Friday, May 29, 2020

The Flash Episode Guide: Season 6, Episode 18 - Pay the Piper

For a summary of the episode guide layout & categories, click here.


When Godspeed returns, Barry turns to Pied Piper for help in defeating him, but Crisis erased the tenuous peace that Barry Allen had worked out with the former STAR Labs employee turned supervillain. Meanwhile, Iris starts working with Kamilla to escape from the Mirror Dimension.

The Flash comics of Joshua Williamson (character of Godspeed) and Mark Waid (speed cult based around Godspeed seems like the Cult of Savitar) and Ghostbusters (Nash and Cisco refer to "crossing the streams" when Piper and The Flash combine their powers.)


Again, the episode acts like Team Flash's membership has no memory of the Post-Crisis timeline, when Crisis on Infinite Earths made it seem like Martian Manhunter restored everyone's Pre-Crisis memories without overwriting their current memories. This serves no purpose other than adding an unneeded complication, vis a vis why Pied Piper hates Barry Allen now.

Allowing that Kamilla is fairly smart, how does a photographer know how to use all the equipment in STAR Labs? She's only been dating Cisco for the better part of a year and she can't have picked up THAT much just talking to him.

Granting that everyone on Team Flash is a little distraught, it's shocking it takes them that long to work out that Pied Piper and Roderick Smith are boyfriends or that Hartley doesn't says something to the effect of "You murdered the man I love! Now I'm going to kill you!"

Why does Hartley hang around STAR Labs instead of leaving after Nash fails to save Roderick?

Why does Godspeed run right at the energy blast The Flash and Pied Piper shoot at him?


Grant Gustin nails Barry's final speech which, though written before the COVID-19 outbreak, seems to have been written as a response to it.


The special effects for the fight between Tle Flash, Godspeed and Pied Piper are good.

Flash Facts

The twist with Godspeed - that he is apparently part of a group that wants The Flash's speed - seems to be based upon the cult of Savitar from Mark Waid's run on The Flash.


Nash describes the first four Godspeeds as cybernetic drones with modem speak.

The new Godspeed has a unique power to generate "thunder" along with his lightning. Barry and Cisco determine this energy is vibrational in nature The velocity of a body breaking the sound barrier transmutes into vibrations in the air,  This Godspeed found a way to reverse the vibrations and expel them outward, allowing him to pin a target with a steady wave of vibrational force and, in the case of speedsters pinned by this effect, siphon off their Speed Force energy.

Cisco describes Hartley Rathaway as an expert ton psycho-acoustics and sonic vibrations.

Nash says he has seen the same sort of molecular disembodiment experienced by Roderick Smith before. He thinks it can be fixed if they combine concentrated light energy with an inert gas with high thermal conductivity. This should slow down Roderick's molecules and stabilize him.

Cisco theorized there might be a mechanical way to open a breach to an alternate dimension by focusing subatomic vibrations.

To save Roderick, Nash asks Allegra to unleash a concentrated UV blast into the reception conduit as he releases helium into the containment unit.

Pied Piper describes what happened to Roderick Smith as a thermogenic blast which rendered him unstable at a molecular level. 

Godspeed bleeds a biogenic electrolyte secretion Nash identifies as charged sound.

Normal sound waves need a transition medium to go through (such as air or water) but charged sound creates its own medium. 

Normal sound can temporarily reattach molecular bonds. Charged sound can permanently reattach the bonds.

Cisco says a lossless self-sustaining source of perpetual energy should enable them to breach the Mirrorverse. 

Dialogue Triumphs

Barry: I'm trying to have hope that it's all gonna work out, but I can't help feeling... Joe, what if I can't save her this time? 
Joe: And I believe that you can. But do you?

(Cisco explains why Pied Piper hates Team Flash in the Post-Crisis reality.)
Allegra: I guess that's a no to Pied Piper's help. 
Cisco: Well, he did almost kill us, so... 
Nash: Let's not bicker over who killed who. We can fix this. 

