It’s actually surprising how well this latest Barry/Iris conflict is working considering how often the series has hinged on one trying to prevent the other’s seemingly inevitable death. It helps that this latest instance is less about the question of whether Iris will die than how warped shell be by her time in the mirror dimension. As if to emphasize that point , this episode ends with a neat stinger scene where iris seemingly becomes the next Mirror Master herself. That’s actually one of the better season-ending cliffhangers the series has given us, even if it wasn’t intended as such.
This episode is also great about maintaining a steady level of tension throughout. It really plays into the fear of knowing Mirror Master could literally be lurking around every corner. The deck is all the more stacked against Barry now that his Speed Force tank is running against empty. That combination of a powerful villain and under-powered hero is paying off, though I do hope we’ll get at least one battle between Eva and a fully-charged Flash before this particular storyline wraps.
As scary as she can be, Eva is hardly unsympathetic in this episode. If anything, it really hammers home what a sleazy jerk Carver is and how tragic it is that Barry has to sacrifice so much to defend such a loser. Not that it makes Barry’s failure in the climax any less depressing. There’s actually a novelty in seeing a season end on such a down note. While most previous seasons have ended on a down note, emotionally, at least that comes after Barry has defeated the big baddie. Not so this year.With so many characters in play this week, it’s nice to see plenty of room made for more banter between Ralph and Sue. If hardly the most important character introduced in Season 6, Sue is nonetheless my favorite. This episode is yet another showcase for the strong chemistry between Hartley Sawyer and Natalie Dreyfuss. And with Sue’s story taking a dark turn of its own, the stage is set for a lot more of that dynamic in Season 7.
“Success Is Assured” does sag a bit towards the end, with the big hero vs. villain showdown at McCulloch Technologies not doing much to impress. The harsh lighting and the pointlessly flashy camera work do nothing to spice up what’s ultimately a pretty bland shootout/metahuman rumble. But ultimately, that battle is mostly window dressing alongside the much more crucial and dramatically interesting confrontation between Eva and Barry. It’s a shame this season has to end early, but there’s no reason this series can’t make use of this hero/villain rivalry for a long time to come.
There’s no ideal way to handle the situation The Flash finds itself in right now, with the COVID-19 pandemic forcing a premature end to Season 6. Thankfully, “Success Is Assured” winds up serving as a surprisingly enjoyable and cohesive cap to the season. It hardly ties up all the show’s many loose ends, but it does leave the ongoing conflict between Team Flash and Eva McCulloch in a strong place, especially with that final cliffhanger casting a shadow over Season 7. It’s hard to say how the series will move forward from here, but at least this finale is able to prevent a satisfying season from ending on a bad note.