If he could only keep up! The fate of one of the Scarlet Speedster’s longtime allies hangs in the balance and if Barry can’t prevent his enemies from carrying out their evil scheme, it could mean the end for him and Iris as tensions mount in the latest episode.
Full disclosure [Spoilers Ahead!] If you haven’t seen the newest episode of The Flash the first in many weeks since the nation has gone on COVID-19 lockdown, then stop right here! Don’t read any further! Though it’ll be tough to contain oneself considering it’s been weeks since we’ve had any new episodes of The CW superpower primetime, and with many of the shows production schedules on “pause” who knows how much of Season 6 we’ll get to experience or whether we’ll get a proper Season 7 in the fall.
So ole faithful fans — we gotta savor every moment! Episode 16 of Season 6 “So Long and Goodnight” is the fifth in the series “post-crisis” existence and since the multiverse got its reboot, it appears that business as usual on the new Earth-Prime includes the return of some familiar adversaries with very deadly intentions, as well as some new emerging allies. Barry (Grant Gustin) is still wrestling with the consequences of the collapse of the Speed Force. Cisco (Carlos Valdes) continues to work on his plan to “create” an alternate solution based on Nora’s notes.
To what end that result will yield is anyone’s guess, especially since the theories gathered up by Barry’s future-daughter were largely passed on to her by The Flash’s nemesis Eobard Thawne/The Reverse-Flash (Tom Cavanagh) who is lurking somewhere in the subconscious of Nash Wells (also Tom Cavanagh) planning his revenge. Barry hasn’t been able to trust that his powers won’t give out on him and has progressively gotten weaker (it’s a story practically lifted from the recent comics as The Flash learned that the Speed Force is part of a set of universal elements).
The Mirror Darkly
Joe West (Jesse L. Martin) is continuing to follow the case to bring down crooked industrialist Joseph Carver (guest star Eric Nenninger) who is also being hunted by his wife, Eva McCulloch (guest star Efrat Dor) the “new” Mirror Master who has trapped Iris (Candice Patton) behind the glass in a “mirrorverse” while a clone of Iris continues to work on Eva’s behalf in the real world. It appears that as Joe is getting closer to causing Carver serious damage, he’s becoming a target. The criminal contortionist Rag Doll (Troy James/Phil LaMarr) is dispatched to take out Joe.
His first attempt to kill Joe in an automobile accident fails to convince the Police Captain to accept Singh’s (Patrick Sabongui) offer of witness protection. Barry has an even harder time of getting Joe to back off of Carver as well, fearing he won’t be able to protect him as his powers continue to fail, in the event Rag Doll returns. Iris (or rather Mirror-Iris) is adamant, and makes Barry promise that he’ll do whatever it takes to protect her father, but when Cecile (Danielle Nicolet) becomes the villain’s next target, all bets are off!
Meanwhile, Ralph (Hartley Sawyer) is on the case and in pursuit of the elusive Sue Dearbon (Natalie Dreyfuss) and recruits Cisco in an effort to nab the cat burglar before she succeeds at pulling off her latest heist. The pair go undercover at a charity event but are one-step behind Dearbon, who also succeeds in charming the pants off of Cisco. Ralph is able to catch up to Sue later and learns that in actuality Sue is attempting to thwart Carver who is, in fact, blackmailing her parents. Ralph convinces Sue that they should team-up and get to the bottom of it.
Everything Goes Boom!
By the time the episode enters its final act, Rag Doll has succeeded in using Cecile to draw out Joe and plants a bomb that will take them out; The Flash attempts to stop the villain and even with his powers fading in and out is able to capture the Rag Doll, but he’s not fast enough to save Joe — who is able at the last second to disarm the weapon. Joe is now convinced that in order to keep his family safe, he has to go into witness protection. Singh arranges it immediately, conveniently getting Joe out of the picture so Eva can continue to carry out her revenge.
When Barry returns home, he finds Iris in the shadows of their apartment deeply disappointed with him — she wasn’t able to say good-bye to her father and blames Barry for the predicament they find themselves in. This leads to a heated argument between the couple. Iris having had enough of Barry’s selfish one-sidedness, tells him to leave; effectively removing The Flash from the board as well. With Joe and now Barry dazed and confused, whatever Eva is planning for Carver can proceed!
With so many character plot points developing, Episode 16 of Season 6 continues to develop interestingly, and “the caper” aspect of it is falling very much in step with the detective-like adventures that The Flash and Elongated Man are famous for in the DC Comics. If this is the direction that this storyline is heading, to establish the sleuths, it’s an interesting play, but the Reverse-Flash is still hiding out in the backdrop — now that the season has halted production its quite possible that storyline may not develop further and will be saved for later.
Still, given the wait of the events of the recent 5-part crossover and the implications that followed the “Crisis on Infinite Earths” it just doesn’t feel that the show which should have been at the center of deciphering the new Earth-Prime continuity isn’t reveling much to that end. With the exception of Oliver Queen’s sacrifice (and ascension to godhood as The Spectre), the “crisis” has been largely averted and the consequences have been nil — seemingly across the entire primetime spectrum of The CW shows.
Perhaps once the crisis of COVID-19 is dealt with, the shows will address the plot drop or in the least begin to define what this new continuity looks like on Earth-Prime if it matters at all.
THE FLASH | “So Long and Goodnight” | Season 6 / Episode 16 | Directed by Alexandra La Roche, written by Kristen Kim & Thomas Pound | Original Airdate: 4/21/2020