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The Flash - Fury Rogue - Review

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I really enjoyed The Flash's 'Fury Rogue' for a few reasons. The first being Snart's return or goodbye I guess, the allusion to season one, and the complex relationship development between the couples. Here's what I found:

Rogue #1: Leo Snart

I love Wentworth Miller's portrayal of The Flash's non-meta human nemesis, Captain Cold. His campy drawl and ability to be a gentlemen while robbing you blind has always been very appealing. Learning that he was leaving DCTV was a blow because he seemed to embody exactly what a comic book character should be- unbelievable but believable. Seeing him on The Flash this week was a treat and having him be the person to talk Barry through his crisis was a smart move.

The team pep talks have become a bit stale at this point- everyone knows what happens when a team member follows another to the cortex or the med bay. And even though Snart was giving the over used pep talks, his point of view made the talks more poignant.This Leo Snart was a resistance fighter. Having defeated the Nazis on Earth-X, he admitted to suffering great losses in that quest for freedom. As a leader, the losses he suffered were great because those who died were following his orders. This parallel to Barry's grief makes Snart uniquely qualified to understand how Barry feels. His constant confronting of Barry to confront his own tightly held grief was sprinkled with a little fun. He also managed to help Caitlin feel less strange about her even stranger attachment to Killer Frost.The puns and discussion of his marriage to Ray, and also his ribbing of Barry and Cisco as the happy couple made his appearance bittersweet. His appearance made you realize just how much The Flash needs a character like Leo Snart on the show. He is able carry those heavy moments as well as the light ones while keeping the audience right along with him through those changes. Ralph's inability to do that believably is what doomed his story line in the eyes on some viewers. (Raising my hand)

Season One Allusions: 'Things You Can't Outrun'

In addition to having Leo Snart tell Barry he couldn't outrun his grief, 'Fury Rogue' seemed like a full circle moment from that long ago episode. In 'Things You Can't Out Run', Barry was grieved by the fact that the Mist killed someone he was trying to save. Joe explained to Barry that it wasn't monsters or meta-humans that would be the most difficult thing he'd face, but the feeling of helplessness when he couldn't save someone. Or the feeling of guilt he'd carry when he made a mistake. Joe's words of wisdom from the first season hung in the air of this episode. Barry's feelings of helplessness and guilt hampered his ability to lead his team properly, and Leo Snart was the character who picked up Joe's mantle to remind Barry that Ralph's death wasn't his fault, that he can't carry around so much grief that he becomes paralyzed when it counts the most. And fittingly when Barry was finally able to grieve for Ralph, he did it with Joe in his old CSI lab- where Joe first told him about the painful feelings he would inevitably face and have to learn to live with as a hero.

As much as I love Iris and Barry, his leaning on her in that moment would not have worked as well to me. Barry needed to be comforted by Joe and talked to by Snart. By the nature of their professions and positions, they have had to train and lead others into situations where they may very well lose their lives. If I am not mistaken, Iris has not had to deal with that just yet- she very well may because of the new place she has risen to, but for now Barry's first line of support came from the best and most believable places possible.

Relationships: Barry and Iris/ The Thinker and The Technician

Barry and Iris are the "gold standard" of relationships on The Flash and in all of DCTV to their friends and many viewers. They perfectly massacred us with their wedding vows and whenever they are given the screen time, they make our hearts flutter with just a glance or a light touch. They are able to do so because we know just how much they love each other. No matter how small the gesture, their feelings are on display. Similarly, Clifford and Marlize seemed to share a love just as strong. They were friends and colleagues before becoming husband and wife so the foundation for their love is very solid, but their union has taken a very dark turn.

'Fury Rogue' showed us what can happen when even the strongest couple diverges in values and simple respect for one another's feelings. Barry wrestled with grief and guilt over Ralph's death. I know some people had an issue with that, but it is what it is. Iris tried to get Barry to open up about it with therapy and even when she approached him about freezing in the field but to no avail. It took the guidance and support from others to help him overcome that roadblock, then he eventually allowed Iris to comfort him. This is a healthy relationship folks- yes, we should have seen Barry ask Iris more about her arm on screen, but we know the character Barry Allen. He truly loves Iris, and would do things for her even if she was fully capable of doing those things herself.

