Iris West The Flash Candice Patton The CW

Warning! This post contains potential spoilers for Season 4 of The Flash, read at your own risk!

Many who watched the awesome Season 4 trailer for The Flash were shocked to hear Iris West giving that trademark opening monologue typically reserved for Barry Allen. After all, in a team full of metas without day jobs, why is Iris leading Team Flash when Season 4 begins? Actress Candice Patton gave fans answers at San Diego Comic-Con and our Head TV Editor Nick Venable was there to capture her responses, which start below:

You know, we left off Season 3 with Barry disappearing into the Speed Force and one of the last things he said to Iris was, 'Keep running. Keep moving forward.' And that's kind of how she starts to deal with him being gone. She chooses to suppress all those feelings and step up as team leader, because Barry's gone. I think it's a role that suits her really well, but I think she's also doing it to kind of deflect from how she's really feeling.

While it may not be the best move career-wise for Iris West to make herself frequently absent to battle metas, Candice Patton does make a strong case for why it has to be her to step up and not someone else on the team. As we saw in the trailer, it's kind of hard for Cisco, Joe, and the rest of Team Flash to mope when the person who unquestionably misses Barry Allen the most is pushing to move on without him. As Patton states, the move seems to fit her well as fans have been showering the comment section of the trailer on YouTube begging for the crime-fighting Flashpoint Iris and Wally to make a comeback.

That's all well and good, but how will The Flash make a case for Iris being lead over veteran Team Flash members like Cisco or Harrison Wells? On paper, Iris West isn't the most experienced, strongest, or smartest on the team, but she's definitely an asset. Iris's main strength, as Candice Patton states below, is her ability to rally those around her and bring comfort in stressful situations:

We've seen over the last three seasons, she has a way especially of talking to Barry in some of his most high-stress moments in getting him to think clearly and bring comfort for the team. So there's definitely something about Iris' heart and her ability to talk to the team and rally the team. Which is why she's made such a great team leader. She's almost like the coach, she's like the hard coach for everyone. And we'll see some more of that this season.

Exactly how long Iris will need to lead Team Flash remains to be seen as the trailer for The Flash seemed to show them bringing our boy home already. We do have reason to suspect that whoever is in that costume is not Barry, although it seems highly unlikely that The CW would shut out Grant Gustin for an entire season. The real question is, just how long can they keep Barry in the Speed Force and keep things interesting?

If Candice Patton has an answer to how long Barry Allen will be absent, she's certainly good at hiding it. Patton artfully dodged any tells on when fans could expect to see Barry back on The Flash when answering a question regarding how he would respond to her taking control of Team Flash:

I dunno. Hopefully he's okay with it. [smiles] I think he would be. She's kind of stepped up and is contributing. Barry would only want her to be happy, so I think he would love it.

The Flash returns October 10th at 8 p.m. ET on The CW. For more on Season 4, be sure to check out Tom Cavanaugh talking about the return of Harrison Wells, or how the Arrow-verse could be way darker this season. For more regarding great shows one can watch during the summer, visit our summer premiere guide.

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