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Spoilers ahead for the sixteenth episode of The Flash Season 4, called "Run, Iris, Run."
The Flash has introduced a number of speedsters over the years, ranging from good guys like Barry Allen, Jay Garrick, and Jesse Quick to very bad guys like Eobard Thawne. In "Run, Iris, Run," we saw another character gain superspeed abilities when a meta by the name of Melting Point transferred Barry's powers to Iris (Candice Patton). At first, Iris struggled with taking over as Central City's speedster superhero due to her lack of experience, but she rose to the occasion when a meta unleashed his dangerous fire powers on the city and threatened to destroy an apartment complex and kill a lot of people.
Luckily, Harry (with the help of his Thinking Cap) figured out a way for Iris to save the day, and she pulled it off by mastering a speedster power that hadn't been used on The Flash in the past: creating a tidal wave. Flash executive producer Todd Helbing spoke with CinemaBlend and other outlets at a screening of "Run, Iris, Run," and he had this to say about why the episode introduced a new speedster power:
Every week it's hard to come up with something [Barry hasn't done]. Yes and no, because we talked about a couple things for a long time. Candice getting powers, and then the tidal wave, we knew we wanted to save that sort of for a big thing and this felt perfect. But yeah, creating the tidal wave in the wake of speed suction power is pretty cool.
The folks at The Flash have apparently been considering a tidal wave as a speedster power for a while, but they were saving the introduction for a momentous occasion, and what could be more momentous than Iris gaining superspeed? She's one of the few major characters on The Flash who never had superpowers in any capacity, and she has mostly stayed out of the physical fights unless those physical fights come to her. After Ralph gave her grief about staying behind at STAR Labs when the rest of the team was in danger on the streets, Iris was determined to do whatever necessary to save lives and prove herself as a hero.
The tidal wave certainly allowed her to prove herself! Although Harry came up with the idea for the tidal wave and Barry had to talk her through how to harness superspeed to run on water, Iris is responsible for achieving something no other speedster on The Flash had ever accomplished. It proved that Iris would be at least as epic a superhero as Barry or any of the others if she had powers. Of course, Iris has always been a hero on the show, but The Flash isn't the show in the Arrow-verse that really allows for non-superpowered superheroes on a regular basis. By giving her superpowers, The Flash let her show off her strength and heroism in a brand new way.
Barry didn't resent or envy Iris for accomplishing something he never even considered, which was a nice sign of how he has matured as a speedster. His confidence in himself and his wife makes adds new depth to Barry that is certainly fun to watch now that the show is in its fourth season. In fact, he lovingly asked Iris to help him learn how to pull off the tidal wave himself, and the end of the episode proved that Iris will use her superspeed experience as inspiration. She decided that she needs to be more hands-on in her contribution to fighting the good fight, and that involves returning to journalism. The episode didn't reveal whether or not Iris' time with superspeed will be related to that mystery woman, but it didn't rule a certain theory out. We'll have to wait and see what happens next for Iris.
New episodes of The Flash air on Tuesdays at 8 p.m. ET on The CW. If you're still looking for other shows to watch now and in the coming weeks, take a look at the midseason TV premiere guide and our 2018 Netflix premiere schedule. Don't forget to stay tuned to CinemaBlend for the latest in superhero news. If you're not up on the TV cancellations that have happened so far this season, take a look at our rundown of the biggest shows to get the axe so far..