(Beware, spoilers below!)
We start off with Barry having a great time with the team fighting crime and saving others. Iris stops by back home but doesn’t stay home because she’s meant to help Eddie. She’s offered a job at Central City Picture news as Barry also celebrates capturing a couple of members of the Royal Flush Gang. In Wells’ swanky I-can-walk-in-here apartment, he’s threatened by a man calling himself the Piper and we realise that Wells can super speed too. The police show up as Caitlin and Cisco also show up, and we learn that no one has been to his house before.
We flashback to 2 years beforehand as he’s playing chess with Harley. Cisco is introduced to Harley who is less than kind to him. We can tell that Harley’s jealous of another person being brought into the team, but Wells assures him nothing will change.
Back at the crime scene Barry asks Wells why he doesn’t want help when it’s obviously not some prank. He tells him that Hartley confessed to his parents that he was gay and that mean that his wealthy parents cast him out. Joe asks him why he and Hartley fell out a year ago, but he doesn’t say anything.
At Iris’ first day she’s asked to write about The Flash and is paired up with a less than welcoming mentor Mason Bridge, though she soon figures out that he only wants to hire her because of her connection with the Flash. At the precinct Joe talks about how Barry doesn’t seem to know as much about Wells as he thinks. Though Barry disarms Hartley easily he tells Barry that he knows Wells’ secret. In S.T.A.R. labs he smart talks the team before talking to Wells personally. The latter apologises personally to Hartley but he knows that the apology is not for him but for Barry’s eyes.
After coming away from the prison he confesses to the team that he knew there was a risk the particle accelerator wouldn’t work because Hartley told him so. Barry gives out to Wells for breaking the trust of Caitlin and Cisco. In the labs the dynamic duo realise that Rathaway wanted to be caught on purpose and Wells runs out before collapsing with his legs juddering. As the whole team get taken out by Rathaway Barry is called to the scene, only to find that the perpetrator has escaped.
Back in the lab Hartley shows up once more, wreaking havoc so that he can eventually take out The Flash using Barry’s frequency. In desperation Wells sends across a frequency via satellite radio to destroy Hartley’s weapons and defeat him once and for all. Back at the lab, Barry forgives Wells before running off to see Joe. Him and Barry bond some more before we find out that Joe is carrying out an investigation on Wells via Eddie.
As Cisco can finally lock Rathaway up for good the Pied Piper tells his old nemesis that they’ll let him out soon… because he’s the only one that knows where Ronnie Raymond is, and how to save him. In Wells’ secret room he’s fiddling with a tachyonic device that he has he can’t keep up with much longer – but it’s okay because “the endgame is here soon.”
The Flash is moving through plot as fast as its eponymous hero (well, maybe not as fast), but it is no less enjoyable to watch. Rathaway was a compelling villain to have as someone who was very close to Wells and whose ultimate objectives are even now hard to pin down. Though he did ‘a Loki’ (is that a thing? I’ll make it a thing) by letting himself get captured Andy Mientus made his performance compelling, even though I think the writers could have done more to illicit audience sympathy for him like in the comics. I guess the most we got down that direction was his outrage at Wells willing to risk lives over the particle accelerator. Much like Rathaway, this episode also focuses on the enigma that is Wells – who is still proving impossible to figure out? Just is this guy good or bad? As we’ve seen from this episode, this guy has more secrets than I think anyone could reckon with and its building up to an epic finale. Given that Eddie’s snooping around Wells for Joe, it’s now easier to see how he could get caught up in all the metahuman speedster business. Let’s hope Barry gets a good rest from having himself shaken up before he returns next week,
(photo credit: comcvine.com)