After months of searching, Ralph finally catches up with the elusive Sue Dibny and finds there's much more to the missing heiress than meets the eye. Meanwhile, Iris joins forces with Eva McCulloch - a presumed dead scientist who is also a prisoner of the mirror dimension that Iris is now stuck in - to try and find a way back to the real world, as a doppelganger of Iris begins manipulating Barry and Joe towards her own ends.
A Scandal In Bohemia (Sue is set up as the Irene Adler to Ralph's Sherlock Holmes), classic Film Noir movies and pulps and The Flash comics of John Broome and Grant Morrison.
The damage dealt to Ralph's camera would do nothing to harm the files inside a digital camera. Even an old-fashioned film camera would be fine so long as the chamber housing the film wasn't broken.
Ralph has a bit of a glass jaw in this episode, despite his powers allegedly making him nearly-invulnerable and super-strong according to The Thinker. In fact, he's able to ignore several hundred bullets at close-range! (Presumably Ralph needs to brace himself and Sue and the henchmen were able to catch him off-guard.)
Natalie Dreyfuss proves an instantly enchanting presence as Sue Dearbon and her chemistry with Harley Sawyer is amazing. Which makes the twist of the episode all the more effective, yet we're still left wondering how much of her affection for Ralph was an act.
The soundtrack for this episode is fantastic, with a lot of jazzy tunes that feel more appropriate to a 1940s detective movie than a superhero show. The music for the Sue/Ultraviolet fight
This episode confirms the existence of The Mirror World in the post-Crisis Arrowverse. First appearing in The Flash #126, the Mirror World was a fourth-dimensional space discovered by the original Mirror Master Sam Scudder, through which he could travel through time and space. Despite being a perfect copy of Earth, the Mirror World was unpopulated save for a race of telepathic amazonian women known as the Orinocas.
Apart from a lack of Orinocas, the Mirror World of the Arrowverse seems identical to the one in the comics.
This episode introduces the character of Dr. Eva McCulloch, who has been mentioned before but never seen. Eva seems to be a gender-flipped version of Evan McCulloch - the second Mirror Master in the comics.
Evan McCulloch was created by Grant Morrison and first appeared in Animal Man #8.. A life-long criminal turned hitman, McCulloch was given the gear of the original Mirror Master after his death b the FBI, who intended for McCulloch to act as their agent while posing as a supervillain. McCulloch decided he like the idea of being a real supervillain better than being a Fed and went rogue - literally joining with the rest of the Flash's enemies (aka The Rogues Gallery). McCulloch proved to be even more clever about using the Mirror Master's many weapons, even if he was unable to develop them himself.
Sue Dearbon first appeared in The Flash #119, Sue Dearbon was a wealthy socialite from Westchester County, New York, who was married to Ralph Dibny before her first appearance. A later story revealed that Sue fell head-over-heels in love with the Ductile Detective after he and The Flash joined forces to stop a robbery at a high-society party she was at. For some reason, love blossomed between the two and they were quickly married, though Ralph had no need of her money having made a fortune doing personal appearances as Elongated Man.
Sue is notable as the only superhero love interest to become a Justice League member, having acted as the bureau chief for the JLI embassy in Paris. Despite not having any powers, Sue was a woman or rare intelligence who found ways to use the variety of skills she had picked up as a member of the landed gentry to help the Justice League and her husband in their work.
While the Arrowverse version of Sue Dibny is a high-class thief who turned to crime out of boredom, she shows the same versatility and intelligence of her comic book counterpart. She even explains away various skills as things she learned while taking various lessons her parents signed her up for to keep her occupied as a child.
The newspaper articles on Ralph's case board show that Sue Dearbon was awarded a Fulbright Scholarship - a prestigious real-world scholarship offered to students with an interest in foreign affairs and international diplomacy. This may be a nod to sue's role as the embassy chief for the Justice League International office in Paris in the comics.
Sue claims that a black-market weapons dealer and ex-boyfriend named John Loring is the reason why she went on the run. This is a nod to how Sue Dibny was killed in the comics by Jean Loring, the ex-wife of Ray Palmer, in the Identity Crisis storyline. (Arrowverse fans will remember there is a Jean Loring in the Arrowverse, but she was the Queen family lawyer, an old friend of Moira Queen and had no romantic connection to the Arrowverse Ray Palmer.)
