Synopsis for (1×11): Dr. Well’s secret is revealed. Iris faces a rough start at her new job. Cisco, Wells, and Caitlin come face to face with someone from their past.
Having seen Andy Mientus in person as Marius in Les Miserables on Broadway, I have been eagerly awaiting his television début and I certainly wasn’t disappointed. Mientus brings a fresh take on the age old villain of the Pied Piper and his transition to television seemed seamless.
At the West household, Barry is enjoying his new bachelor life with Joe, when Iris discovers that she has been offered a job at a big name News Company. It seems that someone is finally noticing her extracurricular blogging activities.
At his posh expensive home, Dr. Wells is attacked by a mystery entity who refers to himself as the Pied Piper. After the police arrive on scene, Wells insists to Joe that it was a prank call and nothing more, but it is painfully obvious there is something else at play.
Through flashbacks, Dr. Wells is seen playing chess at Star Labs with a young man named Hartley Rathaway, who appears to be a colleague of Wells. Hartley is less than enthusiastic about Wells’ decision to hire Cisco, believing that he is being replaced. The competition between Cisco and Hartley is born, as both begin to vie for Well’s attention and favor.
Back in the present, Barry does some speedy detective work of his own, determining that Dr. Well’s windows somehow shattered themselves. Wells unwillingly reveals that he knows who is responsible for the attack. Dr. Well’s prodigal son has finally returned to Central City. Wells reveals that Hartley was the gifted son of family of billionaires and that ultimately his challenging personality led to a falling out and disagreement between the two. Hartley’s inability to relate to others leads him to act like a jerk to pretty much everyone else.
On the other hand, Iris dives right into her new job, but her initiative isn’t well received by her new co-workers. Despite remaining positive, Iris’ first day turns into her worst, as learns she was only hired because her boss thinks she has some sort of “in” with the Flash himself. Now that has to be demoralizing. Iris later shares this information with Barry over drinks and, knowing Barry and his infatuation with Iris, he’s likely going to pull some strings to make sure Iris gets her shot at fame and glory.
Back at the West household, Joe admits to Barry that he feels as if Wells is hiding something about Hartley but Barry insists that Joe give him a chance first.
Rathaway, calling himself the Pied Piper, wrecks havoc at his family’s old company. Barry easily subdues Hartley, but not before Hartley makes a stunning revelation to Barry that he knows Well’s deepest secret. Cue the suspense. Barry brings Hartley back in where he is less than amiable, especially towards Cisco, Caitlin, and Wells. Hartley claims he suffered head damage when Star Labs blew up, revealing he has ear implants in order to hear.
Wells speaks with Hartley alone, where he apologizes for the pain and anguish he may have brought upon Hartley. Hartley though, insists Wells will turn on Barry in the near future. In the big reveal, Wells gravely reveals that Hartley had warned him that the accelerator could and may explode; yet Wells ignored his dire warning. Not exactly THE secret you may have been expecting from Wells, but it still hits the team hard. Caitlin is less than forgiving, as her fiancé is now suffering the consequences of Well’s foolishness.
As the team brood over what to do with Hartley, Cisco discovers that Hartley’s plan was to be caught all along. With Barry off preoccupied, Hartley uses his cochlear implants as an explosive to detonate his way out of the pipeline. He is able to knock both Cisco and Caitlin unconscious, before stealing data from Star Lab’s hard drive and escaping. Wells meanwhile is facing problems of his own, attempting to flash but finding himself incapacitated or fatigued from the looks of it. Reverse flash isn’t going to be any help from the looks of it, unless Wells can solve his own dilemma.
In further flashbacks, Wells decisively fires Hartley when he threatens to tell the public about the dangers of the particle accelerator. Enraged, an injured Hartley vows to get revenge for Well’s one sightedness.
As Cisco recovers from his concussion, Wells holds a press conference at the police station, where he apologetically admits that he was warned and ignored the dangers of the particle accelerator. He admits that he has failed this city. Sounds like something the Arrow would say.
Cisco is consumed and determined to catch Hartley. Wells admits that, while both Hartley and Cisco were brilliant as his students, Cisco possessed an unparalleled warmth, humor, and spark that Hartley had never had. Hartley makes contact with Wells and Barry and provokingly insists Wells play one last game with him. Hartley targets a dam where he and Barry face down once and for all. Before Barry can subdue him, Hartley activates a device, temporarily incapacitating Barry. Cisco then discovers that Hartley stole data on Barry’s molecular structure, therefore obtaining Barry’s frequency, allowing him to target Barry’s unique frequency. Wells, however, manages to turn the tables on Hartley using unique car radio frequencies, allowing Barry to put the Pied Piper down.
Later, Barry has a heart to heart with Joe, where he insists no one will ever be able to replace Joe in his life. Eddie meanwhile secretly shares with Joe that he found nothing out of the ordinary in Wells’ home; revealing that the two of them are discreetly investigating Wells off the books.
Cisco pays the Pied Piper a visit in Star Lab’s meta containment unit, where Hartley reveals that he knows where Ronnie is and that he has the answers they are looking for and how to save him. Dr. Wells faces problems of his own as he wrestles over his inability to control his super speed.