The Flash: We think we can help him. Let us show you. 
Pied Piper: Who is this "we" and "us"? 
(Nash steps out of the shadows.)
Pied Piper: Harrison Wells?!
Nash: Nash Wells, actually. Harrison Wells is my doppelganger.
Pied Piper: (confused) Your doppelganger? 
Nash: How to explain? Okay, so there was this big event we call the Crisis, and- 
The Flash: He's his twin. 
Nash: He's my twin. 

Barry: I'm supposed to lead this team. Now, I-I don't even know what to tell them. 
Nash: When I lost Maya... every day since then, I wanted to say, "Hey, listen, I'm sorry. It was my fault." But she's gone. When I was Pariah and I watched my mistake burn down the Multiverse, I wanted to tell those people, "I'm sorry," but they were gone, and it was over. And this is not over for you. You can find your way out of this. All you have to do is trust yourself. 
Barry: How am I supposed to do that? I just lived with an impostor for five weeks. 
Nash: You forgive yourself. You showed me that. Now it's time for you to do it for you. And you know what? If you can't... do it for Iris. 

Godspeed: Time's up, Flash. 
(The Flash evacuates all of Godspeed's hostages.)
Godspeed: Have you come to give me what's mine? 
The Flash: You have to catch me first.

Barry: We've all lost so much this year... our power, our love, our family. At times, it's even felt like there's nothing left to lose, like everything that matters has already been taken and our lives are empty... hollow inside. Some things can't be taken. Look around this room. We still have our faith in each other and our will to fight for those we love. This is what we'll never lose.


Barry tracks down Joe at his safe house so he can tell him about Iris' abduction. 

Joe refers to Wally telling him something was off about Iris (614) and Sunshine attacking Frost (615).

Caitlin and Frost are still healing.

Cisco says they have no way of knowing if the abducted people are still alive in the Mirrorverse, but he starts researching the idea that the Mirrorverse is on another vibrational plane.

The building where Ralph's office, Cecile's office, Nash's office and the Central City Citizen are located is identified as the Bently Building. 

Cecile says she will call Chief Singh's husband to warn him about the duplicate and see when he last saw the Chief.

Allegra says she'll check the offices for the Kamilla duplicate. Nash offers to go with her, but she rejects him. Instead, he goes with Ralph to see if they can dig up anything on Eva McCulloch. 

Iris records a video blog in Eva McCulloch's office in case Barry finds it, before going off to find Kamilla.

Iris is beginning to develop the same neural dissonance which made it harder to think straight that Eva McCulloch claimed to have developed. She also has the same facial tics and twitches.

Allegra feels stupid for not having realized all her co-workers were mirror duplicate and is horrified to realize she's currently in charge of the Central City Citizen.

Godspeed enters into STAR Labs and pins Barry to the ground with some kind of vibrational force. He is driven off by Nash and a pulse cannon he'd recently built.

It is confirmed that all four of the earlier Godspeeds from the summer of 2019 are still locked up in Iron Heights.

Cisco reveals that The Flash's first battle with the Pied Piper was dramatically different in the new Earth-Prime history. Originally, as seen in 111, Pied Piper fought The Flash alone and only had his technology to depend on. In the new timeline, Pied Piper was a metahuman with sonic powers augmented by technology and he worked with a crew. 

Pied Piper's right-hand man, Roderick Smith, tried to shoot The Flash with a sonic cannon. Barry countered the blast with a lightning bolt. The resulting explosion caused Roderick Smith to be knocked out of phase with reality and required him to be confined in a special energy containment chamber at Mercury Labs for the past five years. 

Nash says he has an idea on how to save Roderick Smith and that maybe they can get Pied Piper to agree to some quid pro quo - we help you save your man, you help us save our people.

Ralph goes to check on Frost after she texted him. She's still stable thanks to a patch Cisco made.

Frost thanks Ralph for being her life coach and for all he's done to help her.

Frost and Caitlin are making preparations to go to a Tannhauser testing site int he Arctic to heal.

