Along with all the other tricks that The Flash has pulled off for the past three seasons, there has always been at least one new Wells each year. The Flash completely recognizes the acting talent they have in Tom Cavanagh and have asked the actor to play a plethora of different versions of ostensibly the same man. It’s been a fun little running gag on The Flash, pun very much intended, but like Barry in the season 3 finale it’s time for it to reach the finish line. H.R. Wells should be the last new Wells.
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The Ultimate and Final Sacrifice
The death of H.R. — while welcome, because it removed the possibility of an Iris demise — does feel like a bit of a cop-out. It was a nice emotional sacrifice for the character and nice end to his journey. Since Tom Cavanagh popped up almost immediately as Harry in the season 3 finale, H.R.’s death didn’t have that much weight. If a new Wells was introduced, H.R.’s sacrifice would feel even more like just a stopgap to prevent Iris being killed and less of a heroic close to the character.
Bringing on a new Wells when Harry went back to Earth-2 was a weird move but understandable. Harrison Wells has always been a part of Team Flash and it made sense the characters would seek another version out. If H.R. is replaced it is going to make it seem like all Harrison Wells, not just H.R., are disposable. There is very little reason to care about a hypothetical new season 4 version of Wells because The Flash can always kill him off or just write him off and a new character can be plugged in his place. The precedent will be set. The best way the show and the characters can honor H.R.’s death is to stick to the Wells they know, Harry, rather than seek out a new one.
The Best (Is Already) Around
It should also be considered that H.R. was a case of severe diminishing returns for The Flash when it came to Harrison Wellses. Tom Cavanagh did a great job playing H.R., especially in the final couple of episodes of season 3, but H.R. was more of an annoyance than the hilarious comic relief which was his obvious intention. The “Wells” of season 1, Eobard Thawne in disguise, was an incredible villain who hid a dangerous personality under a kind persona. The Wells of season 2, Harry, was prickly jerk who hid a deeply sensitive person and he grew to be incredibly lovable. H.R. was just kind of a joke whose entire purpose was that he has no purpose. Cavanagh is talented but The Flash was clearly running out of ideas for Wells when they crafted H.R.
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In the season 2 finale Barry asked Harry to stick around Earth-1 while he entered the Speed Force. It’s a responsibility that Harry accepted in the moment and it is something that should stick. The Flash explained Harry leaving Earth-1 in the season 2 finale and season 3 premiere because he had to protect his own Earth but that explanation no longer holds. Earth-2’s “Flash,” Jesse Quick, is currently protecting Earth-3 and apparently the only supervillain of Earth-2, Gorilla Grodd, has been neutralized. There is no reason for Harry to be anywhere but Earth-1.
H.R. Wells was not without his fans but he certainly didn’t reach the love that fans have for Harry or even Eobard Thawne. It’s best for The Flash to not tempt fate again and just stick with the Wells fans already like and the one that has no reason to leave Team Flash, Harry. Anything else would just be messy and repetitive and The Flash needs less of both of those elements moving forward to season 4 and beyond.
But what do you think? Do you want to see a new Wells in season 4? Should H.R. be the last Wells forever or the last Wells for awhile? Who is your favorite Harrison Wells?
The Flash will return for season 4 in Fall 2017 on Tuesdays at 8/7c on The CW. Want more news? Like our Flash Facebook page!
(Image courtesy of The CW)