‘The Flash’ Season 6 Episode 17 Recap: “Liberation”

The Flash Season 6 Episode 17
Tom Cavanagh as Nash Wells, Grant Gustin as Barry Allen and Danielle Nicolet as Cecile Horton in ‘The Flash’ season 6 episode 17 (Photo: Dean Buscher © 2020 The CW Network, LLC)

The CW’s The Flash season six episode 17 revealed how Eva (Efrat Dor) planned to get free of her mirror prison and featured the return of an enemy of Team Flash.

Episode 17, “Liberation,” begins with Barry (Grant Gustin), Cisco (Carlos Valdes), and Ralph (Hartley Sawyer) at S.T.A.R. Labs testing the artificial Speed Force generator they built. It starts to work but then quickly fizzles out and Team Flash is back to square one.

Right after the test, Cecile (Danielle Nicolet) shows up and encourages Barry to visit Iris (Candice Patton) at work. Barry says he’s too busy trying to build the new Speed Force and asks her to tell Iris he misses her.

At the Citizen offices, Mirror Iris, Mirror Kamilla (Victoria Park), and Mirror Captain Singh (Patrick Sabongui) talk to Eva through mirrors. Eva tells them that after they follow the rest of her plan, she will be free of her mirror dimension prison. Cecile comes in minutes later and talks to Mirror Iris about Barry, but Mirror Iris insists that she’s still too angry at Barry to forgive him. Kamilla suggests Iris needs space to focus on what is important.

Cecile returns home to find Barry’s set up a crime board work area. He explains that he’s convinced Iris is missing and that the woman who he had the fight with is an imposter. He points out to Cecile recent facts about Iris knowing how to speak Italian and how she’s suddenly being able to make great pancakes when they all know she can’t cook. He also points out that Iris would never throw him out and would fight for their marriage.

Cecile thinks maybe Barry is just scared because Iris threw him out. But he says again with conviction, “That’s not Iris!”

Meanwhile, Cisco and Ralph head over to Caitlin’s apartment to pay her a visit and see how she’s feeling. (She’s apparently still recovering from her wounds from Sunshine two episodes ago). When they try to open her door, Ralph notices the handle is frozen. Worried about her they kick it in and find Caitlin (Danielle Panabaker) lying on her couch covered by a big blanket and looking ghostly pale. A white cold mist surrounds her. When they call to her she’s able to open her eyes slightly. She whispers meekly, “Help me.”

In the Mirror dimension, Iris gets ready to try to smash the mirror Eva has been using to see the world. Iris hopes by analyzing it they might find a way out. Eva catches her and yells at her to leave it alone, but Iris insists on trying to smash it. Eva storms off saying she’s going to focus on something that might actually help them escape.Iris takes a closer look at the mirror and finds a silver button. She pushes it and the giant wall mirror slides to one side.

Barry and Cecile check on Mirror Iris’ computer and find the photo of her that Kamilla took. Barry and Iris see that Mirror Iris looks like some silver entity.

At Barry’s apartment, Mirror Iris, Mirror Kamilla, and Mirror Singh place multiple tall mirrors around the place. Mirror Iris gets a text from Barry and goes to S.T.A.R. Labs.

Nash (Tom Cavanagh), Cecile, and Barry are waiting for her at S.T.A.R. Labs and show her the photo they found. Barry demands she tell him who she is and where the real Iris is being held, but she says the photo is just corrupted and that he’s being ridiculous. Barry uses a device that shoots a prismatic ray on Iris which should show her as the mirror dimension entity she is – but it doesn’t. Instead, when Iris grabs it from Barry and points the ray on him, he starts to sparkle. (It’s revealed in a flashback that Eva swapped out the device earlier using mirrors).

Nash reacts by pointing his weapon at Barry, thinking he’s an imposter. Fortunately, Cecile intervenes and uses the meta power-dampening cuffs on Barry. They lock him up in the pipeline.

Back in the mirror dimension, Iris finds a secret room and discovers mirror recordings of everything that’s happened since her kidnapping including Eva’s fight with Carver and Carver shattering the mirror. However, seeing the recordings causes Iris physical pain and she collapses. She sees Eva standing over her just as she passes out.

At Caitlin’s apartment, Cisco has deduced that Caitlin’s cold powers have put her in a cold coma to protect her. In order to help her, they need to wake her up. To do this Ralph uses his meta powers to be the jumper cables, touching Caitlin and the powered battery Cisco hooked up to jump-start Caitlin awake. It sends Ralph flying across the room but it does work and Caitlin wakes.

