Wednesday, May 13, 2020

The Flash 6x19 Review: "Success Is Assured" (The Finale That Wasn’t) [Contributor: Deborah MacArthur]

“Success Is Assured”
Original Airdate: May 12, 2020

It’s really hard to judge this season’s finale as a finale, since it wasn’t actually meant to be a finale. The whole pandemic situation kind of left The Flash scrambling for some way to end its sixth season as productions everywhere shut down. As a result, “Success Is Assured” doesn’t come anywhere close to tying up loose ends, but I guess I can’t fault them too much.


Eva’s gotten a shiny new supervillain suit and is explaining her evil plans to Mirror Singh. The suit, by the way, is not just for fashion; she needs it to contain her mirror-ness. Is that an Eva-only situation or is Iris also going to need an ugly suit when she leaves the Mirrorverse? Anyway, Mirror Singh gives us a title drop within the first minute of the episode. Remarkable.

Later, the team has gathered to discuss the Eva situation at Barry’s CCPD office. Why there? Because Barry’s apparently been working on actual CSI stuff off-screen. I love it when the show remembers Barry has a day job. Everyone thinks Eva will target Black Hole but they have no leads on the organization, until Ralph yanks the great honkin’ diamond Sue gave him out of his pocket. He’s just been walking around with that thing, waiting for the best opportunity to bring it out in a conversation? Ralph, you don’t have to hold on to important stuff just because the dialogue doesn’t give you a good enough segue.

Allegra shines her light powers through the diamond and it projects a swirly spiral image spotted with arrows. Nash, thanks to his long history of being an Indiana Jones ripoff, identifies it as a “triangulation cartograph.” Barry gets Allegra to shine it on a map of Central City. Without lining anything up, Barry declares that it’s all pointing to “42nd and Darby.” Nice job, Barry, but if Allegra had shined that thing a little to the left it’d be pointing to the middle of a freaking river. Triangulation doesn’t work that way!

Good thing 42nd and Darby is the place Barry and Ralph actually need to be. I think this is the most annoyed I’ve been at the show in a long time. I just like puzzle games too much for “shine the light at a random location on the map!” to be an acceptable way to progress the plot. Ugh. Whatever. Barry and Ralph show up at a warehouse at the convenient location and all of Black Hole’s property and files are right there, ready to be burned by Mirror Singh. Yeah, Mirror Singh is there, explains why Eva hates Carver (we already know this: Carver let Eva stay in the Mirror then immediately turned her tech into weapons), then sets the whole place on fire. After Barry and Ralph escape the blaze, their new mission is to protect Carver from Eva. Barry looks really annoyed about it.

Barry meets with Carver to tell him that Eva’s escaped and is out to kill him but Carver, in the vein of overly confident villainous jerks the world over, doesn’t believe him. He goes on to brag about knowing Iris got abducted immediately after it happened and tells Barry that Iris is probably mirror-scrambled by now so there’s no point in trying to rescue her. Carver actually sounds sincere about having tried everything to get Eva out of the Mirrorverse, but I don’t know — basically everything else in the conversation is a lie or a snotty remark meant to push Barry off his trail, so we can probably assume that is, too. Either way, he rejects Barry’s offer of protection and walks away, looking slightly concerned.

In the aftermath of Black Hole’s blackmail warehouse getting blown up, Ralph meets with Sue Dearbon’s parents in his office to tell them the good news — only to have Sue herself arrive with the two of them, claiming she’s never met Ralph before and she’d spent her time missing at a mindfulness retreat in India. Ralph and Sue discuss everything that’s happened, but Sue drops the bombshell that Carver “had a change of heart” a week ago and freed her parents. Sue tells Ralph to let them live in peace, but appears pained by it. Man, they’re really letting microexpressions do the heavy lifting this episode, huh?

Some of the Black Hole assassins we’ve seen this season are prepping for a mission in a large modern house full of reflective surfaces, so guess who’s gonna kidnap them all one by one? Eva swipes Sunshine, Ultraviolet, and Dr. Light — the latter through a window, interestingly enough. That’ll teach you to clean your windows. Filthy, non-reflective windows save lives, people.

