Tuesday, February 18, 2020

The Flash Episode Guide: Season 6, Episode 11 - Love Is A Battlefield

For a summary of the episode guide layout & categories, click here


It's Valentine's Day and love is in the air, but Barry and Iris' plans for a romantic evening are ruined by the return of Amunet Black and a gang war between the metahuman crime-boss and her old boyfriend, Goldface. As Team Flash's resident lovebirds try to figure out a way to stop the battle without risking Barry's secret identity being exposed, Frost tries to follow in Ralph's footsteps as a life coach and help Allegra get back together with a lost love.


The Flash comics of Geoff Johns (characters of Blacksmith and Goldface.) and John Broome (confirmation of the existence of Mirror World)


Hopefully Amazon paid a pretty penny for the Alexa smart house commercial they set into the middle of Iris and Barry breakfast scene.

The script for this episode is also annoyingly meta, with Iris making reference to the villain of the week and Barry scheduling two Valentine's Day dinner dates because he knows one of them is bound to be interrupted by a super-villain.

On the one hand, Katee Sackhoff's performance as Amunet Black is so hammy it's been condemned by both the Rabbinical Council of America and the Muslim Council of Elders as unfit for consumption by anyone keeping Kosher or Halal. On the other hand, she seems to be one of the few actors making an effort to get this material to work on any level.

Barry can't go into an underworld bar because he's afraid be recognized as a cop, despite largely working behind the scenes. (Of course he did just get honored alongside Elongated Man in the press.) Yet there's no similar concerns about Iris, who has reportedly been a popular local blogger famous for writing about superheroes for five years, and is the daughter of a noted cop. In fact, Iris seems to be recognized up until she changes the subject by hitting a bouncer over the head with a bottle.

The bartender at the underworld bar is happy to give out information on where a notorious metahuman crime-boss is about to steal something. Ignoring how he has this information in the first place, why would he hand it over to some random woman he is suspicious of even before she disables his bouncer?

The security guard seems oddly reluctant to actually fire his gun on the two metahuman robbers. Nearly as reluctant as Goldface and Amunet are to do something about the man with the gun threatening them both.

It is said that the pollen of Rappaccini's Daughter can be synthesized into a narcotic drug that causes telepathy. Yet inhaling the regular pollen seems to work just fine on Goldface and Amunet.

It's unclear if Goldface and Amunet are arrested at the end of the episode or if Barry and Iris just let them work out their aggression.

The episode doesn't resolve the core problem of Amunet knowing the secret identities of every superhero in Central City and Barry not being able to move to stop her from committing any crimes with her threatening to expose him.

The episode's message of Barry learning to trust Iris and not be so protective of her and to let her build her own life outside of supporting him is severely undercut by the fact that this more confident, assertive Iris is an evil clone from Mirror World.

Flash Facts

The episode title comes from a Pat Benatar song, which plays during the fight between Goldface and Amunet.

In Geoff Johns' run on The Flash, Blacksmith (as Amunet Black is called there) was established as an ex-wife of the Green Lantern villain Goldface, who had stolen his formula and augmented it to give herself the power to merge organic and inorganic material, giving herself metal skin.

Despite being established as former lovers, this is the first time Goldface and Amunet have appeared in an episode together.

Amunet's second target is Ivo Labs. This is the same company that built the Amazo android during Invasion! and the same lab run by Anthony Ivo - the main villain of the flashbacks during Arrow Season 2.

The opening and closing scenes of the episode suggest that Iris has become trapped in The Mirror World; a fourth dimensional space that exists "behind the looking glass." It first appeared in The Flash #126 (February 1962) and was discovered by the original Mirror Master, Sam Scudder. It's history in the Arrowverse is so far unknown.

Frost enjoys some Naltorian Mead she says was left behind by one of the Wellses besides Nash. Naltor is an alien world in the DC Comics universe and the home planet of Nia Nal aka Dreamer.


Porca miseria is an Italian curse, literally translated as "pig misery."

Ryan Choi identifies the first item Amunet stole as a specialized UV projector. The second item is a biome simulated storage unit. Together, they can be used to transport delicate plant-life.

