The Flash S1x19 “Who Is Harrison Wells?”
Who is Harrison Wells? He’s Eobard Thawne, obviously. We knew that ever since the reveal that Thawne travelled back in time to kill Barry’s mother as the Reverse Flash and then wound up being stranded, forced to replace and kill off the real Wells to increase his plans for the Particle Accelerator. However, the team is only starting to find that out, with last episode seeing Barry, Joe and Eddie bring in Caitlin and Cisco onto the team. Whilst Caitlin still has doubts, it allowed for a great episode as Cisco and Joe travelled to Starling City to investigate Wells’ murder, where they linked up with Laurel Lance (Katie Cassidy) and her father Quentin (Paul Blackthorne). It was great to see someone else on this show who wasn’t Ollie, Diggle or Felicity from Arrow and whilst Arrow crossovers don’t have the impact that they did at the start of the season with guest appearances cropping up every other episode, it was a strong move in the right direction.
Seeing Quentin and Laurel Lance in The Flash this week was great. Arrow viewers will know that Quentin and Laurel aren’t on the best of terms right now because Laurel not only replaced Sara as the Black Canary following her death, but also kept secret the fact that Sara had died from Quentin. This episode handled their characters incredibly well, and got Laurel’s character so well that it’s a shame she isn’t more like this in Arrow. Hell, “Who Is Harrison Wells?” gave us better Laurel scenes here than we had in the majority of the first two seasons, which is saying something. Her interactions with Cisco were also incredibly fun to see, with Cisco geeking out over finding out who Laurel really was, and I loved his reaction when she told him, with Cisco lying really bad to pretend that he didn’t know what she was talking about.
Quentin was also well written here, and it was great to see him team-up with Joe as they attempted to solve what happened to Wells and it’s great, because Arrow has transformed one of my favourite characters of the first two seasons into someone who was as unlikable as he was at the start of Season 1, and this once again gives Quentin some time to shine here. Whilst the episode feels tonally out of place to the Arrow-verse, with Season 3 currently on a much darker path that almost makes it odd to see the Starling City Police Department in the daylight, or Quentin actually outside the city for a change. I’d love to have the Lances crop up on The Flash a lot more often from time to time now (and Sara would be great as well even if Caity Lotz looks to be heading to the spinoff, reportedly titled Legends of Tomorrow), as well as other Arrow characters who haven’t made the jump to do so. We’ve had the Lances, so why not have the Merlyn’s? Thea and Malcolm showing up would rock. I wouldn’t say no to appearances from Nyssa, Amanda Waller and even Slade as well, but they’re probably longer shots. But still, crossovers are always fun.
The villains of the week haven’t really been the strongest part about this show, aside from a few exceptions like Mark Hamill’s Trickster, but I really liked Hannibal Bates (an homage to both Hannibal Lector and Norman Bates, in case you didn’t realize), as a fun, shapeshifting character who really presented problems for the STAR Labs team when he possessed not only Iris and Eddie, but also Barry. Body-possession/switch episodes are always the fun ones.
There were plenty of movements that happened plot-wise on this week’s episode of The Flash as well, with the most significant coming in the later stages of the show, much like with Out of Time. We got Barry, Caitlin and Cisco finding out about Wells’ hidden base, and the sighting of the Reverse Flash’s suit and on top of that, the newspaper article that highlighted The Flash’s disappearance in 2024 that was the major easter-egg from the pilot. Now that Caitlin knows the truth (this was a big week for her as well as she dealt with lying to Wells), this will be very interesting to see what happens next, especially when the next episode is set to see Wells release Grodd on the team to distract them.
It’s something that I’m really hyped for, especially given Grodd’s role in the comics. Hopefully the show will use something similar here. Also, comics-wise, we got two other exciting things this week. Not only did we get Barry’s trip to Coast City to get Pizza (will Coast City play more of a role going forward given that it’s the home of Hal Jordan, Green Lantern?), which was cool, but something that will probably have more of an impact was Cisco handing Laurel the Canary Cry. Or at least, more of an impact for Arrow. That was a great way to give Laurel the Canary’s fan-favourite power from the comics and hopefully it should be very interesting to watch unfold going forward, with some great potential there. Hopefully we’ll get to see more of Laurel like she was portrayed here in future episodes of Arrow as well, so let’s hope that the writers have been paying attention.