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TV REVIEWS: FTN Reviews The Flash Season 6 Episode 17: Liberation

April 29th, 2020 by Todd Black Comments

There’s something that goes into storytelling that can’t just be told, it has to be shown. Especially when it’s a long build. That moment where everything builds up to and you wonder where it’ll go from there after it’s realized. “Liberation” honestly should’ve been that moment, but instead, it got lost in a mess of tropes and confusing characterizations.

If you recall, last week I was mad that Barry didn’t seem to realize that something was VERY wrong with Iris, especially with her kicking him out of the house. And yet, a few minutes into “Liberation”, we find out that this WAS the tipping point I had been hoping for. He realized somehow, someway that Iris…wasn’t Iris. Seeing him go conspiracy theorist in front of Cecil was honestly really fun. Especially as she’s trying to be the very human thinker…despite her being someone who isn’t fully human.

Anyway, the payoff was right there in their grasp with Iris being caught…and then…quite stupidly…they undid it with a very basic and flawed twist of fate. In short, Eva was able to pull a swap in order to make it seem like Barry was the mirror monster and not Iris. And EVERYONE believed her…because why…?

I mean, that would mean that Barry would’ve locked himself up in a room with an item that could “expose” who he was. I mean, Nash of all people should’ve saw this coming, and Cecil thankfully freed Barry afterwards, but not before locking him up in the first place.

Furthermore, it’s really not explained why Mirror Iris was so different from the others. Why would Singh’s mirror, who was a force for justice, not have will of his own? And Camilla wouldn’t want to hurt Cisco by going through with this plan, so why didn’t her mirror show feelings? All we got from Mirror Iris was “I want to be alive”. Why? Why did she want to be alive when she KNEW she wasn’t? Why did Eva’s will fail with her and not the others?

Now, I will grant you that the fight between Mirror Iris and Barry was very well done and choreographed. Especially since it was believable that she could do all that damage with him in his fallen Speed Force state. The mirror above him shattering and allowing for multiple hits in particular was really well done, and definitely a highlight of the season in terms of fight scenes.

But then for her to just stop obeying Eva and for Eva to straight up kill her, then blame Barry, then say “I don’t want to kill you” despite all she’s done? Then go full supervillain and say “and the world to be liberated…” That just felt so weird. And that ending 3-minute scene of Barry and Iris trying to reach out to each other…could’ve easily have been done in 30 seconds. We’ve seen them profess their love for one another “across dimensions, across time” many times before, including in Crisis On Infinite Earths. To drag it out here…was kind of lame.

Just as lame in a short term way was the random and very jarring storyline of Caitlin/Killer Frost succumbing to an “ice coma” despite being fine a few episodes back. And suddenly she needs her mother to save her? Ok…

If there was a solid good thing outside of the fight scene with Mirror Iris it was the return of Ramsey. Him playing the “long game” is intriguing, and I’m glad they’re not done with him yet.

In the end, “Liberation” had a lot of potential, but they dragged out things in one way, didn’t pay enough attention to others, and muddled messages that could’ve been really good.

We got two episodes left this season, let’s hope it picks up at the end.

Todd Black is reader of comics, a watch of TV (a LOT of TV), and a writer of many different mediums. He's written teleplays, fan-fictions, and currently writes a comic book called Guardians ( He dreams of working at Nintendo, writing a SHAZAM! TV series, and working on Guardians for a very long time!