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The Flash, Ep. 1.11, “The Sound and the Fury ” and fathers and sons

The Flash, Ep. 1.11, “The Sound and the Fury ” and fathers and sons


The Flash, Season 1, Episode 11, “The Sound and the Fury”
Written by Alison Schapker & Brooke Eikmeier
Directed by John F. Showalter
Airs Tuesdays at 8pm ET on the CW

Since The Flash returned from its winter hiatus, the writers have done a fine job in shifting the spotlight on the supporting cast while still finding time to keep moving closer to the showdown between Barry and the Reverse-Flash. In “The Sound and the Fury” we learn more about the past of the mysterious Dr. Harrison Wells when his former protege Hartley Rathaway returns to turn his world upside down and ruin whatever good reputation Wells has left – all in a plan to distract Flash and co. and steal information from S.T.A.R. Labs’ computer that would allow him to identify the frequency of Barry’s molecules so he can kill him. Elsewhere Iris West begins her career as a professional journalist at Central City Picture News, and Joe asks Eddie to start an investigation on Wells, suspecting his motives are not what they seem.

“Maybe people in the future will want to know how this all happens,” 

Wells alone is a complex enough villain to carry the show through its first season, but that hasn’t stopped the writers from introducing a host of other iconic DC villains – this week longtime Justice League foes, the Royal Flush Gang make a brief appearance in the opening car/motorcycle chase which admittedly is somewhat confusing to follow but does lead to a wonderful payoff in the form of a group photo/selfie. Barry points out that taking a picture of him without his mask on defeats the purpose of holding onto his secret identity, so there’s a very good chance the photo will resurface in the near future and the decision to take it will bite him in the ass. One week after the return of Captain Cold and the official debut of Heat Wave (along with a brief cameo by Golden Glider), the disgruntled Hartley Rathaway a.k.a. Pied Piper (Andy Mientus) makes his first appearance preying upon the insecurities of Cisco and Caitlin while forcing Wells to admit that he was fully aware the particle accelerator could and more than likely would, explode ahead of time. It’s safe to say that most classic Flash villains need a good amount of reworking when bringing them to television, and the Pied Piper is no exception. The writers keep enough elements of the comic book version to ensure he is still recognizable and make a wise decision to not only ditch his comic book costume and his hypnotic flute, but also change his powers and abilities in ways that would work best for a more sophisticated modern audience. In Rathaway’s elaborate chess game (an analogy laid on a little too thick), we learn that he doesn’t rely on a metahuman powers, but instead his mechanical genius; in this case, he uses a pair of sonic-wave power gauntlets, to enable him to exact his revenge upon Wells and his newest protege.

The Sound and the Fury

The emotional pull between fathers and sons is an ongoing theme this season and continues strong this week. Wells is revealed to have been the father figure and mentor to Rathaway when working at S.T.A.R. Labs. – only their relationship ended on bad terms when Wells had Hartley fired after trying to stop him from activating the particle accelerator. It was the second time Rathaway was betrayed by someone close, after his real dad disowned him upon learning he was gay. Meanwhile Barry Allen also has had multiple father figures in his life, from his imprisoned real father to his adopted dad Joe West to his idol growing up (and current mentor) Harrison Wells. The flashbacks this week give glimpses of Wells and Rathaway’s bond and inevitable falling out, while the final showdown between Barry and ‘Piper’ foreces Wells to choose between his two most accomplished pupils. The Pied Piper is one of the few Rogues (in the comic) who have turned good, and although he has tendencies to turn back to evil occasionally, he remains, deep down, a good person. The flashbacks cast Hartley in a sympathetic light, and Andy Mientus does a great job of playing him as a complex, dangerous, but ultimately well-meaning person.

flash-season-1-episode-11-harrison-wells-tachyonWells continues to be the wild card. While it was pretty clear that he is indeed the man in the yellow suit dubbed the ‘Reverse-Flash’ – “The Sound and the Fury” actually shows him to possess super-speed. But what makes him such a fascinating character is that it’s difficult to figure out his master plan. Is he actually a threat to Barry or is he using him for selfish reasons, and more importantly, is he responsible for the death of Barry’s mom or is it someone else? It’s never entirely clear what’s driving this character’s motivations, but Tom Cavanagh does an excellent job in portraying him as shady, sincere, menacing and brilliant, all at once. Though revealing Wells to possess super-speed may not surprise many viewers, the writers have stated that there are more twists and turns coming, and one shocking revelation in the season finale. More so, in the episode’s stinger we learn that Wells’ powers are apparently draining; although the episode ends with a promise that “the real endgame is almost here.”

“The Sound and the Fury” is another solid entry into the series for several reasons: The cliffhanger ending to the midseason finale is addressed – another major Flash rogue makes his debut – the supporting cast is given more to do – Joe begins a crucial investigation on Dr. Well – and Rathaway’s knowledge of the whereabouts of Ronnie Raymond, and more importantly the source of his power, will should heavily in the upcoming weeks. I can’t wait!

– Ricky D


Flash Facts:

Wells: “Who knows, maybe people in the future will want to know how all this happened.”

Caitlin: “Does that count as a selfie?”

Rathaway: “Being scooped up by a guy covered in leather head to toe has been a longtime fantasy of mine, so thanks.”

Rathaway: “One day this man will turn on you … in a flash.”

The one new trick Barry demonstrates in this episode is his ability to take super selfies.

In the original comic book Iris was actually a photographer for Central City’s Picture News.

“Hey, I assign the nicknames around here!”

“Keep Calm and Han Shot First”

This was the first time they’ve said the words “speed force” on this show.

With Captain Cold and Heat Wave on the loose, and the Pied Piper introduced, we may see the Rogues unite on screen against the Flash relatively soon.

While Iris isn’t given much to do, I did enjoy watching her establishing herself as a real journalist rather than just another millennial with a blog.

Wells’ tachyon exposure is nearing its maximum. What does that mean? All we know is that is is a temporary fix, and that “the real endgame is almost here.”

Rathaway confessing he knows what happened to Ronnie Raymond has me thinking we’ll see more Firestorm soon.