The Flash's sixth season is coming to a close next month, after establishing a major new status quo over nineteen episodes. The veteran The CW series had quite a lot to juggle this past year - including the threat of the "Crisis on Infinite Earths" crossover - and it managed to do so in a truly entertaining fashion. One of the biggest praises of Season 6 has been the way it has handled its female characters, from series mainstays like Iris West-Allen (Candice Patton ), Caitlin Snow/Killer Frost (Danielle Panabaker ), and Cecile Horton (Danielle Nicolet ), to newer characters like Sue Dibny (Natalie Dreyfuss), Kamilla Hwang (Victoria Park), Allegra Garcia (Kayla Compton), and Eva McCulloch (Efrat Dor). The show's female characters have gotten to have some significant storylines - both independently and as an ensemble - across Season 6, and it sounds like that was a task that showrunner Eric Wallace took to heart.
"Yes and yes. It was extremely important for me," Wallace told ComicBook.com's Nicole Drum in a recent interview. "In fact, it was my highest priority, I would argue, to right the ship. The show's called The Flash, and I understand that it's Barry's story. However, we have such a rich cast of female characters - specifically Iris - who I've felt have been underserved. And it was a priority for me to bring them into the forefront."
"We all know the Bechdel Test," Wallace continued, referencing the media trope of two named female characters talking about something outside of a male character. "We sat in there in the writers' room, and we asked ourselves when we're coming up with storylines and theme work; 'Is it Bechdel approved?' It's something that I want to see, and it's what we're doing. So, not only was it getting Iris's Team Citizen up to speed as the show goes on, from this point on. And not probably just in season six, I mean season seven, and hopefully eight and beyond as we continue. It's a priority for me to have as many stories for Team Citizen as there are for Team Flash. Which means a balance between the human stories and the superhero stories, because that's going to help the female characters and characters of color who are female - and some that aren't female - blossom more."
Wallace making that a priority comes after The Flash's fandom - and some of its stars - had expressed a desire to see the show's female characters be a more significant part of the series.
"For so long our cast was just two women, [myself and Danielle Panabaker]," Patton said in a 2018 interview. "My question was always like, 'When are we getting more women?" We'd go through another season and we'd add a male. And then the next season, we'd add another male. We're going into Season 5, we just added two women of color on our show as series regulars, bringing our number of female regulars on the show up to four, which is amazing. I mean, if you would have said that to my 14-year-old self, there’s no way I would have believed you."
The Flash airs Tuesdays at 8/7c on The CW.