THE FLASH REVIEW “LIBERATION”
BY JUSTIN CARTER
There’s a lot of fun to be had in plots in which someone has to outthink an opponent, and “Liberation,” the latest episode of The Flash is one such example. This is a really good, lean episode that has plenty to like and doesn’t try to do too much, instead focusing on one core plot and letting the characters take control.
Last week’s episode saw Mirror Iris kick Barry out, and that was all he needed to finally admit to himself that something is up with his wife. After assembling a conspiracy board and insisting that no really, Iris making good pancakes is a sign that she’s been body swapped to Cecile, Barry confronts the double with her and Nash on hand in case things get dicey. It’s a solid plan that actually almost works, and it thankfully doesn’t take much in the way of getting Cecile onboard; she thinks it’s his way of dealing with his crumbling marriage, but a look at Iris in a photo is enough to convince her. Turns out it isn’t needed, though, because Eva’s already told Mirror Iris that she’s been made and swaps out the prism device to implicate Barry as the Mirror version instead.
Mirror Iris, meanwhile, gets instructions from Eva to go with Mirror Singh and Kamilla to head ARGUS and confront Bloodwork so his super blood can help Eva escape the Mirror World. The Mirror Siblings, as they can now be dubbed since they consider Eva a mother, head to the prison and Mirror Kamilla kills herself to release the blood villain. Instead of walking out, though, he decides to stay in his cell, giving Iris and Singh some of his blood because he sees that Iris just wants to live. That, and he’s having fun in his cell while he plays ‘the long game,’ meaning he’ll probably end up being the final boss come the finale.
Whatever else can be said about the post-Crisis era of this season, it can’t be denied how good Candice Patton is at pulling double duty as Iris and her reflection. She finally gets to have some fun with the evil role as she turns her arms into liquid swords and fights Barry in their apartment, pulling off neat tricks like teleporting her sword arms between various mirrors set around the room and then using shards of glass falling on him to deliver even more pain. And when she finally gains a conscience just in time for Eva to literally shatter her to pieces, it’s an affecting death because of glimpses we’ve been seeing for weeks have shown she’s not like the other Siblings.
Despite Mirror Iris’ last minute heel turn and the actual Iris managing to cause her to have a nervous breakdown, Eva does escape the Mirror World at the episode’s end, no doubt to wage her one-woman war against Joseph Carver. Iris is still trapped on the other side, but now has to go about rescuing Kamilla and Singh, whom Eva is using as leverage against Team Flash to keep them out of her way. At the episode’s end, Iris and Barry vow to save the day and return to one another — through other sides of the same mirror, of course. It’s goofy, but the kind of emotional release needed after everything that just went down.
Like I said, the death of Mirror Iris was pretty affecting, thanks in part to the fact that you can see Eva in the background actively making the motion to kill her.
In the B-plot, Cisco and Ralph go about checking on a still recuperating Caitlin, who spends most of her time under a blanket because Danielle Panabaker was pregnant during filming. What this means is that she’ll have to find her mom, who you may recall last season learned she had ice powers of her own.
I think the post-credits tag this week has been the longest the show has ever done, potentially?
Regarding Bloodwork and his “long game,” it looks like there’s still enough of his blood that could make a mirror a safe passageway, but I also got the implication that some of his blood got on Singh? I could be wrong. (That they bring him back a week after Venom 2 revealed its subtitle that features the sort of blood-themed Carnage was funny.)