So fans of The CW's Grant Gustin & Candice Patton-starring The Flash were on the receiving end of a double-shot of good news the same week that the long-running Arrowverse series wrapped up its eighth season in a pretty epic manner (while planting the seeds for an interesting ninth season). First up, we learned that Patton had officially signed for the ninth season. And then following the finale, showrunner Eric Wallace promised fans that Barry (Gustin) and Iris (Patton) would be getting a ton more together time next season (though it feels like we heard that same thing before this season). Now while that provides Patton's fans some clarity for the future, the question remains as to why Patton appeared to be MIA so much during the eighth season. As the time-sickness storyline goes, her four-episode absence made sense. But in the real-world drama surrounding the show, the Arrowverse, and the future of The CW, Patton's lack of screen presence felt rather odd. And you know with social media, odd feelings create questions that social media looks to answer through rumor, speculation, and innuendo. Thankfully, Patton was gracious enough to share some insight from a contractual perspective on her brief absence from the show.
Taking to Instagram Stories (as you can see below), Patton explained that she and her team had negotiated the multi-episode time off to compensate for any COVID-related border issues there could be between the U.S. and Canada that would make it "extremely difficult if not impossible to get home to the US (which is paramount to me)." But Patton and her team also made it clear that the actress "would be happy to be featured in all episodes" if the travel situation would "continue to stay optimistic (and it was clear early on that it would)." But though the travel between the U.S. and Canada remained manageable, Patton writes that the option to have her in every episode "ultimately was not exercised" and her storyline absence was kept in place. Here's a look at a screencap of the complete post: