“Success Is Assured,” the 19th episode of The Flash’s pretty good sixth season, was definitely not supposed to be a finale, and that's clear from watching the episode. Alas, it had to function as one because The Flash didn’t finish shooting its season before the pandemic shutdown. So, it would definitely be super unfair to judge it as a finale. As an episode of The Flash? Well, it did what it was supposed to in the context of the season: Concluded the Black Hole storyline and officially set Team Flash against Eva, who emerges as a formidable big bad by the end of the episode.
Last week’s pep-talk heavy episode ended with Barry delivering a rousing, well, pep talk to the rest of Team Flash. When tonight’s episode opens, the team is still riding that wave of renewed hopefulness as they gather at the CSI Lab (remember, Barry has a day job that he can’t afford to lose) to figure out their next move for dealing with Eva and freeing their friends. They decide the best course of action is to find Black Hole. Luckily, they have a lead: The diamond Sue stole and gave back to Ralph contains a map that leads them to one of Black Hole’s warehouses — which Mirror-Singh successfully burns.
On the upside, burning down the warehouse means Black Hole loses its leverage over Mr. and Mrs. Dearbon. So Ralph calls them to his office to tell them the good news only to discover that Sue came home and is with them. In front of her parents, Sue pretends not to know Ralph, but once they get a minute alone, she tells him (read: lies) that Carver had a change-of-heart and let them off the hook, so Ralph should just leave them alone.
In the wake of the warehouse fire, Barry approaches Carver and offers him CCPD protection against his wife. After taunting Barry with the fact that the Mirrorverse has irrevocably changed Iris, he rejects Barry’s help because he believes his Black Hole minions will save him. Of course, Carver immediately changes his mind once Eva kidnaps Dr. Light, Sunshine, and Ultraviolet, and heads to the precinct.
Unfortunately, Mirror-Singh shows up right as Team Flash prepares to escort Carver out of there. Mirror-Singh pulls Barry aside and offers him a trade: Iris’ freedom for Carver’s life. In a not-so-surprising move, Barry hesitates and seriously considers his offer. But Nash intervenes and smoke bombs/teleports the group back to S.T.A.R. Labs before Barry answers. Harry Wells appears to Nash and tells him that the Barry he knows never would’ve hesitated, which helps him realize what was going on at the precinct. So, Nash proceeds to scold Barry for even considering the exchange, telling him Iris wouldn’t have been happy if he’d traded another person’s life for hers, no matter how evil they were. If I’m being honest, I low key sympathized with Barry more than I probably should’ve. I don’t know, I just want Barry and Iris to be reunited! The distance is killing me! (And I’m guessing lockdown is starting to get to me, too.)
Anyway, Team Flash accompanies Carver back to McCulloch Technologies, which is surrounded by a force field that will kill anyone Eva sends after Carver. While helping McCulloch’s workers evacuate the building, Ralph notices Sue in the crowd and realizes she took her parents’ place in Black Hole to save them so she could get close enough to kill Carver. Horrified, Ralph pleads with her that there’s always another way, which is one of the biggest signs of how much Ralph has changed since he was introduced. Like, look at this guy confidently giving someone the “killing is bad” speech. “I believe in you,” he tells Sue, who responds by simply knocking him out and taking the elevator somewhere.
After all of the civilians make it out of the building, Carver turns on the force field, which immediately fails because the power goes out. Not only that, but Eva sends Carver’s minions to kill him. And not Mirror versions of them, but the real deal. She convinced them to flip sides by giving them a choice instead of forcing them into servitude. So, a fight between Team Flash and Carver’s Angels ensues, and it’s shot with some weird split-screen action that, while inventive, didn’t really work for me. Eventually, Sue has a change of heart and returns to help the team fight, and Nash saves Allegra from her cousin.
Meanwhile, downstairs near Carver’s panic room, Barry confronts Eva, who has gone full Mirror Master and looks like a freakin’ badass. (It helps that Efrat Dor gives a commanding performance, too.) With her suit and/or powers, she turns her arm into a Mega Man-like canon and fires on Barry. Then, she corners her husband and throws mirror shards at him, but Barry dives in front of him at the last second and saves him. But that’s no matter because Eva just pushes one of the mirror pieces through Barry and into Carver, killing him. The savagery! With her husband dispatched, Eva lets Barry and his friends live another day because she’s accomplished her goal.
The next day, we find Eva holding a press conference at CCPD, during which she lies about where she’s been for the past six years and declares that she’s taking over McCulloch Technologies in the wake of her husband’s death. Oh, and she also frames Sue for Carver’s murder, which is a pretty delightful twist that got me excited about more Ralph and Sue shenanigans to come.
Barry visits Caitlin before Carla takes her off for treatment and Caitlin reminds him that his secret power has always been love. That little pep talk gives Barry hope that they can still defeat Eva, who has now cemented herself as their primary antagonist. Thankfully, Cecile also arrives with reinforcements in the form of Joe Freakin’ West. Honestly, seeing Joe hug everyone on Team Flash was rather comforting.
Of course, the episode’s stinger made all of that comfort immediately disappear. Back in the Mirrorverse, Iris concentrates hard enough on a screen and manages to find where Singh is, but right after she does, she blips out of there, leaving Kamilla all alone. My guess is that Eva freed her from the Mirrorverse for a nefarious purpose. But, we’ll have to wait until the fall (or probably 2021?) to find out exactly what happened.
Overall, I thought “Success Is Assured” was pretty fine. On the one hand, I love that it set up a mini-finale arc that pits Team Flash against Eva, who is shaping up to be one of the show's best big bads ever. I want more of Mirror Mistress now! That being said, I just didn’t connect to the episode emotionally. Maybe I kept it at a distance because I knew it wouldn’t be a satisfying end to a season, or maybe something else was going on. Who knows? All I know is that I really want to see how the writers wrap this up and kick off whatever season 7 was supposed to be about.
Wall of Weird:
- While all of the action was going on, Frost and Carla had a heart-to-heart before they left Central City.
- Nash gets back into Allegra’s good graces after saving her during the McCulloch fight. As the episode ends, he gives her the rock that her doppelgänger died trying to get and reveals that it has the power to show someone their worst memory.
- Cisco was nowhere to be seen because he’s off in Atlantis.