Harrison Wells took a huge step forward in his relationship with Barry during last night’s episode of The Flash. He was put in a difficult position of either helping the new team he’s a part of, or resulting back to a primal instinct and protecting his daughter along with his own life. For Wells, the decision seemed easy at first. Of course he’d choose to save his daughter over a team he has purposely remained disconnected from. No hesitation. But he couldn’t avoid the feeling of shame and regret as Barry tried to connect with Harrison on a deeper level. He even goes as far as to slightly convince himself that he made the best decision he could by pushing Barry away and admitting that he will betray him when the time comes. But after his actions of stealing some of Barry’s speed results in the injury of Iris, Harrison Wells comes clean about his betrayal and faces the consequences for his actions.
Wells is a complicated character placed in a difficult situation. He entered earth one’s universe with a strike already against him for what his doppelganger has done. There was a complete lack of trust between Wells and team Flash from day one. And with Jay Garrick in the mix to add on to the doubt of Harrison’s intentions to help the team against Zoom, there were always a lingering distrust surrounding him. But after trying to convince the team that he is not like the Reverse Flash of earth one that took on his face, and after working close with Cisco to help solve a few issues on a couple of cases, Wells threw the little trust he has accumulated over time out of the window. But admitting his transgression, ironically, was the first step in him actually gaining the trust of the team.
The episode finally put an end to the trust issues between the team, and showed that Barry is finally able to separate Wells from his detest of the Reverse Flash. Considering that the last episode dealt a lot with Barry confronting Thawne while still using his real appearance, it makes a lot of sense for Barry to finally move on from his distrust of Harrison Wells. So when Wells admitted to stealing his speed in order to save his daughter, Barry could relate to his decision and forgive Wells on who he is as a person instead of the weight behind his appearance resembling his biggest enemy. The lingering distrust is finally put to rest, and team Flash will move forward in assisting Wells with retrieving his daughter back from Zoom.
While the main focus may have been on the relationship between Harrison and the team, the side story of Iris trying to persuade Wally to leave street racing for good came off a little forced. Instead of discussing it deeper with Wally, she went down a more forceful route and inserted herself in to his nightlife. The storyline wasn’t awful, but it didn’t show off her communication skills at all as she was more accusatory than sincere in how she approached Wally on the subject. After taking a piece of glass to the shoulder and being hospitalized, Iris and Wally were finally able to discuss his late night activities like adults in order to address them properly. While I completely understand why Iris made the decisions she did, there were better ways for her to approach Wally.
With a disposable villain this week, the episode dealt more with relationships moving forward than anything else. It properly set up for the team to travel to earth two next episode, and finally put an end to the trust issues between Barry and Wells. Moving forward was the theme of this episode. And while the story involving the villain left a lot to be desired, it’s complete forgivable. Because the time not dedicated to dealing with him was far better used on character development. And in the end, the characters are what make The Flash great.