Allegra is of the opinion that Carver doesn’t deserve superhero protection he doesn’t want. Frankly, I agree with her. Barry’s all “he doesn’t deserve to die, blah blah blah” though, so I guess they’re gonna protect him anyway. Barry brings up the psychological effects of the Mirrorverse and Nash correctly names it as “neural dissonance,” something he’s recognized from dimension-hopping. For the third time in this episode, a character — in this case, Carver — arrives to interrupt a conversation by interjecting something pithy and relevant. Does this show do that all the time? How have I not noticed how often it happens? Anywho, Carver wants Barry’s protection after all, since his assassins got swiped. Barry is smug about it.

At CCPD, Carver whines, then Mirror Singh shows up to “personally escort” Carver into custody. Mirror Singh pulls Barry aside and makes him an offer: let him take Carver to Eva, and Eva will get Iris out of the Mirrorverse. Barry seems tempted, but before he can say anything, Nash jumps out and smoke-bombs the whole group to S.T.A.R. Labs. Teleportation by smoke is a thing now? How long has that been a thing? Oh, and also Nash is still seeing Wellses — the one that pops up after he teleports everyone tells him Barry would never have considered Carver’s deal, which throws the soundtrack into some seriously, as my closed captioning would say, [dramatic music].

Despite knowing he’s in serious trouble and Barry and company are the only barrier between him and Eva’s revenge, Carver continues to be insufferable. I can’t wait until he inevitably dies during the climax of this episode. The team tries to figure out a way to protect Carver from a villain who can travel through mirrors. Carver says he can hide in a panic room at his building and he has a special force field that atomizes anyone who tries to get in. He could literally just hide in an empty room with matte walls, guys.

Carver’s panic room that “Eva doesn’t know about” is, in the Mirrorverse, the hidden room Iris found a couple episodes ago — so Eva definitely knows about it. It’s also got very shiny screens, so yeah. Great way to hide from a villain who’s so adept at traveling through reflective surfaces she can get through windows if the cleaning crew’s been a little too aggressive with the Windex.

While trying to clear out Carver’s building before his overkill security field turns on, Ralph runs into Sue. She took her parents’ place in Black Hole (so they were… members of the secret organization blackmailing them? The show really skipped some steps explaining how this blackmail ring works) to get close to Carver, hoping to kill him. Ralph tries to explain to Sue that killing is bad and she shouldn’t do it, but never once mentions that a killer forcefield is about to go up, or that Carver’s already being targeted by his villainous ex-wife, so another person trying to kill him is just redundant. Sue sprays him with a knockout substance and continues on her merry way.

When the three swiped assassins show up to help their new leader kill her ex husband, a big fight breaks out and Carver’s forcefield goes down. Barry tries to get the field back up via an alternate power source in the sub-basement, but runs into Mirror Singh who shatters and turns into Eva. Did she... travel through him? She knocks Barry out, then we get a weird page-turn animated transition that cuts to a three-way split screen showing the Black Hole assassins fighting before it all goes back to normal. What the heck was that?

Ah! It’s still happening! More split screens appear when Sue shows up to help Ralph during the fight. I don’t recall the show ever getting so comic-booky creative with their graphics before, but I guess they wanted their impromptu finale to be unique in some way.

Surprising exactly no one, Eva gets to Carver through his shiny computer screen. Once she’s done talking villainously at him for a bit, she throws some mirror shards in his direction. Barry stops the shards, getting some huge hunks stuck in his torso area, and — in probably the most gruesome sequence this show’s done so far — Eva pushes a large piece through Barry’s shoulder and kills Carver with it.

After, Eva yanks the glass shards out of Barry and insists the two of them are actually on the same side. She calls off her meta allies and says Team Flash is free to go. Y’know, the “reluctant nemesis” is a pretty interesting path for this show to go down. I can only hope they do something good with it when we get back on track next season.

Eva delivers a lying liar speech where she tells everyone she’s going to find her husband’s killer and we learn that she’s actually framed Sue for the job. Um… why? And how?

Joe is able to leave witness protection to help the team get Iris and the others back, but over in the Mirrorverse Iris’s mind-melding has resulted in her going all reflective and disappearing right after locating the real Singh. We’re hit with a “To Be Continued” to end the season.

Other Things:

  • The Caitlin/Frost storyline still seems like leftover scraps, even though it did get significantly more screen time and emotional weight this episode.
  • Allegra and Nash’s feud is cooling, which is great because the fight between them is well past the point where Allegra’s anger makes sense. They were buddies for a few months. Nash withheld the truth about one aspect of why they were buddies. That isn’t “hold a grudge for all eternity” levels of deception and betrayal.


Post a Comment