The episode opens upon Central City as three criminals on motorcycles are being chased by the police. The Flash pursues all three, but they all split up. The Flash is deciding which biker to go after but Caitlin and Cisco can’t decide. Wells takes over and instructs Barry to use shortcuts and helps him catch all three.
Barry returns to STAR Labs and the gang celebrates by taking a group photo. Wells is concerned about Barry being in the photo unmasked, but he is talked into it. Barry thanks Wells for helping him catch those three criminals, and wells confesses that he likes feeling like a hero.
Barry goes home and finds Iris still grabbing a couple things that she left behind. Joe invites her to stay for dinner but she gets a message saying that she has been offered her first real job as a reporter.
Wells returns to his large mansion and pours himself a drink. As he is about to relax, he gets a call from an unknown individual who tells Wells that its time to “pay the piper”. Wells seems to recognize the voice just as all of his windows are blasted out. Wells uses his Reverse Flash powers to avoid the glass fragments and looks on at all the damage around him.
The next day Wells calls the police to investigate what happened. Joe and Barry cannot believe how big and luxurious the home is. Caitlin and Cisco show up shortly after, to which Barry asks them what took them so long. It turns out that Wells has never invited any of them over to his home as he tends to keep his private life…private. Wells tells the police that he suspects this was all the work of a prankster. Barry assembles the glass patterns and deduces that this is not the work of a prankster – the windows appear to have broke themselves.
Wells has a flashback set around two years ago. He is sitting at a table playing chess with a STAR Labs employee named Hartley Rathaway. Hartley is kind of a jerk, overconfident and downright rude. He is the protigege of Wells and insults pretty much everyone he comes in contact with. We witness Cisco’s fist day at STAR Labs where Hartley criticizes him for underdressing on his first day on the job. He questions Wells for hiring Cisco, and Wells answers that he has a feeling about Cisco. He tells Hartley “You’re still my guy”.
Hartley has never been mentioned by the team because he was a jerk and a unlikable person to them. He was however always the favorite of Wells, the chosen one if you will. Hartley left the lab a year ago because Wells and Hartley had a disagreement. Cisco meanwhile is not too thrilled about Rathaway being back around.
In another flashback Hartley continues to insult Cisco while also testing his intelligence. Caitlin was over to break it up and introduces herself to Cisco. She mentions that she and Ronnie are going away for the weekend to celebrate their first anniversary.
Iris shows up at her new job at the Central City Picture News. She is treated rather rudely by another reporter, Mason Bridge. Iris tries offering a story about a battered women’s shelter, but her editor, Erik Larkin, is only interested in stories about the Flash.
At Barry’s lab, Barry conducts an experiment and finds out that Hartley is utilizing some sort of sonic technology and that is how he destroyed Wells’ windows. Joe suspects that Wells is hiding something about Hartley. He tells Barry that he never mentions anything in his private life. Joe brings up the story about Wells girlfriend, who was killed in the particle accelerator explosion. Barry had no clue about this and discovers that he doesn’t really know too much about Wells.
Meanwhile Hartley is seen downtown destroying the sides of his fathers Rathaway Industries building. The police arrive and with the use of his sonic gloves, he makes easy work of the police cars. The Flash shows up and is immediately challenged by Hartley. He claims that he can “hear” Caitlin, Wells and Cisco through the frequencies of The Flash suit. After a short skirmish, The Flash makes easy work of Hartley who says that he knows Well’s secret. Ohhhhhh.
The Flash brings Hartley to STAR Labs where he has a reunion with Caitlin, Cisco and Wells. He insults and taunts them all as they escort him to a metahuman cell. He makes fun of the Flash’s name and then reveals that he now calls himself “Pied Piper”. Cisco demands that they remove some tech from his ears, but Hartley says he can’t, as he lost his hearings and the implants are the only thing that control the pain. Just as Hartley insults Cisco further, Wells arrives and asks to speak to his former protiege alone. Hartley warns The Flash that Wells will turn on him and that he won’t see it coming. He tells Wells that he knows his secret…it looks like Wells has some explaining to do!
