The Flash: 4.19 Fury Rogue
Perhaps it’s because I went to see Avengers Infinity War last night (which is incredible by the way), or that last week's episode was so emotionally draining, but I found Fury Rogue to be extremely dull. Picking up in the wake of Ralph’s death, this episode focuses heavily on dealing with grief, predominantly with Barry, as once again he deals with letting people down (perhaps he should stop making so many promises he knows he can’t keep). Although the idea of portraying the emotional strain a death can take on anybody, superhero or otherwise, is highly intriguing, the execution lacked depth. Maybe if more plots were developed it would’ve been engaging.
With so much going on, it’s hard to keep up. Aside from Barry’s grief denial, we have the Thinker trying to catch Fallout, a walking nuclear explosion and non-bus-Meta. Why? Who knows, perhaps it has something to do with the ‘enlightenment’ he referred to that’s never explained. After Harry exposed his thinking cap to dangerous levels of dark matter last episode, we learn he has basically induced Alzheimer’s, slowly losing his memory and intelligence, making him depressed. Cisco now wants his own thinking cap, Caitlin continues to deal with the loss of Killer Frost and Iris and Barry are in therapy. To top it all, Earth-X is back, reintroducing Leonard Snart and Laurel Lance’s evil doppelganger (which is confusing as there’s already one in Arrow’s Star City).
Regarding the Cisco and Harry situation, Harry’s issue with his inevitable loss of memory is a tough one. I struggle to have sympathy for something that’s so heavily self-inflicted; it’s as if the characters don’t learn from past mistakes. Cisco warned Harry not to use dark matter and Gideon warned him not to use such high levels. It was all stupid last episode and the repercussions don’t resonate with me emotionally. Cisco all of a sudden wanting a thinking cap, after being an advocate against it, felt unwarranted - why now suddenly; surely it would’ve helped a long time ago? Harry sabotaging it was also silly; if you fail at anything, the best thing you can do is provide insight so that the next person doesn’t make the same mistakes.
The Thinker constantly being two steps ahead of team Flash is beginning to get infuriating. I understand that’s the whole purpose of the villain, but considering the intelligence within the team, the decisions they make are downright idiotic, once again harping back to my point about characters not learning or growing from past endeavours. Team Flash moving Fallout to an ARGUS facility is illogical. Not only does moving him present a needless threat to the entire population, but at no stage do they discuss why they believe ARGUS can protect him anymore than they can.
The inclusion of Leonard Snart’s campy personality always brings a joy to any episode, so bringing him back from Earth-X was welcome. He makes the “get in touch with your feelings” arc a little more enjoyable, and I adored the tough love approach. Laurel Lance’s evil doppelganger following him back however, was absurd. I understand the Thinker not considering emotions, but please, any Meta villain could have been used, you didn’t have to shoehorn in Katie Cassidy.
Speaking of the Thinker not taking into consideration emotions, that’s another characteristic I fail to be sold on. The idea that everything went as he foresaw, including Laurel’s arrival, is faltered by Barry freezing up in the heat of the moment due to his emotional pain. This was a tad far-fetched. We (the audience) are supposed to believe that the great almighty Thinker didn’t take the very thing into account that he has been trying to destroy. Past episodes have proved that he can understand emotion, given that he drugged Marlize because she was becoming frightened and falling out of love with him. On a positive note (yes there are some), their relationship developments continue to impress; I would just like to see more of it.
Granted, there’s are an awful lot of negatives in this review, but there were elements I liked. I guess the flow and placement brings the negative aspects to the fore. Everyone’s emotional state is believable and touching, especially Caitlin’s loss of Killer Frost. The dealing of grief is something you don’t see too often, especially with superheroes, so it was refreshing to see. My biggest gripe is with the Thinker; we only have four episodes remaining and we know nothing of his master plan, motivation or end goal. There are still plenty of stories to tell, I only hope that The Flash is done with filler episodes and concentrates on the bigger picture from now on.