Barry copes with emotional trauma. Team Flash mourns the loss of a team member, a friend, and a hero. The Thinker is out to get one more bus meta, one detained for his radioactive tendencies. Team Flash’s fight with the Thinker is far from over!
REVIEW: The Flash S4 EP19 ‘Fury Rogue’
Written by: Jeff Hersh and Josh Gilbert
Directed by: Rachel Talalay
What You Need To Know:
Last week, Team flash took a fall. Barry had sought out to make sure DeVoe was taken down and out. But, plans went unaccordingly, and everything unraveled exactly as DeVoe wanted. Every bus meta was his, and last but not least…he got to Ralph. Ralph died by the Thinker’s hand, and now DeVoe has almost unstoppable power. The Team just lost a true hero, a great man…and DeVoe and his wife gained one of the last pieces of their plan. What are they planning? The show continues to allude, for now!
What You’ll Find Out:
This episode dives right into the typical; though enjoyable typicality. Team Flash is in mourning. We start with a scene of Barry and Iris at a counselor; the same counselor Joe and Cecile went to a few episodes back. Just to be clear…marriage counselors and psychiatrists/grief counselors aren’t the same things. This moment, though showing Iris’s urge to get Barry to talk about the death of Ralph. isn’t exactly realistic. I mean, most things in a superhero tv show aren’t going to be realistic, but when they try to go that direction, it’d make sense to have set something up with another person, not the same lady. But look at me ranting on about this lady who is listening to the troubles of the Alans. Iris is pretty open about her feelings. She and Ralph had just hit it off only what, two episodes ago? She sounds genuine when expressing her feelings about his death, and how she really saw him as the hero he was.
Then there’s Barry. Now, I couldn’t stand Grant Gust’s acting at this moment. He acted his part, which is exactly as he said; he didn’t care. But it was more like a hormonal teenager who slouched around when he’s having a bad day. (Which is basically every day for a teenager). He wasn’t believable and really didn’t feel genuine even about his supposed uncaring nature of the situation. He claims he is used to death…but the whole scene felt somewhat off for the character. But, I can’t say I didn’t feel for them both, as they stand and leave the office after the meeting, and the woman warns Barry about emotional trauma; it isn’t something that you can turn off. This is an absolute truth, and something very noticeable about Barry this season. His emotions are constantly being held back due to oncoming events. But, they can’t be prolonged forever.
Something I love about a death of a major character is the impact it has on everyone. Lots of times, especially in The Flash, they tend to overlook things like that. The aftermath of Ralph’s death is played out well between the characters; whom simply mope around STAR Labs. But hey, what else would they be doing? It’s a solemn moment and lets us in on each of their feelings with simple pans of their faces.
Something though, Ralph isn’t the only thing that was lost. Two other things were as well. Caitlin expresses her regret of losing the other half of her, Killer Frost when DeVoe stole it away from her. I feel a big amount of shame for her, but only wish we could have seen these little moments Caitlin “shared” with Killer Frost. (Sticky notes and such, which is still adorable). But…the second.
Harry had attempted to use the Thinking Cap’s full potency of Dark Matter in the previous episode…and that was a MAJOR mistake. He was taken out, but something else was taken; his mind. The dark matter had a reversing (haha get it, because Harry is…the doppelganger of…Reverse Flash…okay, I’m sorry) effect on his brain. According to Gideon, he was going to begin unlearning things he had. His mind was deteriorating…and he couldn’t find a way to reverse it. This answers the big question we had before…and it answers it pretty well! I was expecting some sort of evil effect to come into play where Harry just goes insane from the amount of dark matter and brain juices he used, but that would be pretty cliche. Instead, they kept him from becoming anything drastic…and gave us a way to feel even MORE sorry for him. His very self-was dying, basically.
This scene directs us to a scene with DeVoe and his wife, who seems to be spending quite a bit of time on their plans. Marleze brings her love a cup of tea, and he plans on drugging her again until he hears her. She was happy, genuinely. No love-drug needed! Marleze was actually happy, because she got to see into the eyes of her husband again! It was a pretty speedy transition from saddened heroes to a happy, psychotic couple, but a welcome one. Seeing Marleze’s pure joy in seeing the real Clifford again was so genuine and full of love. Remember when Ralph disguised himself as Clifford in court for Barry’s trial? Remember that look of pure love Marleze got, how sad she was, yet happy to see that face again. Her love for DeVoe wasn’t ALWAYS caused by love inducing drugs, and through this reaction she gives we see that! I apologize, let’s move on.
