I have to admit, I wasn't a fan of The Flash's presentation of Barry and Iris' relationship as the best friend with torturous, unrequited feelings for the girl next door. It's such a tired trope, so who would have thought that time travel would be the thing that set their story apart? Now that the series is reaching the Season 1 finale on Tuesday, will Barry and Iris get together on The Flash?
I've seen enough stories about time travel and prophecy to know that learning too much about your own future is the quickest way to ruin it. In the future that Harrison Wells/Eobard Thawne has been trying to preserve, Iris and Barry are married. The first person on The Flash (in the past) to discover this is Barry. Then, Eobard told Eddie... who told Iris. Not only does Iris now know her apparent future, but she found out right after discovering that Eddie was going to propose to her before he got 'napped.
Maybe it's me, but a relationship built on fated inevitability doesn't seem all that romantic. However, WestAllen is clearly endgame and I'm not mad. The Reverse-Flash may have thought he was able to change the history books with regards to Oliver Queen's life span, but true love will prevail in all universes — that's just fairy tale common sense! So, if Iris and Barry do get together in the finale, we're going to need to see them earn it. Because right now, we're missing those crucial in-between steps.
Iris was almost laughably in the dark about Barry Allen's secret all season, and I love the complexity and seriousness with which The Flash is handling the aftermath of that. Right now, Iris is more focused on making a place for herself on Team Flash than anything romantic styles. It seems unlikely that Iris and Barry are going to fall back into somebody's arms that easily.
That said, I think Iris' relationship with Eddie is over for good. The poor Thawne was so bummed out by the future that he broke up with Iris almost on the spot. He's over ignoring the Allen-phant in the room! He's over choices! He's over living in the moment! Iris wasn't buying that she had no control over her own social life, but I feel like Eddie's willingness to give up is going to leave a more lasting impression than the future Iris was presented with in the episode.
Yet, thanks to your friendly neighborhood space-time continuum, this is likely what was supposed to happen all along. It probably wasn't a coincidence that Wells prevented Eddie from proposing. For all we know, everything is going according to plan. Is that why, in the above photo from the season finale "Fast Enough," Eddie is grinning like an idiot while Iris and Barry look like they're about to make with the smooching? There's no way everybody got on board just like that. Could this be another alternate universe? At least Joe looks concerned.
In an interview with TVLine, when asked if there would be any developments between the two star-crossed (we can call them star-crossed now) characters in the finale, Grant Gustin confirmed that there would be, but "you don't really know if it's a positive or a negative development, to be honest." That makes me think that we're looking at a repeat of Barry's first dabble with time travel, in which Iris confessed her feelings only to forget the next "day." Gustin also used the words "heartbreaking" and "gut-wrenching" to describe the final episode, so that's gotta mean wedding bells, right? Right??
Images: Diyah Pera/The CW; Giphy