Wednesday, June 3, 2020

The Flash Episode Guide: Season 6, Episode 19 - Success Is Assured

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




Plot

With Eva McCulloch free and out for revenge, Joseph Carver turns to the CCPD and STAR Labs for help after all of his bodyguards mysteriously vanish. But as Sue Dearbon returns to Central City with a new wrinkle in her case and Iris becomes increasingly unhinged in the Mirrorverse, can Barry bring himself to protect the man who threatened his family? Even if he manages that, can he stand against this new Mirror Mistress to save Carver?


Influences

Charlie's Angels (the theme with the three female assassin/bodyguards and the editing of their fight with Team Flash) and The Flash comics of Joshua Williamson. (Black Hole organization.)


Goofs

The central conceit of this episode - the team's conflict regarding Barry considering allowing Eva McCulloch to have Joseph Carver just to save Iris - doesn't ring true. Ignoring Nash being the one to call Barry out on this (even with how much he's changed, Nash is still the most amoral member of the team), he complains that every version of Wells in his head says it isn't like the Barry Allen they know to negotiate with a villain. Clearly they weren't paying attention last week when Barry cut a deal with Pied Piper to get his help fighting Godspeed, to say nothing of all the other times Barry let a villain he knew to be a killer walk free in the name of protecting his loved ones. (i.e. every time he cut a deal with Captain Cold, his letting both Amunet Black and The Mechanic walk in The Flash season 4.)

Nash's line about Iris not approving of Barry doing something questionable to save her doesn't ring true either. Or was the timeline rewritten so Iris didn't kill Savitar to save Barry and herself in the Season 3 finale?

While Barry says he couldn't use his super-speed to save Carver from the Mirror Singh without revealing his secret identity, he doesn't seem to have any concerns about Carver getting the chance to know that Ralph Dibny is Elongated Man.

Nash gives Allegra instructions on how to neutralize Sunshine's powers only for Allegra to not fight Sunshine.

Granting that Carver seems more like a corporate weasel than a scientist, you'd think even he would be smart enough (or paranoid enough) to think that a reflective computer screen might be accessible by a mirror-manipulating ex-wife. He also has liquor bottles and drinking glasses in his panic room.

There is no logical reason, other than pure plot contrivance, why Eva McCulloch doesn't just release her hostages once Carver is dead. She's already proven she can outmaneuver Barry in terms of raw power and his refusal to bargain with her seems to be fueled more by his outrage over having Iris taken away than any real righteousness about Carver's being murdred.

Come to that, why doesn't Eva reveal the truth of what happened to the world and how her husband was an abusive jerk who got what was coming to him? Any decent lawyer could make a case that her killing him was self-defense given the deadly technology at his disposal or cop a temporary insanity plea. Effectively, what he did was no different than forcibly confining his wife in the basement for six years and faking her death to collect her inheritance. 

The revelation that Eva framed Sue Dearbon comes out of nowhere and seems like a hastily written excuse to keep her in the series for another season and to make Eva do something actively villainous to turn the audience against her. (Given how the season was cut short by the COVID-19 pandemic, it probably was.)


Performances

Again the chemistry between Hartley Sawyer and Natalie Dreyfus is perfect and you really wish the show was focused on Ralph and Sue instead of Barry and Iris.


Artistry

The editing of the fight scenes is tight and well-styled.


Technobabble

Eva McCulloch has a special suit that is speeding her acclimation to the real world when she is outside of her special reflection modulation chamber.

Nash describes the diamond Sue Dearbon gave Ralph as a Triangulation Cartograph - a treasure map.

Joseph Carver claims that the Mirror verse is incompatible with the human brain and it warps people until they are no longer the person they once were. Nash later says this is possible, having come across an alternate Earth in his travels where visitors suffered neural dissonance - a traumatic psychological state.

According to Dr. Tannhauser, the stoichiomnetric ratio of Frost's blood is manifesting in an abnormal way.

McCulloch Technologies has a biogeneic ionization field that can surround their building.

After Iris was abducted, Carver had the mirror she was taken through coated with protective nanites.

Nash notes that Sunshine now has two bracelets that act as solar energy battery packs, allowing her to use her powers at night. He says the cells can be overloaded by increasing their internal temperature.

The stone that Nash gave Allegra, used in conjunction with her powers, generates a ray that causes a person to relive their worst experiences.


Dialogue Triumphs

Ralph: You're not here to rob the place. And Carver didn't have a change of heart on your parents. You... you offered to take their place in Black Hole. 
Sue: Carver agrees. I'm more valuable than my parents.  
Ralph: Sue, you... you don't have to do this. 
Sue: Yes, I do. I've been trying to collect leverage on Carver for over a year. He's untouchable. 
Ralph: Untouchable unless you have one of those handy-dandy Black Hole pins. You joined Black Hole to get close to Carver. Because you're gonna kill him. That's why you're here, isn't it? 
Sue: Carver's never gonna let my parents go. 
Ralph: Sue, damn it... 
Sue: It's the only way it ends!. 
Ralph: You gotta listen to me. There... there is always another way. Do you understand what happens if you kill Carver? Every time you look in the mirror, you won't recognize the person looking back. You'll lose yourself. 
Sue: Why do you care? 
Ralph: Because I believe in you! And I know there's still good in you. I can see it. 
Sue: I'm sorry about this, slick. 
(Sue pulls out her breath spray and sprays it into Ralph's open mouth. Ralph breathes reflexively and starts to sniff franatically.)
Ralph: Oh, come on. 
(Ralph collapses to the ground as Sue turns and continues down the hall.)


