‘The Flash’ Season 1 Recap, Episode 19, ‘Who Is Harrison Wells?’
Welcome back to Up To Speed, home of the the Flashest Recaps Alive. Here we’ll recap the latest episode of The Flash, dispense some Flash Facts and talk about what works, what doesn’t and where the series might be headed, as we try and keep up with the adventures of the fastest man alive, Barry Allen, more widely known as The Flash.
This week we're taking a look at episode 19, which asks the question "Who Is Harrison Wells?" only we sort of already know who he is. Also included in this episode: Joe and Cisco (and Business Beanie™) take a road trip to Starling City, Barry faces off against The Everyman, Iris is still being lied to/angry about being lied to, and Poor Eddie winds up in the hoosegow.
FLASHBACK: What Happened This Week
The episode starts off with Barry flashing out to snag a pizza pie for Joe, Eddie, Caitlin and Cisco, who are all comparing notes on what they know about Harrison Wells. Caitlin's still a little reticent to believe that her mentor is psychopathic speedster. Joe and Cisco are headed to Starling City to track down what happened to Wells on the night he had the car accident where Eobard Thawne swapped bodies with him.
Meanwhile, at Gold City Bank, it's quitting time, but one employee has decided to do a little overtime in the safe deposit box vault, pilfering all the goods from every box. Fast-forward to that bank employee being questioned. She says it can't be her cuz she went home early, but Eddie's not so sure.
Eddie suggests that maybe it's a metahuman, but then Iris shows up to ask about Joe and Barry and Eddie hrm and uh and tell her he must have taken a little vacation. Then Eddie asks Iris when she's coming home and she gets all mad because the writers have doubled down on Iris being The Worst despite her having every right to be angry at Eddie and her dad and her semi-brother.
Meanwhile, at STAR Labs, Barry's trying to talk Caitlin into believing that Wells is a creeper, but she's not buying it. They have a little argument, but Wells rolls in and they both, in the least subtle way possible, lie their way out of it, instead focusing on a call from Eddie. Turns out, some dude was trying to sell the the stuff that was stolen from the bank. Eddie tries to take him out but gets his butt kicked in before Barry can show up just in time to see the perp shape-shift into a Goth girl and disappear into the crowd. Drats!
At STAR Labs, Barry, Caitlin and Wells figure out the metahuman's deal and they tell Barry that he can't touch the shapeshifter or maybe they will get Barry's super speed because science. They do a quick internet search and find a bunch of similar crimes where the perps all claimed it was somebody else. The first turns out to be have occurred a month after the Big Boom, with a teller at a credit union saying he was framed by a guy named, "Hannibal Bates."
Hannibal. As in Lecter. And Bates. As in Norman. SMDH. His mom may as well have just named him Evil McKillface. Even George Lucas, who named his Sith Lord Darth Sidious, would probably be like, "Maybe this is a little too 'on the nose,' folks."
In Starling City, Joe and Cisco are meeting with Captain Lance and his bizarre accent. He given them the file for the Wells accident and they ask him to take them out to the 15-year-old crash site. Assistant District Attorney/Black Canary Laurel Lance comes in and is all, "Oh, are you Cisco Ramon? Let's go in this shoddy office real quick." And she tells him she's the Black Canary, that she knows Barry is the Flash and that Oliver Queen is Arrow and that the third Summers brother is… Oops. Almost let that secret out. Anyway, then she hits him up for help fixing her Canary voicebox choker thing. Cisco is all, "Oh heck yes."
At his science mansion, Harrison Wells is taking a long-deserved break from pretending to be paralyzed and enjoying a nice drink when he's interrupted by Caitlin buzzing his doorbell, cuz she's gonna blow their spot up by talking to him about their suspicions. Thankfully, Barry flashes in at the last minute to stop her from ruining everything. They have a chat about Wells and Caitlin is understandably upset, but Barry says, "boo hoo hoo my dad is in jaiiiil a bloo-bloo!" and they sort of table the issue for the time being.
Later that night(?), Eddie and Barry go to check out Hannibal Bates' last known address: his grandma's house. They question her, but then she leaves the room to get some tea or something and it just then dawns on them that maybe Grandma Bates was Hannibal Bates. They chase the grandma through alleyways and between houses, but Barry can't use his super-speed, remember? So Eddie tackles her and as the cops show up, he pulls his weapon and fires on them just as Barry catches up with him.
At police headquarters, the Assistant DA is taking Eddie into custody because, you know, they have him on camera shooting two cops. Oops. Iris shows up all flustered and Barry comforts her, but dang, things are looking grim for Poor Old Eddie.
At the Wells crash site, Joe, Cisco, Business Beanie™ and Captain Lance are sweeping the scene of the crash all those years ago with some doohickey Cisco brought along. Joe, Business Beanie™ and Lance have a chat about their daughters and Lance mentions he's a little angry with his daughter for some thing that happened on Arrow. Joe pries a little and Lance mentions that Lauren kept something from him for a long time and Joe's like, "THAT SOUNDS LIKE NOT A BIG DEAL, PEOPLE WHO DO THAT ARE COOL." Cisco picks up something on his thingamajig and they start a'digging.
At the police precinct, Barry comes in with CSI evidence that Eddie never fired the gun, but with that video, it's gonna be hard to disprove he's dirty. Barry flashes him out of there and they have a talk about the situation that ends with Eddie making him take him back to the precinct so that Barry can catch the metahuman who can shape shift.
At the West household, Barry's calling Iris when a knock comes at the door. He opens it to find … Eddie?
