My The Flash Epiphany – The Ship has Sailed!

Barry and Iris - The Flash

Spoiler alert! This article contains a discussion of many The Flash episodes including the most recent one, “Duet,” which aired on 3/21/2017. Tread lightly if you missed any of them!

A true epiphany is not an everyday occurrence. But, it should be an eye-opening experience. My recent epiphany certainly was. I have finally come to terms with something that has been bothering me for years.

I have said it many times before, but to be clear, I am not a fan of romances between the main characters on an action adventure show. This is nothing new and is rooted in an event that occurred over ten years ago. Recently I have been softening my stance because some main characters do seem to fit well and can maintain their relationship despite the rigors of the program. A good example is Michael and Fiona from Burn Notice. Despite all the ups and downs during the years that program aired, these two were given their happy ending when the show concluded. And, boy did they deserve it.

My problem, though, and the source of my objection, is that an action adventure show should focus heavily on the action, not the romantic melodrama. And, again to be clear, I am not opposed to romances and intricate relationships, as I discussed in Four Reasons Why This Is Us is My Favorite New Show this Fall, which is full of romance and complicated relationships. But, on an action adventure show, well, I expect a lot of action, and yeah, adventure too, without being needlessly bogged down!

Which brings me to the state of affairs on the many action adventure shows I currently watch regularly. Upon reflection, it does seem that most of the instances are coming from shows that air on The CW. I am not picking on them, but perhaps there is a certain philosophy for that network, which is trying to appeal to the younger set, and my being outside their primary demographic explains the disconnect between us.

So here is my complaint. Two main characters hook up. Two main characters are ecstatically happy for one or two or more episodes, and then suddenly one of the two has some kind of problem, revelation, or whatever and they are no longer a couple. Rinse and repeat, sometimes with each other, sometimes with another main character. These shows go back and forth between bliss and total breakup meltdown. And, truthfully, it gets old. Either they are a couple or not, but make up your minds!

The biggest source of friction between just about every couple on The CW is secrets. Despite promising to not keep secrets, they all do, and are constantly getting angry at each other and then promising to never keep a secret again, and then doing it anyway. Sigh.

So, by now you must be wondering exactly what my epiphany was. Well, it is very simple – in fact, so simple that I am almost embarrassed to say it took me this long to realize it. Action adventure shows that rely on this type of relationship boomerang and whiplash will never stop. So, for my own sanity and peace of mind, not to mention viewing enjoyment, I need to just ignore it as much as possible and focus on the rest of the program. And, in fact, during The Flash’s episode “Into the Speed Force,” which aired March 14, 2017, there were significant events in more than one romance which led to my Eureka Moment.

Barry and Iris

Barry and Iris - The Flash

Barry and Iris have been best friends since they met in elementary school. When Barry’s mom was killed and his dad imprisoned, Joe West took Barry in and raised him as his own. Barry and Iris became family at this point. As they grew, apparently both developed romantic feelings for the other, but for whatever reasons, embarrassment, insecurity, or shyness, these feelings were never revealed to the other.

Consequently, early on we were subjected to many longing glances from Barry towards Iris, amplified greatly when Eddie Thawne was around. Eddie sacrificed himself to kill Eobard, which meant that Iris was now available for Barry to pursue. But, it was not until the third season when Barry and Iris started dating, although prior to that she did admit her feelings.

During season three, Barry and Iris move in with each other. There was a lot of angst due to the possible future where Iris is killed by Savitar, and this affects the timing of Barry’s marriage proposal. Despite saying yes to him, Iris breaks the engagement off after discovering his motivation, and calls their future together tainted. Shortly thereafter Barry suggests they need some space to sort out their lives and moves out. It takes an attack by the Music Meister for them to once again realize that they love each other. So, at this point they are engaged again, but who knows for how long?

Wally West and Jesse Wells

Wally and Jesse - The Flash

A truly long distance relationship, these two characters live on two different earths. Jesse returned to Earth Two with Harrison Wells, leaving an early stages relationship with Wally behind. When she and Harrison returned to Earth One so he could run some tests on her, their relationship was re-established.

When it was time once again to return to Earth Two, Jesse defied her father and decided to stay so she could be with Wally. But, as these things always go, she then decided to travel to Earth Three to take the place of Jay Garrick, especially since she knew that Savitar had some unknown plans for her. So, once again, Wally and Jesse are separated.


Do you also get annoyed at the constantly changing landscape of the relationships on action adventure shows? If you do, which one annoys you the most? If you don’t, what do you like about them? Please add your comments below!