This article contains spoilers for The Flash season 7 episode 1.
The Flash season 7 premiere episode, “All’s Wells That Ends Wells” isn’t quite a traditional season premiere. In nearly every way that matters, it’s an episode held over from the pandemic-shortened season 6, and an episode with this very title was supposed to end after what ended up being that season’s finale before all of this nightmarish real world stuff intervened. But considering how strong that season was, all this means is that it get The Flash season 7 off to a particularly strong start…one that isn’t afraid to make major changes to what we thought we knew about the Mirror Master both past end future.
Not only do we get new and shocking information about Eva McCulloch, one of the best villains in this show’s entire history, but this episode even does a serious bit of retcon work on two previous villains, notably Rosalind Dillon (The Top) and the former Mirror Master, Sam Scudder.
What happened to the first Mirror Master?
Before Eva McCulloch, we had been introduced to another villain who went by the name of Mirror Master. The Flash season 3 episode “New Rogues” introduced Sam Scudder, a criminal who used to run heists with Leonard Snart long before he became Captain Cold. Scudder and his girlfriend Rosa Dillon were hanging out in a warehouse with their ill-gotten gains when the particle accelerator explosion happened and they were caught in the wave. Like so many other folks in Central City at the time, they gained powers.
Rosa was able to give people severe vertigo, and distort their sense of balance, making them feel as if the world was spinning around them, hence her nickname, “The Top.” But Sam vanished at the time of the explosion…and emerged from a mirror three years later. It turned out that Sam was able to create “Einstein-Rosen bridges” with any highly reflective surface, allowing him to travel between them at tremendous speeds. Or, if he chose to hang out in that mirror dimension, time would pass slowly. Dillon and Scudder were stopped by Team Flash (as you might expect), and that was basically that…
…except for one additional adventure later that season, when Barry had to travel to the year 2024 and found a Central City where Top and Mirror Master were the top of the Central City crime food chain. That future never came to pass, though, thanks to the events of the season three finale. (See? The Flash has been messing with timelines since long before Crisis on Infinite Earths started changing stuff!)
Anyway, Scudder was assumed to be in his Iron Heights cell with no reflective surfaces until tonight’s episode, where he makes the briefest of appearances before being shattered by Eva. Eva coming back to kill a lesser Mirror Master who only made a couple of appearances would be cold enough on its own, until the first of the shocking revelations: Sam Scudder wasn’t real, he was merely a mirror duplicate created by Eva. The first, according to her.
Wait…what? No, it makes sense when you think about it. The actual Sam Scudder, the crook who used to be in Snart’s gang was definitely real. The most likely scenario here is that he was killed by the dark matter wave from the particle accelerator explosion, either when he was hurled into the mirror or shortly after. The “Sam” who emerged from the mirror three years later with mirror powers was the duplicate, and it turns out it was Eva pulling the strings. Not only that, she’s been in on it for quite some time.
Of course, that wasn’t the only big revelation about Sam, who mirror duplicate or no mirror duplicate was never the criminal mastermind he appeared to be. Rosa was pulling his OTHER strings as it turned out. That’s a scenario to unpack another day if we’re going to see more of Rosa this season. In any case, the guy who we previously knew as the Mirror Master was anything but, and there’s no doubt now that Eva is the one true Mirror Master.
Wait…is Eva a Mirror Duplicate as well?
Eva, as well as the audience, had been operating under the assumption that she had been grievously wronged by her husband, and that she had been flung into the mirror dimension and abandoned while he reaped the benefits of their company. As it turns out, the truth might be something else entirely.
Now that Eva is back in our world, we see her watching the security footage of what happened the night the particle accelerator exploded. However, things unfold a little differently than she thought. Eva was flung across the room with tremendous force as the dark matter wave hit, and apparently died after striking a mirrored wall. Her husband, far from reveling in her demise, was as horrified as one might expect at the sight of her apparently lifeless body.
But if Eva died that night, that means that the Mirror Master (Mirror Mistress? Is that official?) we all know and love is a mirror duplicate. But it’s an additional and disturbing layer to perhaps the most layered big bad we’ve ever had on this show. One of the things that has made Eva such a fascinating character is how relatively sympathetic she has been.
But if that understandable motivation is gone, as well as her entire humanity, what does that mean for her going forward? Keep in mind, this is essentially a season six episode, and Eva’s story probably wasn’t initially intended to continue very long into season 7. Is this the start of a potential redemption, or will she (for lack of a better word) completely shatter under the knowledge that her very existence is a lie?
We’ll find out in the coming weeks!
There was another Mirror Master
One other thing to consider, technically, Eva isn’t the second, but the third Mirror Master that we know of. Back in the episode that introduced Sam Scudder, Harry Wells spoke of an Earth-2 Mirror Master named Evan McCulloch who used a “mirror gun.” That Mirror Master shares a name with the second comic book version of the character and a power set with the first. He has presumably been wiped from existence and memory along with Harry Wells and his entire version of Earth-2 (which isn’t to be confused with the Earth-2 of Stargirl).
Flash Facts! Mirror Master Edition…
The episode pays tribute to Mirror Master history in two subtle ways.
- When Eva shows up to murder Sam’s fake ass, they’re at the old Broome warehouse where we first met Sam and Rosa. John Broome was the genius Flash writer who co-created so many of Barry’s iconic villains, including the Evan McCulloch version of Mirror Master.
- Where’s that warehouse? 119th street. The second appearance of the Mirror Master (Sam Scudder…whew, this is getting confusing) came in 1961’s The Flash #119 by John Broome and Carmine Infantino. Since Eva is our second screen Mirror Master, the second appearance thing is appropriate. Plus, it’s our second visit to the Broome warehouse, and I’m sure there’s something in here about reflections or something if we think hard enough about it. Maybe we shouldn’t.
We’ll have more on The Flash Season 7 in coming weeks!