The Flash takes on Pied Piper and Peek-a-Boo in these latest episodes! His rogue’s gallery is getting pretty big, and the teases for another big Flash baddie are getting me pretty excited for more!
The Flash Episode 11: The Sound and the Fury and Episode 12: Crazy for You SPOILERS ahoy!
These two episodes were very interconnected as they dealt with the return of a former protegé of Dr. Wells, Hartley Rathaway, and him looking to visit some revenge upon the good doctor. The first episode, “The Sound and the Fury” had a strong theme of family, as Rathaway felt that he was Dr. Wells’ family, but now Dr. Wells has a new family in the form of Barry and crew. One of the first scenes is of them taking a picture together, Barry pressing the shutter and running to be in the picture then running to catch the falling camera, and it’s very cute. But then, when Dr. Wells goes home, Rathaway enacts his revenge plan.
The first attack comes in the form of Rathaway, calling himself the Pied Piper, breaking the glass ceilings in Wells’ home. Wells is able to avoid the falling glass by using his super speed, as he is secretly the Reverse Flash, but he is definitely not graceful while doing so. He winds up on the ground, unscathed, but just barely. As we see later in the episode, it appears that Dr. Wells’ ability to utilize his super speed is compromised somewhat, and he may not be able to utilize it at all for much longer. When he tried to use his speed a little later when the Pied Piper attacks the lab, it fails him completely, and he lies on the ground, his legs vibrating uselessly.
I’ve wondered since “The Man in the Yellow Suit” how Dr. Wells was able to beat the tar out of himself in front of everyone, since he is the Reverse Flash, and now I wonder if perhaps there aren’t 2 of them or something strange like that running around. One at full power, one whose power is waning or has lost his connection to the speed force (Dr. Wells). We know that some sort of time travel is involved here, so it’s entirely possible there are two Reverse Flashes in the current time. I don’t know, but I’m so curious as to the explanation for that beat down that Reverse Flash gave himself/Dr. Wells. Also, first mention of the speed force in this episode! All right, the speed force and time travel! This is going to get convoluted as hell!
So we, as the audience, assume that Dr. Wells basically caused the explosion on purpose in order to help the Flash come into being, but this episode is the first time that any other characters had any idea that Dr. Wells might have been truly responsible for the particle accelerator disaster. The Pied Piper forces Dr. Wells to confess that he was warned that the explosion might happen, and he even admits this on live television. His confession causes a little less of a ripple than I would have imagined it would. It seems that one press conference and answering one question is enough to keep the angry masses at bay. One would think that the gross negligence and admitted direct responsibility for several deaths would be enough to cause some sort of stir, but here all it seems to do is prompt Joe and Eddie to look into Dr. Wells a little more closely. (Though Joe may want to be careful bringing someone else in, as any successful investigation will raise questions about Wally, Caitlin, and Cisco and what they are up to in there.) Where are the masses calling for his head again? The entire city was super pissed at him before, are they not even more so now? Hm.
Also, Iris got a job as a reporter! Hooray for her, I guess! I’m sorry, but the Iris stories just aren’t doing much for me. I’m finding it hard to care about her struggles to be accepted by the douchebags at the paper when we have time travel and supervillains and duplicitous paraplegics and a hyperfast superhero. I mean, honestly, is she really surprised that when she gets hired because of her Flash blog that the paper wants her to write about the Flash? How is that a shock for you, Iris? Pay your dues, write the hell out of some articles about the Flash, prove yourself, and then get a damn pulitzer for it! It just comes off as entitled when she doesn’t want to write about what the editor of the paper wants her to write about. You know, the thing that he hired her for.
So they defeat the Pied Piper thanks to some quick thinking by Dr. Wells and lock him up in superhuman solitary (more about that whole prison thing later), even though he’s not a metahuman. Rathaway, however, tells Cisco that he knows what happened to Caitlin’s fiancé, Ronnie, which carries over into the next episode.
The second episode, Crazy for You, has Flash squaring off against Peek-a-Boo, a teleporter who breaks her convict boyfriend out of jail and they begin stealing to try and pay off his debts to a gangster. Barry, along with Caitlin, also square off against their feelings as they try and get over people by going out and having a life together (Not together-together, more with one another at the same place…for now). Meanwhile, Cisco squares off against Rathaway, who knows something about Ronnie’s death/transformation.
I really enjoyed this episode. First off, it had some really cool hero Barry moments, such as at the beginning when he saves the couple from the burning car. It was very sweet and showed that the people of the city really do appreciate the Flash and what he’s doing. Then, when Barry fights Peek-a-Boo, the action was very fun with her teleporting around and Barry dashing to try and grab her. Then, when he does, she just teleports them both somewhere that he has to react to and try to adapt his strategy. Also, during that first fight, Barry catching the bullet AS IT ENTERED HIS SUIT was supremely badass. The Flash is an incredibly powerful superhero, and I’m really enjoying Barry’s learning curve.