Eva McCulloch explains the Mirror World to Iris thus: reality is observed by three dimensions: width, depth, and length. The super-string theory posits that there are other realities, fractal dimensions humans can't see. The Mirror World is one of these dimensions which exists on the other side of our reality.
Eva says that the clone of Iris running around in the real world is a fractal variable.
Ralph set up alerts on Sue Dibny's credit cards, bank accounts and trust funds. It is through this that he learns about her putting a deposit on an apartment in Central City.
According to Eva, liquid nitrogen should slow down the mirror's molecules to the lowest enthalpy state possible.
Barry says the scorch marks at the scene of the house fire were like giant burns created by sunlight through a magnifying glass. This was consistent with the same energy blasts used by Dr. Light and the photon rifle.
The inner gate of the vault at Central City Mercantile Bank is fitted with an anti-theft electrical system. Opening or closing it without the manager's key automatically activates a 50,000 volt fail-safe.
The device Sue uses to analyze the diamond is a Laser Confocal Scanner.
(Ralph enters the apartment building where he tracked Sue Dearbon. It is, to put it politely, a dump.)
Ralph: Not exactly the Ritz.
(Ralph approaches one of the apartment doors. As he is about to open it he sears the sound of breaking glass and a struggle. Suddenly, the door swings open.)
Woman: Get down!
(A dark haired woman dives into the hallway, knocking Ralph down as the room behind her explodes. A moment later, after the debris is done running down...)
Ralph: (coughing) What the hell, lady?
Woman: Hey, I just saved your life. You're welcome, by the way.
(The woman stands up and as Ralph looks up at her she is backlit by the whole blown in the opposite wall leading outside. She's gorgeous. And familiar.)
Ralph: Oh, my God. It's you!
(For a moment, Sue looks astonished and looks around nervously at the idea of being recognized.)
Ralph: You're Sue Dearbon!
(Sue relaxes instantly, apparently satisfied Ralph isn't here to hurt her.)
Sue: In the flesh. And you are?
Ralph: Sue, I I have been looking for you - for nine months.
Sue: Ouch. I hope you don't bill by the hour.
Ralph: Where have you been? A-and why did your apartment explode in my face?
Sue: Yeah, hate it when that happens.
Ralph: Look, I'm serious. Now who set that bomb? Why are they trying to kill you? And how long has this been going on for?
Sue: Uh, my ex. Because I know too much. About nine months. You done?
Ralph: No, I'm most certainly not done!
(Ralph starts to get out of the car outside of Loring's warehouse. Sue starts to come with him.)
Ralph: Where are you going?
Sue: I'm going with you.
Ralph: No, no, no, no, no.
Sue: Oh, look, I get it. Chivalry's your brand.
Ralph: You're an MIT grad, speak six languages, and you play polo. You belong in a country club, not in the field.
Sue: You belong in the 19th Century with your Victorian, save-the-damsel-in-distress crap.
Ralph: So you mind telling me how you know martial arts?
Sue: My parents sent me to Kyoto for a summer. Trained with a blind sensei. Taught me everything I know.
Sue: No. (scoffs) I trained with a guy named Frank at a YMCA.
(Sue and Ralph run along the rooftop. Sue gets to the edge and realizes there's no fire escape.)
Sue: Whoa! Uh, we have a problem.
(Ralph looks behind them. Loring's men are not far behind.)
Ralph: Do you trust me?
Sue: Define trust.
Ralph: (grabbing Sue) Hang on.
Sue: Are you crazy?!
Ralph: Sometimes? Don't let go.
(Ralph reaches out with one arm and grabs the ledge of the opposite roof. He jumps as he half-swings/half rappels away from the roof. Sue screams as he controls their fall, bring them to a gentle stop just as they reach the ground. Sue is flabbergasted.)
Sue:We just... You just... You're the Elongated Man?!
Ralph: Yeah, I'm just full of surprises.
Sue: How... how did you become the Elongated Man, anyway?
