The Flash: “Who Is Harrison Wells?” Season 1 Episode 19 Review

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To have an episode like this, with this title, this late in the season is frustrating. The Flash rests very easily on its monster of the week formula. Considering this was one of the better version of that formula this season, it’s a shame it came at a time where the lack of forward development has become exhausting.

“Who Is Harrison Wells?” is the straw that broke the camel’s back in how long it’s been since we were duped out of Reverse-Flash revealing himself, via time travel, and the characters still haven’t figured out what’s really going on. Because they sort of already did. Since then, we’ve had a fun Rogues episode, the Tricksters episode, and last week’s Arrow crossover, all of which were effective in their own way. Perhaps that’s because they didn’t stick to the formula (or in the case of “Tricksters,” gleefully parodied it). But this episode was one too many.

It’s a shame because the shape-shifting Everyman was a cool villain. It was smart to have no single actor play him at any point before the disturbing reveal after he’s caught. Until then, he was everyone and no one. In the final fight with the Flash, he at different times became Caitlin, Iris, Eddie, and eventually the Flash himself. It was a cool visual that gave a lot of the other actors something fun to do.

But still, there was very little that pertained to the season’s overall arc. Now, with just four episodes left, things have to get crazy.

More relevant to where the season is headed, Joe and Cisco visit Starling City to investigate the car accident that Dr. Wells was injured in all those years ago. Some of this crossover was fun, particularly whenever Cisco and Laurel got to interact, but a lot of the character beats seemed to be propelling Arrow‘s subplots. It felt a lot smoother last week when the Atom crossed over, but that’s because that superhero could show up on both shows and feel at home. Laurel and her father are very much a product of Arrow and its own unique tone. Besides the plot element of Wells’ actual body being dug up, the emotional beats of this subplot advanced Arrow storylines, not Flash ones.

But the finding of Wells’ decomposing body led to a final few minutes that make some big promises for next week. Barry, Caitlin, and Cisco have found the Reverse-Flash costume in Wells’ private chamber. Things are hopefully about to go down. It’s just too bad we had to have a very obvious filler episode to get there. Grade: B-


Some Other Thought Bubbles:

– Flash looked good in his final fight against Everyman, like he was using his fists and his speed. That’s going to help as the Reverse-Flash gears up for his endgame.

– Grant Gustin was hysterical as Everyman.

– Cisco made a Canary Cry collar for Laurel and it looks totally badass. Here’s to hoping Black Canary is fully unleashed for Arrow‘s finale.

– I think this was the most we got of Eddie in any episode to date. Could the show be gearing up for big things for the character as the season comes to a close? Or will he be The Flash‘s Tommy Merlyn?


By Matt Dougherty

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