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The Flash: Who is Harrison Wells? – Episode 19

Team Flash goes in search of answers about what changed Harrison Wells after the accident that killed his fiance.

Recap

Taking Tina McGee’s words to heart, Joe and Barry decide to investigate the Wells’ car accident. According to her, Wells became a completely different person after that accident. Joe takes Cisco with him to Starling City to investigate. They leave Barry, Eddie and Cisco behind to keep things running normally. However, Caitlin’s still hesitant to believe anything bad about Dr. Wells. She feels loyal to him because he stood by her during the lowest point in her life. She lost her credibility and her fiance when the particle accelerator malfunctioned (which was, Wells’ fault), but he stood by her and encouraged her through the entire thing. Not only that, he’s saved/helped Barry and everyone else on several occasions. Barry manages to get her to not talk to Wells until Joe and Cisco get back from Starling City. He plays the “dad card” by saying that if Wells is guilty, his dad deserves the chance to be exonerated. Caitlin begrudgingly agrees to continue to buy time for Joe and Cisco, and they focus on dealing with the problem at hand.

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This week’s problem is a villain known as “Everyman” (named by Caitlin in this episode). With Joe gone, Eddie is left to investigate a strange diamond robbery where they caught the perpetrator on camera stealing from a bank. Still, the woman swears that she didn’t commit the crime and that she was with her husband. That leads Eddie to wonder if they’re dealing with a meta-human who has the ability to change his appearance. That suspicion is confirmed when Barry confronts a man trying to sell the stolen diamonds only to see him transform into a teenage girl after touching her. Barry heads back to the STAR labs and has Wells track the pattern of crimes to a man named Hannibal Bates. Barry’s become much more adept at hiding his feelings from Wells, something Caitlin is clearly struggling to do. Eddie and Barry are able to track Bates but, because of his powers, Caitlin and Wells caution Barry against using his speed at all when confronting Bates. That allows Bates to turn himself into Eddie and use his gun to shoot two police officers before getting away. With the incident caught on video, Eddie is arrested and can’t do much to defend himself.

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Frustrated by his inability to prove Eddie’s innocence, Barry uses his speed to get Eddie out of the precinct. He doesn’t want Eddie to end up like his father, locked up for something he didn’t do. Eddie convinces him to put him back and to use his powers to catch the real criminal. That becomes more difficult when Bates arrives at Barry’s house, still disguised as Eddie. He knocks Barry out and turns into him. Not long after that, Caitlin comes to get him and brings him to STAR labs to work on a serum to neutralize Everyman’s powers. She sends some signals that Bates misinterprets leading to him kissing her in the lab. Iris arrives in time to interrupt them and tells them that she’s figured out that the shooter in the video is left handed, while Eddie is a right-y. As Bates is about to attack them, Wells shows up and tasers him in the back. He’s figured out that this guy isn’t Barry, which is a great relief to Caitlin. She and Iris try to take Bates to the police, but he turns himself into a little girl and gets away.

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Realizing what’s happened, Caitlin finds Barry and wakes him up with a slap, presumably a delayed reaction from the kiss. Once Barry’s awake, he manages to catch up to Everyman trying to get on a plane. He pushes him into a room with a camera in it, where he proceeds to take him down. In the process of the fight, Everyman manages to turn himself into Iris, Eddie and Caitlin, even the Flash. As Wells has pointed out, Everyman can only take people’s appearances, not their memories or powers. So, he’s not match for the Flash, even if he does look like him. The video from the fight is enough to prove that Eddie’s innocent and that the shape shifter is real, which also leads to a bunch of other cases being reopened. More importantly, it’s another in the growing number of incidents involving super powered individuals in Central City. It’s starting to get the attention of both the police and the media. They’re also starting to realize that the Flash is the only things standing between the super powers and everyone else in Central City. After he’s released, Eddie decides to tell Iris that he’s been working with the Flash. So, now he’s only kind of telling her half a lie.

