Tom Cavanagh plays Dr. Harrison Wells, but who is he really?
He’s a character that’s been produced for this show. So speculation abounds on who he could be. Especially after showing he has access to future newspaper prints, can still actually walk, among a lot of other things.
One of the bigger theories I hear is Professor Zoom/Reverse Flash, but that doesn’t make much sense to me. Granted I’m not a huge buff on Flash lore, but why would one of Barry’s biggest foes be trying to coach Flash into becoming a better hero? Not much sense to me. Amanda Ferris briefly suggests it’s a future Wally West in a recap review of episode two. My thought though, is Dr. Harrison Wells may be a future Barry Allen.
This may seem odd but… Well first, just look at those two! I know, they aren’t twins by any means, but they do share some resemblance to each other. Enough that one COULD argue Tom Cavanagh could be playing Grant Gustin’s future self of over 10 years from now.
Then there is the fact Wells seems to know quite a bit about Barry’s powers. From the very start, he seemed to know Barry would end up with powers, and believed when no one else really seemed to that Barry could run fast. In the first episode Wells and his team clocked Barry’s top speed around 300mph, and yet later in that episode Wells had faith that Barry could run fast enough to counter a tornado going over 700mph. Not to mention he seems to know what really holds Barry back is doubting himself (keep this in mind for a later point!), and that with support from others that is what helps Barry overcome his doubts. As such Wells not only gives Barry pep talks along the lines that he KNOWS Barry can do it, but he also spoke with Detective West into supporting Barry.
So now some support that Wells could be the future Flash beyond him having some uncanny knowledge of Barry and his powers. I’ll move mostly chronologically here. Through Flashbacks we see red and yellow blurs being what killed Barry’s mom when he was a kid. It seems fairly obvious it was the Reverse Flash from what has been shown. Now if it was just the Reverse Flash and he could run so fast, well why wouldn’t he have killed Barry’s mom right away? Simply put, Reverse Flash had to be fighting Flash. It helps account for the red shown, and more so why Barry himself was, in a flash, suddenly outside and blocks away from the house.
My theory is 10 years down the line, there is probably some crazy DC stuff going on. Due to the term “Crisis” in the headline, many people speculate it could be a tie to DC’s Crisis on Infinite Earths where Barry sacrifices himself. Even if it isn’t, the term Crisis used in something DC related can’t bode well, just like the other headline “Red Skies Vanish” also does not paint a good picture for the future. During which, Flash would be caught up with Reverse Flash in a fight that got them both running so fast they went back in time to the night Barry’s mom died. Now since the Flash can doubt his own abilities, after such time travel he isn’t sure he can run fast enough again to travel back to his actual time. Seeing how Barry looked up to Dr. Wells so much in the first place and seemed rather obsessed with Wells’ work, he could have found out at this point Dr. Wells was not an actual person and so started using the persona himself. Between knowing future tech from 10 years from now, having been obsessed with Dr. Wells’ work, it is easy to reason he could soon create everything Dr. Wells has as… well as Dr. Wells.
There is one main issue that Barry wouldn’t kill, but Dr. Wells clearly killed Simon Stagg. First, how could a guy with a wheel chair sneak past all of Stagg’s security? Easy thing to answer if you look at Wells having super speed. Why kill though? As stated due to the newsprint shown above, the future is most likely a grim place. Things could have gotten bad enough that Barry would resort to killing his enemies. And in fact, maybe that’s what happened to the Reverse Flash that time traveled back with him that seems to not been heard of since that night? Flash may have beaten and killed him before setting up his alias of Dr. Wells. Not to mention there has been a future Flash done in the comics that was a bit unstable mentally.
And if you say it’s absurd Barry Allen would travel back in time and end up being the one to give himself powers? Well it happened in the comics! Seriously, in the comics his origin was retconned that Barry traveling through time was what gave Barry the Flash powers in the first place.