It’s been a while since The Flash had multiple promising storylines developing at once, so much so that I was ready to watch the next episode immediately after “A Girl Named Sue” ended. (Especially after seeing next week’s preview, but we’ll get to that in due course.) As the title promises, we finally get our long-awaited introduction to Sue Dearbon, played by Natalie Dreyfuss as the perfect sarcastic, brainy, adventurous match for Ralph, at least until she inevitably (and no doubt temporarily) betrays him. Dreyfuss brings a jolt of energy to the show in a way that few of the recent cast additions have, and it can only be a good thing if she’s around for the long haul.
Sue is the missing person Ralph has been consumed with finding since at least the end of last season, and when he finally tracks her down to her recently rented apartment in Central City, it’s just in time for a bomb to go off. Sue claims to be hunting down her ex, an arms dealer named John Loring, and she enlists Ralph into her plan of gathering enough evidence to nail him. They get to know each other by saving each other’s lives: first she karate kicks a Loring henchman holding Ralph’s head underwater, then Ralph returns the favor by stretching and swinging her off a roof before more henchmen can catch up to them. In doing so, he gives himself away as Elongated Man, but it turns out that Sue has a secret of her own.
Having found a key to a safety deposit box, Ralph and Sue break into the vault disguised as Joe and one of his officers. At this point Ralph learns that there is no evidence on Loring hidden there, just a giant diamond Sue is planning to steal. It was going all too well for him, wasn’t it? If the comics are our guide (and they aren’t always, necessarily), this is only a temporary setback, but even after Ralph saves Sue again by stretching his hand into a giant bulletproof shield, she still takes off with the diamond. Her motive looks to be more than simple greed, however, as she is also shown to have an interest in McCulloch Tech, the very company Iris has been digging into.
Speaking of which, our Iris is still trapped in the mirror world, but she’s not alone. This week also brings our introduction to Eva McCulloch, presumed dead for six years but actually another victim of the particle accelerator explosion that blasted her through a mirror and into an unpopulated dimension. Iris is her first guest in all this time, and Eva greets her by insisting there’s no way she’ll ever be able to escape, given her own 1322 previous attempts. Being alone all this time has driven Eva a little nutty, but Iris insists they can get out, recalling how Team Flash defeated original Mirror Master Sam Scudder by bringing his mirrors to absolute zero with liquid nitrogen. Somehow this wasn’t one of the 1322 plans Eva came up with, so they give it a shot. The mirror shatters, revealing not a portal but a wall. Still, Eva displays some...shall we call it mastery over mirrors, reassembling it with her previously untapped meta powers.
The Mirror Iris is still on the loose in the real world, though it remains to be seen whether she’s a full-blown evil Iris or just a little less inhibited. (She swears! My stars!) We do know that she wants to get her hands on the mirror gun, something Barry doesn’t think is a good idea until Joe lets him in on a series of crimes that all appear to tie in with McCulloch CEO (and Eva’s ex) Joseph Carver. Trust being hard to come by, Joe insists they keep it all in the family, and Mirror Iris gets her hands on that gun after all.
The continuing threat of ultraviolet radiation (including an appearance tonight by Ultraviolet herself, taking part in a fabulous black leather martial arts battle with Sue) and McCulloch/Black Hole weaves these disparate threads together nicely. It’s too early to say for sure, but this feels like a more complicated, absorbing arc than the likes of Bloodwork and Cicada were able to deliver, yet one that’s not weighed down by forced heaviosity like “Barry’s gonna die.” It’s an enjoyable episode on its own terms, and hopefully just the beginning of a strong run.
- Yet another mystery: Harry is appearing to Nash Wells like a Force Ghost Harrison Ford neither knows nor cares about. Are they connected by some sort of interdimensional psychic council of Wellses? Or is Nash just having visions due to reading Harry’s diary?
- I rarely mention the music on The Flash, but it’s been getting my attention lately. I particularly enjoyed the jazzy noir theme accompanying Sue’s introduction to Ralph and the pinging ’70s-style synths associated with the mirror world.
- We were told Gorilla City is on Earth-Prime now, and next week brings us the return of Grodd.