TV REVIEW: Cisco & Iris Defend Their Idols in The Flash’s “The Sound and the Fury”
BY The Screen Spy Team
Published 7 years ago
By Justin Carter
Sometimes the people we admire and respect end up not being what we expect them to be. We’ve built them up as sources of inspiration, as people who have helped make us who we are today and we see them as impervious to flaws. This makes it entirely possible for that idol to say or do just one thing that brings our mental image of them crashing down, and as recent history has shown us, our first instinct is either to defend them or consider it an enormous betrayal.
Of all the characters on The Flash, Cisco Ramon and Iris West have spent their character arcs defending and being betrayed by their respective idols, Harrison Wells and the Flash. Two years earlier, Wells hired Cisco to the chagrin of Hartley Rathaway, the man who helped build the particle accelerator. Hartley, the self-titled “chosen one,” went out of his way to make Cisco’s time at STAR Labs a living hell. He also warned Wells about the accelerator malfunctioning, which was promptly ignored and got him fired. With the explosion deafening him, Hartley (now calling himself the Pied Piper) targets Wells in the hopes of killing him and spilling the scientist’s cover-up.
Iris, meanwhile, deals with the positive and negative repercussions of her blog dedicated to the Flash. She gets a job as a reporter at Central City Picture News, though her job is nothing more than a paid “Flash blogger” and anything else she tries to pitch is invalid until she delivers something on the Scarlet Speedster. Her own hero, Mason Bridge, basically calls her an entitled millennial, and one could justifiably think that some of her new coworkers assume that she’s sleeping with the Flash. Between this and Agent Carter, it’s interesting how both shows are showing that sexism in the workplace hasn’t changed, or that the solution to combating sexism is women just doing their job better than their male coworkers. Iris’ moment where Wells gives her the spotlight during his press conference isn’t perfect–it feels weird how Bridge respects her just because of that one moment–but this also feels like the first time in the series where her narrative isn’t dependent on Barry or Eddie’s. Men being dicks feels like a recurring theme in this episode with both Bridge and Hartley.
If there was ever a character on the show who was instantly unlikable, it would be Hartley. Whether or not his dickishness started once his parents disowned him for being gay, Andy Mientus makes it so that when he gets beaten up, it’s just so satisfying. He’s quickly able to get under each member of Team Flash’s skin the moment he walks through the door–even though we know Ronnie is alive, that is still a dick move. Forget what I said last week, if there was any member of Flash’s rogues gallery that could be a good archenemy for Cisco when he becomes Vibe, Hartley would be it. Mientus and Ramon do a good job of building the rivalry between these two, and with Hartley willing to divulge info on what happened to Ronnie and how to save him, he won’t be disappearing anytime soon.
Finally, there’s Harrison Wells, the man who drives Hartley’s actions. If you were in doubt that he was the Reverse Flash, rest assured that it is 100% confirmed by the end. It’s always been fun to tell that his actions are done both to make himself trustworthy to the others while also ensuring things happen as they’re supposed to, such as calling on Iris or telling Cisco that he was hired because of his heart. His motivations may end up being sinister, but in the meantime, he is determined to do some good, which is interesting. Even more interesting is how he collapses to the ground while speeding away to look for Hartley during his attack in STAR Labs. As he puts it in the final moments, he’s losing his speed, but he doesn’t seem too broken up about it. His “real endgame” is almost here.
Every time Jesse L. Martin does his giddy little smile, the world is better for it. This is not up for debate.
Barry takes a Speedy Selfie with Team Flash, and how long will it be before that becomes a common thing?
“Being scooped up by a guy clad in head-to-toe leather is a longtime fantasy of mine, so thanks.”
Cisco and Hartley bickering in Latin has more bite than it should. I would like more of it.
Who can we talk to to get the CW to produce a weekly series of webisodes of Barry and Joe’s home life?
Hartley was actually referenced in last week’s episode as a fun easter egg.
“He was mostly a jerk. But, every once in a while, he could be a dick.”
- Most Comic Book Line of the Week: “It’s time to pay the piper!”