Actress Shantel VanSanten reveals a former showrunner cut her role as Patty Spivot on The Flash short. Grant Gustin's Barry Allen first appeared on the CW's Arrow before getting his own show in 2014, thus becoming the first spin-off to populate the now-highly-successful Arrowverse. With Arrow having finished its run earlier this year, The Flash has the distinction of being the longest-running Arrowverse show that is currently airing. Season 6 concluded earlier this year, albeit in shortened form because of the coronavirus pandemic, and the seventh season will arrive in 2021 with most other Arrowverse shows.
Fans of Barry and his comic book stories will know he's always been destined to end up with Iris West (Candice Patton). However, like any good television couple, Barry and Iris took some time to get together, and even had fleeting romances with other people. In season 2, VanSanten (who recently wrapped up a turn on The Boys) joined The Flash as Patty Spivot, a sweet CCPD officer. Right from the start, Patty was set up to be a love interest for Barry, and while the two embarked on a brief relationship, it ended when Patty opted to leave Central City to study forensics.
VanSanten only appeared in 10 episodes of The Flash, but she was supposed to stick around for longer. While speaking to TVLine, VanSanten opened up about her Flash exit, explaining that it actually came about because of an angry former showrunner. "I don’t think it was supposed to end as quickly as it did," VanSanten said. During The Flash season 2, VanSanten booked a role on USA's Shooter, which many assumed to be the reason for her sudden departure. However, that seems to not be the case. VanSanten continued, "I don’t know if a whole lot of people know this, but I actually worked it out with my contract so I could finish the whole season and be around. But a showrunner that’s no longer on that show was very upset with me, and so he put me on a train all of a sudden, and I left."
VanSanten didn't mention which showrunner crafted her exit, though she did say they are no longer working on The Flash. During season 2, there were four different showrunners, and one of them, Andrew Kreisberg, was fired from the Arrowverse in 2017 following allegations of sexual misconduct. Of course, that does not necessarily mean Kreisberg was the one who chose to write out Patty early; all of the showrunners involved with season 2 are no longer working on The Flash. They were Todd Helbing, Aaron Helbing, and Gabrielle Stanton.
Despite the fact that everyone knew Barry was supposed to be with Iris, many were disappointed to see Patty leave so soon. It's unfair that her storyline was cut short simply because a showrunner was dissatisfied with VanSanten's upcoming roles. While there was definitely an opening for Patty to return to The Flash, it seems unlikely that it will happen any time soon. At least Patty was still able to receive a proper ending with Barry, even if it came far sooner than expected.