The Flash recap: When Ralph met Sue Dearbon, and Iris met Eva McCulloch
“A Girl Named Sue,” tonight’s episode of The Flash, marks the introduction of two characters who seem like they’ll be important for the season’s endgame. First, there’s Natalie Dreyfuss’ long-awaited debut as the elusive Sue Dearbon, who is destined to become the great Sue Dibny if the show adheres to canon (but who says it has to?) We also meet Efrat Dor as Eva McCulloch, the missing founder of McCulloch Tech, who’s trapped on the other side of a mirror because the particle accelerator explosion is the gift that keeps on giving six years later. Both stories land in predictable yet intriguing places that make me excited for what’s to come. Let’s dive in!
First up, Sue Dearbon: Ralph gets an alert on his computer that Sue used her credit card to purchase an apartment. When he shows up at the building, he comes face to face with Sue as she dives out of the exploding apartment and saves Ralph from the blast. If that entrance wasn’t enough to leave an impression, there’s also Natalie Dreyfuss’ excellent and confident performance. Sue is sarcastic, quick-witted, and Dreyfuss and Hartley Sawyer’s onscreen chemistry crackles from their first scene together. This is definitely one of The Flash’s better introductions (there’s also delightfully cheesy private investigator music beneath most of their scenes).
From there, the duo return to Ralph’s office and Sue explains that she’s been on the run from her murderous and arms dealing boyfriend, John Loring. She claims that she returned to Central City intent on finding evidence that could put Loring away forever. Feeling chivalrous, Ralph volunteers to help her, even though she makes it very clear that she doesn’t need his protection. Sue follows that up with action by saving Ralph from one of Loring’s goons, who found Ralph snooping around Loring’s warehouse.
That night, the bantering pair break into Loring’s warehouse office and find a safety deposit box key. When Loring’s henchmen happen upon them, Ralph reveals he’s the Elongated Man to Sue and uses his powers to help them escape, which seems to impress her. “So you’re an honest to God superhero?” she asks, before adding that she appreciates he trusted her with this secret.
With the key in hand, Sue and Ralph break into Central City Mercantile Bank in hopes of finding Loring’s ledger. Instead, they find an expensive-looking diamond — and that’s when Sue reveals she’s actually a cat burglar and has been playing Ralph because she needs his help to acquire the diamond. I love this twist because it both honors and diverges from the canon. Sure, Sue isn’t a thief in the comics, but Elongated Man did meet her while pretending to search for jewelry thieves, so there’s a parallel here. Furthermore, this twist sets Sue on an arc similar to the one Ralph went on when he was first introduced by asking if there’s hope for her redemption. Because of Dreyfuss’ performance, it’s not clear how much of her connection with Ralph was genuine and how much of it was an act. Was she actually inspired by his transformation from terrible cop to superhero, or was she playing him? It’s unclear, which is part of the fun.
Anyway, Sue locks Ralph in the vault and threatens to reveal his secret identity if he tells her parents what happens. Unfortunately for Sue, she runs right into Loring’s gun-happy men on the way out of the bank. Thankfully, Ralph travels through the sprinkler system, lands in the lobby, and shields her from the bullets right as they open fire. The situation becomes even more complicated when Ultraviolet drops in, subdues Loring’s goons, and goes toe-to-toe with Sue over the diamond, which is apparently connected to Black Hole (what isn’t these days?!). During the fight, Sue sneakily slips the diamond out of the case and distracts Ralph and Ultraviolet with the empty box as she runs off. Once Ultraviolet realizes she’s been played, she disappears in a flash of light, and then Flash shows up to take Loring’s men down.
Meanwhile, Iris — who’s been banging against the mirror as Barry snuggles with Not-Iris — meets the presumed dead Eva McCulloch, who can’t believe Iris is real. It turns out Eva has been trapped in this mirror dimension ever since the night of the particle accelerator explosion, which sent her flying into the mirror (shoutout to dark matter creating the doorway). She explains that the mirror must’ve created a duplicate of Iris when she came through and that’s what is currently roaming around the real world.
As you can imagine, being stuck in this lonely place for six years has taken a toll on her and she’s lost all hope of escaping. Iris, on the other hand, refuses to give up and suggests they freeze the mirror to absolute zero in order to escape because that’s how Team Flash freed Barry when Mirror Master trapped him inside a mirror in season 3. Unfortunately, the plan fails and the mirror simply shatters into a thousand pieces.
Thus, Eva is even more disheartened and opens up about the pain of watching her husband Joseph Carver grieve her death before eventually moving on. What’s unclear is whether or not she knows Joseph is part of a huge criminal conspiracy called Black Hole. At this point, though, Iris chooses not to share that information with her for some reason. Eva starts to get upset and then suddenly one of the mirror shards flies into her hands, revealing she has powers. So, Iris encourages her to use her powers to rebuild the mirror, which shows Barry at home on the couch; Barry briefly senses something when Iris approaches the mirror.
Hopefully, Iris and Eva make it out of there soon because Not-Iris is making some suspicious moves. She goes after the mirror gun, which she claims will help with her Black Hole investigation. At first, Barry is hesitant to give her access since he’s worried about it falling into the wrong hands, but he changes his mind after he and Joe discover that someone on the police force has been helping Black Hole cover up murders for some time. So now the gun is the hands of a mirror created doppelgänger who can’t be trusted.
Wall of Weird:
- Nash Wells sees Harry Wells again when he descends into the STARchives to retrieve Harry’s journal. It’s still unclear why Harry is appearing to him.
- Sue calls Ralph “Slick.” I love it.
- “Game on,” Sue to herself as she examines the Black Hole-imprinted diamond in the episode’s stinger.
After the success of Arrow, Barry Allen (a.k.a. the Flash) gets his own CW treatment in this comic-themed spin-off.