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TV REVIEWS: FTN REVIEWS The Flash Season 6 Episode 18: Pay The Piper

May 6th, 2020 by Todd Black Comments

There is a danger when it comes to superhero shows that they get a little “too superhero-y” for their own good. And “Pay The Piper” was a great example of that. Where a core story is disrupted by numerous “heartwarming messages” that makes you feel like you’re watching an afterschool special.

The really sad part is that the episode started out in great fashion, as we go to see Team Flash cracking at the seams via the revelation that the mirror versions of Irs and Camilla were there amongst them and no one noticed. Seeing Barry and Cisco nearly come to blows was great as it SHOULDN’T have been a situation where a pep talk got them out of it.

But things quickly devolved when Godspeed showed up again and tried to take Flash’s speed for himself/itself. Goodspeed is a very complicated thing to talk about because on one hand, it’s a very recent addition to the Flash Rogues Gallery (born in the recent DC Rebirth revival) and we saw him in Season 5 against Nora. What he’s doing in the present hasn’t been explained, and even the revelation that he was “sent” doesn’t add any layers to the speedster. Even Hartley was like, “You beat another speedster”, and he’s right! We’ve been here so many times, and Zoom also tried to steal Barry’s speed if you remember.

Which brings me to Hartley himself. He also is a character that is difficult to talk about because he played a big role in Season 1, was later rewritten via a timeline change to be good, and then Crisis made him evil again…because…reasons? Add to that, the reason he hates Flash was because he lost his boyfriend (which was OH SO OBVIOUS that this was their connection) and while their team-up was fine, the snarkiness of Hartley was WAY too close to Nash. Who himself is still acting like a jerk. It was too much.

And of course, there was all the messages of hope and not giving up and everything. Having ONE of these messages in an episode is fine, and can be applauded if written the right way. But between inspiring Hartley, inspiring Iris, inspiring Cisco (whose arc made no sense given that he hadn’t been Vibe in a while excluding Crisis), getting Barry back on track, it was too much! And they seemed to realize that with the, “Thanks, Oprah.” line.

As if that wasn’t enough, we also had to deal with Frost not wanting to go to Caitlin’s mother because…she might be rejected? That’s very random, and this Frost storyline is truly pointless in the large scale.

The shortened season is definitely going to affect how things turn out for the finale, but the team feel that this will be a good ending, so we’ll see. Hopefully it’ll be better than this one.

Todd Black is reader of comics, a watch of TV (a LOT of TV), and a writer of many different mediums. He's written teleplays, fan-fictions, and currently writes a comic book called Guardians ( He dreams of working at Nintendo, writing a SHAZAM! TV series, and working on Guardians for a very long time!