A flapping plate flow energy harvester in a viscous uniform flow is simulated using a two-dimensional numerical approach. Our focus is to study the effects of flexibility and active control on the power-extraction capability of the flapping plate, and consequently to find a strategy to increase its power-extraction efficiency. Four typical cases with optimal kinematics predicted by previous studies are presented and discussed: a rigid plate, a flexible plate, a plate with a flexible leading segment and a rigid trailing segment, and a rigid plate with a simple active control on the leading segment. Our simulations show that with the kinematic parameters considered, the plate flexibility cannot significantly improve the power-extraction capability of the plate while the active control on the leading segment of the rigid plate increases the power coefficient by 11.3%. The analysis of flow fields shows that the changes in the power coefficient and drag force are related to the vortex structures and pressure distributions near the plate, as well as the projection area of the plate in the direction of the translational movement.