The Flash is bringing the Pied Piper to life.
During Tuesday’s episode, Broadway star Andy Mientus makes his debut as Hartley Rathaway, a former protégée of Harrison Wells (Tom Cavanagh), who seeks vengeance after being affected by the particle accelerator explosion—he’s created a way to manipulate sound waves. But Rathaway isn’t quite like the metahumans who have sought revenge on Wells after the explosion heard ’round Central City.
“Hartley is not a meta-human,” executive producer Andrew Kreisberg explains. “He’s one of our technology-based powers, like Captain Cold [Wentworth Miller]. They hadn’t really gone up against anybody like him before. We wanted them to go up against somebody who was brilliant, a genius and somebody they really had to outwit, which is different. A lot of times Barry [Grant Gustin] has to outrun or outspend the villain.”
Though Kreisberg admits many of The Flash’s foes from the comics can come across “a little bit silly,” the writers attempted to bring out a more realistic side to Rathaway’s alter-ego. “The Pied Piper dressed very flamboyantly and would play his flute and warp people’s minds,” Kreisberg says of his comic book counterpart. “We wanted to do something a little more grounded. We were all fans of Andy’s from his work on Broadway. When he came in, we said he was evil Harry Potter.”
Now the real question is how far Rathaway will go to bring Wells to justice, because by the looks of the sneak preview below, he may just reveal his former mentor’s big secret in the process.
The Flash airs Tuesdays at 8 p.m. ET on The CW.
Reporting by C. Molly Smith.