Frost is nervous because she's afraid Caitlin's mother won't see her as a second daughter, given the circumstances of her creation.

Barry finds Pied Piper's hideout. He manages to persuade him to let Team Flash try to help Roderick.

Despite his best efforts, Hartley was unable to stabilize Roderick. Mercury Labs hasn't had any luck either.

Nash proposes a treatment to save Roderick based on something he saw on another Earth.

Iris finds Kamilla in STAR Labs in the Mirrorverse.

Iris convinces Kamilla that she's the real Iris after she tells Kamilla that she is the only person allowed to wear the Chewbacca shirt Cisco's parents gave him when he was 14.

Kamilla never saw Eva McCulloch in all her time in the Mirrorverse.

Kamilla tried to gather items that came from the real world into the Mirrorverse that had been shot with the mirror gun to analyze them using STAR Labs equipment but she couldn't read the screens.

Iris can read the screens in STAR Labs now but she freaks out, like Eva did, and runs from the room.

Piper figured out that Cisco was Vibe and Barry was The Flash. In Cisco's case, the hair was a dead giveaway. In the case of The Flash there's only three facilities in the state capable of building The Flash's friction-proof costume and only one of them employed someone smart enough to actually do it. 

Nash's treatment doesn't work. He later says they need a better bonding agent.

Godspeed threatens to make Central City suffer unless Barry gives up his speed.

Barry returns to work on the artificial Speed Force.

Nash credits Barry with teaching him to learn how to forgive himself.

Barry figures out that Hartley and Roderick are lovers.

Cecile makes reference to her and Kamilla escaping Bloodwork's minions in 608.

Cisco says he wants his powers back.

Iris is doubting her instincts as a reporter since Eva tricked her for so long. 

Iris says they need to find Chief Singh in the Mirrorverse.

Godspeed steals the speed from the four Godspeeds in Iron Heights.

Godspeed is now moving at Mach 5 within the city - far faster than Barry's current safe maximum speed after the Speed Force died.

Pied Piper steps in after overhearing that Barry intends to face Godspeed, despite his diminished powers.

While they are chasing each other, Godspeed says that The Flash doesn't deserve his speed and that "we do." This hints at Godspeed being part of a larger group.

Pied Piper saves Barry from falling off a building when his speed gives out while chasing Godspeed.

Pied Piper and The Flash combine their powers to make Godspeed molecularity unstable.

Nash and Cisco use the charged sound they took from Godspeed to stabilize Roderick Smith.

Roderick doesn't remember anything after the fight with The Flash five years earlier.

The 5th Godspeed was not the real August Heart either. He said that the one who sent him sought infinite velocity before he started chirping like a broken modem.

Ralph apologizes to Frost for telling her she had a long way to go in learning how to be a normal human. He declares her journey complete and gives her a Dib-Ploma.

Ralph's father abandoned him and his mother when he was 10.

Hartley tells Barry it isn't enough to forgive yourself; you have to believe that things can change for the better.

Cisco has an idea on how to get everyone out of the Mirrorverse using a perpetual-motion machine. He has everything he needs to build it except for one thing, which he goes to Atlantis to retrieve. 

In a warehouse somewhere in Central City, Eva McCulloch is seen resting in some kind of containment chamber.The episode ends as she declares that she is coming for Joseph.

Untelevised Adventures

Barry's conversation with the fifth Godspeed takes place entirely off-camera.

The Boomerang Factor

Whatever cool factor Godspeed has is negated by turning him into a rip-off of Zoom.

The Bottom Line

There is much to admire about this episode, though on reflection most of it was taken from earlier episodes and repeated. Godspeed is turned into a Zoom clone (presumably to set up Season 7's big bad) and the Arrowverse take on Pied Piper has never been as engaging as his comic book counterpart. (There's a reason we haven't seen Hartley since season 2.) Strangely enough, the best parts of the episode involve a long chain of speeches where the main characters have crises of faith and the supporting characters give them the standard John Diggle pep talk so common to Arrow episodes. Trite as they are, these scenes are well acted.

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