The Pied Piper comes to Central City to menace Team Flash with deadly sub-woofers.
So there’s a new Royal Flush Gang, which may or may not have some affiliation with the Royal Flush Gang from Arrow. We’ll never know as they were deemed so irrelevant that we found out nothing about them. They’re just there to prove how totally brilliant Harrison Wells is.
After successfully helping to thwart the bad guy, Wells heads home to his swanky house where he can walk around listening to arias and plotting his next move in his great and possibly evil game of chess. Only his plotting gets interrupted by a visit from the Pied Piper, who is cranky with Wells for a long list of reasons.
And we get the first sight of Wells actually using the Speed Force. Interestingly, the lightning around him was red in color. So that mystery just gets curiouser and curiouser.
Team Flash shows up, along with the cops, to investigate. Wells is like, “Oh, it was just some silly kids pulling a prank by shattering my ceiling and causing a rain of deadly glass to come down on my head. You know how kids are.”
Joe West calls bullshit. So does Barry. And after reassembling some of the glass at lightning speed (which sort of doesn’t really make sense, but we’re just gonna go with it) Barry declares that it wasn’t a rock through the ceiling with a note tied to it reading, “You’re no Professor X” but was in fact something sinister. And Wells is like, “Yeah, it’s this cute little twink whose heart I broke.”
It turns out Hartley Rathaway used to work at Star Labs. He’s the heir to a billion-dollar company but was disowned because he came out as gay. Kind of cool how his origin story is interwoven with his coming out story. Anyway, Rathaway is the jealous sort and when Wells hired Cisco, it made Rathaway quite pouty. Wells had to assure him, “You will always be my guy.”
In this week’s nonsensical Iris West plot, she has been hired by a news editor who was impressed with her blog. I wondered if she was going to wind up working at the same place Will Horton is working at, since the hiring standards seem about the same.
Instead of doing what any actual newspaper editor would do and just straight up tell her, “You’re here to bring us stories on the Flash” her new boss pretends there was some other reason for her hiring. Her Pulitzer-prize winning coworker is less than impressed with her, which maybe I was supposed to find mean but really I was just nodding my head.
Joe has a fatherly chat with Barry where he suggests that maybe there’s a chance Wells isn’t all that and a bag of chips. Barry is miffed and even persnickety. Before he can actually get full-on crabby Eddie runs in with news that Rathaway is attacking his dad’s office building.
“You never loved me!”
“You never appreciated my extensive knowledge of fine couture!”
*blows up a car*
“You made me play third base!”
*wrecks some cop cars*
And so on.
The Flash shows up and shoves him down like a big bully. Rathaway taunts him, because taunting is in the villain handbook, and blasts Flash through a sign. That gets him a serious time out. Barry seems to have finally realized that taking away a villain’s weapons makes that villain much less effective. With any luck, he’ll remember that the next time Captain Cold and Heatwave roll into town.
As Rathaway is hauled into Star Labs (why not the police station…?) he let out his best line:
“Being scooped up by a guy in head to toe leather is a long-time fantasy of mine, so thanks.”
Absolutely no one is happy to see the little scamp. Cisco takes him to the Super Villain Dungeon of Permanent Imprisonment. Ouch. For vandalism? At some point, someone may need to have a chat with Team Flash about due process.
Rathaway struts his linguistic talents by switching from Spanish to Latin to French, leaving Barry dizzy and saying, “I wish I took a language in high school.”
Cisco scans him and notices there are foreign metal objects in the guy’s ears. He tells Rathaway to remove them and Rathaway is like, “but I really need them” and so Cisco shrugs and takes him at his word. I think I would have expected Cisco to be like, “Taking them out causes you excruciating agony? Oh, then definitely hand them over.”
After fencing with the adorable evil nerd for a little bit, Wells returns to Team Flash and fesses up that he maybe sort of was warned by Rathaway that the particle accelerator would blow up. But it was just a small chance, really. Sure, in retrospect it looks bad, what with all the dead people and evil super psychos running around, but hindsight is always 20/20.
Caitlin is pretty much horrified on account of the fact that her fiancé was one of those people who died and then came back to life as a flaming lunatic . Cisco is also peeved. And Barry has some hurt feelings too, so Wells gets the impression that being sorry isn’t quite going to cut it. Since no one seems to need to be gutted like a fish, though, that leaves Wells at a loss as to what to do.
Turns out, our clever little bad boy got caught just so he could break out and gain access to Star Labs’ computers. He gives Cisco a concussion and Caitlin a shiner on his way out, which mean he may in fact deserve to be locked up in the Dungeon.
Barry arrives too late, which is weird since his speed lets him virtually be in two places at once on this show. But that’s only when they want to do funny things like have Barry take a selfie.
In an effort to get Rathaway to stop it with all the evil and destruction, Wells goes on TV and tells everyone that he was a tiny bit more responsible for nearly destroying the city than he had previously admitted to.
But that doesn’t stop Rathaway, who is still full of hurt feelings and anger at his rejection. He figures that since Barry replaced him in Wells’ heart at Wells’ side, the only appropriate action to take would be to kill Barry. Yikes. This is a bit extreme. Dude, just move on. Go to daddyhunt.com and find a new guy to wear your naughty school boy costume for.
They have their showdown at the nearby dam where Barry thinks he’s got the upper hand only to discover that the Pied Piper is a low-down dirty cheat. He nearly kills the Flash by vibrating him apart and would have succeeded were it not for the fact that Wells is a tiny bit smarter than him.
Rathaway gets stuck back in the dungeon, much to Cisco’s delight. But the last laugh seems to be Hartley’s as he tells Cisco he has info about Ronnie Raymond which is available for the low low price of one Get Out of Jail Free Card.
Barry goes to reassure Joe that he is in no danger of being replaced in his role as father figure—well, unless Henry Allen gets out and then Joe will be sent packing. Joe listens to the heartwarming speech and responds perfectly with, “awwww.”
Barry turns to go and runs into Eddie. And Eddie’s all, “Hey Barry…” in a way that will keep the Barry/Eddie ship alive.
Eddie has been off-screen combing through Wells’ house for evidence that he is in fact an evil bastard. But there was not a single subscription of “Nefarious Schemer” weekly. Joe is determined to keep looking, though.
Wells’ epilogue this time has him struggling with the Speed Force and things to do with his time travel and what all. I didn’t understand it all, but he did say he was close to reaching his endgame, which is basically a reason for everyone to be afraid.
That’s it for this week. Sound off in the comments!