Wednesday, May 6, 2020

The Flash - Pay the Piper

Everything old is new again. While offering glimpses into Iris (Candice Patton) finding Kamilla (Victoria Park), who the show finally remembered is also trapped in the mirror universe, and Ralph (Hartley Sawyer) offering some encouragement to Killer Frost (Danielle Panabaker), the show mainly focuses on the lack of team morale for Team Flash given their recently loses. Enter yet another version of Godspeed to terrorize the city. With Barry's (Grant Gustin) speed waning the team looks to an unlikely ally as the episode also introduces a Crisis-rebooted version of Hartley Rathaway (Andy Mientus) who agrees to help Barry and friends in return for the team fixing his henchman and boyfriend who was injured during one of the Pied Piper's run-ins with the Flash in the rebooted timeline.

For a guy with extremely limited speed, Barry uses up quite a bit in this episode while still getting no closer to solving his Speed Force problem. I'm not saying Barry is milking this loss of speed, but his "limited reserves" have been an issue now for several episodes with very limited consequences. The latest version of Rathaway is neither the best nor worst the show has given us, which you can say the same for the latest Godspeed. While not quite an ally by the end of the episode, the show does foreshadow the possibility of the Pied Piper becoming something like a frenemy (which the show has been lacking since the death of Captain Cold) to not just Cisco (Carlos Valdes) but Barry and Team Flash as well. Helping Rathaway also seems to relight an emotional torch for Barry heading into the season's final episode (as the season was shortened due to COVID-19). With the Iris plot thread the only piece of "Pay the Piper" pushing the Mirror Master storyline the episode does feel like a short break before heading into the season's final showdown with Eva McCulloch (Efrat Dor).

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