Nash claims he needed to give Allegra a nano-dimensional bucket auger.

Rappaccini's Daughter is a rare orchid that only blooms once every 25 years. Properly heated, its pollen can be synthesized into a telepathic narcotic. It apparently also has an aphrodisiac effect based on Amunet and Goldface's response to it.

Dialogue Triumphs

(Allegra has arrived at work to find Frost decorating the Citizen's office for Valentine's Day.)
Allegra: Did you just let yourself in?
Frost: Relax. I'm not some whack job meta-killer with crazy good aim and ulterior motives. (She thinks about this for a second.) Anymore.

Amunet: Darlings! Long time no see. Did I interrupt date night?
Barry: CCPD. Amunet Black, I'm placing you under arrest for robbery and aggravated assault.
Amunet: So very official, Mr. Allen. But aren't you just a CSI?
Barry: I'm still a cop. Who can arrest you.
Amunet: (agreeable) Oh, okay. Well, by all means, let me help you with the first bit. (clears throat) I have the right to remain silent, which will come in handy if you don't want me letting that little secret identity cat out of its flashy red bag. So why don't we just call this a warning? I'll be on my way. No harm. No cowl.
Barry: I'm supposed to just let you leave?
Amunet: Bloody right. Don't think of coming after me, 'cause if I see you, or your onesie, or any one of your frigid or bendy superhero friends, I will hold it against all of you and tell the world your real identities. Savvy? Hmm?
(Barry hesitates but clearly knows he's beaten.)
Amunet: That's right. Because behind every great man is a woman. Rolling her eyes.

Nash: Black and white, that's just for death and taxes. Everything else, everything else happens in the grays.

Joe: No. Neither one of you are ever gonna stop growing. I mean, marriage is like a tree. I mean, bear with me. Look, the branches, they grow from the center. They grow farther and farther away from the center, but what you have to remember is underneath, the roots? They're mirroring the branches. They're growing just as much. So you're growing your foundation. Now of course, you gotta tend to the soil, communicate with each other, take care of each other, look out for each other, but as the branches grow, so does your foundation. So you grow together.

Amunet: Keith and I were like fireworks when we were together. We shared the same ambitions, and it ignited us both. We inspired each other. Rappaccini's Daughter was meant to be our greatest score ever.
Iris: Even though it only blooms every 25 years?
Amunet: What can I say? We were optimists, making plans for the future. We knew that it was set to bloom this year, and once we had our hands on its mindreading powers, no one would be able to stop us. We would run this town together. I felt like I could be myself when I was with him. He's the only one who ever saw beyond all this. He saw me for me.
Iris: So what went wrong?
Amunet: Hmm, as business boomed, our relationship didn't. Our passion wilted and died.
(As Amunet says this she bends the stem of one flower and breaks it.)
Iris: I don't know, Amunet. The way you two were trying to kill each other...
Amunet: It's a fine line between love and hate, my dear.
(Amunet smiles and offers Iris the broken stem.)

Dialogue Disasters

Iris: Let me surprise my hubby before some crazy meta-of-the-week strikes.

Amunet: I'd rather date Norvock than you!
Goldface: That makes two of us! Your American accent sucks!
Amunet: So does yours!
Goldface: I'm from Connecticut! I went to Yale!

Most of Amunet and Goldface's fight dialogue and the make-up sex after. But especially...

Amunet: I should take off my gauntlet.
Goldface: Leave it on, girl. Daddy likes the metal.


In the opening scene, Iris awakens on the floor in the AV3 office at McCulloch Technologies, where she was pulled into a mirror in 610.

Iris fixes Barry pancakes instead of his usual  breakfast banana. It was revealed that Barry usually has his favorite fruit in the morning in 605.

Iris' pancakes are good, to Barry's shock. It has been a running gag throughout the show's history that Iris is a lousy cook. Her pancakes are notoriously awful, as noted by Nora West-Allen in 504.

Iris bought an expensive juicer.

