Episode Title: The Sound and the Fury
Original Airdate: 1-27-15
Once again, the Flash reminds me of Smallville in some of the best ways. Even when it has an episode with a fairly weak villain as the main focus of the episode, there are still some great elements of character development that are just too interesting and/or enjoyable to ignore. There is a lot to dislike in The Sound and the Fury from the rather uninspired villain of the week who has sonic gloves and a hearing aid that more or less turns down his super hearing, or at least just tempers his extreme tinnitus. Not to mention overplaying the chess metaphor between the Pied Piper aka Hartley Rathaway and Dr. Wells. But aside from the A story, there were some interesting developments regarding the mysterious Dr. Wells himself, giving a few more hints as to what his ultimate goal is as well as making him very analogous to Smallville’s Lex Luthor in the early seasons when he was still trying his hardest to do good and be Clark’s friend, but it just wasn’t in his upbringing to go about it in any other way than through money and power. In a very similar way Dr. Wells is doing what he can to be a hero in Barry’s eyes, but meanwhile he has an alternative agenda in place that is much more sinister.
The episode starts off with a brief glimpse into the Royal Flush gang who are just three random motorcycle thugs with cards painted on their helmets, apparently a completely different gang than the one featured in an earlier season of Arrow but I wouldn’t know anything about that. I won’t spend too much time on the whole Pied Piper angle, there were a few good gags, but it was exciting as watching two people play chess when you have no idea about the strategies either of them are using. When he was in his hoodie, he looked generally bored and emo, and the checkmate was a little too far on the unbelievable scale as well as being a bit anticlimactic. Nothing really made a whole lot of sense as to why some of the things were done the way that they were done, like why he was targeting his father’s company or the dam. I was almost expecting some threat of a near city-wide catastrophe with the possibility of a dam breach, but it could have happened at any random highway with no significant changes.
But where the show really caught my interest was generally just the subplot about Dr. Wells. They have been teasing his role from the very first episode. We know that he has information from the future, though we don’t know for sure if he himself is from the future or not. We know that he has a connection to the man in the yellow suit, but we don’t know for sure if he is the man in the yellow suit or not as they were seen together. And now we know that he does in fact have the ability to tap into the Speed Force, but he isn’t in full control of it yet, and it appears that he is using both Barry and the stolen Tachyon technology to help him. He also seems to be skirting the line of wanting to be a hero when we know that he very much has the capacity for villainy. We have seen him kill, more than once. We have seen him make sacrifices, but for the first time, here we see him seemingly get enjoyment out of playing the hero. There’s always the seed of doubt where he could just be doing all of this to further gain Barry’s trust, but I think that there is an element where Barry is rubbing off on him and when the time comes for him to reveal his true colors, it will have made enough of an impact that he allows Barry to gain the upper hand due to their friendship. But we will just have to wait and see.