Ralph Dibny, the detective aka The Elongated Man, has been a DC character since 1960, appearing as a back-up feature in Detective Comics and The Flash, and later as a member of the Justice League. His often goofy TV persona is very different from the straight-laced character in the comics. However, when he says his famous line: “I smell a mystery” his nose twitches on tv, too (or at least it did a few times, until Iris told him how creepy it looked). Actor Hartley Sawyer was born to play Ralph; with his extra wide grin, pointy nose, and generous chin, he is the spittin’ image of comic book Ralph in the flesh.
Ralph’s comic book wife and crime-solving partner Sue has been mentioned on The Flash tv series as a missing person Ralph has been hired to find, but we haven’t met her until this very Ralph-centric episode, when she literally finds him instead. And boy, is she a pistol, as my Grandpa used to say. It’s up to Ralph, with Sue tagging along of course, to save her from death threats and hopefully deliver her home to her parents, and collect some cheddar. The writers, director, and actors have all done a great job creating very convincing scenes that communicate that these two have an instant chemistry and belong together.
Meanwhile, back at the weird mirror at the McCullough Tech office…Iris seems to be trapped behind it (shades of Alice anyone?). And she’s not alone. Eva, a quantum engineer, McCullough’s daughter, has been trapped in this mirror dimension for 6 years, since the night of the S.T.A.R. Labs particle accelerator explosion, which created many metahumans, including The Flash. And what about the Iris that’s been with Barry? Eva claims she’s a “fractal duplicate” created by the mirror.
SPOILER ALERT: The moment Iris got sucked into that huge mirror, I am sure Flash comic book fans all yelled in unison: “MIRROR MASTER”! I think it is no minor detail that both Eva and “fractal Iris” are both wearing one of the costume colors of the classic villain from The Flash’s comic book Rogue’s Gallery. It’s no coincidence that “fractal Iris” is desperate to get her hands on the Mirror Gun Cisco created to defeat a pervious villain.
Will Ralph and Sue live happily ever after? Will Iris escape the Looking Glass? Who will be revealed as the Mirror Master? Find out for yourself on The Flash, airing Tuesdays on The CW. Catch up on recent episodes online at cwtv.com
EXTRA ELONGATED EASTER EGG:
• a “gingold” reference, the substance that gives Ralph his stretchy powers in the comics
The Flash #112 (1960) First Appearance Elongated Man
The Flash #119 (1961) First Appearance Sue Dibny
Detective Comics #436 (1973) Elongated Man/Sue Dibny back-up story
Identity Crisis (2004) Seven-issue Justice League murder mystery revolving around Sue Dibny