Earth 2’s Harrison Wells Had His Make or Break Moment in Last Night’s Episode of The Flash

Wednesday, 03 February 2016 - 12:24PM
Wednesday, 03 February 2016 - 12:24PM
Earth 2’s Harrison Wells Had His Make or Break Moment in Last Night’s Episode of The Flash
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The Flash is undoubtedly DC's best example of how far they can go with television, breaking network records and becoming a critically acclaimed hit. The show came back on air after the midseason break just a few short weeks ago, and now being halfway through the show's second year on air, it's still going remarkably strong.

Last week's episode was a tough one to beat as it reintroduced Eobard Thawne, the Reverse Flash, into the mix and set him up to be a reoccurring villain. Of course he was the big bad last season, but since that was technically the end of his timeline, it would seem that the Flash will now have to deal with Thawne's past self jumping in and out of Barry Allen's time zone throughout the foreseeable future. Nevertheless, this week's episode measured up quite well, delivering the strong emotional punch that fans have come to expect from The Flash and producing one of the moment fans have been waiting for for quite a while: Earth 2's Harrison Wells is found out by the team to be a co-conspirator with Zoom.

The episode began by introducing the weekly villain, Tar-Pit, and he was an unexpected change of pace from some of the other recent villains. Having been murdered in a pool of hot, burning tar the night the particle accelerator exploded, he was able to manipulate his form like the Batman villain Clayface; but instead of being made of clay, he was composed of red hot tar (hence the name).

Wells was also able to develop a device at the beginning of the episode that can slowly sap Barry's energy as he taps into the Speed Force, which he then secretly puts under the lightning bolt symbol in the Flash's suit. So while Barry is running around town trying to save Tar-Pit's potential victims, Wells is draining his power. By the end, he only gets about 2% of it, but it slows Barry down enough to prevent him from saving Iris from being hit with a shard of glass caused by one of Tar-Pit's attacks.  

That leads to a whole other subplot going on with this week's episode, as Iris was at the place of the attack simply because she was trying to convince Wally to stop street racing (one of the objects of Tar-Pit's revenge was the guy who holds the races). Joe, who's conflicted about how to deal with a son he's just met, finally breaks away from trying to be his friend and instead gives him "the right advice." In the end, things work out for the West family and it seems like Wally is finally finding out where he belongs.

The attack also prompts Barry to complain to Wells, Cisco, and Caitlyn about his sapped speed. Feeling guilty as he comes more and more to see Barry as his friend and son, he confesses. Of course the team initially freaks out and sends him to one of their specialized jail cells, and they talk about the possibility of sending him back and closing the portals to Earth 2 for good with a device that Barry and Wells were able to create earlier in the episode. However, Barry convinces the team that Wells was only acting on behalf of his daughter, and that he showed his faithfulness by confessing. Likewise, Wells' daughter and an entire universe is in danger from Zoom; how could they turn their backs on that?

So with their decision made, the episode ends with the team releasing Wells and welcoming him back to the team, ready to take Earth 2 by storm. Whether it'll contain the answers they're looking for, however, is yet to be seen. The man known as Hunter Zolomon apparently resides in Earth 1, and as comic fans know, that name is shared by a certain critical character in the comics…Zoom.  

This episode was yet another great thrill ride, and there's only a few different complaints to be held against it. First, the big bad is taken down quite easily in the end, which is a bit of a disappointment for such an interesting new enemy. Of course there was a bit of action in the show beforehand, but the writers need to keep in mind that even though the actors are able to make the emotional arcs of The Flash something truly phenomenal, it still is a superhero show at heart. Fans want to see the Flash go all out with action just as much as they want to see him grow as a son and friend struggling through his double life.  

Likewise, though Keiynan Lonsdale seems to be a great actor, it also seems that he hasn't quite found his place yet with the rest of the cast. This is only a small quibble, as the other actors have learned to play off each other so well in the past two years. He may need some time to get caught up to pace and that's definitely OK, but it's left some of his part of the story wanting. Perhaps it's more personal character attachment than anything, and viewers like myself simply need more time in order to be able to feel for Wally. Still, there is a noticeable difference in the scenes he's been in up till now. That's not to say that he still isn't extremely fun to watch, just that he hasn't quite hit the level the other cast members are on at the moment.    

Also, it seems a bit much to expect that he's simply going to accept Joe as his father figure so early in the game, though it seems the writers want fans to just accept that that's what's happening. Thankfully there probably won't be any long, drawn out drama with that personal conflict (something that's become a detriment to the CW's other superhero show, Arrow), but it's also just a tad unrealistic. No teen is going to just jump into that kind of relationship so soon after meeting his biological father for the first time.  

With all that being said, The Flash was still a great watch this week - probably earning an 8/10 or so. The humor was great, the emotional punch was there (as always), a cool villain was involved, and now it seems that viewers can finally get to really like the Earth 2 Harrison Wells. Exciting things are on the horizon with the team entering Earth 2 next week, so the intrigue that The Flash holds doesn't seem to be going away anytime soon.  

Catch The Flash again next Tuesday at 8 p.m. ET.   
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