The Flash introduces two new characters and provides some explosive storytelling.
Now that’s more like it! After last week’s throwaway episode that created more confusion than it did entertainment, A Girl Named Sue was a refreshing change of pace. It not only delved more into the mystery surrounding the mirror that trapped Iris, but after what seems like a lifetime, Ralph was brought back along with a conclusion to the long running story arc of the disappearance of Sue Dearbon, which was paid off in superb fashion.
The Flash doesn’t have the best track record when it comes to introducing new characters, so to see two newbies in one episode sent alarm bells ringing. Thankfully, due to superb writing, and more importantly, excellent performances, both were spectacular additions that will with any luck be around for the long term. It would be expected that because the characters were so well integrated, the story surrounding them would in turn be compromised but again, this wasn’t the case and their arcs were mysterious and exciting in their own right.
Natalie Dreyfuss’ portrayal of Sue was wonderful to watch; she oozed charisma, was immediately compelling and had electric chemistry with Ralph from the get go. In the past, The Flash has not always done right by its female cast members, mainly not allowing their strength and personality to shine through, but the opposite happened with Sue. While it’s abundantly clear there’s romantic tension between her and Ralph, it’s never the focal point, it doesn’t define her character. Also it’s an addition that allows the audience to maintain anticipation while watching her kick ass, show her own comedic talents while elevating Ralph’s character simultaneously.
Ralph and Sue’s story arc itself was admittedly a tad cliché. It’s a buddy cop heist rom-com, but while simple, their adventure creates some edge-of-your-seat excitement with superb witty dialogue and explosive developments. Speaking of, it was nice to see this not be just a throwaway piece that stands alone from the main arc, creating more time-wasting for future episodes. The subtle way in which the diamond Sue stole leads back to McCulloch Technologies (this season’s supposed evil organisation) was a nice touch. Depicting everyone’s mutual motivations will hopefully keep the overall story on track with fewer distractions.
Elsewhere, we finally got some concrete story surrounding the mirror that Iris was pulled into and replaced by a possibly evil duplicate. This story, while interesting on its own, also introduces a new character to the mix. Eva McCulloch, presumed dead wife of McCulloch technologies CEO Joseph Carver, who has been trapped inside the mirror dimension for six years, ever since the particle accelerator exploded, and has been attempting to escape ever since. Bringing her situation origins back to the roots of the show was a nice nod to its infancy and as subtle as it was, I liked it.
Not only was the mirror dimension story interesting, if a bit over shadowed by the far more engaging Sue and Ralph arc, the performances given by Efrat Dor as Eva was fantastic. She portrayed that of a person whose gone mad being alone all that time very convincingly, while also managing to create tension between herself and Iris. Being apart from the world it’s equally as believable that she’d have no clue about potential powers so her shock when discovering them was just as exciting. The endless possibilities for this character mixed with an immediate likeability towards her continue to spark excitement for what’s to come.
With two very strong storylines to contend with, it’s unsurprising that others would fall by the wayside. Mainly those involving mirror dimension Iris, which had little time to shine, although the whole idea is still intriguing. Here’s hoping that, as the season continues we get a better understanding of how the mirror clones work, where they come from and most importantly whether they represent the emotions and feelings of their real selves.
A Girl Named Sue was a fantastic and welcome addition to season six; it furthered the story along nicely and introduced two well executed, entertaining female characters. While it was by no means perfect – the fight scene was laughable and the forced, unnecessary story around Nash Wells is proving dull and pointless – it was thoroughly enjoyable and provided some much needed, much appreciated bright hope for the future of this season.
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