REVIEW: ‘The Flash,’ Season Six, Episode 17 – “Liberation”

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Liberation: Cecile and Barry talk about Mirror Iris

The Flash, the CW’s series about the Scarlet Speedster, continues its sixth season with “Liberation”.  After Joe West (Jesse L. Martin) was put into witness protection last week, Barry Allen (Grant Gustin) finds himself questioning whether his wife is really the true Iris (Candice Patton).  Meanwhile, Ralph (Hartley Sawyer) and Cisco (Carlos Valdes) try to help Caitlin (Danielle Panabaker) with her meta-related ailment. 

After being kicked out of his house by Mirror-Iris last week, we finally see Barry’s detective brain spring into action as he starts to realize that Iris has been replaced by some mysterious force. It was nice to see that all these clues over the past few weeks haven’t gone unnoticed by Barry, but have merely been swept away as something that could be possible. It’s not until he was kicked out that he was able to put all these elements together and realize that his wife is in danger. It’s an earnest explanation that explains why he wouldn’t just jump to conclusions just because Iris can cook a pancake now.

Meanwhile, Iris finally discovers the true nature of Eva (Efrat Dor) and the mirror verse, leading into a really intense and cleverly edited sequence that puts all of Eva’s plans into view for Iris. The former attacks Iris and instructs her mirror duplicates to free Bloodwork (Sendhil Ramamurthy) from custody in ARGUS. Having Bloodwork return in this latter half of the season was a pleasant surprise as it connects both these strands of the season together and, much like the source material, sets up potential further villainous deeds for this villain. It’s a brilliant reintroduction and any use of Sendhil in this show is welcome.

Caitlin, Cisco, and Ralph aren’t used as much in this episode, but the rapport between those three actors always makes the subplots enjoyable to watch and adds comedic flair to the proceedings. We find out that Caitlin has been struggling with her healing process after her previous run-ins with light-based metas, and may need her mother to help solve this predicament. We also see Cisco and Ralph at the beginning of the episode failing to create a workable artificial speed force. With the season having a shorter run due to the Covid-19 shutdown, perhaps the major cliffhanger for this season will be Barry fixing this issue and regaining his speed?

Liberation: Iris and Eva finally come to blows.

Of course, the best part of “Liberation” has to be the showdown between Barry and Mirror-Iris. Despite this being her sixth season on the show, Candice Patton is absolutely the standout this year, being able to deliver a threatening, yet nuanced performance as Mirror Iris and also the loving, strong, and fiery spirit that is Iris-West Allen. In this episode alone, we see more sides to Mirror Iris as she struggles with her own existence and not being able to truly feel alive. AND Candice delivers a strong speech against the main villain Eva, which is a delight to watch.

Kudos must also go to the editors and VFX department who created one of the best fight sequences ever seen on the Flash, utilizing the strange dimensional use of mirrors to attack The Flash at any point, using Mirror Iris’ T-1000 like arms. Watching it was like seeing a comic-book come to life and with these shows? That’s the ultimate compliment.

Overall, “Liberation” is a top-tier Flash episode which demonstrates how much of a threat this Mirror Master is. With fantastic fight sequences and a standout performance from Candice Patton, this could be the best episode of the season.

The Flash will be back with a brand new episode on Tuesday, May 5th on the CW Network.

The Flash,’ Season Six, Episode 17 – “Liberation”
  • 9/10
    Rating - 9/10
9/10

TL;DR

Overall, “Liberation” is a top-tier Flash episode which demonstrates how much of a threat this Mirror Master is. With fantastic fight sequences and a standout performance from Candice Patton, this could be the best episode of the season.