Wells speaks with the team and admits that Hartley warned Wells that the accelerator could explode, but Wells made the decision to move forward with the project. Everyone is visibly upset, especially Caitlin. She asks Wells to give them a heads up next time he decides to risk their lives, and the lives of their loved ones. Barry points out that Wells betrayed the team, and that he needs to earn their trust back.
At the Central City Picture News, Iris is told to look into a recent sighting of the Flash. However she strives to write something meaningful but is stuck writing Flash stories because she has some sort of connection to him.
Later that night, Iris meets Barry for coffee and discuss their day. Iris complains about her predicament at work but is happy that Barry is behind her and supports her.
Cisco studies Hartley’s sonic gloves and realizes that they were on a low setting, meaning that they weren’t even at their highest level. Cisco quickly suspects that Rathaway wanted to be caught. Wells tries to pursue Rathaway with his super speed but falls down. Something is preventing him from using his powers….but what? Rathaway meanwhile escapes his cell, injuring Cisco in the process. Hartley slaps Caitlin, grabs his gloves and steals files from the STAR Labs computer. Before he leaves, he finds Wells on the ground and walks up to him. When Barry arrives, Wells is safe in his wheelchair and Hartley is gone.
Another flashback reveals Heartly admitting to Wells that he is wrong about the particle accelerator. Hartley believes that it is dangerous and indeed warns him of the potential threat it poses. Wells however does not want to hear it and has him fired and removed from the facility.
Wells proves to the team that he will earn their trust back. He calls for a press conference at the police station and talks about and how he was warned that the particle accelerator was hazard and how he failed the city. Iris asks wells if he has any intention on rebuilding a the particle accelerator to which he says of course not.
The team suspects that Hartley will make contact again soon. Cisco is visibly upset as to why Hartley broke in and what he took. Wells pulls Cisco aside to tell him that he brought Cisco onboard for his humanity, his thoughtfulness and his humor. Wells says there was never a favorite, that there was just “us”. Suddenly Heartly’s voice comes over the STAR Labs PA and announces that they have one last game of chess – a battle with Wells’ scarlet knight….The Flash.
The Flash begins to battle Hartley who tries throwing cars of the dam with his sonic powers. Barry saves all of the people but is subdued by a frequency reverberating from Hartley’s hands. As Barry writhes in pain, Wells knows he needs to do something. He hacks a satellite causing multiple radios in several nearby cars which give off another frequency which cause Hartley’s gloves to explode in his hands injuring him.
Back at STAR Labs, Barry appears to be okay, though his ears are ringing and he can’t control the volume of his voice. Wells admits that its difficult to prove when he’s wrong in front of his friends and hopes that he can restore Barry’s faith and trust. Barry answers “that day was today.” Barry then gives Wells the photo they took earlier in the episode. Hartley wakes up in his brand new cell at STAR Labs where Cisco reveals that he no lovnger has his implates – so he cannot escape any time soon. He tells Cisco to let him out because he knows what happened to Ronnie and how he can help Ronnie.
Barry pays Joe a visit at the police department. Barry tells him that it must have been hard to raise a smart nerdy kid as him, but assures Joe that no one could replace him, not even Wells. Eddie comes in as barry leaves and it turns out that Eddie has been looking into Wells. He and Joe agree to keep investigating Wells.
The episode ends as Wells is in his secret room with the tachyon device on his chest. His computer advices that he does not try it, but Wells infuses himself witht he speed force. He admits that his speed is inconsistent, which at times causes him not to walk at all. Wells knows the Tachyon is a temporary solution…but that the end game is almost here!
Whoa what does that mean? While Wells has appeared faster than Barry, we truly see that he has a weakness. He cannot sustain his speed for very long – thus the reason for his motorized chair (and we thought it was just there for decoration). My theory is that Wells’ endgame is to steal Barry’s powers. He’s envious of Barry and I believe the reason why he is pushing Barry is because when he steals Barry’s powers…he will have the Flash’s FULL powers and abilities. What do you think is the endgame? Let us know your thoughts!
Photos courtesy of IGN