The Rook: Season 1, Episode 1 “Chapter 1” [Series Premiere] – Recap, Review (with Spoilers)

46.85% (1)

While The Rook seems like it could be intriguing, it faces an uphill battle by being everything we’re not used to when superheroes are involved.


Network
Starz
Creator(s) Daniel O’Malley
Director(s) Kari Skogland
Writer(s) Al Blyth, Sam Holcroft
Air Date 6/30/2019
Genre(s) Fantasy, Action, Drama, Superhero
Good If You Like
  • Understated Supernatural Productions
  • Protagonists With Memory Loss Rediscovering Who They Are
  • Who Dun It Shows
Isn’t For You If You
  • Need At Least One Character With Charm, Charisma, Or Who Can Be Considered Comedic Relief
Introduced This Episode
Myfanwy Emma Greenwell

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The Introduction

Thanks to having her memory wiped, Myfanwy is now in a very precarious and dangerous situation. She is someone with deadly superpowers who isn’t sure who she can and cannot trust. Then, to complicate matters further, she is a secret government agent as well. Making not only her powers a liability to her safety but the fact she is aware of confidential intelligence alongside the names and powers of others like her.

Which is why, before her memory was erased, she set up a possible escape route. However, for some reason, she presents a red and blue pill situation so that either A) She could continue where she left off, living in paranoia, or B) Be on the run and know little to nothing of what happened. Unfortunately for Myfanway, but fortunately for us, she is coerced to relive her past life, with very few memories of it. Leading to her struggling to deal with hiding that she remembers nothing while possibly working with the person who caused her memory loss.

Other Noteworthy Facts & Moments

  • Propranolol Hydrochloride is blood pressure medication, but also works for migraines and tremors (per Healthline)

Question(s) Left Unanswered

  1. What was in the box the blue key would have opened?

Highlights

The Story Itself Is Intriguing

Myfanwy (Emma Greenwell) as she realizes she is in the room with a traitor.
Myfanwy (Emma Greenwell)

While a lead having memory loss, and dealing with the fact someone close to them may have caused it, isn’t new, it still sets up an intriguing mystery. Especially with the added bonus of Myfanwy having powers and working for a secret government agency. One which has a handful of other people with abilities, one of which Myfanwy may have had relations with. Add in vultures, who seemingly hunt Myfanwy’s kind, and you got what seems like a nice foundation.

On The Fence

The Characters Lack A Pop

But then comes the problem that no one really pops on screen. Be it that superhero fatigue only exists on television or DC and Marvel have created stifling expectations, it makes the very understated personas of The Rook underwhelming. For among them, there isn’t that comical character, one whose charisma draws you in, or who has a way about them which makes you question their every move.

Mind you, the way the story is written, and how the cinematography is done, you can tell there is supposed to be this air of mystery and intrigue. However, none of the actors deliver that. Yes, Myfanwy’s peers all seem suspicious, but there is something about them all which seems so flat it doesn’t lead to wheels in your head turning. Even Myfanwy herself doesn’t come off as someone you want to invest in with the way Greenwell plays her.

Which isn’t to say Greenwell can’t act. However, I do think considering the fantasy, especially superhero subgenre, has shifted to be more about spectacle and big personalities. Making it so The Rook lacking both coercing you to adjust.

First Impression: Mixed (Stick Around)

Check Out The Rook Exclusively on Starz

In the long run, The Rook could be good. It could present an alternative to what DC and Marvel have made the default and act as a quality outlier. However, it will need to step it up if it wants to be a successful outlier. For the lack of a notable hook in terms of characters and action, only leaves this show with the potential of its story. Which, based off the pacing we’ve seen thus far, makes it appear The Rook is likely to slowly unfurl, making it harder to hold onto its audience. So one can only hope that, with the foundation of the show made, between pacing, characters, action, or another factor, it picks things up and can be successful enough to diversify the superhero subgenre.

