The Flash: 1.19 Who Is Harrison Wells?
The shared universe of Arrow and The Flash continued to reap the benefits with Cisco and Detective Joe West heading over to Starling City as their investigation into Harrison Wells continued. But as fun as it was seeing Cisco fall for the Black Canary, there was still plenty to enjoy as Barry Allen faced off against a shape-shifting meta human with the name of Hannibal Bates. Really, his parents must have known that he would turn to a life of crime with a name like that.
Who Is Harrison Wells? was all about the build up to the showdown between the Flash and Reverse Flash in what is sure to be a thrilling season finale. After Cisco and Caitlin were brought into the conspiracy at the end of last week's episode, this one actually delivered on some key revelations. In Starling City, Joe and Cisco, with a little help from Captain Quentin Lance, found the real body of Harrison Wells, dumped after Eobard Thawne stole his identity and killed him years earlier.
The scenes with the Arrow characters was nice - I assume the rest of the gang were off to Nanda Parbat while this episode took place - particularly a love-struck Cisco helping Laurel develop some new tech and her giving him the photo of him with her in full costume in return. It was nice to see her have fun with her secret identity, something that is often missing in the darker, grittier Arrow. As for Joe and Quentin, there was a nice bit of bonding over their 'issues' with daughters; perhaps an outside influence might help Quentin bond with Laurel in their own show?
The conspicuously-named Hannibal Bates was the latest in a long line of evil meta humans, this time, framing innocent victims by taking on their appearance to complete a series of armed robberies. I am really enjoying the variety of supervillains, something that even shows like ABC's Agents Of SHIELD has not always managed to get right consistently. If there is one thing you can say about The Flash for certain, is that it fully embraces its larger than life comic source material when translating the metahumans to the screen.
It allowed for some fun body-snatcher moments, particularly a Barry-lookalike Hannibal trying to 'seduce' Caitlin. Barry and Caitlin have had some chemistry on the show so it was fun to push it as far as it could go. I was far less convinced by Barry getting knocked out for HOURS. For someone with super healing, he should only have been stunned for a minute at most. It certainly felt like the writer forgetting about the rules of the show for the sake of convenience.
The final battle was fun though, with Candice Patton and Danielle Panabaker getting to enjoy an action scene for a change as Barry fought Hannibal wearing both Iris and Caitlin's faces. Also a great way to see The Flash versus The Flash, though a powerless Hannibal was no match despite the suit. The framing of Eddie was also a nice twist as his work alongside Barry / The Flash landed him in prison when Hannibal shot and killed two cops on camera while looking like the detective. The truth coming up about the metahuman that framed him certainly seemed to have ramifications for the police and justice departments as they realisation came that super-powered criminals were becoming the norm for Central City.
All the while Caitlin and Barry learned more about Harrison Wells as the discovery of the real body was quickly followed by the reveal of the secret room in Star Labs, complete with the Reverse Flash Suit and the newspaper image from 2024. If things were building up before, now everything looks set to come apart as the truth comes out.
Who Is Harrison Wells? was another thrilling episode with a good metahuman - if not up to the standards of the Pied Piper or Weather Wizard - and several key developments in the ongoing plot. The use of characters from Arrow helped once again to build the DC TV universe. The Flash looks set to enter the endgame of the Harrison Wells / Reverse Flash arc in what has easily become the most fun superhero show currently on television.