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The Flash viewers will know that Barry Allen, Central City’s newest protector, hasn’t had the greatest luck with women. Iris West is dating Eddie Thawne, Felicity Smoak is too busy with her hijinks on Arrow (although she will visit Central City this week) and Caitlin Snow is akin to a “work colleague.” However, Barry’s luck may change when a new woman enters his life. Malese Jow has just been cast to play Linda Park, an important character from the Flash world.
Linda will be a reporter for the Central City Picture News who becomes friends with Iris and helps her learn about the world of journalism. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Linda and Barry will meet each other at a bar and become “quick friends.” She will debut in episode 12, and is set to be a recurring character. Most of the recent The Flash castings have been villains, so it’s refreshing to have another good guy joining the show. Linda was previously played by Olivia Cheng in the Arrow episode “Three Ghosts,” where she reported on the particle accelerator right before it exploded. Maybe the effect the accelerator had on Linda was altering her appearance...or maybe Jow was just the better actress for the recurring role. Jow is no stranger to the CW, having appeared on The Vampire Diaries and 2014‘s short-lived Star-Crossed. The CW likes to hire talent they’ve used on other shows, such as adding Robbie Amell to The Flash after The Tomorrow People was cancelled, so Jow’s casting isn’t a complete shocker.
What’s interesting about Park is that in the comics, she is the love interest of Wally West, Barry’s successor. After Barry died in Crisis on Infinite Earths, Wally, previously Kid Flash, became the new Flash, and until Barry was revived in 2008, was the DC universe’s main Fastest Man Alive. Linda was introduced in 1989 as a TV reporter in Keystone City who became friends with Wally, eventually marrying him. The two later gave birth to superpowered twins, and Wally’s love for Linda helped him escape the Speed Force on multiple occasions. Justice League Unlimited fans may remember Linda from the episode “Flash and Substance,” where she reported on the opening of The Flash Museum and poorly hid her crush on the Scarlet Speedster.
Although it’s been hinted that Wally West could someday appear, the creative forces made the wise choice in pairing Linda with Barry, considering how young Wally would be in this universe. As mentioned earlier, Barry hasn’t had much luck with women, and considering Linda’s recurring status, there's a good chance she’ll be Barry’s first romantic relationship in the series. Although, things may get rocky for the couple if Linda discovers that Barry happens to be the red blur that’s running around the city fighting superpowered criminals.