The Flash has amassed an impressive gallery of rogues over the season and a half that has aired so far, ranging from metahumans with unbelievable powers to ordinary humans with extraordinary equipment. One of the most compelling villains of Season 1 was the Pied Piper, who happened to have both strange powers and deadly toys. Season 2 will be bringing the Pied Piper back, but with a twist: this time, he’ll be wreaking havoc on Team Flash due to Barry dabbling in a past timeline.
Andy Mientus will be reprising his role as the Pied Piper – also known as Hartley Rathaway – in Episode 17 of Season 2, according to TVLine. Rathaway’s reappearance will be tied to a trip to the past by Barry Allen. There are no details just yet of whether Rathaway will only appear in the past or if Barry’s meddling will result in Rathaway returning in the present, but we can be sure that Rathaway will once again prove a formidable opponent to the crew at S.T.A.R. Labs. The episode will be called "Flash Back.”
Rathaway was captured by Team Flash back in Season 1, but he’s been in the wind since his escape from the custody of Cisco Ramon. Flash fans have been expecting him to show up again, but the timeline twist is a surprise.
The Pied Piper’s dangerous combination of genius-level intellect and metahuman abilities made him one of the first villains to really feel like a danger to Barry Allen. He's a former employee of S.T.A.R. Labs who was affected by the particle accelerator explosion despite his efforts to stop the catastrophe from happening. He swore revenge on Harrison Wells and targeted the Flash. Thanks to his superhearing that allowed him to tune into the Flash’s frequency, combined with his equipment that enabled him to shatter glass with only a pair of gloves, he very nearly succeeded in taking down Barry for good.
It should be interesting to see if the revelation that the Harrison Wells who allowed the particle accelerator to explode was actually Eobard Thawne will have any effects on Rathaway’s vendetta. Considering that the Pied Piper of comic lore ended up reforming from his villainous ways to fight against the forces of evil, we may see the Flash version of the Pied Piper switch sides and ally with Team Flash. Of course, the comic Pied Piper didn’t reform until after Barry Allen’s death, but the CW Flarrow-verse has proved time and time again that it’s not beholden to comic canon. There’s no reason why we can’t see Barry and Hartley teaming up at some point in the future.
We still have a bit of a wait before we’ll get to see the Pied Piper make his triumphant return to The Flash, but the show looks like it’ll be plenty exciting in the meantime. Tune in to The CW on Tuesdays at 8 p.m. ET to catch Barry Allen and Team Flash saving the day in Central City.