I have been saying for a while now that I was disappointed, overall, in most of the CW/DC Universe shows this season, the exceptions being Legends of Tomorrow and the debut of Black Lightning (which was amazing). I don’t know if this is just an outlier or a hopeful sign of things changing, but this episode of The Flash was one of the better ones they’ve done in a long time. Then again, they brought back one of my favorites, so I may be biased. But, on to take a look at “Fury Rogue.”
The episode starts off with Wells in his hidden Time Lab, working with Gideon. Not only did his attempt to use his own Thinking Cap to outwit the Thinker fail, but there are some really bad side effects. Gideon delivers some bad news to Wells, which goes along with something I thought I had noticed last episode.
Barry and Iris are back at Dr. Finkel, but she’s not being used as a joke this time. They are there talking about the impact of Ralph’s death. Iris is being fairly open about it, but Barry is deep in denial, and keeps insisting he’s fine, which he clearly isn’t. He keeps claiming he’s lost so many people he can handle it better than others. You can get a tolerance to physical pain, I am aware of that, but it doesn’t work that way with grief. For a change, the couple actually gets to the end of their session without Barry having to run off.
There’s a brief scene with the Thinker and the Mechanic that’s kind of ugly. Let’s just say that, as his intelligence keeps rocketing upward, his ability to comprehend emotions has deteriorated correspondingly. Between this scene and what we’ve seen of how he’s handling his wife, I suspect Marlize is going to be a big part of how Thinker ends up losing.
Cisco is working on the computers in the Cortex, trying to focus, when he gets distracted by seeing one of Ralph’s toys. He also sees Harry’s Thinking Cap. Wells comes in and they talk about the cap. They’ve reversed positions, and Cisco is all for using it now, despite Wells’ protests. In fact, Cisco has a new idea that sounds good on the surface, but Wells knows isn’t a good plan.
Caitlin is going over the video of Thinker stealing her powers, and Iris is worried about her. The Killer Frost heat (or lack thereof) signature hasn’t shown up anywhere since it happened. Personally, since the man who originally had the power stealing ability didn’t know he could bestow them on someone else, I wonder if even the Thinker knows about that aspect. Then again, if it works the same for him, Marlize should have the power. They move on to the problem of finding a secure location for Fallout, the nuclear meta they dealt with a while ago, and decide using Cold’s gun might be their best option. Of course, he’s dead in this world, but, to quote a movie that bombed last summer, “There are other worlds than this.”
Cut to Earth X, where Citizen Cold is stalking Siren X, yet another version of Black Canary/Laurel Lance. Anyone else find it weird that she seems to have powers in every version but the one on the main Earth? At any rate, Flash and Vibe show up, grab Cold, explain what’s going on, and he agrees to come along. Unfortunately, Siren manages to hold the breech open behind them long enough to tag along. Cold puts a 24 hour time limit on his help. This isn’t a random, arbitrary, going to make things more tense for no reason limitation for once; he actually has a very important appointment back home.
Wells fires up Cisco’s idea, which works briefly then fails. Thinker and Mechanic have another scene where he continues to be a dick and somehow knows everything that’s going to happen. I get how he can more or less model what’s going to happen within known parameters, but at this point, he’s just starting to verge on omnipotent, without the excuse that Savitar had last season of being from the future. Cold wonders why he didn’t meet Ralph during the big crossover, and Barry says Ralph wasn’t ready for Nazis. That might be true, but still doesn’t explain why he wasn’t at the wedding. Cold also gives Barry some advice on dealing with his losses as a leader, which Barry more or less ignores. Siren, using a new power none of the Canaries have shown before, listens in on them.
Fallout is being moved, although he’s not wild about the containment suit they have for him. Caitlin has some pills that will afford “some protection,” phrasing that Cold notices. They have a convoy worked out, a plan to keep it safe, and are off to get Fallout to a top secret ARGUS facility. Things start decently, but you know that won’t last. Aside from me wondering when Joe learned to drive a big rig, the problem manifests in the form of the Thinker, attacking with his array of stolen powers. Then, even he gets a surprise when Siren X pops up and blasts everyone, making off with Fallout, largely because Barry freezes at a key moment, paralyzed by a flashback of Thinker killing Ralph.
Back at STAR, Cold fills them in on Siren X’s backstory, and Cisco tries to relate the very complicated history of the Canaries on this world. Cisco gets sent to check in on Wells, and Iris presses Cold for more on exactly what happened at the truck. Cold agrees to try and talk to Barry again.
Cisco and Wells end up in an argument before Wells finally tells Cisco what happened to him. Things look bleak for the resident super genius. Thinker rages in his hideout. He somehow knew Siren X would be there (which I don’t buy) but Flash was supposed to beat her. Marlize, very aware of it at this point, remarks on Thinker’s big blind spot. Cold gives Barry some advice, increasingly more insistently as Barry keeps clinging to his denial.
Siren X shows up at CCPD with Joe and Caitlin as her prisoners, and Fallout as her reluctant weapon, along with her captured Cold gun. Siren’s plan seems to be to push Fallout into going critical inside the CCPD. She’s somehow immune to his power, which they never explain. After a lot of tension, drama, and fighting, the heroes end up winning when Cold makes an emotional appeal to Flash to push through his grief and deal with it. Joe later finds Barry up in his old lab, now apparently abandoned, blaming himself for Ralph’s death.
Cold takes his doppleganger’s old outfit. After complimenting Caitlin on her being a badass and taking a gift from Cisco, Cold goes home to keep his appointment. He gives Cisco and Barry a few compliments on the way out. Iris is surprised that Barry made an appointment of his own. Caitlin makes a discovery about her own condition. Wells and Cisco have a talk where Cisco talks Wells out of doing something rash, and Wells agrees with some of Cisco’s advice.
The last two scenes play on different emotional chords. Barry brings Iris back to Dr. Finkel and opens up this time. It’s a very intense scene for Barry. Thinker is dismissive about emotions, and Marlize is beginning to see who he really is now. I suspect that’s going to come back to bite him later.
What I liked: Wentworth Miller’s portrayal of the various versions of Leonard Snart always makes me smile. He does such a great job with the character. Wells’ condition is troubling, but I like that even in the midst of it, he tried to protect Cisco. I’m glad that Barry is feeling bad about Ralph’s death. He did play a part in it, and empathy seems to be something many CW characters are lacking these days, but that’s going to be another post later. It’s a good sign that Marlize is finally starting to see what she’s married to.
What I didn’t: I’m not sure I get how Siren X was able to hold the breech open, or why she was unaffected by Fallout’s power. I really don’t buy that Thinker is able to account for happenings on other Earths.
Those complaints to one side, I thought this was a lot better than most of this season of Flash, or Arrow for that matter. I’ll give this a high 3.5 out of 5.