Title: The Flash: “Failure is an Orphan” Review
Release Date: March 12th, 2019
Network: The CW
Genre: Superhero, Drama, Action
Well, I got my wish. Kind of. Orlin Dwyer’s Cicada is no longer our big bad.
So, let me get this straight. Orlin’s niece, Grace, is a meta-human herself. And, sometime in the future, she travels back to 2019 in order to kidnap her uncle so she can save him from prison. Okay. It’s definitely a convoluted story but I can invest in that idea. I’m not going to get too excited about this switch though. At least not yet. Having an excellent debut and actually being an entertaining big bad are two totally different things. Just ask Savitar, The Thinker, and even Orlin’s version of Cicada.
Grace’s abilities look to be monumentally more powerful than her uncle’s set of skills and, unlike Orlin, I could actually buy that she could defeat Team Flash. Especially since none of them ever saw her coming. Fans (including this guy) may have predicted this twist but, it was still an impressive reveal. One would have to think that Eobard had a hand in this somehow but I guess we’ll just have to wait until next week for some answers.
The almost grandfather/granddaughter relationship between Eobard and Nora is equal parts riveting as it is unsettling. Eobard is this monster of a human being who has done many horrible things just to spite Barry Allen. But, Tom Cavanagh just plays the part so well. Somehow, Eobard comes off as sincere in everything he says and although you know he’ll betray our heroes in the end, you want to believe he’s really changed for the better.
Cavanagh has given off this sympathetic and likable vibe throughout his tenure as the Reverse-Flash. Chris Klein has not done the same for Cicada. Look, I like the guy as an actor but this just wasn’t his role. Instead of being invested in his “redemption”, I just wanted to see his powers gone so he wouldn’t be a threat anymore. He could have died here and I wouldn’t have had any issues with it. The same goes for Doctor Ambres, who actually died this episode. For the story I think The Flash was trying to tell here, that’s not good.
I get that The Flash is this beacon of hope that believes his rogues are, deep-down, good people. I’m cool with that and this is an awesome trait that I’ve always liked about The Flash character. It’s almost a little reminiscent of Spider-Man in a way. He’s not going to kill and he wants his villains to change for the better. This wasn’t where we should have had this conversation though. Dwyer has killed many innocent metas over the course of season five. He’s a freaking serial killer. I don’t understand why he gets the ability to choose whether or not he stays a meta. Also, I was still under the impression that Team Flash wanted to use the cure on him regardless, consent or not. Last week, I understood this concept as King Shark wasn’t under complete control of his actions. Here, it just didn’t make any sense.
So, Barry has to give out this generic speech about legacy (which didn’t make any sense considering what they knew about Cicada beforehand) and look like a complete idiot when Cicada breaks free, flying off with his plot-convenient dagger. Wait, he flew away using his dagger? I swear I’ve seen him do that once or twice before. Oh yeah, that’s because it’s the only way he’s escaped from the team since the mid-season break! Your audience isn’t stupid. We catch onto things pretty fast (no pun intended). This nonsense is the reason why the episode never sniffed a 3-star rating for me.
Honestly, if not for Barry’s final speech to Cicada and Joe’s talk with Barry earlier in the episode, I was really thinking about giving “Failure is an Orphan” my first 1-star rating for the series. Yeah, I wasn’t a big fan of Barry revealing his “secret” identity to yet another person but the speech was actually quite moving. Much better than anything I thought we were going to get.
Jesse L. Martin is back in the main cast and I couldn’t be any happier for him. He fit right back in and his story with Cecille was actually pretty enjoyable. I’m not sure if it was because Cecille has been one of the better characters of this season or I’m just glad to see Joe standing up and walking again. Either way, this was a fun B-plot.
So was the stuff between Nora and Iris, where the latter just wanted to spend one more day with her daughter before she sped off back into the future. Granted, I’m sure Nora could have just stayed an extra day before leaving to go back to her time but, I still thought it was entertaining.
Nora’s secret is almost guaranteed to be out in the open next week. I’m really excited to see where that takes us. Strangely enough, Arrow may be the better show this year but The Flash is the series that appears to be ramping up to something great for the finale. I’m curious if that’ll continue or if The Flash will fail to deliver on all of their teased storylines.
Verdict: While I was greatly disappointed with “Failure is an Orphan”, I am pumped to see where the show goes next. The journey may not have been always enjoyable but this new Cicada could be the antagonist we all thought we were getting with Orlin Dwyer’s version. On top of that, we still have Eobard Thawne waiting in the future and maybe even Godspeed, who could be the wild card for season five.
- Joe's pep-talk to Barry
- Barry's speech to Dwyer at the end
- Both sub-plots were entertaining
- The new Cicada's debut
- The cure consent idea from last week didn't translate here
- Cicada used his stupid dagger to escape from Team Flash, making the whole team look incompetent again
- The plot-convenient dagger needs to go. This scene was so bad it's getting hit twice
- Orlin and Ambres did not come off as sympathetic characters in the slightest, leading me not to care about their well-being
- While it was executed well, the twist was predictable