The Flash Barry Patty Romance

The Flash's Shantel VanSanten Talks About Patty's Quick Spark With Barry

Two things about Patty Spivot quickly became clear during her first appearance on The CW’s The Flash: She does not like metahumans, and she very much does like one Barry Allen.

Here, One Tree Hill alum Shantel VanSanten hails Patty’s strong-and-quirky personality, previews the detective’s dynamic with Joe West and surveys the instant spark between the geeky gal and Central City’s CSI-with-a-secret.

TVLINE | Now, I only saw the first episode of The Messengers (pictured below), but I have to assume that The Flash is decidedly lighter fare.
Yes, it definitely is. [Laughs] It’s quite different. There’s not as much blood and such, and definitely not as many threats of world destruction.

TVLINE | I suppose the good thing about this being your fourth CW series (including a Beauty and the Beast arc) is it makes it easy for your family to find you on TV. They know which channel it is.
It is! And those shows create such loyal fan bases. I can’t tell you how many fans have told me they watched One Tree Hill, then they watch The Messengers, and they’ve always watched The Flash…..To have fans that see you play a multitude of different characters, I feel very fortunate.

TVLINE | What do you like Flash Pattymost about Patty thus far?
I love that they write her as a strong, determined woman, but that she is quirky and awkward and funny — to some people. [Laughs] She’s this perfect balance of a cop with a gun who tells nerdy jokes and can hold her own in a science conversation, and that’s really fun for me.

TVLINE | You wore the uniform pretty well in your debut, with good posture and that “stance.” Have you ever played a cop before?
I haven’t. For Gang Related, playing the assistant district attorney, I spent two weeks with some of the police force here in L.A. — I did ride-alongs and I practiced shooting, because my father [on the show, played by Terry O’Quinn] was the head of the Gang Task Force, so I would have known all that stuff. But also, the minute you put the Flash Pattywhole outfit on it comes naturally. You don’t have a whole lot of places to put your hands, wearing the giant belt with the flashlight, a gun, you have cuffs, you have a badge….

TVLINE | We saw how Joe begrudgingly allowed Patty onto the Metahuman Task Force. How will their dynamic evolve?
Joe is one you have to slowly win over, and with Patty’s sensibility and humor, he “finds her interesting” is the best way to say it. As we’ve seen in her debut episode and going forward, her determination and her will in fighting metahumans — for her, one in particular [Mark Mardon aka Weather Wizard] — starts to win him over. It’s difficult, though, because everybody has secrets — Joe especially, working with The Flash and S.T.A.R. Labs. That kind of plays into it all as well, because Patty wants trust and communication, to be treated as an equal partner.

TVLINE | Because they spend so much time together, does Patty get wind of the fact that Joe’s ex-wife, Francine, is back in town?
Of course, she’s going to sense that things are off — and Patty isn’t one who shies away from prying. I also think that Joe’s a very guarded person,the-flash-season-2-photos (7) so it’s going to take some time to get him to open him up, whereas with Barry and her, they kind of just hit it off. She and Barry have that same humor and kindred spirit, their love for science and the will to protect their city, so they connect on a lot of different levels.

TVLINE | How will Patty and Barry grow closer moving forward?
Well, we have a really, really fun date episode coming up [on Nov. 3], that Grant [Gustin] and I have both seen parts of. It’s really light-hearted and fun, their relationship. Most women, if you ask, will say they want “a man who makes them laugh,” and that was the first way they really connected after she totally geeked out on him and his forensics reports. They connect through telling the same jokes and understanding each other, so moving forward there’s a lot of that — a lot of nerdiness, a lot of scientific conversations. But she and Barry also work alongside each other on crime scenes, so solving things together will bring them closer, too.

TVLINE | Would you rather she stay in the dark about his secret identity?
I struggle with this one…. There hasn’t been an episode yet where Patty knows, and I keep wondering which way it’s going to go, if she ever will find out. I would want Patty to be OK with it [if she found out], because they can then work together, and after all they want the same things. But I think any human might feel betrayed with not knowing somebody fully, after you’ve been dating them for a while. So I dont know…. I hope that Patty takes it in a good way and wants to be a part of the [Flash] team, too — for my own and for Patty reasons.

TVLINE | What sort of the-flash-season-2-photos (10)relationship will Patty have with Iris? How do they get along?
It’s not like the comic books, which I really love, because I dont think it’s necessarily interesting to watch two women be catty to each other. I love that they just have an understanding relationship, where Patty knows that Barry was raised by Joe and with Iris, and she respects that, that they’re a “family unit” — even though it’s a little more complicated than that. [Laughs] I don’t think Patty knows that part, at all.

TVLINE | Could Patty’s anti-metahuman agenda ultimately drive her to go too far, if pressed?
That’s going to be another interesting question this season — if she is faced with Mark Mardon, what would she do? That has played over and over in my head. You worked your whole life to have justice for someone killing your father for a couple hundred dollars, so what would you do if they were right in front of you and you had the power and opportunity to kill him?  I don’t know what I want Patty to do, but I know it will be really interesting when they write it. I just want her to find a place of peace — and maybe she can have that without ever having to take down Mark Mardon. Who knows!

Want more scoop on The Flash, or for any other show? Email insideline@tvline.com and your question may be answered via Matt’s Inside Line.

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27 Comments
  1. Bob says:

    i wonder if they’ll go the way of the comic and have her become a speedster.

