Checkmate| The Flash “The Sound and The Fury” Review
The Flash has delivered some strong episodes, many of which revolved around The Flash learning to hone in his abilities. This episode was especially great because it focused on the periphery characters of the show, namely the crew at S.T.A.R. Labs.
In this episode, we finally get some backstory with Cisco, Caitlin and Wells, albeit only because of the current villain that’s on the loose. The flashback with Wells and Hartley (Pied Piper) goes back to them playing Chess and, of course, Wells winning. The intense gamesmanship between the two is quite evident and Wells even goes as far to label him the Prodigal Son. His intelligence is off the charts, but his abrasive personality is seen quite quickly by Caitlin and Cisco during Cisco’s first day. Hartley quips that Cisco’s attire isn’t very “professional,” but Wells obviously must see something in him to hire him. Caitlin also quips that no one really likes him, even though he was groomed by Wells. The flashback scenes did a great job of bringing us up to speed on why Hartley is so dangerous, which is quickly discovered by Barry later on in the episode. While the personification in those scenes is great, the payoff feels a little bit subdued.
Our first interaction with The Pied Piper is when he uses his specialized gloves to generate a frequency to break the skylights in Wells’ house, which is sending a message more than being a legitimate threat. And of course, at that time Wells is walking around which is always weird. We easily know by now that he doesn’t need the wheelchair, but it’s still odd seeing him walk around and seemingly no one having any clue. But, while Barry investigates the scene of the crime, Wells knew who it was and keyed Barry in on how dangerous he actually is. The first showdown goes heavily in Barry’s favor and isn’t really all that exciting.
When he is brought back to S.T.A.R Labs, Cisco and Caitlin’s reactions are great in the disdain they still show for Hartley. But of course, since Cisco has a passionate side, he lets Hartley keep the metallic objects in his ears. Of course, this allows him to escape and clone the S.T.A.R Labs hard drive. Eventually they find out that what Hartley found has allowed him to key in on Barry’s frequency. During the breakout, We see Wells walking around, but this time he does indeed fall to the ground as if he is weak. The end of the episode provides us with a huge scene that shows Wells tapping into a Speedforce contraption, thus granting him abilities similar to Barry’s.
The final showdown between the two was, yet again, not as outstanding as past episodes. It was cool seeing Barry save people from their cars that were plummeting to the ground, but the visual aesthetics just weren’t there in this episode. The scene ends with Wells sending a frequency through SAT radios in the cars that destroys Pied Piper’s gloves. And, once again, he is back in the cells under S.T.A.R. Labs. Cisco confronts Hartley and explains, pretty adamantly, that he won’t be letting him escape again. But, Hartley plays his trump card and says that he knows where and how to save Ronnie.
Meanwhile, Iris has some pretty good scenes while all the chaos ensues. She lands a job in Central City as a reporter, but her superior only wants her to cover Flash news. Also, behind the new person, no one is quite adamant to help her in her pursuits. But, as cunning as Wells is, during a press conference where he took the blame for the particle accelerator explosion, he allows Iris to ask the one and only question. This is such a great scene as it shows that, while Wells is pretty evil, he knows exactly how to play his cards in his favor, making him appear as one of the good guys.
This episode was heavily influenced by the relationships of S.T.A.R Labs, and Barry’s intro and outro monologues do a great deal to support why he is the way he is. Yes, he’s a super hero, but it’s not about his speed, but more about those that surround him. It’s nice that a superhero show delves into this aspect of the character. This was essentially the premise behind Smallville’s 10 seasons, and I think The Flash following that same system will do wonders for later episodes.