Some of you will already know how his arc ends, but humour us as we wonder: what the hell is with Dr Harrison Wells?
We’re introduced to Harrison Wells in episode one at the launch of Star Lab’s Particle Accelerator. Wells explains that tonight “the future will be here sooner than you all thing”. Very foreshadow-y.
Cue the Particle Accelerator exploding, killing and mutating dozens across the city.
Flash forward (pun intended) nine months later.
Wells is in a wheelchair, welcoming Barry out of a coma that was brought on by the Particle Accelerator-filled lightning strike that gave him his powers.
Over the next few episodes he helps Barry to control and reach the potential of his speed, all while wearing a creepy/proud(?) smile. It’s honestly hard to tell. It could be interpreted either way, and that’s where we come in to help. Let’s take a look at the facts.
When Barry first discovers an evil meta-human, he gets all worked up saying how he has to catch him so that nobody else gets harmed. Wells insists that Barry doesn’t go after him, that it’s a job for the police. It seems that Wells is trying to protect Barry from getting hurt. Or is he?
He blurs the lines between treating Barry like a son and a science experiment, emphasising that Barry is important to keep safe for genetic advancements in healing and medicine.
But whenever Barry feels like he isn’t strong enough to fight other meta-humans, Wells launches into a feel-good speech about how powerful and special Barry is. It clears the doubt out of his mind, leading him to defeat the evil beings.
He persuades Joe to get on board with Barry’s crime-fighting life too. Warning him that ultimately, doubt is what will get Barry killed and as long as Joe doubts Barry, he will doubt himself.
But then, just when we think an episode is over, we get an extra snippet that shines a different light on Wells. An evil light.
The first of these has Wells rocking up to a secret door that’s activated by his touch.
Next minute, he is in a secret room and he is STANDING. Is there anything more sinister than a fake paraplegic?
And he doesn't even need glasses?! This guy is shadier than a cantilever umbrella.
This is no ordinary secret room. Wells has created a special room that has a special device that can see the future. Google Home, eat your heart out.
It isn't just the future-seeing room he’s built that has us spooked, it’s also the fact that he murders Simon Stag.
Wells pays Stag a visit after The Flash saves him. He excitedly tells Wells what harnessing The Flash’s powers could do, how it could “change what it means to be human”. As Wells rises out of his wheelchair to unflinchingly stab Simon Stag, he apologetically (kind of) tells Stag that it’s not personal, he is just trying to keep The Flash safe.
Overprotective father figure or evil villain? We just don’t know.
What we do know from this flashback (pun intended), is that he built this future-seeing room before the day the Particle Accelerator blew up, and he somehow orchestrated the lightening to hit Barry. He chose Barry to become The Flash.
We don’t know what Wells’ long game is, we don’t know if he’s one of the good guys, but what we do know, is that he can pull off a fantastic creepy smile.