Sad and guilt-ridden Barry Allen doesn't deal with anything very well. This is same Barry who did not visit his own mother's grave for years, the same Barry who changed the timeline just for another moment with his living mother and father, and the same Barry who has ripped into Joe and even told him more than once that he wasn't his father. We also know Iris. Iris knew when to back down and even gave Snart the open path to go after Barry, she knew when Barry needed his real dad and when he needed the space to make it work with Patty even when she was falling in love with him. It is their intimate knowledge of one another that helps make their relationship so special, and that relationship is not threatened by someone getting a little snippy or needing their space to handle an issue. Their ultimate goals are the same- to live a long life together and protect Central City.

Now the DeVoes on the other hand have a serious problem. Where love and shared ambition used to reside, there is now a one-sided love and ambition, and that can never last. Where Clifford looked at Marlize with love and awe, there is now disdain. He has gone so far as to reduce her from his wife to The Technician. They are no longer Clifford and Marlize but The Thinker and The Technician.

The Technician clamored for The Thinker's attention, but was pushed away. The Technician is devastated by The Thinker's distance. Iris is not affected the same way. Why? Because Iris knows Barry's true nature. The Technician does not know The Thinker anymore. He is now someone who drugs her to keep her compliant and happy, someone disconnected from emotion, and someone who has ambitions she no longer understands. Though Barry was preoccupied with his feelings, Iris never doubted his love, which is why she could give him space even if she didn't want to- she was sure he would come back to her. The Technician has no such assurances.

As she searched The Thinker's eyes for some sign that Clifford was still there, she was met with coldness and the realization that he could no longer see her as anything more than his assistant. Earlier in the season Marlize mocked Barry and Iris' relationship strength- I'm sure The Technician would give anything to have just a taste of the life Barry and Iris enjoy together.

Other Things I was Thinking as I Watched:

*Barry is a severely traumatized person. Most of our favorite heroes are in some way. To have Barry grieve for Ralph is understandable- just because we don't like someone's personality all the time doesn't mean we wouldn't be affected if they died. To grieve Ralph might mean re-opening many old wounds from other losses. There are plausible reasons Barry behaved the way he did, but what I can't understand is Barry saying Ralph taught him lessons- what lessons were they? I need to hear more about that to accept that line.

* Iris was a little foul for the way she approached Barry. It's no wonder he was a bit defensive. She said something along the lines of "it seems like she got the jump on you". Now, it wasn't terrible, but if you think he's feeling fragile, why phrase concern that way? Yeah he was snippy, but I don't blame him. Bottom line- all relationships have communication failures, even the gold standard ones.

*I loved, loved, loved Katie Cassidy in this episode. Her presence was just enough to be a diversion, but didn't seem forced.

*Caitlin/Killer Frost *sigh*
I get what they are trying to do here, but just like Ralph all of sudden springing his "I love everybody so much" routine and it falling flat, I can't believe Caitlin wants to get Killer Frost back. I can get on board with feeling some sense of loss because of familiarity, but I can't buy her wanting her back after all the anguish she's caused. I'm really gonna need the writers to try to fix Caitlin's story line for the 100th time.

*Harry and Cisco were friendship goals. I appreciate Harry trying to save Cisco from his mistake and Cisco reminding Harry that he's more than just a brain. But when will Team Flash learn to stop being sneaky? I mean, when has it ever worked out?

*Poor Marlize, I mean The Technician. I feel somewhat sorry for her, but when I think about how she treated Iris in court, how she slapped the hell out of Barry, and stood by why he was framed- my sorrow is somewhat tempered.

The Flash made a comeback with 'Fury Rogue'-let's hope they can keep the momentum up for what's left of this season. What did you think?

Sound off in the comments below and as always, thanks for reading.

The Flash airs Tuesdays on the CW at 7pm Central.

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