Title: The Flash: “A Girl Named Sue” Review
Release Date: February 18th, 2020
Network: The CW
Genre: Superhero, Drama, Action
Look, I know I’ve been praising this season of The Flash a lot. Episodes such as “Kiss Kiss Breach Breach” and “Love is a Battlefield” may have been disappointing, but overall, this season has almost clicked on all cylinders. And after the show’s first real dud of the season, The Flash returned with a really solid episode.
With a series getting a new showrunner and subsequently putting forth a great season, it’s easy to put all the praise on that new showrunner. Many talented people are working on The Flash from top to bottom. That all being said, showrunner Eric Wallace has been this show’s biggest and best addition over the past year.
To best explain why I feel this way, it’s all in the details. Do superpowered people need to be stopped for dramatic purposes? Give them a valid obstacle to go through. Do you have 20-23 episodes? Split the storylines up into mini-arcs, so the filler is kept to a minimum. For a long-running fan of the show, which has become accustomed to the natural cookie-cutter format, this is just a breath of fresh air. It’s not perfect, and season 6 can still fall off the rails entirely. But this is something that should be commended.
Okay, let’s get into the episode. The stars this week were without a doubt Hartley Sawyer’s Ralph and Natalie Dreyfuss’ Sue Dearbon. While it started off shaky with some really cheesy moments, their dynamic really grew on me over the course of the episode. That’s mostly due to Dreyfuss and Sawyer’s entertaining performances than anything else. By the end, I was invested in their relationship and devasted to see that Sue was not going to be an ally of Team Flash but the Catwoman-esque love-interest to Elongated Man. I’m not educated in the character’s history in the comics, but I’m willing to bet this was a significant change to the character. However, it was a welcomed one.
It’s also lovely to see our expectations be somewhat averted with how the Sue storyline panned out. One of the few things I do know about the character is that she is Ralph’s wife in the comics, so I expected the show to hit the gas pedal on their relationship. It is The CW, after all. The storyline about some jerk pursuing a rich girl and the underdog hero having to save her has been so played out. It’s basically a trope at this point. Even then, I thought the writers were trying to find a way to get Sue and Ralph together.
Instead, they tricked me, and she’s a badass thief who may or may not have some noble goals. Like most of the storylines going on right now, it’s going to be interesting to see how Sue’s arc ties in with what’s going on with Mirror Master/Black Hole.
Right behind this storyline, we have the next most exciting thing happening on The Flash, Iris, getting trapped in the Mirror Dimension. We got to meet Efrat Dor’s Eva McCulloch as this unhinged person who has been stuck in this dimension for 5+ years. Dor played that role excellently here and you really feel for the character from the get-go. Yeah, she’ll probably break bad and become the main villain of season 6b soon, but sympathetic villains have been a theme for this season so far. It worked wonders for Bloodwork. Surely it can work for Eva.
I do have to wonder if this is all a ploy by Eva to keep Iris trapped in the Mirror Dimension, and it is actually her that is controlling Mirror Iris on Earth-Prime. Still, it’s a continuous storyline that keeps getting better and better with each passing week.
Last but not least, we have Nash, who is continuing to see Earth-2’s Harry Wells wherever he goes. I’m not sure if this is a PTSD thing or if somehow Harry made it out of Earth-2 alive, and this is the beginning of Nash finding him. Either way, I’m definitely interested to see how it all plays out.
You may have noticed an underlying theme that I’ve used in this review. Almost every character has a compelling arc to look forward to each passing week. Iris and Nash have had on-going storylines for weeks. Joe has a more subtle storyline of looking after his daughter. And Ralph even began a new direction. We are missing one character though. He’s one that is a pretty big deal around the series.
I know, I know. It’s a cop-out complaint considering we know Barry’s the focus of next week’s episode, and he’ll get his arc soon enough. It’s just that he’s sort of been pushed to the background a lot since Crisis. Hell, I could probably make the case he was even pushed to the background IN Crisis.
Verdict: After a disappointing episode last week, The Flash managed to bounce back with “A Girl Named Sue” Almost every character has some sort of direction to go in or storyline to keep you engaged, except for Barry Allen. As soon as the series manages to give the Scarlet Speedster something meaningful to do, this season will be right in line with its earlier seasons that garner so much love from fans.
- Hartley Sawyer, Natalie Dreyfuss, and Efrat Dor's performances this week were entertaining for wildly different reasons
- Sue Dearbon and Eva McCulloch had a great introductory episode
- Nearly every character has something worthwhile to do each week
- Iris' storyline in the Mirror Dimension continues. Any other season and this would've been wrapped up already
- Nash's arc remains mysterious
- Every scene that took place in the bank
- The beginning was really cheesy
- It's a cop-out for many reasons but... Barry Allen has been an afterthought over the last three weeks