The Flash Season 1 Ep 11 (TV Show Review)
CW’s The Flash roared back with its mid-season premiere last week by showing the first good and proper villain team-up between Leonard Snart aka Captain Cold and Mick Rory aka Heat Wave. As part of The Rogues, Captain Cold and Heat Wave certainly have a lot of cachet among Flash’s rogues gallery, and the ending of the episode certainly bore that out with an off-camera debut for Snart’s sister, Lisa, also known as Glider in the comics. Of course, that wasn’t the end-all for the episode because we continued to see how the new status quo from the end of the mid-season finale was continuing to effect all the characters, especially the revelation that Harrison Wells was indeed Reverse-Flash.
In this week’s “The Sound and The Fury” we see the debut of another of Barry’s many villains, Hartley Rathaway aka Pied Piper. In this version of the villain, who still thankfully maintains his roots as a gay character, we see him as one of the many scientists who worked on the STAR Labs particle accelerator, but who is curiously never mentioned by any of the remaining member of Wells’ team. That’s the mystery here, exploring why Rathaway has it in for Wells and why he’s turned into a villain, in addition to some other stuff, almost all of which was pretty excellent.
Let me start off by saying that beyond anything else in the show, the highlight was when Gideon, Harrison Wells’ AI assistant in his secret lair, mentions the phrase “Speed Force energy”. Now, correct me if I’m wrong, but I’m pretty sure that this is the first instance of this phrase being mentioned at all on the show, and just by those three words, a huge world of possibilities suddenly opens up. In the comics, the Speed Force is the energy-spectrum from which all speed-based superheroes draw their powers from. Barry Allen, Bart Allen, Wally West, Jay Garrick, etc. And in various big events and stories, the Speed Force has played a big part.
Hence my excitement. Building on the fact that the Reverse-Flash stole a tachyon thingamajig back in the mid-season finale, we see the villain using it to somehow stabilize his Speed Force energy. Which makes things really interesting in that we see Harrison Wells actually have some problems with moving as fast as he does. We already know that he is far faster than Barry, enough to give him an edge over the hero, but this raises the question of why he is still in the “past” so to speak. My theory is that when he and Future-Flash came back in time, he somehow became stranded, having used up too much Speed Force energy, and now he needs the tachyon thingamajig to restore those energy reserves. What happened to Future-Flash is anybody’s guess since we haven’t seen anything about him on the show other than in the pilot when he and Reverse-Flash had their big pow-wow in Barry’s home.
The plot thickens. And maybe this is also a setup to Wally West eventually getting introduced on the show. Which would be, like, totally awesome since I love Wally West as The Flash. Of course, he’d start out as Kid Flash, but yeah. Maybe season two material?
The majority of the episode deals with Hartley’s antics. As I mentioned, he was one of the leading engineers on the particle accelerator and also Wells’ protege, though the two of them had a falling out just before the project went live. The writers certainly build up an interesting chemistry between Wells and Rathaway, showing that perhaps their relationship was more than just master-apprentice, something more even since we know that Rathaway has strong feelings for Wells, considers them partners even, and that he “came out” to his parents before the big accident and was disowned or something.
A very nice angle to be sure, and in a way, this relationship speaks to the future of the relationship between Harrison and Barry, since we already know that at some point the former is going to reveal himself as the Man in the Yellow Suit, the man who killed Nora Allen, thereby shattering Barry’s world once again in a storm of revealed betrayal and deception. Not to mention the effect that this will have on Caitlin and Cisco, both of whom look up to Harrison already and are his staunchest defenders, though their trust is sorely tested in this episode when the Scooby Gang finds out something dreadful related to why Hartley left the project before the particle accelerator went live.
And can I just say that Hartley’s costume was absolutely drab and boring?
Heavy stuff there.
In other moments, we spend some time with Iris West. Early on, she is hired on by the local big-name newspaper as their cub reporter, and we see eventually that she was hired only because of her supposed connection to The Flash. Last week, Captain Cold pretty much confirmed to the city at large that a red-streaked mystery defender did exist and now everyone wants a piece of the pie, so to speak. Hence Iris getting hired. But, she’s sworn off The Flash, so that creates a dilemma for her.
What I really liked was that Iris got taken down a few pegs. Initially she is so happy that she got an internship and was accepted for a job at the paper, but that quickly became a liability for her. We’ve seen that she’s a journalism student and she started her Flash blog as a kinda-sorta fun thing to do with respect to that. But she hasn’t done ANYTHING else with her journalism skills/knowledge, other than work the coffee scene at the coffee shop where she worked before, and that’s kind of the point of the whole thing.
Iris now has to toughen up and grow up so she can be taken seriously as a cub reporter. That’s all there is to it. She’s no Lois Lane or Chloe Sullivan or Vicki Vale yet. She has to be diligent and thorough if she wants to be a serious journalist and this is why I liked this sequence so much.
What everything comes down to is the fact that this episode was pretty much on point with everything. More mysteries, more changes in the status quo, that sort of thing.
And oh yeah, Detective West is still not fully convinced about Harrison Wells being as squeaky-clean as he claims, and is ready to batten down the hatches and get back to investigating him. That’s gonna be fun!
Posted on January 29, 2015, in Review Central, The Flash, TV Show Reviews and tagged Action, Andrew Kreisberg, Arrow, Barry Allen, Caitlin Snow, Candice Patton, Carlos Valdes, Central City, Cisco Ramon, Comics Television, Crime, CW, Danielle Panabaker, DC Comics, Detective West, Drama, Eddie Thawne, Flash, Genre Television, Geoff Johns, Grant Gustin, Green Arrow, Greg Berlanti, Grodd, Hartley Rathaway, Henry Allen, Iris West, Jesse L. Martin, Joe West, John Wesley Shipp, Killer Frost, LGBT Characters, LGBT Villains, Mystery, Nora Allen, Oliver Queen, Peyton List, Pied Piper, Professor Zoom, Reverse-Flash, Review, Review Central, Rick Cosnett, Scarlet Speedster, Science Fiction, Superhero Fiction, Superhero Television, Superheroes, Supervillains, Television, Television Adaptation, The Flash, The Flash Season 1, The Flash Season 1 Ep 11, The Rogues, Tom Cavanagh, Tony Woodward, TV Show, TV Show Review, Vibe, Wally West. Bookmark the permalink. 7 Comments.