Candice Patton explains why Iris was missing from four episodes of The Flash season 8. Patton has portrayed Barry Allen's childhood friend and wife Iris since The Flash premiered in 2014. She stars as the series' female lead alongside Grant Gustin, Danielle Panabaker, Danielle Nicolet, Brandon McKnight, Kayla Compton, and Jesse L. Martin. Throughout Patton's time on The Flash, Iris has evolved from a determined investigative reporter fighting for her place in the Arrowverse's world of metahumans to an essential member of Team Flash and Barry's greatest source of support.
The Flash season 8 recently finished airing and was packed full of timeline-altering events that ended with The Flash's final battle with Eobard Thawne. The Flash season 8 finale also hinted at a new villain joining The Flash season 9 with an ominous shot at a glowing blue crystal. Yet, even after the season finale, one question continued to bug fans: why was Iris missing for four episodes in the latter half of the season? Theories circulated about Patton's absence from the episodes, but now the actress has decided to clear up the confusion herself.SCREENRANT VIDEO OF THE DAY
Related: The Flash's Barry Allen Killing Thawne Dilemma Is REALLY Old Now
Patton revealed in an Instagram story (saved via Flash TV News) why Iris was missing from those four episodes in season 8. The Flash star wrote a note explaining that her absence was a result of Covid-19 precautions that were built into her contract for the season. According to Patton, the precaution was put into place so that the actress would be able to return home if the pandemic worsened. Patton also clarified that while she would have been happy to be featured in all episodes, she respected the decision not to include her for those four episodes. Read a screenshot of Patton's story below:
The Covid-19 pandemic has had a huge impact on both movie and TV productions, with new safety practices causing delays and occasional story changes in many projects. The Flash season 8 also saw the effects of the pandemic's reach early in the season. The five-part "Armageddon" departed from past major Arrowverse events by taking place entirely contained within The Flash season 8 due to Covid-19 protocols. The precautions built into Patton's season 8 contract seem to be yet another example of the industry adjusting to a new normal.
As Patton plays one of the central characters in The Flash, her absences were sure to spark some concern from fans of the long-running Arrowverse show. Thankfully, Patton's story assures her followers that not only was there a mundane reason for the absences but also that the actress herself had a small part in planning them. Any concerns that those four episodes were an indicator that Iris' role on The Flash would be decreasing can be disregarded, at least for now. Patton will be returning as Iris in The Flash season 9.