With the return of Harrison Wells and Jesse Quick in the Season 3, Episode 3 offering of The Flash, it finally seems like the old band’s getting back together. As much fun as the first two episodes of this season were for fans of the show — with the Flash’s confusing and reckless time travel Flashpoint shenanigans — there was something missing. That something was Tom Cavanagh’s Harrison Wells.
Over the last two years, Cavanagh has put on an acting workshop for young actors on how to play several variations on the same character. First Cavanagh was Harrison Wells in the wheelchair. Then he was Eobard Thawn/Reverse-Flash pretending to be Harrison Wells in the wheelchair. Finally, he was alternate reality Harrison Wells sans wheelchair — who still had his own agenda but at least wasn’t a murderous villain.
At the end of last season, Wells and his daughter Jesse — for somewhat weak reasons plot wise — decided to return to Earth 2. Just prior to their exit, there was an accident at Star Labs that had raised the hopes of viewers eager to see Jesse Quick and Wally West become speedsters alongside the Flash. But by the end of Season 2, this zap they got from the Flash gave every appearance of having fizzled out.
At the beginning of this episode, a call from Star Labs pulls Barry away from his date with Iris, and he streaks back to the lab only to find an open wormhole with Harrison Wells and Jesse Quick hopping through from Earth 2. It turns out Jesse’s a speedster after all. Wally West and Harrison Wells are the only ones not pleased about this plot point.
Wally spent most of this episode sulking about the fact that Jesse got speed and he didn’t. Whining Wally — who started to become a bit grating to many viewers last season — appears to be making an unfortunate return in season 3. As reported by NBC, we’ve already seen Wally with his powers in the alternate timeline. This means he’ll get his powers at some point this season — but he’ll probably whine about that as well.
Fortunately, the return of Harrison Wells more than made up for annoying subplots involving Joe — and virtually everyone else — consoling Wally or Barry’s endless dinner dates with Iris. Wells’ doting father routine never really gets old, since Cavanagh makes you believe it.
In fact, the reason for their return from Earth 2 — Harrison Wells’ hope that team Flash can talk some sense into Jesse — makes much more sense than the reason they left in the season 2 final episode. Wells will always want to protect his daughter and Jesse will always object to it. Good stuff.
The hints and inside jokes here and there about Caitlin Snow’s new meta-human powers were also fun, since it sets up the big future reveal in a later episode — when everyone will probably freak out about her becoming Killer Frost.
Of course, another part of the fun of this episode was seeing Jesse return to the show and watching her match the Flash step for step. Most of the speedsters on The Flash have been men, with the single exception of Trajectory during last season. Of course, Trajectory turned out to be a villain and isn’t likely to return following her speed force disintegration.
It’s about time that the show added a little gender diversity to The Flash speedsters with Jesse — as well as a little racial diversity when mopey Wally finally gets his speed. As popular as the return of The Flash in its third season is proving to be, it never hurts to expand the fan base.
Sadly, we know that Jesse is probably not going to be around for much longer on the show, since the actress is only signed up for a few episodes. But the return of Harrison Wells is likely to be a long-term commitment, since Tom Cavanagh is signed on for the full season.
[Featured Image by The CW]