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More dating tips from The Flash

February 15, 2015

Previously on The Flash, we learned how to let your friend know you have more than friendship feelings for them. In last week’s episode, “The Nuclear Man,” we continue the streak (heh) of healthy dating choices as Barry goes on a date with a decidedly not-comic-book-canon Linda Park.

Spoilers and whatnot follow.

I. Love. Linda. Park. I loved her and Wally together in the comics I could get my hands on from the library. I loved her goofy crush on Flash in Justice League Unlimited.  And I really, reallllly love this version of Linda, who is decisive and assertive but not unwilling to change her mind when offered new information.

Seriously, I’m trying to think of another woman on television who is as assertive when it comes to dating as Linda Park who also doesn’t come off as predatory or laughable, and I can’t. Now part of me is wondering if the “cougar” in the Joe & Cisco subplot was purposely to direct our attention to what a predatory woman really looks like on TV, thus deflecting any sexist bullshit that Linda would’ve gotten.  As it was, after Linda did all these great things, like making the first move and giving Flash her contact information in “Crazy for You,” and in last week’s episode being clear about what she wants sexually and from a relationship, there was STILL a guy in the comments (at io9, maybe?) who thought she must be secretly some sort of villain, because she PUSHED SO HARD FOR A SECOND DATE.

Oh, okay. I guess a “good girl” wouldn’t do that?

I’m going to have to disagree with that whole concept.  Good girls are clear about what they want when they feel they can safely say so, which makes Linda Park great. She wants Barry, so she suggests they skip dinner for a make-out session, and he readily agrees. Sexy, sexy consent! When he ditches her for “work,” which he decides not to call work (good call even if he was only fumbling; she is a reporter), she lets him know flat-out that her time is precious to her and the thought of having half an evening isn’t what she’s looking for. God, did I love this. She’s not a walking TV stereotype, with the underlying whine of “Girlfriends are nags, amirite, bros?” She’s a person with strong, reasonable opinions. Not everyone wants to date someone with a cop’s hours.

Also, Linda’s reporter sense is tingling in this episode, and I love that too. What’s going on? She turns to Iris, Barry’s bff and her co-worker, and Iris, REASONABLY, thinks maybe Barry’s tripping up on those old feelings. You can get mad at Iris for it, and say that maybe she’s acting in her own self-interest, but it really is the most reasonable conclusion to come to, especially since (as I mentioned in that last post) Barry is a pretty emotional guy. So Iris maybe does the wrong thing by telling Linda that Barry has just dealt with some unrequited feelings, especially since Linda is smart as a whip and realized immediately that the recipient of those feelings is Iris. Our Girl Linda certainly wants none of that either. So she calls it off with Barry, and reveals her sources like a reporter (ETHICS IN SUPERHERO TELEVISION), and there you go. Except Barry really does like her, and it’s The Flash stuff he’s hiding, not his feelings for Iris.  He confronts Iris for dishing what he considers to be inaccurate dirt–new possibilities really do help erase old feelings that never got off the ground anyway, but he could be fooling himself, and under the bandage called Linda Park might be a wound, but I HOPE NOT BECAUSE THAT STUFF IS BORING–and then does something demonstrative at Linda’s work, convincing her that Barry is the kind of lovable/sexy goofball she probably does want to spend more time with. Cool. It wasn’t a huge declaration of anything. It was ghost pepper-eating, which called back to their conversation about spicy food on their first date. It’s a clear way of saying, “I was paying attention” and “I am serious about wanting to have fun with you.”

Okay, it was at her work, which is less cool, but frankly, you kind of have to with her because, as she says, she works a lot.

So Barry again hits the non-Flash, relationship stuff out of the park (heh). He’s a bit slow on the uptake but without that, we’d have no drama, and what’s a CW show without drama? I’m just happy to see an assertive female character on my new favorite superhero show, and things being played out as reasonably as television lets them be.

Barry/Linda ❤

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