What follows contains spoilers for the first half of Season 1 of THE FLASH.
The mid-season finale of the Flash introduced his arch-nemesis, the Man In the Yellow Suit, aka the Reverse Flash. Many questions sprung up about who he was under the mask, which version of the Reverse Flash was he? What use is the tachyon device to Harrison Wells? I welcome you to read my stab at answering these questions and some other predictions below!
Let’s start with this: Harrison Wells is not a real name. Well, it’s a real name but it’s not HIS real name. He chose it purposely. H. Wells who happens to be a time traveler? Like HG Wells who wrote The Time Machine? At some point he will reveal this delicious play on names and half the audience will say “WHY DIDN’T I SEE THAT???” But not you – you heard it here first!
With regard to “Who is the Reverse Flash”? Let’s look at what we know from the mid-season finale:
- The Reverse Flash wants a Tachyon device for reasons unknown
- The Reverse Flash and Barry “Have been at this [fight] for a long time” (Reverse Flash quote)
- Wells is abducted and beaten up by the Reverse Flash
- Wells has the Reverse Flash suit, the stolen tachyon device and displays the voice trick Barry uses
So it seems clear to me: Wells cannot be the Reverse Flash (because Wells was beaten up by him). He also has to be the Reverse Flash (because he has the suit, the device stolen by Reverse Flash and can do the voice trick). Oy!
To sort out this conundrum I’ll work on the assumption that Wells IS the Reverse Flash. It’s possible that he’s not and if he’s shown not to be, I’ll do another post about it.
The first question I have is “In Flash lore, there are two Reverse Flashes. Eobard Thawne and Hunter Zolomon. One hated everything about the Flash (Thawne). The other wanted Flash to be a hero worthy of fighting him (Zolomon). Which Reverse Flash is Wells? Thawne or Zolomon?”
Let’s start with some observations: What attitude do we see from Wells with regard to Barry?
We see Wells protect Barry by killing Stagg, we see him encouraging, coaxing, demanding Barry be faster (several times), and we see him manipulate Barry into being a hero (negative reinforcement followed by “believing in him”, getting Detective West to support Barry as the Flash etc…). All of these actions can be summed up as “Making Barry into a better hero”. That, plus the red eyes while in the Reverse Flash suit, describes Hunter Zolomon.
In the comics, Eobard Thawne gains his powers by using 25th century science to recreate the Flash’s powers but only when he wears the Reverse Flash suit. Eventually Thawne gains the powers on his own by tapping into the Speed Force created Barry creates when he runs. The faster he runs, the more Speed Force is generated. Sound familiar? I believe the tachyon device is Wells’ way of capturing that speed force. This is something akin to what Eobard Thawne would do and is another reason why Wells wants more speed from Barry. More speed = more speed force = more power for Wells. As we know Wells is a time traveler and he’s from the future, I think he wants to use this power to get back to his own time. Wait…what? Here’s why:
In the lore, Barry and Thawne have fought “through time”. By that I mean if the fight took 5 minutes – 2 minutes took place in 1988, 50 seconds took place in 1975, one minute in prehistoric era etc…the fight was an 5 minutes long to them but it was spread through different time periods. If I’m right, in the show story, part of that fight took place was when Nora was killed. At the end of the “through the time stream” fight Barry will strand Thawne “in the time stream.”
I suspect they have merged Zolomon’s attitude (Make Barry a worthy hero) and Thawne’s story (stranded in the past by Barry) to create one Reverse Flash in the body we know as Harrison Wells. I think the show will eventually have that “through the time stream” fight and at the end of their fight, Barry will strand Thawne/Zolomon/Wells in the recent past where he recognizes that he can only get home by creating “The Flash”. He will assume the identity of “Harrison Wells” and use his knowledge of the future / technology to build STAR labs and the particle accelerator.
I also think this is why Wells keeps checking on “the future” – to see if his presence in the past has altered anything (and also why he became so upset in the episode where the future newspaper showed The Flash never existed – if Flash never exists, Reverse Flash cannot exist and Thawne/Zolomon/Wells can’t go home).
Lastly, I suspect that at the end of that fight, Barry will somehow become the very anomaly that causes the STAR Labs particle accelerator to melt down. In essence, he will create the very accident that gives him powers in the first place. Chew on that one a while, internet!
While I’m not quite sure how that will work yet, I am sure that “the anomaly” wasn’t an accident.
New episodes return on January 20th. What do you think will happen?