Ralph asks what happened and Caitlin explains that her wound was getting worse. She tried to heal it using her cold powers but the wound ruptured. She guesses her immune system put her in the cold coma to protect her. Caitlin admits she needs help and that they need to call her mother.

At ARGUS, Mirror Singh gets himself, Mirror Iris and Mirror Kamilla in to see Bloodwork (Sendhil Ramamurthy) who’s in a special cell that’s able to hold him. They offer to free him for a few drops of his blood and he agrees.

Mirror Kamilla sacrifices herself and walks into the cell’s power door which shocks and upsets Mirror Iris. Bloodwork steps out of the cell and attacks Singh, knocking him out. He grabs Mirror Iris and demands she tell him what she really wants or he’ll kill her. She confesses she wants to live, meaning have a life of her own not just be a tool for Eva to control.

Bloodwork leaves a line of his blood on her arm for her to use and goes back into his cell. Iris asks him about wanting to be free and he says, “There are walls beyond these walls. I was never going to just walk out of here but there’s more than one way for me to be free. Let’s just call this…the long game.”

At S.T.A.R. Labs, Cecile frees Barry from the pipeline. She knows it’s him and wants him to go save Iris.

The Flash Season 6 Episode 17
Candice Patton as Iris West – Allen in ‘The Flash’ season 6 episode 17 (Photo: Dean Buscher © 2020 The CW Network, LLC)

At Barry’s apartment, Mirror Iris gets ready to use the blood from Bloodwork on the tall mirror while at the same time Eva will use her device on the other side to break it and free her. Just as she’s going to open the vile holding the blood, Barry speeds in. Mirror Iris turns her arms into mirror blades and begins to attack Barry. Barry holds back fighting her because she looks just like Iris and because his super-speed is barely usable.

Mirror Iris uses the mirrors she and her comrades placed in the apartment earlier to cut and stab Barry over and over again. “You should mind your surroundings,” says Mirror Iris as she brings down a mirror from the ceiling, cutting Barry even more.

Meanwhile, in the mirror dimension Eva has positioned a tied-up Iris in front of the mirror to watch the fight. As Mirror Iris taunts Barry about him not noticing that she wasn’t really his wife, Iris realizes that Mirror Iris and Eva are connected and that Eva controls her. Iris starts to taunt Eva about how she knows Eva still loves her husband and how he’s going to trap her again. Eva becomes upset and Mirror Iris can’t focus.

Barry looks at the main tall mirror and realizes Iris is helping him. He tells Mirror Iris that she isn’t bad and he knows she can be more. “You have to want it,” says the wounded speedster. Mirror Iris admits she wants to live and says, “I choose me.”

Eva sees this and uses her meta connection to kill Mirror Iris. Barry holds a glowing Mirror Iris in his arms and she says to him, “I feel alive,” just before she shatters into a hundred pieces of glass.

Eva uses her machine and Bloodwork’s blood gets on the tall mirror. The mirror shatters and Eva steps out. Barry tries to stop her but she wounds him with a shard of glass. He falls back, asking if she’s going to kill him – a question that seems to upset Eva. She tells him it’s not necessary and if he stays out of her way, she’ll stay out of his. Eva then uses the different mirrors set up to exit.

Eva is the new Mirror Master!

In the final scene of the episode, Barry sits up and gets close to the tall mirror that wasn’t broken in his apartment. He talks to Iris, thinking she might be able to hear him, and says he misses her. In the mirror dimension, Iris has freed herself of her ropes and talks to Barry, hoping he can hear her saying she still has hope because she knows he’s out there fighting to bring her back home.

The Flash Season 6 Episode 17 Review:

Suspenseful and revealing, season 6 episode 17 titled “Liberation” sees the defeat of Mirror Iris, the cameo of the season’s first main villain (Bloodwork), and Eva’s freedom. It also explains why Caitlin was MIA in the last episode.

The stand-out performance is delivered by Candice Patton whose portrayal of Mirror Iris, which at first was a bit stiff and wooden, finally grew into a conflicted entity who wanted to have its own life and be free of Eva’s control. Patton shows the inner conflict of Mirror Iris several times during the episode and displays the character’s horror as she sees Mirror Kamilla willingly sacrifice herself for Eva while freeing Bloodwork.

With Eva free, a still injured Caitlin off to see her mother to get help, and Barry running low on his powers, it should be interesting to see how Team Flash will be able to stop Eva from whatever she has in store for Central City.

GRADE: B