The Flash, S1 Ep11 – The Sound and the Fury

Rather than facing off against another meta-human of the week, “The Sound and the Fury” sees Barry Allen go up against Hartley Rathaway (Andy Mientus) a former associate of Dr. Wells, Caitlin Snow, and Cisco Ramon – who causes destruction through sound waves. Rathaway, going by the name Pied Piper, makes his way back to Central City with a vendetta against Dr. Wells, leading to Team Flash discovering a dark secret concerning their boss.

The Flash, S1 Ep11 - The Sound and the Fury (02)

Andy Mientus as Pied Piper

The use of Hartley Rathaway allows us to learn more about Dr. Wells, a.k.a. the Reverse-Flash. Near the beginning of the episode Hartley attacks Wells in his own home, causing Wells to utilize his super speed and get out of harm’s way. Later on in the episode, after Rathaway is initially imprisoned in S.T.A.R. Labs, Wells uses his speed once more as Rathaway gets loose. It’s here we discover that Wells can only use his super speed before it starts to fail on him. The reasons why this happens is unclear, but it further fleshes out why Wells is so interested in seeing Barry become all that he can be. Wells may be studying Barry in a attempt to make his own power more permanent.

Before escaping S.T.A.R. Labs, Rathaway informs the team of a dark secret Wells has been hiding, and it’s not the fact that Wells is the Reverse-Flash. Instead he claims that he warned Wells of the possible particle accelerator incident before it happened, leading Cisco and Caitlin to believe the whole event could’ve been avoided. Of course, as the audience we know the particle accelerator explosion happened exactly according to Wells’ plan, creating The Flash in the process.

“The Sound and the Fury” also aims to flesh out Wells’, Rathaway’s, and even Cisco’s back-story through the use of flashbacks. These flashbacks helped illustrate how much of a jerk Rathaway was even before he became the villain Pied Piper, as we see an unhealthy rivalry between him and Cisco begin to brew.

Rathaway’s power-set proves to be a challenging one for Barry towards the conclusion, as Rathaway uses his sound waves to throw cars off a bridge. Rathaway isn’t the first villain to understand you can’t just take The Flash head on, but need to distract him by harming innocent bystanders. This leads to The Flash committing some amazing feats of heroism we have not seen before as he saves people from falling cars. Rathaway does get the upper hand eventually, but luckily Wells is able to outsmart him creating sound waves from nearby car stereos that cancel out Rathaway’s.

While I’m sure there can still be some animosity towards Wells from his associates for the apparent mistake he made, he at least comes out to the press apologizing for and admitting that the particle accelerator explosion was avoidable. He even goes as far as saying he failed this city. Oliver Queen would be proud. Still, there are some that aren’t buying into Wells’ lies, as the episode concludes with Detective West and Detective Thawne deciding they will continue to investigate him.

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Wells admits his wrongdoing to Central City

Iris West also has some noteworthy scenes in “The Sound and the Fury” as she gets hired by Central City Picture News. In what was probably already pretty obvious to the audience, Iris eventually discovers that she was only hired by them because it’s assumed she has a connection to The Flash based on her popular blog about the Central City hero. This leads to Iris having second thoughts about the new position, but Barry is at least able to console her. We see their new friendship is going well, and Iris even proves herself possibly worthy of her new job while at Dr. Wells’ press conference.

“The Sound and the Fury” pushes The Flash into new territory, setting new status quos for certain characters. We learn more about Wells and how his super speed works (or doesn’t work), and see that West continues to be suspicious of him. Additionally, Rathaway informs Cisco that he knows what’s become of Caitlin’s fiancé Ronnie Raymond, and is willing to give Cisco the info in exchange for his freedom from his S.T.A.R. Labs prison cell. The Flash continues to be intriguing, and “The Sound and the Fury” progresses the story adequately.

Overall, this was another satisfying episode for the series. Some moments I particularly enjoyed for their heart and humor were seeing Barry take a group selfie, and Detective West delivering a sarcastic “awww” towards Barry’s sappy speech about their father-son relationship. Also, actor Andy Mientus made for a pretty good villain and really sold how much of a jerk Rathaway is, especially during the flashback scenes. Lastly, though it was brief, “The Sound and the Fury” made a neat reference to Arrow and The CW’s DC universe as the episode opened with Barry taking down members of the Royal Flush Gang criminals not seen since season one of Arrow.

Next week’s episode will see Barry Allen go on dates and attempt to balance his social life with his super hero life. Check out The CW’s official promo for “Crazy For You” below and feel free to let us know what you thought about “The Sound and the Fury” in the comments.

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