So, we clearly see though, that DeVoe does NOT share her full empathy. To him, he’s always been there with her. But to her, he’s returned to her, and he can’t seem to understand that. She wants to love him, and he wants to continue whatever his plans are. (Also, I REALLY like the whole DeVoe keeping his plans secret thing. I wish only that it would add more build up to each event he causes and maybe more on his actual outcomes that gives us some sort of idea?. BUT, still. He has the bus metas now; what next?! I don’t know, but he sure is eager to continue. That is until Marleze lets DeVoe in on what SHE thinks…
Oooooh dear; you see, the Thinker seems to ‘think’ HE is the only one allowed to have plans and ideas. He is what makes the human race looks like unintelligent ants. His wife tries to let him in on her opinion…and that does not go well.
“That’s the problem…you need to leave the thinking to me.” Okay, DeVoe…now that’s just LOW!
As the episode continues, we get more into the actual premise. Turns out, there is ONE bus meta left. One that was contained long ago; and was apparently forgotten. I say forgotten, I mean gone unmentioned for quite a while now. It was made to seem Ralph and the other ones were the very last. But, they meant they were the last they needed to keep from DeVoe, and that DeVoe seemed to want. Fallout( which, btw, is SO a Fallout reference, as in the video game), the man who emits radioactive waves when he his adrenaline rushes, I believe is the last one. And, Team Flash accounts for this, and seems to figure out they need to take action and make sure DeVoe doesn’t get his hands on the ACTUAL last bus meta! Because, this one could be super dangerous if gotten.
So, a plan is made. Get Fallout, get him in a hazmat suit to contain the radioactivity, and get him to ARGUS, where they can keep him safe! Solid plan, but a big WHAT IF is mentioned; what if he goes critical? They didn’t have a sure-fire way of keeping him cool. So, how about a guest character?! Okay, so smart move to call in the only other ice-based character now that Killer Frost is gone…so off to Earth X Barry and Vibe go…to get Leo Snart, Leonard Snart’s doppleganger from Earth X, introduced in last year’s crossover event.
Unfortunately, Leo seems to be busy; hunting down a survivor from the Nazi war…but Flash needs him more, so off they go. But, they hadn’t accounted for this survivor to follow them back through the breach she kept from closing with a sonic scream. Oh yes! Ladies and gentlemen, I give you…THE THIRD AND PROBABLY NOT LAST INCARNATION OF LAUREL LANCE…Siren X!
(Yeah, you can tell how done I am with dopplegangers)
So, back at STAR Labs, the team fills Leo in on the plan. He’s pretty cool about it (yeah, I’m making ice puns. Get over it…) but makes sure everyone knows he can’t die. Not ACTUAL can’t die…but because he had a wedding to attend. Now, the Earth-X crossover event was a big one…definitely a milestone, but I myself found it just sorta boring. Anyway, we aren’t here to ramble on about that; in the crossover, Leo and The Ray are a thing. Listen, I don’t have a problem with translating heroes/villains as part of the LGTB+ community, but their whole relationship was thrown in to add to an already very diverse crossover. I felt it was ill-placed, but it happened. So they are engaged, and Team Flash praises Leo, but back to work, guys!
So, the plan is to get Fallout to safety, using Citizen Cold’s cold-ray as a fire extinguisher, of sorts, and keep DeVoe from grabbing the last of what he needs. So…LET’S GET A SUPER OBVIOUS TRUCK AND HIDE HIM IN THERE WHILE JOE WEST DRIVES! Hey, at least they had the brains to drive further out in the country. Their whole plan was stretched out so thinly and made so much harder than it really had to be; but it’s a comic book show, which complicated and unneeded extravagated plots are their specialties.
Meanwhile, back at STAR Labs, Cisco and Harry (well, more like just Cisco) have come up with an idea. Harry wasn’t able to stop DeVoe with his thinking cap alone. So…HOW ABOUT ANOTHER ONE! Hm, good idea Cisco; let’s craft another machine that almost drove your friend off the edge! Granted, Harry was using dark matter…but Cisco didn’t know that! So, Harry concedes to Cisco’s pleading, and makes another cap; but, purposefully overloads it when Cisco tries to put it on and ruins the only piece they didn’t have, which acted as sort of a battery. It was a piece of Harry’s earth, and he couldn’t go back and get another one…so he half-heartedly apologizes and leaves Cisco wondering…what the heck just happened?! Well, Harry is trying to keep his friend safe…
As Team Flash begins execution of their plan…DeVoe is hot on their trail, tracking them. Now, in the moments with DeVoe and Marleze…if you didn’t come to loathe DeVoe and feel utterly terrible for Marleze, you are a monster. DeVoe calls upon his wife, and she comes…but not as he expected. She appears in the dress; THE dress. If you aren’t familiar, back when DeVoe was still in his “training wheelchair”, and even before…Marleze wore this red, puffed dress and her hair down. Marleze is trying to get her husband’s attention; she wants quality time with the man she married. But, as before…DeVoe wishes to stay focused on the task at hand; his plans have become more important than her and her feelings. And then, she dares mutter the words again! She THOUGHT, and DeVoe catches her and makes sure she knows…leave the thinking to him.