  2. Lily says:

    I really want this Patty relationship storyline to be over as soon as possible. I’m pretty sure she’s only there so that Barry will have some experience with a woman before getting together with Iris, so the sooner they get together, the sooner they can break up. Although I do wonder how it’s possible for her and Barry to have an intimate relationship if she doesn’t know he’s The Flash, if you know what I mean. Are they just going to ignore that whole intimacy issue?

    • Angus says:

      Iris is about as appealing as a root canal. I hope they stick with this relationship. They have good chemistry together.

  3. SPAMMER says:

    SPAM DELETED #TVLineCares

  4. JDH says:

    I like her. She’s quirky & fun. Barry and Iris aren’t currently together in the comics, & thanks to everything with Harrison Wells, & Eddie, things have no doubt changed rather considerably in a few ways. And with Wally coming into the series soon, he doesn’t really need Iris & Barry together to think of Barry as his Uncle, thanks to Barry essentially being Joe’s adopted son…

  5. Mr. Tran K says:

    Can’t get enough of Shantel VanSanten (wolf whistle). Patty Spivot and Barry Allen make quite a chemistry together.

  6. Tema says:

    I enjoyed her debut and I hope this relationship brings a lot of fun to The Flash. I couldn’t care less about endgame and just want their story to be done respectfully.

  7. Tema says:

    I think my comment disappeared.

    Anyway, their relationship sounds like a lot of fun and I’m looking forward to it. I hope the writers don’t ruin it like they are wont to do.

  8. Katie says:

    I’m actually really excited to see this relationship evolve. I liked her debut and I think her character has a lot of potential.

  9. Joey Padron says:

    Great interview with Shantel. She was good in her debut episode of the show. Excited to see more of Patty on the show.

  10. lordofluck says:

    I would much rather see Barry with Caitlin I think they have fantastic chemistry and there has been hints of sparks between them and they both need to move on. Not sure how I feel about Patty yet read some comics with her in and didn’t really care for her will have to see.

  11. Kristy says:

    Nice interview. Last season’s romantic storylines were awful so I hope there is a marked improvement this time around. Barry did think someone with a similar sensibility was perfect for him but preferred to pine instead. I’m curious to see how this unfolds.

  12. liame says:

    How long is she sticking around for? I hope her character doesn’t take away from the cast members whom I really care about.

  13. Diane says:

    Exciting.

  14. Lily says:

    I can’t figure out a reason for Patty to exist besides the fact that they want to use her to level the playing field, so to speak, because Iris was with Eddie for so long and Barry has never had a real girlfriend. Since I know that’s the reason, I can’t get invested in this “relationship.” It’s only there so we know that Iris won’t be the first person Barry ever sleeps with. And the actress has another pilot lined up, so I get the feeling that as soon as that happens, this whole storyline will be over, probably in the second half of the season. I predict it’s done by 2×15 at the latest. Frankly, even that’s too much time to spend on a character that only really exists for one reason (a reason that’s kinda shallow, in my opinion). It’s taking away time from the regulars, and just for that? So that Barry can get some action? I don’t think it’s necessary.

  15. Patty seems to have all the depth of a Betty and Veronica character. I would rather see more attention paid to existing characters rather than bring in new ones each week. Although I think bringing in Teddy Sears was a good choice. And bringing back Harrison was an even better one.

  16. Raeia says:

    I’m not as warm and fuzzy about Season 2 of the Flash as I was with Season 1, at the same point in the series last year. It seems frenetic. The LOT plots are already crowding the show, there are no hints as to when Wally West is going to show up, or what his connection to the West family is. Caitlyn lost Ronnie, again, and is trying to hook up with a Flash – any Flash. Cisco is hiding his powers, Iris’ mother’s an addict. What?! I like Patty’s character, but think the match up between her and Barry is a tad forced, and doomed. We all know that as Patty is around Barry and Iris, she’ll realize (like most people they know in Central City) that their in love with each other. That coupled with the fact that she’s anti meta; he’s probably not going to tell her immediately that he’s a meta (trust issues), and there’s probably more to her perfect arrival that we don’t know about, signals trouble in paradise/love triangle gone awry. Oh, and let’s not forget that Earth 2 Harrison Wells is in Central City, and his intentions are probably not the best.

    • Scream Queen says:

      Previously, on The Flash…

    • Kate says:

      Patty is anti-meta but she’s obviously okay with The Flash as show in her debut episode. She made it clear she only had a problem with those who use their powers for evil.

    • Stef says:

      Thank you for this comment! The Patty/Barry relationship is moving too fast, and is very much forced. I need the flash writers to understand that the whole forced love triangle thing is so last decade. It’s such a waste of time! Also, I hope they start putting more focus into the current characters instead introducing new people who aren’t vital to the story.

  17. Ryan says:

    I’ve had more fun watching paint dry than I’ve ever gotten from Barry and Iris. I welcome any other pairing.

  18. Taylor says:

    Patty is not very funny at all. Her and Barry are completely forced and the quicker this relationship moves along the better. They have no chemistry whatsoever. It’s corny as hell.

  19. Platynum says:

    Sorry…I saw no chemistry between her and Barry..none, however I know that the character was brought on as a love interest for Barry so the sooner it happens ,the sooner it can be over and we can get on with what is to be on the show.More villains,more screen time and storytelling for Barry and also more screen time for Iris not just using her as a prop for Barry .

  20. willian says:

    Keep Patty on the show….she is just what Barry needs….and I think she could be big on the show…Keep Shantal (Patty) on The Flash!!