Fresh off the shocking and brutal death of Ralph Dibny, it seemed like the Flash was setting up a gimmick episode with guest star Wentworth Miller as Leo Snart — but nothing could’ve been further from the truth.
Spoilers ahead for “Fury Rogue,” the latest episode of The CW’s Flash, which are Tuesday, April 24, 2018.
“There is no outrunning grief.” -Leo
Ralph Dibny might be gone, but he is far from forgotten.
Leo Snart, the Earth-X version of the character introduced during the four-show crossover earlier this season, makes a surprise appearance to help out with a transport mission to move Fallout (the meta human with the ability to go nuclear) to a secret ARGUS location. Of course, it turns out DeVoe orchestrated the entire move to kidnap Fallout for nefarious purposes, but not even The Thinker’s superior intellect can predict grief and emotion. The show deftly uses Snart’s fresh perspective and war-torn experience from Earth-X as the perfect foil for Barry’s fresh loss.
As Barry tries to bury his pain and ignore his grief, Leo recounts the story of the 18,322 lost rebel souls who gave their lives to defeat the Nazi regime on his world. Leo tells him he has to honor his dead, and grieve their loss, before he can effectively move on with the work left to do. That manifests when DeVoe manipulates Dibny’s voice to taunt Barry, and the Flash freezes in the field when confronted with his emotions over Dibny’s death. Barry has faced loss on top of loss on top of loss throughout his life, but Dibny wasn’t just another loss. He was a protege. He was someone Barry had taken responsibility to train to eventually protect himself.
Put simply, Dibny’s story was compelling as hell, as we got to watch him grow into a hero and learn what it means to be a hero. But, fair or not, Barry did fail him — as DeVoe killed every single meta human on that bus. In Dibny, Barry finally started to see the amazing potential Dibny had to be a good man and a great hero. But he couldn’t preserve it, and adhering to Barry’s code is exactly what cost him his life — even if Dibny himself thanked Barry for what he’d taught him with his final breath. Barry still holds himself responsible, and those are emotions he has to process if he wants to effectively take on DeVoe.
It made for compelling stuff, and bringing Fallout back for a bit of thematic wordplay helped put a bow on it.
*One obvious question that kept nagging at me, as the team laid out this ambitious plan to map out a course to move Fallout to a new location: Why not just use Cisco’s breach abilities to breach him to this new location in an instant? It would’ve made the caravan irrelevant and been a whole lot safer than setting off in a big-rig on a rural road.
*We also see the fallout of Wells’ ill-advised attempt to amp up the thinking cap to match DeVoe, which left his brain seemingly fried. It makes for an interesting twist, and though we don’t get much meat on that bone in a fairly busy episode, seeing Harry breakdown at the idea of losing his intelligence was heartbreaking. It’s something that has defined him his entire life, and its the equivalent of losing his only “superpower.” Not to mention the fact that it sidelines one of the team’s greatest minds at a critical time.
*DeVoe seems to be more focused than ever on his mysterious master plan, and freshly installed in Dibny’s body, is moving forward at a rapid clip. His newfound motivation looks to quietly put him at odds with his wife, who goes through a few emotional beats in this episode. She’s obviously thriller to have her husband’s face back, to the point he apparently doesn’t need to drug her anymore. That goes sideways quickly, though, when he outright rejects her emotional and physical needs to focus on his evil master plan. She’s clearly distraught by episode’s end, and she seems to finally have found the realization that DeVoe’s newfound intelligence has made him a much colder man — and more and more — less than man she fell in love with. Could they be setting up a twist where she turns on him in the next few episodes? Certainly seems like a possibility.
*A lot has changed in the wake of the Earth-X crossover, and with the key parts of the Nazi regime defeated, it seems the Ray and Leo have managed to wipe out pretty much all the remaining remnants of the Nazi regime. Except for Siren-X, who is still holding out against Leo and his cohorts. Oh, and Leo and Ray are getting hitched!
*As for Siren-X, this alt-reality version of Laurel has an intriguing new power — she can channel her canary cry to listen in on conversations. The Earth-1 Laurel might be dead, but this universe isn’t hurting for Lance sisters, as Cisco hilariously points out.
*With Killer Frost seemingly gone, Caitlin has come to realize she actually misses her alter ego. Turns out you don’t know what you’ve got until its gone. But, Killer Frost is apparently still buried somewhere in her genes, so it may not be the last we’ve seen of the ice queen.
Next week: DeVoe’s plan comes into view, and it ain’t pretty.