Ralph: (intensely) I was brutally experimented on by a covert organization for years. They forced me to consume rubber-based polymer compounds.
Ralph: No. (chuckles) I rode a bus.
Sue: Listen... I want you to know how much I appreciate you trusting me with your secret. It means a lot.
(There is a long pause and a definite something there as Sue comes closer to Ralph. Clearly shaken, Ralph changes the subject and tries to get back to business.)
Ralph: Uh...I can call my friends at CCPD and get a warrant for Loring's deposit box. Shouldn't take more than a day.
Sue: We don't have a day. Loring's already spooked. He could move that box at any minute. I feel like our only chance at....Nah, it's too crazy.
Ralph: Come on. Share your thoughts with the class.
Sue:What if ...WE break into CC Mercantile Bank now? Just us. And take the ledger for ourselves.
Ralph: Believe that's called stealing.
Sue: Oh, come on, Slick. You're also a P. I. You can't tell me you've always operated by the book.
Ralph: No, but I can't commit a crime.
Sue: (sadly) I get it. And I respect that. But Ralph? I'm not a hero. So if this is the only chance I have to see my parents again? I have to take it.
Ralph: Sue... being a hero... it's about helping innocent people. I'm not gonna let you do this alone.
Sue: (smiling) You're not?
Ralph: No. But we do this my way. We get inside, get the ledger, and immediately bring it to my friends at CCPD. Deal or no deal?
(Sue hast just locked Ralph in the bank vault.)
Ralph: We are this close to taking down Loring. Sue, why are you doing this?
Sue: Who cares about Loring? I don't even know the guy. I do, however, know where he keeps his valuables.
Ralph: There never was a ledger.
Sue: Keep going...
Ralph:That's why you rented an apartment in Central City. You knew I was keeping tabs on you, so...so you lured me in. You rigged your own apartment to explode for for what? Just to sell the story of of sympathetic socialite running for her life?
Sue: You bought it. But don't feel bad. You're a good guy. And a hero. You probably see the best in everyone. Me, I see what I want and I take it.
Ralph: You used my detective mind to track down Loring's deposit box. You played everyone. Your parents are desperate to find you. Do they even know what you really are?
Sue: No. That's our little secret. If they found out their only daughter was a thief, they'd be devastated. So you keep your mouth shut about who I am, I keep mine shut about who you are. Deal, Elongated Man?
Ralph: Sue, was anything you told me real?
Sue: Yes. And no. See you around, Slick.
(Sue and Ralph are staring down Ultraviolet.)
Ralph: Is there anyone that doesn't want to kill you?
Sue: Not really.
Every scene with Cecile in this episode is painful and it's clear the writers are struggling to find ways to include her in the narrative.
Iris meets Dr. Eva McCulloch inside the Mirror World - a plane that is a copy of Earth-Prime which exists on another dimension.
Eva is a quantum engineer who was working on a way to open doors to other planes of existence. She became trapped in the Mirror World on the night of the STAR Labs' particle accelerator explosion.
It has been 274 days since Ralph took the case to find Sue Dearbon.
Sue hasn't found any leads on Sue's location since 606.
Cecile offers to work with Ralph on finding Sue, citing their team-up in 506 as proof they work well together. Ralph declines her offer.
Ralph tracks Sue to 24 4530 10th Avenue
As Barry and the fake Iris are eating breakfast, the fake Iris is reading a copy of CatCo Magazine, where the cover story shows Lex Luthor winning the Man of Tomorrow award. This occurred in S510.
Barry is still sore after the fight with Amunet Black and Goldface last week.
The Mirror Gun was last seen in 522. It is being kept in the Starchives.
The fake Iris asks Barry for the Mirror Gun in the Starchives. He refuses, saying it is too dangerous.
Sue Dearbon says that she's been on the run for the last nine months because she learned too much about the operations of John Loring - a black-market weapons dealer, whom she used to date before learning how he earned his fortune.
Sue is hunting John Loring, trying to get the evidence she needs to prove his crimes before she goes to the police.
Sue claims that John Loring is watching her parents and that he has police on the take in every city where he does business, watching for her to make sure she doesn't call her parents or contact the police anywhere charges could be pressed.