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The Rook - Episode List

Creator

Daniel O’Malley

Character Guide

Created

Collected Quotes

Not Created

Current Status

Active

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Season Reviews

First Season Not Complete Yet

Check Out The TV Series & Specials Page
Season/ EpisodeSynopsisEpisode InformationTopics & Focused Characters
Season 1, Episode 8 “Chapter 8” [Season Finale]In the finale, we finally get to see powers used for fights and a reason to want to see more as all hell breaks loose.
Director(s) China Moo-Young
Writer(s) Karyn Usher, Lisa Zwerling
Air Date 8/18/2019
Introduced This Episode
Viktor Nick Moss
Sophia Poppy Corby
  • Nazim, Monica, Gestalt | I Just Want To Forget
  • Linda, Myfanwy, Sophia, Conrad, Jennifer | It Never Ends
  • Linda, Myfanwy, Viktor, Lorik, Bronwyn, Jennifer, Conrad, Gestalt | Until It Does
Season 1, Episode 7 “Prologue”Before the finale, we retrace what led to Myfanwy getting her mind-wiped and the incident at the Millennium Bridge.
Director(s) Rebecca Johnson
Writer(s) Al Blyth, Sam Holcroft
Air Date 8/11/2019
Introduced This Episode
Josie Rosie Sansom
  • A Predication Was Made: Josie, Myfanwy, Linda, Gestalt
  • Old Friends & Uneasy Allies: Jennifer, Conrad, Linda, Monica, Marcus
  • The Days Before & The Night Of: Linda, Lorik, Peter, Marcus, Bronwyn, Myfanwy, Nazim
Season 1, Episode 6 "Chapter 6"As Monica comes to a realization about Marcus, Myfanwy provides all Conrad needs to seal Linda. Also, Bronwyn triggers Myfanwy’s memories.
Director(s) Sunu Gonera
Writer(s) Francesca Gardiner
Air Date 8/4/2019
  • It’s Becoming Clear To Me Now: Bronwyn, Marcus, Monica, Myfanwy
  • I Don’t Want To Lie Anymore: Gestalt, Conrad, Myfanwy, Monica, Ingrid
  • The Fall of Linda Ferrier: Linda, Jennifer, Conrad, Myfanwy
Season 1, Episode 4 “Chapter 4”Alongside what happened at and to Glengrove House, we learn who caused Myfanwy to lose her memories and why.
Director(s) Sunu Gonera
Writer(s) Al Blyth, Sam Holcroft
Air Date 7/21/2019
Introduced This Episode
Nazim Michael Karim
Dr. Bristol James D’Arcy
  • A Certain Lack Of Trust: Conrad, Linda, Myfanwy
  • The Search For An EVA: Monica, Robert, Eliza, Alex, Teddy
  • I Can See Clearly Now, The Wipe Is Nearly Gone:Nazim, Linda, Dr. Bristol, Myfanwy
Season 1, Episode 5 “Chapter 5”As Monica gains an unexpected ally, Linda overplays her hand. Leading to her having to reveal a secret weapon.
Director(s) China Moo-Young
Writer(s) Al Blyth, Sam Holcroft
Air Date 7/28/2019
Introduced This Episode
Lorik Michael McElhatton
Marcus Luke Roberts
Bronwyn Tamsin Topolski
  • Congratulations, You Played Yourself: Linda, Jennifer, Conrad
  • A Different Approach: Monica, Marcus, Myfanwy, Nazim
  • There Is So Much You Don’t Know: Nazim, Myfanwy, Bronwyn, Lorik, Conrad, Linda, Gestalt, Monica
Season 1, Episode 3 “Chapter 3”As one of Myfanwy’s pursuers get captured, complications with the Gestalt, Monica, and the relationship between Conrad and Linda continue.
Director(s) China Moo-Young
Writer(s) Francesca Gardiner
Air Date 7/14/2019
Introduced This Episode
Peter Von Syoc Barry Atsma
Danielle Shelley Conn
Gordon Steven Pacey
  • The Theories Aren’t Off & The Hive Mind Isn’t Always Advantageous: Danielle, Jennifer, Myfanwy, Linda
  • Sometimes I Feel Like Someone Is Watching Me:Myfanwy, Eliza, Linda
  • Trust Is So Hard To Gain & Easy To Lose: Gordon, Monica, Peter, Myfanwy, Conrad, Linda
Season 1, Episode 1 “Chapter 1” [Series Premiere]While The Rook seems like it could be intriguing, it faces an uphill battle by being everything we’re not used to when superheroes are involved.
Creator(s) Daniel O’Malley
Director(s) Kari Skogland
Writer(s) Al Blyth, Sam Holcroft
Air Date 6/30/2019
Genre(s) Fantasy, Action, Drama, Superhero
Good If You Like
  • Understated Supernatural Productions
  • Protagonists With Memory Loss Rediscovering Who They Are
  • Who Dun It Shows
Isn’t For You If You
  • Need At Least One Character With Charm, Charisma, Or Who Can Be Considered Comedic Relief
Introduced This Episode
Myfanwy Emma Greenwell
Season 1, Episode 2 “Chapter 2”As it becomes the left-hand doesn’t know what the right one is doing, we dig deeper into why and who was trying to hunt Myfanwy and the price they were willing to pay.
Director(s) Kari Skogland
Writer(s) Al Blyth, Sam Holcroft
Air Date 7/7/2019
Introduced This Episode
Linda Joely Richardson
Conrad Adrian Lester
Zef Nikolaos Brahimllari
Monica Olivia Munn
Ingrid Ruth Madeley
Eliza Catherine Steadman
Robert Ronan Raftery
Alex Jon Fletcher
Jennifer Gina McKee
  • It Isn’t Only Linda Covering Up For Myfanwy: Conrad, Zef, Jennifer
  • Where Does Your Allegiance Truly Lay?: Monica, Ingrid, Eliza, Robert
  • Who. Am. I?: Linda, Myfanwy, Alex, Robert

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