The Flash continued its awesome second half of Season 1 last night. So let’s slow things down for a bit and take a Closer Look at this week’s episode “The Sound And The Fury”.
The Prodigal Son Returns – The Pied Piper:
“Everyone has a hero. Someone they look up to and admire. Someone they wish they could be. Its easy to believe in hero. What’s hard is when our heroes stop believing in us”
When Barry opened the episode with these words, we figured it’d be about Barry’s hero worship of Wells and how he is probably going to turn on Barry. Though in the context of “when our heroes stop believing in us”, these lines actually set up the Pied Piper and all of his motivations. This brilliant former apprentice to Doctor Wells certainly doesn’t play well with others. Add in the fact that his own family disowned him when he came out as homosexual, and there are a lot of people he’d like to get revenge on. Though none of those people matter, only Wells. So when Wells didn’t listen to him about the problems with the Particle Accelerator and threatened to end his career, Hartley Rathaway found out just how hard it is when your “heroes stop believing in [you].
Now many of you might be wondering why Hartley didn’t kill Wells when he had the chance at Star Labs. Remember, Wells is the only one who matters to Hartley so he doesn’t want to kill him. Hartley sees the Flash as Wells’s new golden boy and wants to take him down to show Wells who the true “chosen one” is. Getting captured at outside the Rathaway building, stealing Barry’s medical scans and then letting himself get disarmed in the final battle were all part of Hartley’s plan to kill his competition and make himself #1 in Wells’s eyes again – not because he wanted to please Wells but rather show him up and get the last word.
Complicated plan right? Wells said that Hartley was a master of distraction and is excellent at hiding his true end game – though so if Wells. The Chess imagery was very prominent in this episode; but as we all saw in the episode’s opening – and final – moments, Wells is pretty good at hiding his end game too. If Hartley is several steps ahead, Wells is ten. Just like how Wells won chess in those flashbacks, he outsmarts Hartley at the end by hacking satellite radio broadcasts in order to hit a frequency strong enough to shatter Hartley’s sound gloves.
An Ace Up His Sleeve – Information On Firestorm:
Even with his tech shattered, it seems as though Hartley has one final ace up his sleeve – information on Ronnie. The dig at Caitlin about not getting an invite to the wedding certainly showed that he knew about him getting caught in the blast. Though now we know that he’s aware of much more. Somehow someway, Hartley knows where Ronnie is, what happened to him, and how to save him. If this really is following the comics – and Ronnie’s Firestorm is the fused consciousness of Ronnie and Professor Stein – then perhaps he’ll know how to separate the two.
The Real End Game Is Almost Here – Speed Force:
As I already said, Hartley isn’t the only one who’s a master of hiding his end game. So what is Wells? We learned in this episode that he is indeed a Speedster; but the Speed seems to be running out. We first got wind of this when he was running through Star Labs when Hartley escaped only to collapse as his leg started trembling, to which he said “not now”. This means that he knows what’s happening to him and could also explain why he started the whole ‘wheelchair’ lie in the first place.
Wells can certainly walk; but it seems as though he has to rest quite a bit if he wants to use that super speed unless he wants to collapse. By remaining in a wheels chair most of the time it’ll give him the necessary rest he needs; but it seems to not be enough anymore as he finds himself unable to hold onto his speed. The Tachyon particles he stole seem to only offer a temporary fix to restoring his Speed Force; but with the real end game – whatever that is – quickly approaching, it doesn’t matter. Though what exactly is Speed Force and how did Wells lose it?
Well Speed Force is the power all Speedsters have that allows them to well . . . have super speed. As for how Wells lost it, that remains to be seen. Perhaps the Particle Accelerator explosion had an adverse effect on him and zapped his Speed Force. Though a more detailed guess could have to do with how he seems to be a time traveler. Going fast enough to travel through time could certainly drain his Speed Force; but why can’t he just regain it naturally? Well since time travel is involved, perhaps the Speed Force wasn’t created until Barry/The Flash achieves it. That could explain why Wells is so adamant on Barry getting faster and faster. If he creates the Speed Force, then Wells will be back at full strength.
