WARNING: The following contains major spoilers for Season 6 of The Flash.
The sixth season of The Flash has been very different in a lot of ways, including in its villain, Eva McCulloch. While she’s meant to be adapted from one of Flash’s classic villains from the comics, Mirror Master, she doesn’t act like a villain in many ways. Even more importantly, she doesn’t occupy the role of a villain for much of the season.
Villains on The Flash are, at the end of the day, fairly straightforward. In Season 1, it was the Reverse-Flash. He wanted to return to the future. In Season 2, there was Zoom, who wanted to become the only speedster. In Season 3, Savitar wanted to kill Iris. But, all of these villains were united by one thing–they were “the bad guy” for most of, if not all of, the season. The only sort-of exception to this is The Reverse-Flash, who operates in the shadows for the first half of Season 1. But, even then, Eva is notably different. Most of the direct antagonism towards Team Flash this season has come from Eva’s husband, Joseph Carver.
Carver has sent multiple assassins after Team Flash, as part of his role as the leader of “Black Hole,” an organization that steals tech the company he himself stole from Eva, McCulloch Technologies. Because of his role as the main adversary of the season, Eva has operated from a more reserved position. While she acted early on to kidnap and replace Iris with one of her mirror doppelgängers, later doing the same to Kamilla, she confirmed in the most recent episode that Kamilla was alive. This brings us to the element that vindicates Eva the most: her refusal to kill.
Even though Eva has acted against the heroes this season, she’s mainly done so in order to escape the “mirror-dimension” she was trapped in. In doing so, she’s notably refused to kill anyone. When she finally escaped the mirror-dimension in the most recent episode of the show, she had a perfect opportunity to kill Barry, who had stood against her plans at every previous turn. She even exclaimed, “I’m sorry!” after dealing a pretty minor wound to him. She seemed generally distressed the entire time, even visibly displaying her nervous tic of scratching her arm. Eva came off as more desperate than anything.
Every previous villain on the show has been the opposite: intimidating, powerful, and if they weren’t killing Barry, it was for a good reason. For example, Eobard Thawne, Reverse-Flash, wasn’t able to kill him in Season 1 since doing so would alter his own timeline drastically. However, Eva’s reason for not killing Barry appears to be pretty simple: She doesn’t want to. Most people aren’t horrendous villains capable of murder, and Eva is no exception. While we don’t know what her further plans are (they probably involve revenge on her husband), up until now she’s acted with a perfectly reasonable goal: escaping from the prison she had inadvertently trapped herself in.
So, if Eva isn’t the villain of the season, who is? It might be Eobard Thawne, who popped up again earlier in the season. It might be Joseph Carver, who Eva seems opposed to. Regardless of who it is, it’ll be best for the show if it continues to maintain Eva’s more interesting position as an ambiguous threat, rather than a full-on villain. It’s what makes her not just another meta out to get Team Flash, and she’s a more interesting character because of it.
Airing Tuesdays at 8 p.m. ET/PT on The CW, The Flash stars Grant Gustin, Candice Patton, Carlos Valdes, Danielle Panabaker, Tom Cavanagh, Jesse L. Martin, Danielle Nicolet and Hartley Sawyer.
Eva McCulloch is very different from any of the previous villains on the show, even if she is the “Mirror Master,” and that's a good thing.