When any TV series stretches on for long enough, characters come and go, but they’re rarely killed off in as spectacular and terminal a manner as Harrison Wells departed on The Flash last night.
Typically, the loss of one version of Wells wouldn’t be quite so significant, as each successive season has brought in a new iteration of the character to the point that featuring myriad offbeat interpretations of him is practically a running joke. However, this time it was made clear that none of them will be coming back.
With the death of the Speed Force after Barry accidentally infected it with the Specter’s energies, an artificial replacement was constructed lest the Flash’s speed remain finite, with the lingering problem of a power source. It was revealed that the destruction of Earths during the Crisis led to the brainwaves of each of their Wells being drawn to Nash along with multiversal particles that could fuel the creation.
The only catch is the transfer requiring physical contact, which would result in Nash being devoured to the atomic level. After understandable reluctance, he ultimately decides to go through with it in a moment of self-sacrifice that formed the culmination of the brief development arc that the arrogant and selfish adventurer has undergone in his short time on the show.
The moment was slightly marred by Caitlin and Cisco currently being absent, and in their places were Allegra and Chester, respectively, bringing the compassion and science, whose limited appearances thus far prevented any real sense of emotional connection to the enormity of what was being lost.
Tom Cavanaugh’s performances as the many faces of Wells have been one of the best parts of The Flash, even during the times that its quality began to waver. It’s unclear if any kind of replacement character will be drafted in or if the group dynamic will be adjusted to address the absence, but either way, the show has lost one of its consistent highlights.