Eva attempted 1,322 different plans to escape the Mirror World over the past six years.
Iris suggests they can escape by freezing the mirror to Absolute Zero, the same way that Barry was able to escape being trapped by a mirror by Sam Scudder in 304.
Joe asks Barry to take a second look at a case involving a house fire on Batton Street and bring anything unusual he finds directly to him.
Sue knows six languages, graduated from MIT, plays polo and knows martial arts.
Sue saves Ralph from being drowned in a rain barrel by one of Loring's henchmen.
Cecile says that she can barely tell Ralph and Sue apart on an empathetic level with her powers.
Iris and Eva break the mirror when they freeze it. This does nothing to get them out of the Mirror World.
Fake Iris runs into Nash Wells while trying to search the Starchives on her own for the Mirror Gun.
Nash lies about being asked to do an inventory of the Starchives while Cisco was out of town. As he tells the fake Iris this, he sees Harry Wells again, who accuses him of being a liar. He also makes reference to Nash having unfinished business and knowing what it's like to lose a daughter.
Fake Iris claims she was looking for Nora's journal. She says it's the only thing left that she has of her daughter.
Nash promises not to tell Barry that he saw Iris in the Starchives.
Nash was actually looking for a book labeled The Diary of Harrison "Harry" Wells.
Ralph finds a key to a safe deposit box at Central City Mercantile Bank while searching John Loring's office. He guesses this is where the ledger Sue wants is kept.
Ralph reveals his secret identity to Sue when he lowers them from the roof of Jean Loring's office building with one stretchy arm.
Sue starts calling Ralph "Slick" as a nickname.
Sue persuades Ralph to help her break into the bank rather than wait a day for him to get a search warrant to check out John Loring's safe deposit box.
Barry determines that the fire on Batton Street was started by a focused UV blast, same was what Ultraviolet and Dr. Light generated.
Joe says he's found several cases where it looks like people associated with James Carver and McCulloch Technologies died mysteriously in a fire that was quickly dismissed as an accident and not arson.
Eva is somehow able to summon the broken mirror shards to her hand.
Ralph disguises himself as Joe West and Sue disguises herself as a beat cop so they can sneak into CC Mercantile Bank after hours.
Sue learned French at the US Embassy in Paris and had horseback riding lessons.
Sue is revealed to be a jewel thief who used Ralph to track down a diamond in John Loring's possession. She tells Ralph she'll keep his secret identity a secret so long as she doesn't reveal her secret life to her parents.
Ralph saves Sue from John Loring's men, who are apparently knocked out and/or killed by Ultraviolet.
Ultraviolet was last seen in 606.and has apparently escaped from prison again.
Sue speaks Spanish.. Ralph does not.
Sue has encountered Ultraviolet before and Ultraviolet recognizes her as well.
Sue escapes with the diamond.
Ultraviolet can apparently use her powers to teleport.
Barry shows up in the nick of time to save Ralph from John Loring's men.
STAR Labs satellites finds no sign of Sue Dearbon in Central City.
Ralph becomes determined to bring Sue to justice.
Barry gives Fake Iris the Mirror Gun.
Eva is able to mentally restore the broken mirror inside the Mirror World. She then somehow summons an image of Barry in his and Iris' apartment.
Barry seems to sense Iris watching him through the mirror.
Sue analyzes the diamond she stole from John Loring in some kind of private lab and finds the Black Hole emblem inside in. She also has a newspaper article on McCulloch Technologies being compromised and a picture of John Carver.
The Mirror World
The Bottom Line
If it were just Ralph and Sue, it would be perfect. Unfortunately, while the lion's share is devoted to the Nick and Nora Charles of the DC Universe snarking at each other, too much of the episode is devoted to Cecile being comically quirky and Iris browbeating a deranged woman who has gone crazy after six years of isolation.
Still, it's a solid episode despite its flaws and the new take on Sue is easily the most interesting supporting character introduced into the show since Ralph himself. Hopefully they'll get their own spin-off in a year or two rather than be forced to fight for screen-time amid all the other people hanging around STAR Labs these days.