Yeah, I freakin’ love DeVoe-…check that, I freakin’ love Neil Sandilands as a villain…he magnificent!
Though yes, who doesn’t want to punch him in the face?
So, throughout this episode we get soft moments where Barry just seems out of it; and we all guessed why. But, Leo seems to serve as that kind of person who everyone can talk to when they need to. But, Barry’s time hasn’t come yet. Leo and Caitlin, on the other hand…Caitlin decides to unwind and tell Leo about how she misses Killer Frost. Even though she was technically a part of her, they were two different minds in a single body. THEY EXCHANGED STICKY NOTES!!! Sorry…
Leo makes her feel a bit better by letting her know, if it was someone she cared for, there is no reason why she shouldn’t miss her.
This is all happening in the giant trailer of the truck they are transporting Fallout in, by the way! Which, of course, the moment is stepped on…when the truck begins to float. Its gravity had been reduced, and Barry already knew what was coming. (Luckily, he brought the sonic scepter thingie, just in case DeVoe tried to make a move. Then…everything went heavy and stuck to the ground. Joe couldn’t get out of the truck, the door was “too heavy”. So, the Flash and Citizen Cold are on the case! Barry gets himself and Leo out of the truck, and await DeVoe…who actually hadn’t even shown up yet, so how he was able to touch the truck and make it float…I have no idea.
But, along he came through his personal breach, all suave and cool-like. Immediately, the Flash is out to get him down and out with the sonic scepter; but does it affect the stretchiest man in the world? NOPE! (But, let me remind you…SOMEHOW, it disrupted his other abilities before, in the previous episode, and now it didn’t. Don’t ask me why…because I’ll answer with the same thing again…
CW. TV. LOGIC!
So, DeVoe begins his attack…through words. He mocks Barry and uses Ralph as a weapon. Barry takes in what he says, and freezes. DeVoe almost continues… but, something cuts him off; something even stronger than the sonic scepter…a sonic scream. It knocks DeVoe away, and into the truck. Siren X had arrived for what she wanted…wait, hang on…recap, what does she want? Well, she wanted Citizen Cold dead, but then she ends up catching Fallout, Joe and Caitlin for some reason, as well as getting her hands on Leo’s ice gun…this of course, to get the Flash to go after her. DeVoe eagerly awaited Barry to make a move against Siren X…but Barry just stood there, and let everything happen. He let her take Fallout, Joe and Caitlin…and DeVoe was pissed.
Siren X is pretty much here because she hates everyone; and who can blame her? Dark Archer died, her world fell apart…she deserves to be angry! You go, boo-boo!
In all seriousness, because Barry refused to handle his grief for Ralph, froze because of DeVoe… because all he could see that his friend and ally is killed. Flashbacks during Barry’s standstill were very well timed and placed, and really showed Barry was unstable, emotionally.
So, they regroup, and Barry begins tracking down Fallout as best he can. Then, Leo comes to comfort his friend, and try to get some sort of grief out of Barry’s system. But, Barry refuses to talk, and that in itself helps Leo find out what’s going on. Barry was blaming himself…because he promised to keep Ralph safe. He promised a friend he wouldn’t let him die, and he was forced to watch his promise be broken in front of his own eyes. Barry was carrying more than anyone else could imagine, and hiding it away was all he could do, filling some empty void in him with the mission at hand.
*Inhales deeply*…BOI! Dang Barry…just…dang.
Hiding things down is not healthy, in any way; and Barry wasn’t the only one doing it. Cisco decided to take on the Thinking cap, Harry’s, because they needed the upper hand in the situation. But, Harry stops him and shatters the Cap. Cisco is confused, and Harry actually lets him in on the secret. He had been using Dark Matter to fuel his cap…and it resulted in problems. Harry’s intelligence was declining, and he couldn’t let something even remotely similar happen to Cisco. But, as he expounds on it…Harry makes it known, without his intelligence, he is NOTHING. He is of no worth to the team. (Cough cough, get in line behind Iris, cough cough) He felt he’d have no worth, and because of his stupidity…he would end up hurting the team.
