The Pied Piper plays Barry, and Brick takes on the city, while Ollie continues to recover in this week’s Flash and Arrow. (Be warned, many spoilers for “The Sound and the Fury” and “Midnight City” follow within.)
This week saw the further building of Flash’s rogues gallery, while simultaneously showing us what it really means to be a hero in Star City, as Brick furthers his plans to take over the Glades in the Arrow’s absence, only to be shut down by a team finding a new center without their leader. But before we talk about that, lets discuss more about the Flash.
Flash started the week off with a bang as a new villain was introduced, targeting Flash’s pseudo-mentor, Harrison Wells, who we all now know is actually Zoom, the so called Reverse Flash. Of course, something we didn’t know was Wells’ motivations, but as the episode plays out we can see that his connection to the Speed Force is dwindling, thus managing to reconnect with it would seem to be is primary motivator. To this end, I think I’m beginning to piece together the wider story here, but I may just be pulling too much from the comics for my own good.
See, basically, I think Wells is actually Eobard Thawne, a man from the future, being 100% accurate to his comic counter part as far as genuine identity is concerned. I base this largely on the fact that in the mid-season finale, when Zoom presented himself, he took a moment to look at Eddie Thawne, but noticeably did nothing to harm him. Now, with a partial motivation of Speed Force disconnect revealed, we can begin to see why he traveled back in time to the show’s present. We already knew about the disappearance of Flash in 2024, but what we didn’t see was what Wells saw in that article. I think he saw a source of effect. See, the Speed Force derives from Barry, so Wells may be thinking that his connection is dwindling because Barry went missing, and so he’s trying to prevent Barry from disappearing. How he intends to do this is still a mystery, but that’s where I’m at with it… what do you think?
Anyway, back to the new rogue, it was the Pied Piper we got to see pop up here, of course, and his intelligence was well on display as he managed to manipulate Barry multiple times, as if in a lively game of chess, which was actually used as a motif within the over arching story presented, being largely told via flashbacks. We also got some new information about the collider incident, as well as a bit more character depth for Barry’s team, but ultimately, the handful of Zoom scenes here really stole the episode, in my opinion. Of course, we did get a nice sequence on a bridge near the end with Barry saving multiple lives in a flash, but the Pied Piper just wasn’t all that interesting of a villain.
At any rate, lets move on to Arrow. This week Brick went big in Star City, kidnapping three aldermen, and threatening their lives to achieve a mayoral decree to pull all police out of the Glades. Of course, Arsenal and Black Canary weren’t going to stand by and let that go unchallenged, so the two heroes ultimately team up and go on the hunt.
Now, I’ve got to admit, even with Roy as my favorite comic character of all time, it felt really weird in this episode to have him basically being the lead with Laurel as his sidekick. Its just a weird dynamic that the direction of the show has landed in, and it feels wrong. I mean, it makes sense for the show, but for someone long familiar with these characters, its really weird to see. Comicwise, Dinah is the closest thing Roy has to a mother, and that is played out over decades of comics within their friendship, as she helps him discover who he really is on multiple occasions. Here in the show, its almost reversed. Roy obviously isn’t a mother figure for Laurel, but here he’s helping her discover who she really is, and it just feels weird to me, but I don’t know… what did you think of this development?
Otherwise, this was still a solid episode for me. With big movements made in the flashback story, and some pretty heavy reveals dealing with the Assassins’ hunt for Merlyn, the season is definitely shaping up for something big (as should be expected). And I’m really enjoying Brick, which is something I was hesitant about at first. He was always a fun character in the comics, and while they could never quite do him right here (he’s basically a red gangster version of Thing from Fantastic Four in the comics), Vinnie Jones is really hamming it up in all the right ways to still make the character an effective representation, and I can’t wait to see more.
All in all, both shows are still heading in the right direction, as far as I’m concerned, though I’d like to see Flash be a little less rogue-of-the-week, and pull a little more of a carried over focus, but then Arrow was much the same way in its first season, so I’m not at all worried. I’m also quite enjoying the bits of Atom Begins we’ve seen within the Arrow episodes. I really hope Brandon Routh gets his rumored spin-off, because Ray Palmer’s story needs a lot more room to breathe than Arrow can provide, in my opinion. Would you agree?
Let me know in the comments below, and lets discuss your thoughts.