The Flash: 6.16 So Long and Goodnight
The sporadic nature of these recent few episodes has become increasingly irritating. The lack of consistency in how characters are used, the amount of throw away story arcs and the overall unfocused nature of the narrative is making this season’s second part unbalanced. That aside, So Long and Goodnight has it all; well thought out and executed story, deception, heartfelt emotion, good use of characters, excellent overall development and a superb creepy feel throughout thanks to the re-introduction of Ragdoll.
The decision to bring back Ralph and Sue, while a bit random and out of the blue, really helped elevate this episode and inject some much needed comedy. More importantly it brought this smaller, seemingly less important side mission of Ralph’s to the forefront, melding it with the main season narrative rather than using it for a few laughs. With any luck Ralph and Sue will stick around longer now, showcasing more of that electric chemistry. Adding Cisco to make a trio was a winning combination and the upbeat hilarity was a perfect counterbalance for the other, creepier feel to the episode.
Speaking of, unlike many of the villain-of-the-week plots, Ragdoll’s inclusion actually had purpose. Granted it could’ve been achieved using almost any other villain, but he brings a refreshing change after a series of forgettable villains. The confrontations between him and The Flash created that sense of urgency about Barry’s powers that hadn’t, up till then, been portrayed effectively. Barry’s inability to save Joe from being shot and resorting to banging on pipes to defeat Ragdoll, did more to show the effects of his power loss than that speed-o-meter ever could.
Even with all this going on, the focus was centred on Joe, his relationship with his job, family and his continuing investigation into McCulloch technologies. Jesse L. Martin gives a belter of a performance here and his heated argument with Barry was made to feel much more powerful, with his usual calm demeanour briefly thrown aside. Their dialogue was well written and gave the audience something to ponder, given that arguably both of them were right. His emotional scenes with Cecile were equally as powerful, as his life felt genuinely in danger.
Even with all of this emotion and tension, the conversation between Barry and Iris to close out the episode was truly devastating. We know that this is Mirror Iris but in some ways what she said was correct. Okay, she was driven by her mission to drain the remaining speed from Barry but does this mean that, emotionally, the mirror duplicates are on the same wavelength as the real versions? Either way, this was a great scene and superb use of music, with ‘Razor’ by the Foo Fighters.
Eva’s appearance, while again short, had much more impact, providing more conclusive character development, revealing her motives and overall thought process. The reveal that Singh was actually a Mirror duplicate came as a genuine surprise; admittedly, it was obvious he was up to no good, but being under Eva’s control adds an all new detective element as we think, who else could be a mirror duplicate and how long has she been manipulating events? She’s been trapped in the mirror for six years, so plenty of time to scheme and because of this; I hope her character moves into season seven. as it seems silly to think that her story could be wrapped up well enough in only three episodes.
So Long and Goodnight was an excellent instalment that encompassed good storytelling and had some outstanding special effects. Its flaws - Joe being unscathed after jumping out of a fast car, Ragdoll being a little too overpowered and the unnecessary scene with Allegra - are easy to forgive. It’s a shame this season has to be cut short due to the global pandemic, and another reason that I think Eva will continue to the next. Nevertheless, if the final three episodes can produce anything like this, then we’ll be in good stead moving forward.