TV REVIEW: The Flash “Who is Harrison Wells?”
By Justin Carter
The big question about The Flash since its return in December was “how long can this keep going?” By which I mean, how long could the show put off Team Flash (+Iris and Eddie) learning that good ol’ Harrison Wells is the Reverse Flash? The show wasn’t exactly subtle about it when it first premiered, and they even made some progress by having Cisco be told by Wells himself that he’s a time-stranded Eobard Thawne, right before Cisco is murdered (and Barry runs back and time to reverse that). With Eddie now brought into the loop and Cisco’s memories from the previous timeline bleeding over, the only person left to be convinced (besides Iris, who seems just to sorta exist now) is Caitlin. Cisco and Joe head to Starling City to investigate the car crash from 15 years ago where Thawne basically sucked the life out of the real Wells, while Barry, Eddie and Caitlin have to deal with a shapeshifter named Hannibal Bates.
Characters crossing over into other shows is nothing new, and The Flash has done it now a total of about five times. As it turns out, pairing Joe and Cisco with Detective Lance and Laurel from Arrow is a great pairing for both parties. Joe and Lance have a natural bond through being fathers and cops, allowing Joe to give his fellow officer of the law some much needed advice on forgiving his daughter. Joe’s speech to Lance while Cisco looks for the real Wells’ corpse is heavy-handed, but Jesse Martin and Paul Blackthorne make it work, and this is probably needed for Lance in particular since the past few Arrow episodes have made him the Ahab to Oliver’s Moby Dick.
Cisco and Laurel, surprisingly, end up being a lot of fun. He’s just so damn giddy like a child once he learns that she’s the Canary, and she’s more than happy to just give him The Look (you’ll know what I mean when you see it). His ability with machines has him upgrade Sarah’s sonic devices and giving them a name (“The Canary Cry!”). In return, Laurel takes a photo with him in her Canary outfit. The reveal is so goofy and perfectly in line with Cisco’s character that it was hard not to laugh. It’s too bad neither Laurel or Cisco are going to be in that spinoff, because I’d like to see the two of them interact more.
Back in Central City, however, things are less fun. Bates, later nicknamed “Everyman” by Caitlin, starts out on the right foot by morphing into normal people and throwing everyone for a loop when he’s being hunted. Him turning into Eddie and shooting two cops would have been a nice little surprise if it wasn’t ruined in the sizzle reveal, along with the Barry-Caitlin kiss. What’s weird is that none of the three seem to think up a secret phrase or code word so they know they’re talking to the real deal and not Bates. As such, it was more eye-rolling than anything when Caitlin couldn’t tell that Barry was acting weird or that he just up and kissed her. The episode makes a big deal about Caitlin being doubtful that Wells is the Reverse-Flash, even going so far as to have her give a speech about how he helped her through the nine months of Barry being in a coma and Ronnie being “dead,” but after that, her doubt doesn’t come up until the very end when she’s presented with the real Wells’ corpse. The speech comes off more as a deleted scene than a futile reason to want Caitlin to be right.
Still, this is a fun episode. The Cisco/Laurel stuff is cute, Lance and Joe are interesting looks at the opposite ends of the “cop parent” spectrum, and the final fight with Bates shapeshifting between different forms is cool. And the post-credits reveal of Cisco, Barry, and Caitlin is very much welcome and puts everything in stage for the final four episodes to go all out with a Flash-Reverse Flash fight.
I’m not ashamed to admit that I kind of ship Cisco and Laurel now. They were that endearing to me.
“If you show anyone this, I’ll kill you.” “Heheheh…that’s a figure of expression, right?” “Nope.”
Barry travels to Coast City for pizza. I wonder if he ran into Green Lantern there.
Barry has recovered from plenty of injuries, but one blow to the back of the head and he’s out like a light. Suspension of disbelief can only go so far.