Seriously, Barry Allen is a flipping moron. Caitlin comes by to tell Barry that she's had a breakthrough in stopping the shapeshifter --- dubbed Everyman --- from morphing. Fake Barry, aka Barely Allen, is like, "Yes, person I am a familiar with. Let us go to your laboratory where we may make this potion."
At the Wells crash site, they found a gross old body.
At STAR Labs, Barry's acting all weird while Caitlin makes the anti-morphing serum, and Barely Allen tries to distract her by smooching all over her. This whole thing where Barely Allen is macking on Caitlin is weird and makes no sense, but you Caitlin/Barry shippers got some fan service out of the deal, so I guess it's a wash.
Iris shows up and mentions the list of people who have likely been set up by Bates and then she shows Eddie's cop shooting video again, pointing out that… Eddie's not left-handed! Barely Allen is like, "Damn, guess I gotta murder these two ladies now," but thankfully, Harrison wells tasers the hell out of him before he can hurt them.
Iris and Caitlin cuff the dude and toss him in the back of Iris' car to take him to jail because why have the cops come pick him up, right? They chat about Iris' inherited Freaky Links casebook of weird happenings in Central City and she mentions the Burning Man and Caitlin's all, "Oh that is interesting but I have no idea what you are talking about." Before she can dig her hole any deeper, Bates wakes up in the back seat of the car, morphs into a plucky 10-year-old redheaded girl and starts screaming at some friendly construction workers that she's being abducted. Bates gets away in the confusion, consarn it.
Caitlin heads to the West house and finds Barry all duct taped up and fills him in on what he missed.
At Starling, Joe and Lance and Business Beanie™ are saying goodbye and Laurel Lance picks up her Canary Cry choker thingy. Then she gives him a photo of the two of them with her in costume. Which is … creepy?
At STAR Labs, Wells, Caitlin and Barry look over the DNA analysis of the shape-shifter and determine that he can't replicate Barry's powers or steal his memory, so he can punch him all he likes. Then they get a ping from Barry's cellphone that puts Bates at the airport and Barry's off to stop him. Barry sees a little old lady going through the full body scanner and notices a glitch when she goes through, which means she's Bates. Thank goodness for invasive airport security measures! They chase each other through the airport and into an employee access hallway and have a fight that Bates loses pretty badly, with Barry punching Bates as he shifts between Barry's friends before Barry finally injects him with the serum and takes him out.
Barry brings the evidence to the Assistant DA and she lets Eddie go, mentioning that the law's not ready to deal with this kind of criminal and Barry's like, "It's cool, I know a guy with a secret prison he can throw this weirdo in." She also admits to a certain Flash fangirlism after Barry gives her the list of other cases where Bates probably framed the people for his crimes.
Iris and Eddie are reunited and it feels so good, but Eddie tells her he has something he needs to say: he's been working with the Flash and that's why he's been so weird. Iris is like, "Okay, I guess that makes sense?"
In the basement prison, Everyman is shifting between people to try and trick them into letting him out, but Wells asks him what he really looks like. Bates drops the pretense and shows his true form, which looks sort of like if Voldemort had a gross tadpole baby.
At Barry's lab, they have the real Wells' corpse just laying out there. Caitlin won't believe it, but Cisco says he ran the DNA twice and it comes up a match for the real Harrison Wells. So she's finally on board with what we've all know was the truth for like four episodes now: 15 years ago, Harrison Wells got his body jacked by Eobard Thawne, aka The Reverse Flash.
At the police precinct, Wells is waiting for Joe to give him a, "We're not so different, you and I" talk, but as Joe has just seen the real Wells' actual skeleton, he's not buying it. He also brings up Joe's dead wife, which seems weird to me. Like, was he threatening Iris or hinting at Mrs. West's demise or what?
At STAR Labs, Cisco is running a test on the building and finds a weird, secret room, The Weird Secret Room, in fact. They make their way in and see it all: the yellow suit, the chest doohickey, the manga body pillows. Barry undulates his Adam's apple as he reads the headline on the future newspaper, which means he's serious about this.
FLASH FACTS: Random Observations
- For a guy who's supposed to be a fairly competent scientist-type, Barry sure is a lunkhead roughly 95% of the time.
- Hannibal Bates, aka Everyman first appeared in DC's weekly event book, 52, issue #21. Created by Grant Morrison, Geoff Johns, Greg Rucka, Mark Waid, Keith Giffen & Joe Bennett (though it smells an awful lot like a Johns character), the 52 version can only take on the appearance of another person if he eats some part of their body. Which is gross.
- I honestly can't tell what sort of accent Captain Lance is trying to do here. Do they explain where he's supposed to be from on that Arrow show? It sounds like a British guy trying to do a Cajun accent, but is Starling City on the bayou or something? Weird.
- Poor Candice Patton is given such crap to work with these last few episodes. This week's slightly better than last week's debacle, but not by much.She's either an abrupt, cold ice queen who ruins fancy dinners or a fawning, fainting girlfriend, with not a lot to do in-between. I want to like Iris, but yeah, the writers are making it real hard for me to think anything but "The Worst" whenever she's onscreen.
- It's real crazy to watch the fight in this episode, especially the Eddie/Bates fight early in the episode, after Daredevil dropped on Netflix this last week. For all of DD's faults, it definitely upped the ante with superhero show fight scenes.
- As we close in on the end of the season one, we're seeing things start to move into place for the eventual unveiling of Professor Zoom, and, hopefully, Grodd. I am ready for it, especially since at this point, the show if just reconfirming stuff we already knew.
FLASH FORWARD: Future Happenings
Next week's episode is titled "The Trap." It looks pretty trappy, I guess.
Until next week! Same Flash time! Same Flash channel!