Flashpoints – The Sound and the Fury

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It’s that time of year everyone! Time to pay the piper! A new (or old) foe has targeted Dr Wells using deadly sonic technology and digs up some skeletons in the closet for pretty much everyone! Hartley Rathaway aka the pied piper, an ex-employee of S.T.A.R labs has a bone to pick with nearly everyone he meets! Claiming to know Dr Wells ‘big secret’ and manipulating the entire gang, Hartley’s one man war against Dr Wells in this chess themed episode could spell doom for the flash! Probably won’t though.

Our story begins with Dr Wells directing Barry on how to stop the royal flush gang, keeping with the chess theme of this episode. Dr Wells returns home after a long day of pretending to be a paraplegic only to wind up being called by a mysterious person saying ‘we both know what you did’ before his house is attacked by strange energy pulses!

Meanwhile Iris gets a job at the central city picture news, only to quickly discover she is only wanted because of her blog about the Flash, ouch. Not only that but she get paired Mason Bridge who is just the worst. THE WORST. Still, Iris comes out on top when, During a press conference Bridge has his question dodged only for Iris to back him up, maybe earning his respect possibly? It’s never really confirmed.

Dr Wells, knowing who attacked his house: one Hartley Rathaway, who used specialised sonic technology expects him to attack again while back in Barry’s crime lab, Joe and Barry use sonic frequencies to blow stuff up because it’s fun. Seriously, they’re having a whale of a time! But then it’s inevitably ruined when Rathaway industries is attacked by ‘Someone’ and Barry has to deal with him. The coming epic confrontation is… well its brief; Barry beats Hartley pretty easily and takes him to S.T.A.R labs, muttering about Wells ‘Deep Dark secret’.

The flashbacks of this week detail Hartley’s relationship with Caitlin, Cisco and Wells and how Hartley ended up on the wrong side of Wells. Initially playing chess with Wells two years prior the two share a mutual admiration, but when Cisco arrives Hartley’s jealously is apparent. His relationship with Caitlin is less antagonistic and more dismissive when he shoos her away after asking for Ronnie to give him some data or science stuff. His estrangement from Wells occurs when he is investigating the accelerator believing (quite correctly) that there is a chance that the accelerator might explode and hurt people. But nooooooo, Wells has to fire Hartley and keep going with his insane plan thereby creating demons that come back to haunt him, jeeze I thought this guy was smart!

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Wells reveals to Cisco Barry and Caitlin and eventually Central City that there was always the risk of the accelerator exploding but he ignored it. Hartley meanwhile escapes from S.T.A.R labs after stealing data on The Flash’s biological scans. Hartley, seeing through the ruse, again attacks a public place to draw Flash out. Barry is forced to juggle avoiding Hartley’s sonic blasts and saving the innocents he endangers but disarms him again. But that was Hartley’s plan all along! With the S.T.A.R labs data, Hartley knows Barry’s natural frequency and his sonic devices then match that frequency to kill him! Thinking quickly, Wells uses the satellite radio for one of the cars to use Hartley’s own trick against him, matching the frequency of his weapons, destroying them and saving Barry!

The rewarding epilogue of the episode! Huzzah! This episode actually has a more interesting epilogue than its final teaser. We see that both Eddie and Joe, suspicious of Wells have decided to investigate him secretly. Not only that but Hartley, back in prison tells Cisco that he will release Hartley because He knows what happened to Ronnie Raymond. Dun dun duuuun! Oh yes and the end of episode teaser is pretty cool too!

Another great episode in the series, the sound and the fury takes one of Flash’s more outright silly villains and makes him damn cool. Hartley is portrayed by Andy Mientus as a scheming, nearly sociopathic genius, who constantly alienates himself from others due to his (as Caitlin says) ‘Challenging personality’. Set to become a wealthy business owner Hartley’s family disowned him after he came out which does give us a little sympathy for him, but he still remains an intellectual snob. Just like in the comics, Hartley repairs his hearing with sonic technology and then utilises sound waves as offensive weapons.

TTT

The end of episode reveal this week showed us Dr Wells using the tachyon device to re-charge his speed, as we saw throughout the episode that his super speed was unbalanced and volatile. Then we hear his super computer Gideon tell wells that his speed-force absorption is at 35%. The SPEED FORCE! The alternate dimension that gives speedsters their speed in the comics, a huge part of the flash mythology finally gets mentioned! What else is interesting is that Wells’ speed comes and goes, hmmm why is that I wonder? Wells’ endgame is approaching… exiting stuff!

The whole Iris-job hunt story was fair, my enthusiasm for Iris has dropped as the series progressed and I don’t find myself all that interested in her lately. Even her new employers only see her as someone with an ‘IN’ with the flash, a subtle nod to the audience perhaps?

This episode really saw Barry and Caitlin take a back seat to Cisco and Wells which is a long time coming, with Cisco getting something of a nemesis in Hartley. The two frequently clash throughout the episode and Hartley is playing on Cisco to get him released. Dr Wells gets a large spotlight and I’m finding it harder and harder to hold onto my theory that Wells is not the reverse-flash…anyhoo this episode show’s a combination of both Wells’ humanity and his ruthlessness: he had and has a genuine bond with Hartley and his team but anything that interferes with his plans is annihilated. End of.

The Chess theme in this episode was almost a bit forced with some nice subtle nods like the royal flush gang, with their members ‘king’ and ‘queen’ and then Wells and Hartley’s chess heavy dialogue. Still it was pretty appropriate, with our two most clued-in and manipulative characters as the players, and everyone in Central City as pieces on the board. In all honesty it’s the motifs and character references like this that give you theories about the show, like how convinced I now am that Hartley will have a major role in the season finale or in Wells endgame.

 

STRAY THOUGHTS

  • I don’t know if that picture DOES count as a selfie Barry… also how the hell did the camera not fall after being suspended mid air even at super speed HMMMMMMMM??

 

  • Hehehehehe Gumption is a funny word!

 

  • OK I get that as the audience we know something is up with Wells, but how is it that only JOE AND EDDIE actually guess that something’s SUPER suspicious about him?!

 

  • Also, what the hell does Eddie do these days?! And here I thought he was cool….

 

  • Harrison Wells has failed this city! I was almost expecting an arrow to fly at him after he said that!

 

  • In a really progressive move, the only people who care that Hartley is gay are his parents, which is great that being gay didn’t overshadow his character

 

  • I guess you could say…that the pied piper….is a ‘sound’ lad! YEEEEEAAAAAAAH!

 

  • Joe really does have it hard being so handsome.

 

About the Author:

The lovable slacker type, Colm Sheppard is into all things comic book. He enjoys good food, good stories and lengthy anecdotes.

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About English Den

Experienced, qualified and professional English teacher working in Warsaw, Poland. Interested in pop culture, and using pop culture to teach languages. Available for private or in-business classes. International classes also available on Skype. Contact Cian.shep@gmail.com for further information.
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