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Carnivàle/Iris Crowe

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Iris Crowe/Irina Belyakov
Actor Amy Madigan
First Appearance 1x01 - Milfay
Last Appearance 2x12 - New Canaan, CA
Series Billing Main Cast
Episode Count 24


Basic Information

Character History

Season 1

Iris is Justin's older sister. She has remained a large part of his life since they were children and would do anything for him. On the exterior, Iris appears very demure and polite, the perfect hostess by all accounts. On the inside, however, she is dedicated to furthering her brother's destiny, and will stop at nothing to achieve it, including burning down Justin's church, the Dignity Ministry, which also happened to be full of children. Iris' loyalty, though, is closely linked to her faith. She genuinely believes that her brother has been called upon by God to perform a duty, and this begins to trouble her as Justin's actions move further and further away from the divine.

Season 2

After discovering that she burned down the church, Justin keeps close watch on Iris. Tommy Dolan, who suspects her involvement in the fire, sets out to find evidence of her complicity, at Justin's behest. Iris eventually gives a full, written confession, dictated to Dolan with Justin present, wherein she admits to setting fire to the church and claims she fell under the influence of a "shadow." When Dolan reads the confession to Justin's congregation, however, he finds his own signature at the end. Iris is completely cleared of any suspicion and Dolan takes the fall.

Iris retains the major of her normal duties, and effectively manages her brother's growing interests. These include anything from caring for and coordinating the various immigrants flowing into the camp to providing a fresh supply of maids for Justin to rape, both mentally and physically. She is also, at times, performs more heinous acts for her brother. For instance, she murders Eleanor after the older woman accidentally saw Justin with all-black eyes. However, after the incident with Dolan, Iris becomes less forgiving to her brother and begins to actively plot his downfall with Norman. This results in a failed assassination attempt by Norman, after which Justin cursorily acknowledges their conspiracy and dismisses them as "a dried up old spinster and a pathetic delusional cripple."

Her work not yet finished, Iris plots to manoeuver Carnivale into Justin's camp, aware of the threat it poses to him. Justin, on the other hand, is aware of his sister's motives, but eager for a confrontation with Ben. During the buildup, Iris confesses her sins to Norman, and accepts the fact that she's going to Hell. She bears witness to the full intensity of her brother's power when he is trapped in the ferris wheel and being psychically drained by Ben. Her faith may or may not have been impacted by her brother's spectacle at the carnival, as well as by the sight of the cross when Sofie heals him in the field.

Memorable Moments