UK VOD TV review: The Flash Episode 11
Pied Piper debut6
50 shades of Wells10
Amon Warmann | On 20, Feb 2015
Warning: This contains spoilers for Episode 11 of The Flash.
Although it’s only 11 episodes into its maiden season, The Flash has gone out of its way to roll out a bevy of comic book villains for our hero to lock horns with, from Captain Cold to Plastique. This week saw another fiend added to the roster in the form of Hartley Rathaway – better known as the Pied Piper – and while the character’s debut was notable, The Sound and the Fury was less so.
Elements of Rathaway’s comic book guise remained – specifically his genius and his fraught relationship with his parents because of his gayness – but The Flash wisely ditched the character’s mind-control flute and other fantastical elements. Retconning the villain’s origin story by having him be Wells’ first and ultimately spurned protégé was another smart move, as it made things a little more personal for our STAR Labs team (particularly Cisco) and led to some interesting story developments. However, while Andrew Mientus did a solid job of portraying Rathaway’s arrogance and anger, there wasn’t much more too him than that and choosing not to explore the character’s complex issues robbed him of some much needed sympathy.
Not for the first time, though, the standout character was Dr. Wells, and Tom Cavanagh was on particularly great form this week. The writers continued to do an excellent job of giving us just as many answers as questions, ranging from the revelation of Wells’ artificially-induced speed powers to more clues as to his still
mysterious endgame. A little bit of suspension of disbelief was required when he came forward and confesses he knew about the potential dangers of turning on the particle accelerator (lawsuits anyone?), but it was a standout moment for the character that proved he cares at least a little about his friends.
On the action front, this episode goes down as one of the rare occasions where The Flash dropped the ball. There wasn’t really anything all that thrilling, the opening chase sequence – featuring The Royal Flush Gang, who first appeared in Arrow – was executed poorly, and the final encounter with Pied Piper was very underwhelming. After seeing Barry rescue a train car full of people, watching him do similar with people in cars didn’t quite have that same thrill factor. With its impressive track record up to this point, we’re chalking this one up to an anomaly.
Iris also received some welcome development, as she got hired as a journalist for the Central City Picture News (Iris is a photographer for the CCPN in the comics) only to learn it was merely because of her coverage of the Flash. If nothing else, watching her establish herself as a serious writer over the coming weeks should give the character a much-needed dimension to go with the love triangle angst.
All of which adds up to a solid episode, but not one that will linger in the memory.
The Flash is available to watch online on NOW TV, as part of a £7.99 monthly subscription – no contract. Sign up before 27th September and new customers will only pay £1 for their first month.
Where can I buy or rent The Flash online in the UK?
The Flash is available to watch online on blinkbox, Amazon Instant Video, Google Play and iTunes.
Photo: Warner Bros. Entertainment, Inc.