What’s up everyone! Welcome to Beyond The Panel. Coming at you today with talk about The Flash “Pay the Piper”! Right now is where the real fight begins! It wasn’t so bad that Team Flash was having a game played around them all of this time, but there was only so long that this could go on before they had to get it together. Now that they know what they are up against, the story shifts towards preparing for the big battle to come.
With it now known that Team Flash has been played for all these weeks, the atmosphere quickly changed in Star Labs. This was something to get used to very fast. Mainly because if you know me, you know that I’m not really a fan of when the show devolves into a soap opera. That tends to happen during times like this, and unfortunately it did. I was not impressed that after everything those like Barry and Cisco have been through, they still don’t know how to take a hit without quickly turning to a tantrum. It’s old and forced to an extent. The saving Grace was that as usual there was characters like Ralph and Cecile around who know how to pull at your heart strings. They were the only ones I wanted to hear at a point, and loved them all the more since someone had to be the one to look around the room and say that the fussing helps no one. Even in his own way Nash stood out because he has his own way of saying things, and while it might not be smooth, he gets straight to the point without the bs.
One of the big things for me was the return of the Pied Piper. Honestly, it was good to see Hartley Rathaway again. Initially I was a bit broke that they decided that Post-Crisis Pied Piper had to be flipped back to a villain. Though at the same time it was hard to deny that Harley is also one of those villains who entertains you because his compass points south.This guy really knew how to get under someone’s skin and hit them where it hurts. That’s not to say that other bad guys don’t come with that same energy, but with Hartley there’s more charisma to it. Now what shook things up was how they planned on getting his help. The intensive was a shocker, and I’m glad that they were bold enough to show a side to Hartley that they probably wouldn’t have in earlier seasons.
That said, it was obvious that Godspeed was going to be the real danger here. Since the minute all those copies started popping up earlier in the season, there was no way that this wasn’t going to inevitably lead to something. Now was probably the last time that you would have expected this development to hit, but also better now than too late. Especially when at some point having all of these confrontations with speedsters will probably help Team Flash indirectly find their solution to creating a new Speed Force. Though till then, this encounter was exciting for how Godspeed forced Barry and the others to think outside of the box to stand a chance against him. more importantly, how they used Hartley’s powers was creative. Nothing too special, but also you would never have expected their powers to be so compatible before.
Going back to the mirror world, this was a great time for the next step to be finding the others who are trapped there too. It was also a good time to begin raising the stakes for Iris, Kamilla and Singh. Things would have gotten very dull if there was no reason for them to feel the urgency in escaping. We’ve seen what a decade in this world has done to Eva, and we’ve already seen what happened when Iris poked around more than she should have. This pushed her to begin experiencing the same strain that Eva has endured all of this time. This episode was spent well putting Iris through that same struggle and testing that she could have the same determination to continue finding a way out. With that said, I appreciated the opportunity they didn’t fail to give Kamilla as someone who has brains. I know I wondered what she was up to, and I was not disappointed to see what that was.
Continuing with last week’s return of Caitlin and Killer Frost, I liked where they were going with her side of things. The recovery of course would be easier said than done when this is just another obstacle for Killer Frost to overcome when faced with the idea of meeting their mom. Some might say that this is filler stuff, and to some extent it just may be, but it’s not handled in any way that should make this subplot overlooked. Personally I welcome any scene which Killer Frost and Ralph share because there’s a sense of innocence shared between the two that you aren’t going to get anywhere else. Certainly not at a time like this.
Overall, I think a show like The Flash benefits from the showrunners being bold. Unlikely team-ups, twists on rivalries, chances to explore other places in the DC Universe. All things which grab your attention more than the CW drama which this show tends to indulge in too often.