The Flash 1.11: The Sound and the Fury
After some rather hammy villains last week, The Flash took it up a level this week with the introduction of the Pied Piper, another great reoccurring villain alongside the Reverse Flash himself.
If last week was all style over substance, then this week's episode had a great mix of both. Hartley Rathaway was a villain that had a strong connection to Dr. Harrison Wells and a shared history with Caitlin and Cisco too; he was the man who helped Wells build star labs. If Barry as the Flash has become the good doctor's protege post the explosion at Star Labs, Hartley was his protege before.
Of course what was interesting about Hartley was that it wasn't the explosion that triggered the villaint within him. He was an arrogant, self righteous bit of a dick before hand, treating Cisco with disdain the moment he arrived at Star Labs just for the way he looked. It wasn't black and white either; Hartley warned Wells that the explosion that created the Flash and a city full of villainous meta humans was bound to happen and Wells ignored him by kicking him out of Star labs for good.
If Hartley wasn't a 100% black and white bad guy this episode, then neither was Wells a 100% good guy. The mid-season finale already teased his connection to the Reverse Flash but this time we saw him move...incredibly fast. It is an intriguing plot line that threw up many more questions; he could only move a short space of time within his lab but he definitely had similar powers to Barry Allen. That secret is going to make for some explosive drama when the secrets start spilling out. The season finale perhaps? The Flash will need to do something spectacular to beat the shocking Glades-destruction in the Arrow season one finale.
It is definitely a show that is getting more and more confident. We have had two spectacular Flash versus villain action sequences in a row; the attack on the highway started off surprisingly small but got excited pretty quick when Flash saved the woman from the falling car and started dodging flying vehicles when the Pied Piper started unleashing his powers. I loved his trap too; tapping into the frequency to try and destroy the Flash was particularly effective. The fact that Wells saved him again only adds layers to the mystery of what he is really up to.
Iris's story line as a budding reporter was less believable; she is no Lois Lane and I was totally on the other journalist's side when she tried to be a 'serious reporter'. I don't doubt that she might get there but thew show shouldn't be afraid to show some growth in a character who started off blogging about the Flash just eleven episodes ago.
Still with the Pied Piper alive and the audience uncovering new secrets about Wells, The Flash is starting to become as good a show as Arrow. In fact considering the early days of Oliver Queen, this series is notably stronger. Which bodes well for the weeks - and years - to come!