Wedding bells are about to chime for The Flash‘s self-proclaimed golden standard couple, Barry (Grant Gustin) and Iris (Candice Patton). They’ve been inseparable since they were children, they’ve weathered one tragedy after another, and have come out the other side in one piece and ready to make the ultimate commitment. But, while love and devotion are key aspects to any marriage, they aren’t the only factors to consider before walking down the aisle.
Barry and Iris are a great couple, there’s no questioning that. It’s for that reason that I’m airing some doubts about whether they’re rushing this marriage thing. Sure, it feels like they’ve been together forever, but most of that time was spent unacquainted or under serious duress. Let’s take a moment to look at some the reasons why these two lovebirds should hold off on marriage for now.
They’re Too Co-Dependent
It’s a bit of an understatement to say that Barry and Iris have been through a lot these last few years. While they’ve certainly come out stronger for it, they’ve also lost something along the way: independent lives. For most of last season Barry was single-mindedly obsessed with preventing Iris’ death, and since Barry came back from the Speed Force, Iris’ entire life has revolved around Team Flash. They both have the same friends, they see each other at home and at work, and the only person they confide to about their relationship is their shared dad. You know when your Maid of Honor is someone you’re not even that close with, but you pick her because she’s literally the only female acquaintance you have, you need to rethink your life choices.
Every couple goes through phases where they get too involved in each other’s lives and forget to be independent. Maybe not to the degree that Barry and Iris are right now, but it does happen. What’s important is that they take a moment to recognize the problem and try a little more time apart before saying “I do.”
Does Iris Even Have a Job?
She may still have a byline in 2024, but we haven’t seen Iris in a newsroom in a very long time. The words deadline, headline, editor, or scoop haven’t passed Iris’ lips in what feels like an entire season. What happened to her journalism career? Solving crimes at S.T.A.R. Labs is fun and all, but it doesn’t pay the bills (unless you’re Cisco [Carlos Valdes] and Caitlin [Danielle Panabaker], but that’s for an entirely different article).
Much like the issue with their co-dependency, Iris needs her own income and her own space. Before she can commit to a lifetime with Barry, Iris has to figure out her own life goals outside of the need of Team Flash. Pick up that pen, Iris, and get back to work!
Barry Needs to Deal with Post-Speed Force Trauma
The Flash was in rough shape when he emerged from the Speed Force in the Season 4 finale—incoherent, unresponsive, and downright scary. He may have snapped out of it, but that doesn’t mean he’s been miraculously cured of any signs of trauma. Just as the show’s writers are trying to force fun back into Central City following years of death and destruction, Barry is being overly cheerful to overcompensate for what he’s been through. Needless to say, that level of denial isn’t something you want to bring to a marriage.
One Therapy Session Doesn’t Solve Your Problems
The healthiest thing Barry and Iris have done for their relationship is to try couple’s therapy. We saw Barry try to play off all of the trauma he’s been through, while Iris unloaded about her feelings of abandonment after he entered the Speed Force. Unfortunately, it seems like their sessions with Dr. Finkel (Donna Pescow) only lasted one episode, which is really not enough time to sort of big issues like those. Learning how to listen to one another is a huge part of marriage. It wouldn’t hurt to try at least six months worth of sessions to really make sure they’ve got a handle on things, y’know?
Supervillains Will Always Come First
Life-work balance isn’t really a thing when you’re a full-time forensic scientist AND a superhero, no matter how fast Barry can run. Sure, Iris is supportive now, but five years down the line she may not be so understanding when he’s forced to ditch yet another anniversary dinner. That’s not even considering when children are thrown into the mix.
Marriage requires a deep level of commitment, and that’s not something Barry can realistically offer when his next arch-nemesis is lurking on the next corner.
Do you think Barry and Iris should put a pause on marriage, or does love conquer all? Sound off in the comments below.
The Flash airs Tuesdays at 8 p.m. ET on The CW and CTV. The crossover special “Crisis on Earth-X” begins Monday, Nov. 27 with Part 1 on Supergirl at 8 p.m. ET, airing on The CW and Showcase.
Associate Editor Kelly Townsend always had strong opinions on TV growing up, so it was only natural to evolve from couch musings to online journalism. She can't ever choose a favorite series, so please don't ask. Her writing has also appeared on IndieWire and Tribute.ca. You can find her on Twitter at @kellybtownsend.