(Eva shatters the mirror that once trapped her and looks at Joseph Carver.)
Carver: Let's talk about this. 
(Eva raises her right arm and a laser cannon forms around it. She chuckles.)
Eva: About what? How you weaponized my technology? Extorted charitable donors? Kidnapped and blackmailed innocent meta-humans like Kimiyo, Esperanza, and Millie? This is me talking!
Carver: I did what I had to do. 
(Eva looks at him sadly and powers down the laser cannon.)
Eva: (sighs) Then I'll do what I have to do. Good-bye, Joseph. 
(Eva raises her hand. The mirror shards on the ground begin to float up, pointing at Carver.) 
Carver: No, Eva! Wait! 
(The shards fly but The Flash runs in at the last second, throwing himself between Carver and Eva, screaming as the shards embed themselves in his costume.)
Eva: No! What don't you understand? He's not worth saving!
The Flash: (strained) Maybe... But it's not your decision. 
Eva: (determined) Oh, yes, it is.
(One of the larger shards begins to push through the Flash's shoulder, coming out through his back, striking Carver dead on in the chest.)W
Eva: My husband... let me rot in that world for years! He does not get to live in this one. 
Carver: You're not my wife! (choking) My wife died in the particle accelerator explosion!
Eva: Well... I've never felt more alive. 


Continuity

The Chief Singh Mirror-Clone is explaining his absence from work by claiming to be with his sick mother.

Nash, Allegra and Cecile help Frost with packing for her trip to the Arctic Circle.

Frost and Allegra are established as friends and Frost agrees to let her borrow one of her jackets while she is gone.

Cecile senses Frost's anxiety over meeting Dr. Tannhauser.

It's been 24 hours since Eva McCulloch was last seen.

The artificial Speed Force still isn't finished.

Barry meets with the rest of the team at his lab at the CCPD Headquarters as he has a backlog of CSI work to finish.

Barry speculates that Eva McCulloch was being literal when she said she had unfinished business to attend to. This leads Ralph to reveal the diamond that Sue gave him in 616. Ralph says that Black Hole's logo is embedded inside the diamond.

Allegra senses serious UV energy coming out of the diamond.

Projected onto a map of Central City, the diamond points towards a warehouse on 42nd Street and Darby which turns out to have five subterranean levels.

Allegra says she doesn't like coffee, but this later revealed to be a lie. She just didn't want coffee Nash had made in an effort to be nice to her.

All five guards in the Black Hole warehouse were stabbed to death when Ralph and Barry get there.

The warehouse apparently holds all the blackmail material Joseph Carver had on various people, including Sue Dearbon's parents. The box with their name on it contains bank statements and finanical records, which Ralph intends to take with him.

Other boxes Ralph finds are labeled with the names Garcia, Rawlins, Hoshi and Merkel. These are the last names of Ultraviolet, Sunshine, Dr. Light and Ragdoll.

Barry smells gasoline and follows the scent to discover the Singh clone in the middle of dousing the warehouse. 

The Singh clone says that Eva is not interested in The Flash's brand of justice and explains that Joseph Carver was there the night Eva became trapped in the Mirrorverse. He was well aware of what happened to her and made no effort to rescue her, instead using her inventions to create Black Hole and become rich selling her technology as weapons and blackmailing people.

Singh uses a flare gun to ignite the gasoline. Barry and Ralph are forced to flee the warehouse after Barry proves to be too slow to create a vortex that can extinguish the fire.

The warehouse is burned to the ground along with all of its contents.

Joseph Carver meets with his lawyer at CC Jitters. After confirming everything that might incriminate him has been destroyed, he instructs him to replace all the items but not to use "The Three" as they can't find out they are "off the leash." This is a reference to Dr. Light, Sunshine and Ultraviolet, who we find out later in the episode were all being blackmailed into working for Carver.

Joseph Carver meets with Barry at CC Jitters. He knows that Barry is married to Iris, but has no idea he is The Flash. 

Carver admits to knowing that Iris was abducted into the Mirrorverse weeks ago, but didn't tell anyone as Eva abducting her solved one of his problems - i.e. nosy reporter investigating his connection to Black Hole.

Carver claims he had the greatest minds in the world study the Mirrorverse and they all concluded that it drove anyone who entered it went insane near-instantly and that the woman claiming to be Eva McCulloch was a thing that thought it was Eva McCulloch rather than a real person.

Carver denies owning the warehouse at 42nd and Darby and says he needs no help protecting himself.

In the Mirrorverse, Iris sees a map of the city on a screen and sees a thermal energy scan that she thinks is Chief Singh's location.

