THE PIPER PAYS A VISIT.
Note: The following review goes into detail about the episode. SPOILER ALERT!
Another piece of the Flash puzzle falls into place. With Captain Cold and Heat Wave on the scene, it was probably only a matter of time before fellow Rogues member Pied Piper made his debut. With a compelling backstory and a grudge against the STAR Labs gang, Hartley Rathaway was one of the show’s best new baddies yet. Dr. Wells also got more time in the spotlight this week as his feud with Pied Piper revealed more of what motivates the character.
“The Sound and the Fury” begins with a nice cameo by the Royal Flush Gang (although you’d be forgiven for not knowing it) before Dr. Wells finds himself under attack in his own home. He quickly identifies the assailant as Hartley Rathaway, a former STAR Labs employee on the warpath with sound-controlling gauntlets of his own design. A series of flashbacks do wonders to flesh out not only Hartley’s work at the lab before the accident, but Cisco, Wells and Caitlin’s also. The two stories work to reinforce one another, providing valuable context for Hartley’s evolution from office jerk to attacking his former friends under the name Pied Piper. Meanwhile, Iris got called up to the big leagues to work for a Central City newspaper, only to be stuck covering the Flash beat and yearning to write about other things.
The real star of the episode was Dr. Wells, as his conflict with Pied Piper gave the best look yet at the ideals of the character. With Hartley knocking on his door to get him to reveal a long-kept secret, it was time for Wells to own up to his mistake and show he genuinely cares about them. It’s quite interesting to see his actions here contrast with his dual identity as Reverse-Flash, as the character continues to be a complex man with motivations which aren’t fully clear — just as a great antagonist should. Pied Piper’s debut was also enjoyable, with the character getting a serviceable backstory, and Andy Mientus provided the character with an enjoyable amount of ego and snark.
Iris enjoyed probably the weakest storyline. There were some bright points, such as her newfound journalistic prowess being put to use at Dr. Wells’s press conference, and a great scene she shared with Barry about what it is to meet your heroes. Barry himself actually didn’t receive much focus this week, but it was good to see the other characters get a turn in the spotlight, and the Flash universe feels a lot bigger and more realized for it.
There was a lot of great material in “The Sound and Fury.” Pied Piper is one of the strongest villains to debut yet. His history with Dr. Wells provided a great way to flesh out both characters and show the state of STAR Labs before the accident which kicked everything off. While the episode didn’t have much Barry, it did manage to flesh out other characters in the main cast and continue to move the world of The Flash forward. This episode is a great reminder of just how much the show gets right with superhero television. It’s a great time to be a fan of the scarlet speedster.
What does everyone think of Pied Piper? What do you think Dr. Wells’s endgame is? Use the speed force to let me know on Twitter @MaxMIelecki or in the area below. Also, be sure to follow us @YouNerded.
88/100 – Great
*We do not comment on anything relating to previews for the next episode and beyond.
The Night Of: “The Call of the Wild” Review
Vice Principals: “The Foundation of Learning” Review
The Night Of: “Ordinary Death” Review
Joe Hill’s ‘The Fireman’ Review
How Speedrunning Changed My Perception of Games
Vice Principals: “Circles” Review
The Night Of: “Samson and Delilah” Review
‘Batman: The Killing Joke’ Review
Vice Principals: “Run for the Money” Review
The Night Of: “The Season of the Witch” Review