Eva (Mirror Master) has lost her grip on sanity, and Central City is paying the price! Meanwhile, Barry's rash actions from last week have left Iris catatonic!
The (delayed) end of Flash season six is here! “Mother” brings together all of last season’s remnant plot points in a pretty revelatory – if imperfect – way. Despite a bumpy season premiere (echoes of the previous season’s shortcomings, honestly), Team Flash – both behind and in front of the camera – has course-corrected in very short order, bringing all relevant plot threads together in a (mostly) cohesive and satisfying way. And if some of those plot threads don’t entirely make sense, hey, just remember: it’s a show about a guy who runs really fast in a red body stocking. Sometimes overthinking is the enemy.
Eva the Mirror Master (Efrat Dor) has lost her marbles in a big way following the events of last week’s episode, in which emotion-free Barry revealed to the world that she was a mirror duplicate. This, naturally, means it’s time for the annual big bad to kick her plan into high gear by unleashing an army of pod-people mirror duplicates to replace, well, everyone and start the world anew, freshly under her control. Because… why? Well, Eva is never entirely clear with why she suddenly wants this, but hey, since when has something like logic stopped a supervillain?
The problem with this plan, though, is that she deliberately tries to have it both ways. At one point she declares she wants to save the world from itself, but then her attempts at control are inherently violent. Eva is too far gone to see the difference, but fortunately, Iris West-Allen and Barry are on hand to show her the power of love and forgiveness and conclude her redemption arc. Unlike Flash big bads past, Eva is a victim, and is lashing out in the face of everything she’s gone through. This inherently makes her sympathetic; the trouble is, actress Efrat Dor is given some pretty cringeworthy OTT villain dialogue to spout, which undermines the emotional core behind the actress’s role. Dor is clearly giving it the best she can, but can’t help but fall into camp despite her good intentions. In the end, her redemption feels a little too easy. Not quite forced, but not exactly earned, either. It happens because the story wants it to happen, not because she actually earned it.
What does feel earned, though, is Barry’s reunion with Iris. (And boy, is it setting up something HUGE.. witness the last shot of the episode. Does that mean what I think it means?! Internet, start your speculation engine…!) The couple’s marriage and relationship has been put through an emotional wringer this season, and really pushed the bounds of what should be considered “safe.” That’s not to entertain the notion that showrunner Eric Wallace would ever deign to break these two crazy kids’ marriage apart, but, they were pushed into uncomfortable places this year that forced them both to grow as individuals before they could reunite stronger than before. That payoff hits big in “Mother,” with literally and figuratively, as – per comic book science – a remnant energy that manifests itself as love for Barry winds up being the key for re-establishing his speed absent the emotion-killing alternate Speed Force concocted last week to disastrous results. (Giant speculation: DC has a history with harnessing various spectrums of emotions in a particular evergreen corner of their pantheon. Love is among them. Internet, feel free to break.)
It’s a little odd having what was intended to be a season finale as the actual third episode of the subsequent season, though. There’s still eighteen or nineteen episodes to go, yet “Mother” ends with a pretty strong sense of closure, and none too many dangling plot threads (no, Ralph, we won’t be seeing you again). That means that instead of a typical three- or four-month break between major arcs, we’re just diving back into things a week from now, which may – long-term – cause some unavoidable lack of cohesion down the road. But for now, The Flash seems back on track – and that’s a win we all can take.
- “Timeless Wells” (nyuk nyuk nyuk) is a thing now, I guess. I was hoping for “Ultimate Wells,” but c’est la vie.
- I said it last week, and I’ll say it again this week: Joe really needs to be given more to do. Jesse L. Martin is too good of an actor to let go to waste. C’mon, writers!
- Shoehorning Ralph and Sue into the episode was an unneeded distraction. I get it, you want to bring some kind of closure to Elongated Man since Hartley Sawyer was fired and won’t be back, but the choice here was bizarre and out of place. (And we won’t talk about that headpiece…)
- I realize each of the CW DC shows have their own looks and aesthetics, and they’re generally limited in what they can do due to TV-sized budgets, but it might not be the worst thing in the world to play around with the camerawork as the season goes on. Too many of the shots this week (and in general) feel like retreads of past episodes, particularly when it comes to Flash running.
- Chester needs to go. What contribution did he make this week? None. He’s utterly redundant with Cisco back in the mix, and doesn’t have any established relationship with Barry, so he’s superfluous. And while we’re at it, Allegra should have left with Timeless Wells, or something similar.
The Flash wraps its previous season three episodes into its current one in "Mother," and despite some clunky dialogue and plot devices that don't make the most sense, everything comes together really nicely. It's honestly great to see the show back to doing what it does best after treading water for much of season six. Now, onward to the return of... ABRA CADABRA!
The Flash s7 e3: “Mother”
Writing - 8/108/10
Storyline - 8.5/108.5/10
Acting - 8.5/108.5/10
Music - 8/108/10
Production - 7/107/10
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