Flash: Mother

This team spends a lot of time in the medbay

The Arrowverse is a very strange place, when you consider what not only the various heroes, but the average citizen, has to go through over the course of time. Flash is in the seventh year of his career now, and he and his team have seen a lot. That sort of experience comes into play a few times during the episode. This was originally supposed to be the finale of last season, but is part of the episode scramble that COVID caused. “Mother” does feel a lot more like a finale than a third episode, and I’m curious to see how they follow up on some of the things raised here.

Picking up within moments of the end of the last episode, Cisco, Allegra, and Frost recover from their fight with Flash, who was under the influence of the Artificial Speed Force. They close in on Flash, who is kneeling by Iris’s side. Iris was pulled from the Mirrorverse against her will, and it didn’t go well for her. Barry apologizes profusely and tearfully for his actions, and Cisco, while not happy, accepts it and moves on. I appreciated the lack of “You betrayed us!” drama. Cisco talks about fixing the ASF, but Barry, spooked by his recent experiences, says it won’t work.

They get Iris moved to the medbay, and we get the always a bit jarring sight of Caitlin in Frost’s costume. It just looks wrong. While the team tries to figure out what to do next, Joe gets a few strange visits at CCPD. First off, the Dearbons come in to try and help him set a trap for their daughter, which Joe finds odd at best. Then, one of his officers pulls him away for a moment, and proves to be Sue in disguise with a Mission: Impossible type mask. She makes an outlandish claim, which Joe goes with based on other calls they’re getting. Again, a world of superheroes is a strange place to live. At STAR, the team strategizes about how to at least slow down Eva’s mirror invasion.

Down in the medbay, Allegra pleads with Iris to recover, telling her how much she’s needed. The others coordinate efforts with the mayor, and then notice Barry has disappeared. He has, to no surprise, been pulled into the Mirrorverse, where Eva wants to have a chat. For a supervillain, she’s fairly calm as she lays out her arguments for why Team Flash should work with her, and what she believes she can do for the world. Barry returns to his team, delivers some unpleasant news, and goes to the lounge to try and gather himself. Instead, he gets interrupted by the appearance of the newest, and yet oldest, Wells.

While the team gets to know the new arrival, Joe and Cecile have a bad day at work. People are disappearing, there are a lot of ominous background effects, and Cecile’s powers are reading a lot of trouble. Team Flash’s babbling about the Harrison Wells’ arrival gets put on hold when Sue staggers in, looking the worse for wear, and a much more seriously hurt Ralph with her. This is, of course, the excuse for why Elongated Man is leaving the show, after Hartley Sawyer was fired during the hiatus for some of his past social media postings. Barry visits Iris for another one of those tearful, “You have to get better” scenes, but when he touches her hand, he gets a few surprises, leading him to pull in the rest of the team for a new idea.

Eva watches the chaos she’s causing and seems pleased by it while Joe does his heroic best to keep Cecile safe. With both of them fighting disaster at night, I’m sort of wondering who is looking after their baby, but childcare, along with “How do these people make a living?” is something most hero shows are bad at dealing with. Following the fuzzy logic of comic book science, the team sets up a new way to restore Barry’s power and the Speed Force in general. Iris recovers enough to help, and she and Barry trigger another series of flashbacks from various points in their history. They even drag in Barry being the Paragon of Love from Crisis.

Eva’s premature celebration gets interrupted when the re-powered Flash shows up and starts saving civilians. She’s not happy. While he takes care of things, Wells and Chunk explain to Allegra (and the audience) why Flash doesn’t just rush her. Joe gets a visit from another mirror duplicate, and is faced with a very difficult decision. Eva changes her name again, and declares herself Mirror Monarch, and Flash gets backup in the form of Frost and Cisco, who I think the writers are having second thoughts about having depowered. I know I never liked that idea and found it wildly out of character. Eva isn’t happy about the reinforcements, and does her own version, leading to a huge fight scene with some cool effects. Iris arrives, courtesy of Nash’s teleport gizmo, and tries to plead with Eva to call off the attack. Eva isn’t about to listen, and then gets a surprise when she attacks Iris.

Barry and Iris keep trying to reason with Mirror Monarch (cool name upgrade, I’ll give them that), and finally break through. Eva has a “What have I done?” moment and then realizes a few things are out of her control. With some help, she manages to boost her abilities and finally call off the army, even returning the various prisoners. This saves Joe from a nasty fate, and brings back Singh and Kamilla, finally. There are many happy reunions and Eva decides to leave town and start over. They do have an interesting idea of justice on this show, between the Pipeline, an illegal prison, and random pardons given out on a whim.

We get the usual array of wrap up scenes to end the show, and what was supposed to be the season. The STAR crew scans the city, and finds no trace of Eva, who apparently kept her word. They speculate about a talent that Iris briefly showed, and presume it was temporary. Then again, that’s what they said when Cecile first started developing powers, so we’ll see. Wells is giving himself a happily ever after of a kind, leading to some emotional and awkward goodbyes, and once again leaving the team Wells-less. I doubt it’ll last, but I’m mildly curious to see what happens next in the Wonderous World of Wells. Sue and Ralph depart for their own adventures, likely the final appearance of those characters. I will say that Sue could come back and, since Ralph has the ability to shapeshift on this show, they could very easily recast him, but we’ll see what the future holds. The show ends with a jump back to 18 hours ago when the Speed Force was rekindled, and no doubt a set up for at least some of “next” season.

What I liked: The maturity and/or experience of having experienced so much was played nicely a few times here. I’m glad Barry has his powers back. After all, this is The Flash, not Barry Allen and his Superfriends. The end of Eva’s threat was different, and I’m glad they didn’t kill her. I’m hoping the shows in general will get away from the deaths of the villains. The departure of Ralph and Sue made some degree of sense, necessitated as it was by real world events. It was nice to end without any major cliffhangers for a change, although that may be COVID related too. I am curious about that final scene.

What I didn’t: The drama of the revolving Wells is getting a bit old. I don’t believe for a moment some version of him won’t be back. Ralph kind of grew on me, and I’ll miss the character, while I understand the decision to dismiss the actor.

It was a good, but not great, episode. Even allowing for the COVID episode shuffle, it felt like they could have done better. I’ll give this a 3 out of 5.