Barry made reservations for a restaurant called Giovani's on Valentine's Day at 7 pm. He decides to make an appointment for that night as well, to double their chances of having an uninterrupted Valentine's dinner.

Barry and Iris have an Alexa smart house system.

Allegra once dated an emo musician named Emerson Fairweather. Frost decides to help the two get back together.

Iris is suddenly capable of speaking Italian; an ability she's never shown in all the time Barry has known her. She claims it's because she picked up a few phrases while working on a story on Central City's Little Italy.

Amunet Black was last seen in 421.

Amunet steals a piece of technology from a man named Saul Frankel, who is eating at the same restaurant as Barry and Iris.

Amunet Black has apparently been off the grid in Central City since she was last seen before the final battle with The Thinker.

Iris goes undercover at an underworld bar.

Frost and Allegra spy on Emerson at Jitters, after finding out he'll be there on his social media. Allegra is ready to approach him until she sees him with another woman with whom he is clearly affectionate.

Lars, the bartender in the underworld bar, tells Iris that Amunet is heisting some tech from Ivo Labs.

Goldface was last seen in 513.

Goldface claims Amunet stole his Radiohead vinyl albums.

Amunet claims that she introduced Goldface to NWA.

Barry uses his powers to phase the security guard out from under the sphere he's trapped under during the fight between Amunet and Goldface.

Iris steals the second piece of equipment Amunet was taking from Ivo Labs during the fight.

Amunet and Goldface limit their attacks to criminal-run locations when their gang war breaks out.

Ryan Choi guesses that the equipment Amunet is stealing could be used to preserve a delicate plant.

Barry says that Iris is acting different - more assertive.

Iris argues with Barry about her new attitude and says he's scared because she won't be his damsel in distress or the voice cheering him on anymore.

Iris says learning how to make pancakes was her New Years' Resolution.

Iris also confesses to sneaking out in the middle of the night to check on a lead without telling Barry where she was going.

Nash is still checking up on Allegra in a clumsy fashion.

Frost is drinking Naltorian Mead when Nash finds her at the Central City Citizen's offices.

Nash advises Frost not to give up on trying to help Allegra.

Joe gives Barry some advice on coping with change in a marriage.

Joe makes reference to Iris taking down a Black Hole assassin (610), leading the charge to find Ryan Choi (609) and figuring out that Bloodwork hadn't completely taken over Barry's mind. (608)

Allegra tells Frost that she ghosted Emerson after a few dates because she was afraid he wouldn't be interested in a metahuman.

Frost convinces Allegra to go to Emerson and be honest about ghosting him.

Iris goes to Amunet with the stolen equipment and tells her what she figured out about her trying to steal Rappaccini's Daughter and why. She says she wants to help because she doesn't trust Barry anymore and wants to read his mind to make sure he isn't cheating on her.

Iris and Amunet are ambushed by Goldface as they go to steal Rappaccini's Daughter.

According to Goldface, Amunet's American accent is terrible, This suggests she honestly is British.

Goldface is originally from Connecticut and went to Yale.

Amunet lied about liking Goldface's dog and is a cat person.

Amunet and Goldface wind up having sex and forgiving each other after being exposed to the telepathic pollen.

Allegra and Emerson decide to just be friends.

The drummer in Emerson's band is bio-luminescent.

Frost seems to have deduced that Nash was Allegra's father in a pre-Crisis Earth.

Nash has a momentary vision of Harry Wells from the former Earth-2.

The episode ends with Iris, trapped in a mirror, helplessly watching as Barry kisses the fake Iris.

Untelevised Adventures

We are told that Goldface and Amunet's forces are tearing apart various gang hideouts in Central City as an all-out war breaks out, but don't see any fighting. Or any henchmen.

Iris calls Ryan Choi to identify the scientific equipment Amunet is stealing.

The Bottom Line

Easily the weakest episode of the season and perhaps the worst of the various "filler" theme episodes shot to preserve the special effects budget in the show's history. Between the illogical plot that can't be bothered to hide its tropes and everything that's left unresolved at the ending, this is easily one of the Top 5 worst The Flash episodes in history, with the only good things about it being the bad things that inspire laughter.

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