It’s time to talk about The Flash.
Or more specifically, it’s time to talk about the Reverse Flash.
Yes, It’s SPOILERS time.
Last night was a big night for comic book TV shows revealing major, central mysteries, and The Flash was no exception. The mid-season finale delivered in spades, with a significant amount of screen time for Firestorm (including him, inexplicably, saying his own superhero name), multiple fights between Flash and his Reverse counterpart, and oh yeah, what sure seemed to be the reveal of the identity of the villainous character.
And so, part of Harrison Wells secret is revealed. He spoke with the creepy Reverse-Flash voice, and putting some energy into the Reverse Flash costume in the “post-credits” style scene at the very end of the episode. Yes, it seems that he’s Reverse Flash, but that actually asks more questions than it answers.
First among those, just what is Harrison’s real name? Throughout the episode, a few of the comic book Reverse-Flashes were teased. Whether it was subtle like him saying “Hunt” making nerds like us think of “Hunter Zolomon,” or more direct, where he didn’t attack Eddie Thawne, something the detective pointed out, “Why didn’t he attack me?” there were possibilities presented.
Harrison’s M.O. has been consistent with the most recent pre-New 52 Reverse Flash, as written by The Flash EP Geoff Johns, a twisted sense that he’s making The Flash a better hero. Harrison has shown an obsession with a future Crisis, and The Flash’s role in it. He knows The Flash needs to be ready and the best hero that he can be. Everything that he’s done so far has been to keep The Flash safe and training.
He’s also shown just how vicious he can be, and how willing to sacrifice he is to get his way. As Reverse Flash, he brutally beat down Barry, but stopped short of any lasting damage. He did the same to, well, himself, beating down Harrison Wells… it’s best if you don’t think too hard about it.
…but let’s think too hard about it, shall we? It was also revealed that what many suspected - not just Reverse Flash, but The Flash himself was there when Nora Allen was murdered - was definitely true. This means we have a whole lot of twisty turny wibbly-wobbly timey-wimey stuff happening. As near as we can figure, it’s a time loop. From Harrison’s point of view, he’s come back in time to the point that Nora Allen died from the farthest point in his timeline. There, he established S.T.A.R. Labs and began working toward building the particle accelerator, which he knew needed to be done to create The Flash, being from the future. He’s also guiding his own future-past; future from 2014’s perspective, but his own past. A younger “Harrison,” as Reverse Flash, goes back in time to kill Nora, again, something he feels is necessary in order for Barry to be The Flash. Reverse even throws Flash off the scent of Harrison being duplicitous, and aids his older self in charging the suit for him to eventually receive, full of speed force or “tachyons” or whatever. Eventually The Flash will also be able to time travel, battling Reverse at the moment of his mother’s death, trying to save her life, which if he was successful in doing, would break the loop and erase all of existence as he now knows it, a la Flashpoint in the comics.
So is Harrison really Eobard, Eddie's future descendant? Does he want The Flash to be a hero? Is he from a parallel universe where The Crisis destroyed everything? See what we mean about how answering one question asked several more?
Outside of Harrison, we saw Ronnie Raymond a couple of times, though he said he didn’t know who Ronnie was, and self-identified as Firestorm. He also saved the day and flew away, which was frankly pretty freaking sweet.
The Flash returns mid-January, so at least we don’t have to wait until March for more answers like some shows are making us do.