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In Starling City, Joe and Cisco go to see Captain Lance and happen to run into Laurel at the station. Laurel gets Cisco alone and reveals that she’s the Black Canary. It’s a little strange that she’s calling herself that now because I’m pretty sure her dad’s the only one who added “black” to the name so far. Anyway, Cisco fanboys for a little while before Laurel asks him to modify her sister’s sonic device. Joe convinces Quentin to show them to the accident site so Cisco can scan for tachyon particles. They don’t tell Quentin exactly what they’re looking for, but it’s clear that something weird is going on at that spot. Joe and Quentin are able to have a little dad cop moment where they talk about secrets and daughters before Cisco calls them over. They unearth a body that turns out to be the discarded corpse of the real Harrison Wells. Joe manages to get Quentin to keep things under wraps by telling him that anyone who knows about this would be great danger. Before they leave, Cisco returns the sonic device to Laurel as the “Canary Cry”. When they return to Central City that serves as the proof they need that Wells isn’t the man he says he is. At the end of the episode Caitlin, Cisco and Barry find Well’s hidden room with the Gideon computer and the newspaper from the future. That pretty much confirms every single suspicion they’ve had.

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Favorite Moments

  1. I’m the Black Canary
    I love Cisco’s little nerd out moments. It was also cute that Laurel seems genuinely flattered by his reaction, unlike Oliver who seemed annoyed by him.
  2. Hannibal Bates
    If you’re going to name a kid something that pretty much guarantees that he’s gonna be evil, a name that references Norman Bates and Hannibal Lecter is a pretty good way to go.
  3. Caitlin kiss
    To be honest, there are a lot of shape shifter/imposter tropes that this episode follows. So there’s not as much that feels original about what they’re doing. Even so, the moments between fake Barry and Caitlin are funny just because of how out of left field it is for Caitlin. The more trope-y path would’ve been to have him kiss Iris.

Commentary

This was a fun episode, but not a great villain. As I mentioned, doing a shape shifter villain can lead to very trope heavy episodes. That doesn’t mean that the episode isn’t still fun. It’s just that you can tell a lot of what’s coming. The Everyman character also gives the actors a chance to play an alternate version of themselves whenever they’re portraying Bates. I’m sure that kind of thing is fun for them especially when it gets characters like Iris or Caitlin into a fight scene. It’s fun to watch as well, but more of like a minor amusement thing. What I thought this episode really did was raise a lot of questions leading in to the end of the season.

  1. I know that the crossovers don’t always take into account for the other show’s plot, but this one seemed a little strange to me. When Lance was on his rampage, he seemed like he had figured out that Oliver and the Arrow were related to the “Streak” in Central City. Given that Barry is Oliver’s only real acquaintance there, it would follow that the guys he’s helping are related to the Arrow. Still, Quentin doesn’t give it much more than a raised eyebrow. Seems inconsistent for the guy who was making it his mission to pursue every avenue to hunt down the Arrow.
  2. What is Harrison Wells planning. It’s clear that Wells knows that something’s up. He visits the precinct at the end of the episode under the pretense of checking on Eddie. As the audience, we know that Eddie is related to Wells (aka Thawne) but since no one else knows that, it makes no real sense for him to check on Eddie. It’s clear that he’s there to check up on Joe’s investigation in Starling City. He must be planning something if he thinks that everyone is suspicious of him.
  3. How will seeing the future article affect Barry? He didn’t exactly handle the whole learning the future thing well when he learned about failing to stop his mom’s death. Now he knows that something’s going to happen to him in the next 10 years or so.
  4. What are they going to do with body? This is a fairly minor thing, but there’s just a dead body that they can’t afford to identify sitting in Barry’s lab.
  5. What are they going to do with all these meta-humans? This isn’t really a new issue, but if they’re planning on starting an all out war with Wells, they may want to find a way to make sure that he doesn’t just unleash all these people with powers on the city. Not to mention that he’s still got Gorilla Grodd hidden under the city somewhere.

The biggest question is what Team Flash is going to do now that they’re sure Wells is the Reverse Flash. Ignoring everything else, the fact remains that Barry hasn’t ever come close to beating him. Maybe if he can get Firestorm to come back and help him, he’ll stand more of a chance. Based on the previews for the next episode, I think we’re going to find out the answer to that question sooner than later.

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