Having aired in the US recently, I realized one thing after watching this episode; of the entire Unova journey, Iris is the one character to receive the most character development of the trio. Ash still seems the same, as does Cilan. Whereas Iris seems to have grown more mature.
That's how I have felt the whole time. It's like this for me.
Kanto - Ash
Johto - Ash
Hoenn - May
Sinnoh - Ash and Dawn
Unova - Iris
She has stuff catered to her, I mean why else would they give her a Dragonite? In all I definitely got the feeling that we grasped her Dragon Tamer abilities through BW. And this episode taming Hydregion shows the end product.