So, yup…the Team is pretty much all falling apart due to secrets, emotions…and DeVoe. Speaking of DeVoe, remember how I said he was pissed? Well, it was pretty much because his plan didn’t go as he calculated. He explains that Siren X and Barry were supposed to be one big distraction so he could get to Fallout (presumably), but Barry just froze on the scene! He had calculated wrong, and it bugged the crap out of him. Until, at least, Marleze reminds DeVoe that emotions cannot be determined, nor controlled. They are natural and crazy! She should know, and she TRIES to get this human computer to compute…but he waves her off, saying emotions were below him. He didn’t need them, nor did he want to tolerate them.
(I am going to pause the review for a sec and expound on how much this episode serves as such an amazing follow-up from the previous. The raw emotion handled is nuts, and it’s beyond entertaining!)
So, finally, Siren X makes herself known, and attacks the CCPD; because killing a bunch of cops relates to how she felt when her whole Nazi army was killed. Right. But, she had Fallout, and forcing him to go critical was the easiest way. Though, for some reason, the radioactivity emitted from him affected neither her nor Caitlin…but all of the cops. WHAT?! I don’t understand this! But, Team Flash gets a ‘ping!’ and the Flash and Citizen Cold make it to the scene. Somehow, the Flash and Cold (who was given a backup cold gun by Iris, wut?) can’t stop a literal banshee who can only fight with her screams. Well, at least they manage to get Captain Cold’s gun back, which Caitlin gets her hands on. They need to cool Fallout down, but how? Siren X is keeping them from doing so…because the Flash isn’t focused enough to take her out. In a moment of sheer emotion…Barry freezes and remembers Ralph. He remembers officially taking him on, training him; promising his safety. All while Citizen Col is trying to get Barry to “chill” out. (Heh…)
Not a fan of the actors…acting, who plays Leo ( as well as originally Captain Cold), but his pleads to Barry and ranting on about how it is NOT his fault goes on, until Barry finally makes a move. But, not because he handled his emotional experience, because he acted on it and refused to let himself be distracted. Instead, he used that anger and sadness and struck the final blow to Siren X…knocking her away.
Barry did it! But not without some serious emotional support…
But, that’s just it…it wasn’t over for Barry yet. After he took Siren X out…he ran. He ran and hid…somewhere to be alone. I believe where he stood was Ralph’s old office building…where Joe found him, and Barry finally let’s go. He had promised Ralph, and he felt that promise was lost…because of him.
*Tries to hold back the tears* I’m fine!
Fallout was safely obtained and put into ARGUS; they set him up with a nice VR system that put him on a warm beach. Aw. As for Barry? Well…therapeutic help seemed healthy, and he needed it. So, he and Iris attend another meeting and Barry shares. It really is quite touching for Barry. Team Flash gives Citizen Cold an inter-dimensional breacher, allowing him to return if ever needed. He invites them all to his wedding, but Team Flash knows what they need to stay focused on, and politely decline. Caitlin, to wrap her little thing up, discovers something. While running tests, she finds that Killer Frost may still be somewhere inside of her, locked away! (Now, we were lead to believe DeVoe stole her powers using that one bus meta’s ability. How this may be possible, we don’t know. But, they didn’t want to say goodbye to KF forever, I suppose.
And last, but not least; Cisco confronts Harry, whom really is just down and out. He was losing himself, but Cisco wanted to help him because he knew Harry would be something without his intelligence but didn’t want to see him lose it. So, together they will start out looking for some way to help Harry. Cisco advises that Harry tells the others, but Harry feels that news was for another day.
DeVoe watches over Fallout from his base and is pleased. He reveals, even though things didn’t go how he calculated, the end result was exactly what he wanted. Marleze was somehow proved wrong by DeVoe, who refuses to accept emotions as a suitable excuse for anyone to stray from the tasks at hand. And, it was at this moment…DeVoe pushed his own wife away, refusing her true emotions for him. Marleze’s love dies…with a rolling tear down her cheek. No drugs, no mind-control…only a wife’s love. And it was crushed by the man she used to care so much for. (The feels are way too real)
What Just Happened?
Well, not much. But, that doesn’t mean it wasn’t good. This episode was a mix of filler and importance. We saw the utter fall of Barry and how he coped with Ralph’s death. We saw the outcome of Harry’s usage of the cap and dark matter, and how it needed to be handled. We saw Caitlin mourning the loss of her friend…but we also saw, what I believe, the beginning of the division of DeVoe and his wife.
Final Thoughts: It is missing the last three only because there were some things that just bugged me (Siren X, the predictability of DeVoe, etc.). But, I dare not say it was a terrible episode. This entire episode was an astounding one; emotionally, story-wise. It wasn’t boring, but it didn’t try to outdo the previous one. It was just what it needed to be; a soft but solemn episode touched down on the team’s thoughts and feelings. Melancholy superheroes aren’t often portrayed or accepted well, but this was a prime example of acceptable amounts of emotional trauma and dealing with it.
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