particular, I couldn’t believe they were giving me another love interest. I remember calling Todd Helbing and being like, ‘Are you serious? Is this what’s happening right now?’”

The Crisis on Earth X crossover proved there’s lots to explore between Iris and Caitlin in particular, who have grown closer this season since Iris has been much more involved in Team Flash. The crossover episodes were very well-received and it was a relief to see Caitlin Snow in her element, both superpowered and a character with genuine depth.

“It’s nice to get to delve into something different, play more with the boys and do the superpowers of it all, but I do miss the relationships,” Panabaker said. “That’s what makes Flash so special, the love we all have for each other. I’d like to see them lean into that a little bit more. Caitlin and Iris, Caitlin and Wells, Caitlin and Cisco…”

Do you think The Flash Season 4 needs to get back to the heart? Let us know in the comments.

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