Do You Trust Wells?:
‘Do you trust Wells’, well isn’t that the million dollar question. There is certainly a lot of complicating evidence on the subject. If there was any doubt about him being the Reverse Flash, this episode got rid of all that plausible deniability as we saw him speed here and there with the noticeable red lightning – the same lightning the Reverse Flash gives off. Add in the fact that he’s in possession of the suit, and it’s something we should just accept. Though despite knowing that he’s the Reverse Flash, his allegiance and end game are just as confusing as ever as we get foreshadowing for things both good and bad.
“One day this man will turn on you, in a flash; and you wont see it coming. I only hope that he leaves you in better shape than he left me. If you’re lucky, you’ll only be dead.” – Hartley Rathaway
This line by Hartley was certainly the most foreboding of the lines said about Wells this episode. Joe and Eddie certainly doesn’t trust Wells as they continue and ongoing investigation. From a seemingly ‘crippled’ man avoiding falling glass without a scratch to just his overall air of secrecy, Joe knows he’s hiding something. Then again, there is just as much evidence to see that Wells might not actually be so bad after all.
“I hope one day to restore your faith and trust in me” – Doctor Wells to Barry
Barry might have told Wells “that day was today”; but I severely doubt Wells was talking about the immediate situation. Barry will loose trust in Wells sometime in the near future; but I’m willing to be Wells will earn it back before everything is said and done. There could still be a bit of a hero in him – or at least maybe there used to be. If you noticed at the start of the episode – after the motorcycle takedown – Barry told Wells that he was pretty good at being a hero. The lingering look on Wells’s face conveys sadness; but at what? Is he guilty about some villainous plan or did he actually used to be a hero? Either way, this gives us some hope for Wells being the man we – and Barry – hope he could be.
Possible Meanings of “The Sound & The Fury”
The episode title “The Sound And The Fury” could of course refer to the Pied Piper’s use of SOUND weapons to vent his FURY at Wells. Then again, we could also bring up how it shares its name with a famous book by William Faulkner. Though it’s not the novel that could offer some insights as much as its original source, Shakespeare’s MacBeth.
MacBeth laments how life “is a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury. Signifying nothing” after his love dies and he prepares to face an army of enemies. None of this actually happened in the episode; but this title could serve as a very interesting – and hidden – foreshadowing Iris’s death and another massive battle with the Rogues this season. Just a hypothesis of course!
Easter Eggs & Other Important Moments:
- Those three motorcyclists at the start of the episode were members of the Royal Flush Gang, – a family of bank robbers in the DC universe. Though these robbers also appeared in Season 1 of Arrow; but it seems like the family has grown a bit since we last saw them.
- Cisco is wearing a shirt that says “Keep Calm And Han Shot First”, a reference to Star Wars IV: A New Hope where Han Solo shot Greedo first rather than in retaliation as newer rereleases of the film would make it appear.
- As far as I know, Iris’s coworker Mason Bridge doesn’t exist in the comics; however, there is a character named Mason Trollbridge who was a depression era New York vigilante named “The Clipper” who would clip the top of people’s ears off so that even if the police didn’t catch them everyone would know they couldn’t be trusted.
- Well’s tells the team that he not only failed them; but also how he “Failed This City”, another clear reference to Arrow whenever the Arrow tells his targets “You Have Failed This City”.
- If the Flash wants to be in a photo; but no one else is around to take it . . . “does that count as a selfie”? “Absolutely!”
- When Barry is listing all the people Joe probably felt he’d have to compete with for the role of father figure, he says Neil Tyson. It might sound weird without the middle name; but this is Neil DeGrasse Tyson – a pretty cool astrophysicist.
God, I think The Flash is very quickly – no pun intended – becoming my favorite show on Television. Ever since the Arrow/Flash crossover event, this show now has the perfect balance of humor and dire seriousness. I can’t wait to see what happens next. So stay tuned, Follow Me On Facebook and I hope you enjoyed this ‘Closer Look’.