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THE FLASH Review (S1E11): 'The Sound and the Fury'

Another week, another classic Flash villain make an appearance. This time it’s the Pied Piper (Andy Mientus) and as usual, the baddie of the week is out to make the Flash’s life miserable. But this time Hartley Rathaway has an axe to grind with his former mentor, Dr. Harrison Wells. The overall result made for an interesting vehicle for Wells to find some humility as the episode dealt mainly with the consequences of his actions. It was a good episode but came across as a set-up for bigger things.

It’s a difficult endeavor to top the week before when you had both Captain Cold and Heat Wave battling The Flash in a big showdown to this week when you have the brilliant but non-metahuman Piper. His sonic wave-inducing gauntlets pack quite a punch but he shouldn’t have been as formidable as he turned out to be. Rathaway used to be Wells’ golden child, whose brilliance helped engineer the particle accelerator but when it came time to engage the machine his dire warnings were ignored. We all saw what happened when the accelerator went haywire due to Wells’ hubris and ego.

 Rathaway was betrayed and fired because he challenged Wells and now he’s back for retribution. It's this vow for vengeance that drives Rathaway as Piper but remains one-dimensional despite having a backstory that could have been mined for more development. As a rich kid with intolerant parents of their gay son there was a chance to create some sympathy for the character but instead he remained more of a jerk throughout. 

Wells was the focus of 'The Sound and the Fury' and as such it's always interesting to see if we'll get a clearer picture into who he is. Sure, on the one hand he's a brilliant scientist mentoring the Fastest Man Alive but on the other he's also the Reverse Flash taunting Flash and toying with life. Or is he merely helping him to become a better superhero in light of the impending crisis foretold in his magic closet? 

Certainly his magnificent mind has elevated science and technology but in his heart does he truly care for those around him? If the arrival of Rathaway did anything it forced Wells to express his feelings to Cisco, Caitlin and Barry. But not just in words but in action. His impromptu press conference showed he was taking responsibility for ignoring warnings by his colleague and apologizing for his error in judgment. The great Dr. Wells had to humble himself and admit he was wrong. After all, the accelerator accident had altered the lives of many for good and bad. He owed many, including Caitlin, at the very least an apology for callously going through the event. 

It does become clear that Wells does have affection for his team at least on some level. He's still keeping plenty of secrets and if Wells, played brilliantly by Tom Cavanaugh, isn't careful he will be exposed. Joe, for one, is convinced he's hiding something. He's already made it clear to Wells that there's something amiss with parallels to the murder of Barry's mother. He has Eddie snooping around. There was plenty of foreshadowing that will surely pay off at some point. 

Thankfully it appears Iris will finally emerge from the love triangle mud pit that was slowing down her development with a new gig at the local newspaper. It gets off the wrong foot with being treated as an unqualified mindless newbie by her coworkers. It's rather cliched but could be a springboard for better storylines than she's been involved in. 

Some things were rather awkward in the action scenes this week. Flash has a harder time taking the non-powered villain of Piper down. Even in the climactic showdown it made little sense what the Pied Piper had planned if his intention was to murder a great number of people he certainly went about it in the least efficient manner. Pipe is not a metahuman so why was held in the STAR Labs prison? And why aren't there any toilets in the cells?

 Piper's surprising offer to Cisco at the end could be why writers imprisoned him there. There's still a chance to develop the character if he's going to be around. So many questions still left unanswered. What is Well's "end game" anyway?  When will we see Firestorm again?

A solid but middling episode that centered mostly on Wells and fell short on fleshing out the villain. As fans we've become spoiled with great episodes. Every now and then The Flash is due for a downer. 

Check out scenes from next week's episode and the synopsis below:

The Flash 1x12 "Crazy for You" - Caitlin (Danielle Panabaker) decides that she and Barry (Grant Gustin) need to move on from Ronnie (guest star Robbie Amell) and Iris (Candice Patton) and find new loves so she takes him for a night out at the local karaoke bar. Caitlin doesn’t have any luck making a love connection but Barry meets Linda Park (guest star Malese Jow), a sports reporter for the Central City Picture News, and asks her out on a date.When Barry tells Iris he has a date, Iris is surprised by her reaction.
 Meanwhile, Cisco (Carlos Ramon) considers Hartley’s (guest star Andy Mientus) dangerous offer and the team searches for Shawna (guest star Britne Oldford), a meta-human with teleportation powers, who just busted her boyfriend Clay (guest star Micah Parker) out of Iron Heights. When Henry (guest star John Wesley Shipps) snoops around in an attempt to help Joe (Jesse L. Martin) and Barry solve the crime, he ends up in the infirmary after getting roughed up by inmates. Rob Hardy directed the episode written by Aaron Helbing & Todd Helbing (#112). 


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