The Flash’s Candice Patton Explains Why She Was Missing From Multiple Season 8 Episodes

Candice Patton as Iris West-Allen in The Flash
(Image credit: The CW)

Another season The Flash has come and gone, and storylines have been wrapped up (including that long-running Diggle story arc). However, some may still be wondering why Candice Patton missed a few episodes during the eighth season. It was a head-scratcher, but the actress has provided insight into her absences. And as you'd expect, COVID played a role.

Via social media, fans of The Flash made note of the fact that Candice Patton’s Iris West-Allen was absent from four consecutive episodes near the end of Season 8. Within the narrative, it was explained that the character was dealing with her time sickness. But more recently, Patton revealed on her Instagram stories, via TVLine, that her contract was designed in way that allowed her to appear in fewer episodes. This was essentially a failsafe in the event that the borders between the U.S. (where she lives) and Canada (where the show films) were closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

In the post, the actress also explained that from the jump, she was “more than happy” to be featured in more episodes if the situation remained stable (which it did). However, the network opted not to exercise that option in the deal, meaning that things would remain as arranged.

It's honestly a bit disappointing that things played out as they did. With much of Season 8 focusing on Iris and her increasing time sickness, one would've thought that such a thing would take center stage in the season's final episodes. On the bright side, though, fans will be seeing more of Iris West-Allen in Season 9, as Patton was confirmed to be returning for the upcoming season, which will premiere midseason on The CW. 

The Season 8 finale not only resolved Iris’ illness but also included a big twist that seemingly saw Reverse-Flash killed off once and for all. The episode was written as a series capper, so there did seem to be a bit of finality to the proceedings. As of right now, there's no telling what lies ahead in the ninth season, though I'm hoping that Iris gets a bit of a reprieve after everything she's been through.

One thing that is known is that Season 9 will include the return of a major big bad. Season 8's penultimate episodes teased the return of Ramsey Rosso, a.k.a. Bloodwork, by way of a comic book -- a reveal that was pretty on-brand for the DC Comics-adapted show. Team Flash definitely has a serious weight off its shoulders with Reverse-Flash seemingly gone, but you can bet that Rosso is going to shake things up for them in the worst possible way.

It's currently unknown whether Season 9 will be The Flash's last but, given that the Season 8 finale was planned as a final episode, the producers could be looking to end things for sure next year. Such a thing would be bittersweet, but the idea is made all the better by the fact that Candice Patton will indeed still be around and (hopefully) in more episodes.

While you wait for the next season of The Flash, be sure to check out CinemaBlend’s 2022 TV schedule for programs to watch in the meantime.

Megan Behnke
Freelance TV News Writer

Passionate writer. Obsessed with anything and everything entertainment, specifically movies and television. Can get easily attached to fictional characters.