Ralph meets with the Dearbons to let them know that the blackmail material has been destroyed. However, he is cut off by the sudden arrival of Sue Dearbon, who claims to have been at a retreat in India for the past year.

Ralph tries to tell Sue that the blackmail material Carver had on her parents was destroyed. Sue says it doesn't matter because Carver called her last week and said he had a change of heart.

Eva McCulloch is able to draw all three of Joseph Carver's bodyguards into the Mirrorverse using reflective surfaces in his house.

Carver figures out what happened after finding a burn mark on the mirror, where Dr. Light tried to shoot a reflection of Eva.

Carver goes to Barry and requests federal witness relocation protection. He promises to call off the killers he has hunting Joe West if that happens.

Caitlin's mom bonds with Frost. They both agree they'd like to get to know one another better.

The Captain Singh clone shows up to intercept Barry taking Carver to meet the feds. He makes an offer on behalf of Eva McCulloch - hand over Carver, and she'll set Iris free.

Nash uses his teleporting smoke bomb to take everyone back to STAR Labs.

Harry Wells appears to Nash and says that the Barry Allen he knew would never agree to trade another person's life for Iris. 

Team Flash shows Carver the footage of the Mirror Camilla sacrificing herself in 617 to explain the idea of Mirror Duplicates.

Carver says that he has a panic room Eva doesn't know about and a force-field that can prevent anyone from getting inside the McCulloch Technologies building.

Nash knows a away into McCulloch Technologies using the sewer system.

Nash confronts Barry over the fact that he let a mirror duplicate get that close to Carver 

Barry defends his actions, saying he had to protect his secret identity and that any husband would do whatever it takes to safe his wife. Wells agrees, but asks what Iris would think of Barry trading another person's life for hers.  

Carver stole protective nanites from PalmerTech to make the mirror in what was Eva's office safe.

The panic room Carver thinks Eva doesn't know about is hidden in the AV3 room that was her office. It has concrete walls, no mirrors, and a bank of monitors watching the whole facility.

Nash gives Allegra a rock and tells her to blast her UV rays through it if things go bad during the fight.

Ralph recognizes Sue Dearbon in the crowd at McCulloch Technologies.

Sue cut a deal with Carver to become a Black Hole agent in exchange for him stopping the blackmail of her parents.

Ralph figures out that Sue only took the deal so she could get close to Carver and kill him.

Sue knocks Ralph out with some kind of narcotic breath-spray so she can hide in the building and kill Carver one he thinks she's safe.

Sunshine, Dr. Light and Ultraviolet start working for Eva McCulloch, having learned that she destroyed all the blackmail material Carver had on them. They also want a chance at revenge as well. They fight Team Flash and Carver's bodyguards as Eva makes her move against Carver.

Eva uses the Singh clone as a skin-suit to enter McCulloch Technologies, knocking Barry out when he goes to start the back-up generator.

Nash saves Allegra from Ultraviolet

Allegra is able to use the stone Nash gave her to neutralize Ultraviolet, causing her to have visions of being experimented on by Black Hole.

Sue joins the fight and disarms Dr. Light.

Eva attacks Joseph through the monitor in his panic room and eventually kills him with the broken shards of the mirror she was trapped in, despite Barry trying to throw himself between her and Carver.

Eva orders The Three to let Team Flash go, though she does warn Barry to get off her property before she calls the police.

Eva calls a press conference saying she was held captive for six years by an international crime syndicate and watches as her inventions were weaponized. She lies and says her husband continued looking for her before he died saving her.

Dr. Light is at Eva's press conference in her civilian guise, apparently now working for Eva officially.

Sue is framed for Joseph Carver's murder, requiring she stay in hiding in Central City.

Barry gets a chance to talk to Caitlin and wish her well before she goes to the Tannhauser base in the Arctic.

Barry promises to take a whitewater rafting trip with Frost when she and Caitlin get back.

Allegra confirms she does, in fact, like coffee.

Allegra seems to be warming up to Nash.

Joe West joins the rest of Team Flash in Barry's lab, having been released from Witness Protection on account of Carver being dead.

Iris figures out that Chief Singh is at Central City Hospital in the Mirrorverse, just before she suddenly screams, crystallizes and vanishes.


The Boomerang Factor

The central conflict of the episode (and, apparently season 7) would evaporate completely if Barry were willing to negotiate with Eva McCulloch or she let her hostages go once she killed her treacherous husband.


The Bottom Line

A bit of a mess and that's only partially due to the episode being hastily rewritten and reedited to turn it into the Season 6 finale because of the coronavirus outbreak cutting the shooting for the planned finale short. In truth, Barry comes off as more pig-headed than usual and becomes almost slavish in his efforts to protect Carver, despite Carver's allowing Iris to be kidnapped and his threatening Barry's family. It doesn't help matters that, until the final segment of the show, Eva's motivations, bloody though they are, are wholly sympathetic and comparable to Barry's reaction to the Reverse Flash. Still, the whole thing feels rather slapdash and fans will always be left wondering what we might have seen had there ben time for the actual finale to be finished. Of course given that it was apparently going to end with the return of Eobard Thawne, we may, ironically, be better off with this ending.

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