**Warning: This article contains spoilers for The Flash episode “Run, Iris, Run”***
From throwing lightning and traveling through time, to pulling someone into “Flash Time” through physical contact, CW’s The Flash never fails to show off a speedster’s abilities. However, the latest revealed ability came not from seasoned speedsters like Barry Allen or Jay Garrick, but from rookie speedster Iris West-Allen.
This past week’s episode “Run, Iris, Run” saw a new metahuman named Matthew Kim, aka Melting Point, accidentally swap Barry’s connection to the Speed Force to his wife. Temporarily stepping into her husband’s boots, Iris struggled at first to master her abilities and was almost killed trying to extinguish a fire. But when another accidentally-created metahuman threatens Central City with a wall of flame, Iris – relying on a suggestion from Harry (Tom Cavanaugh) via his Thinking Cap – perfectly executed the creation of a tidal wave to put out the fire.
But why would the writers use Iris – a rookie speedster – as the introduction to this new ability?
“Every week it’s hard to come up with something [new for Barry to do with his speed],” Executive Producer Todd Helbing explains. “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 creation of a tidal wave apparently was being discussed by the show’s crew for a while and they wanted to save it for the right occasion. Iris had already shown her fortitude without any special abilities before, in particular with foes like Girder and Savitar. She had even pursued armed criminals and dove out a high-rise window at Barry’s suggestion so he could catch her on the way down. But given Iris acknowledged she had retreated from life and journalism and into the Cortex since last year’s finale, the writers felt it was a good plot device for her to implement that discussed feat to reignite her fire again and return as a reporter.
The Flash returns from hiatus on April 10 at 8 PM Tuesday nights on the CW.