Now, let’s talk about Cisco. I mean, I know that he told Caitlin that he would stop looking for Ronnie, so he decided to keep his working with Rathaway a secret, but holy hell how stupid was it that he kept it a secret and let Rathaway out? I mean, talk about a fucking dumb thing to do. I know that Rathaway doesn’t have superpowers and Cisco put the handcuffs on him and had a sonic device to stop him should he try anything, but it was still completely stupid of Cisco to risk it. Inform Dr. Wells or Barry if you still want to keep it a secret from Caitlin, just make sure you’re not on your own here, man! I love you, Cisco, but get it together, buddy. And of course Rathaway gotaway (sorry). But hey, Cisco found out that Ronnie probably merged with Dr. Stein, the doctor they were looking for a couple episodes ago! So, um, silver linings? Then he tells the rest of the group about Rathaway’s escape and his reasons for it happening, and while Caitlin is upset, she forgives him when he explains how he feels responsible for Ronnie dying, having closed the doors on him at Ronnie’s behest. As tough as it was for Cisco, however, it seems that everyone very quickly forgot that Dr. Wells admitted that he was negligent and knew the explosion could happen just one episode ago, so Dr. Wells’ anger and judgement at the beginning of this scene felt really unwarranted. Cisco should have told him to shove it.
Also, Iris embraced her reporting on the Flash in this episode, I guess, and published the first picture of the scarlet speedster! Good for her, getting proactive in her new job. I still am not all that interested, but it’s something that she’s not whining about her role at the paper. It’s my job to whine about Iris. The writers just don’t know what to do with her! And Barry and Joe STILL need to tell her that Barry is the Flash already!
But anyways, she got a blurry picture of him and the paper ran it. Really, I would think that Barry or any of the crew would be a little more worried about this occurrence, but they didn’t seem concerned, for some reason. It did allow for a nice bonding moment between Barry and his father, and I thought that it was really nice for Henry Allen to tell Barry that he was proud of his work as the Flash, with a wink and a nod. Sharp one, that Henry Allen, and it was a touching moment.
Then we had Caitlin and Barry going out to try and get lives together, under the premise of looking for the escaped convict and his teleporter girlfriend. Their scenes at the bar were great. Between Caitlin showing up looking like, hellaz fine, Barry getting ignored by the bartender, Caitlin drinking just a teensy lot too much, and Barry crooning some Summer Lovin’ to a shocked and very off-key Caitlin, it was all too cute.
Their interactions were great, and the scene when Barry took her home and helped her into bed was very sweet, though I wonder if the entire exchange was Caitlin very awkwardly trying to seduce Barry. “You deserve a peek for all the good stuff you do,” she slurs, after having him help her change clothes, which he does lightning quick. And she asked him to stay until she fell asleep, which you could ask a friend to do, but it definitely feels very intimate. Then the next day with the look she gave a seemingly oblivious Barry, we know that she is interested, and even if she wasn’t trying to seduce him the night before, she wants something to happen between them. I’m all for it, I think they would be an awesome couple. Is it “shipping”? Am I…”shipping” them? Is that it? I hate myself. Though Barry got another girl’s number at the bar and gave her a call, and of course she works with Iris! And Iris seems jealous! WHY NOT?! Let’s have a stupid love-pentagon going on here, why wouldn’t we? I keep forgetting that this show is still on the CW.
Anyways, the Flash defeats Peek-a-Boo once they figure out that she can only teleport when there’s light and she can see where she’s going. It was an exciting fight as Barry knocked out lights in a tunnel and you really felt bad for her when her boyfriend just leaves her to be taken by the Flash. But he does and Barry & co. contain her and put her in their prison beneath the lab.
Now, I’m going to rant for a minute. I wonder if this show will ever address how they’re keeping people locked up in a single room without any due process or windows or apparent bathroom or food or changes of clothes or stimulation of any kind in there. Seriously, it’s like solitary isolation without any chance to get out. Our heroes are wardens of psychological torture chambers, and it’s really beginning to bug me. I mean, they put Rathaway in there and he didn’t even have any metahuman powers! It’s not like they couldn’t just have the police come and pick him up on the dam where Barry defeated him, there were plenty of witnesses to his crimes and he couldn’t just get out of jail without his devices! Just seems cruel. Then they trap Peek-a-Boo in there when she hadn’t even done much wrong. Sure, she broke her boyfriend out of jail, but didn’t hurt anybody. She didn’t shoot at the Flash, her boyfriend did! I mean, yes, she’s an accomplice and she did fight the Flash, but does that mean she deserves to live in a 5’x5’ cell, no TV, no window, no bed, no TOILET, for the rest of her life? It’s not like they have a parole board in the lab! I don’t like it, and I don’t think that Barry, Cisco, and Caitlin should like it, either. It seems horribly cruel and I hope they address this in some episode in the future.
In summation, these two episodes were great, with only a couple missteps in the narrative. The character development was fun and heartfelt, and the action was exciting. The Flash has definitely been my favorite new show and I’m excited for more! Especially since at the end of Crazy for You there was the biggest Grodd tease yet! We actually saw glimpses of him in action, and he’s as vicious as you would hope! There’s going to be a live-action Gorilla Grodd on this show and I’m practically pulling a Dr. Wells (vibrating) with anticipation!