Tom Cavanagh is the guy you probably remember as the goofy older brother in Scrubs. While making cameos in various shows, it’s in The Flash that we see Tom’s acting skills flourish. And because he’s so damn good at his craft, we’re not only given one character to judge him on, but many. Here are the many faces of Harrison Wells:
Dr. Wells/Eobard Thawne
We knew something was suspicious about “Harrison Wells” in the first episode of the series. As the glue who originally tied everyone together, both Team Flash and the audience assumed Dr. Wells was wheelchair bound. That was until he stood up at the end of the episode and showed us an article from the future. Eventually, we found out Dr. Wells was Eobard Thawne, aka Reverse Flash. Having killed the original Harrison Wells ten years prior, Thawne’s been wearing the doctor’s face this whole time. Every decision made for the past decade was a part of Thawne’s plans to create The Flash and steel his speed.
Earth-1 Harrison Wells
Once we found out Eobard Thawne’s real identity, we were given a few clips of the real Earth-1 Dr. Wells. Seemingly less arrogant than his imposter, Dr. Wells was a scientist and owner of Star Labs. However, he seemed much more humble and often expressed a great deal of affection for his wife; they sat on the beach, brainstorming about the particle accelerator. Unfortunately, both were killed in a car accident caused by Thawne.
Earth-2 Harrison “Harry” Wells
When Eobard Thawne was seemingly erased from time, we thought we’d seen the end of Harrison Wells. Season 2 proved us wrong. Dabbling in the concept of breaches and other worlds, Team Flash was introduced to Earth-2 Harrison Wells, aka Harry. Not one for taking anyone’s sh*t, Harry wasn’t concerned with everyone’s skepticism. He made it clear he wasn’t “that other guy” and didn’t expect to be.
He’s on a mission to save his daughter and anyone in the way, can get out. Ultimately, Harry was integral to the defeat of Zoom. He also became a valued member and a friend. My personal favorite of Tom Cavangh’s renditions, Harry was a sassy ball of sarcasm and frustration.
Finally, there’s H.R. I have no idea why the writers wanted to get rid of Harry, but with Season Three we got a new Wells. Harry’s still alive, but he’s living on Earth-2 with his daughter, Jessie Quick. Not wanting to be without a Harrison Wells, the team (and Harry) went window shopping. In steps a brilliant, free-spirited traveler from Earth-19.
Known as H.R., he’s certainly different than the rest. For one thing, he isn’t a scientist, rather, an idea-man, which honestly, is of no use to the team. Spending his time playing with drum sticks and collecting data for his blog (book, sorry), H.R. is vastly different than anyone we’ve seen. Which is to say Cavanagh has successfully portrayed a version of his character who I dislike. I shouldn’t be too hard on him; H.R. has his moments.
Like revealing he’s into handcuffs.
Who knows if we’ll get another rendition of Harrison Wells in Season Four. It’s impressive to see Tom Cavanagh creating completely separate entities for one show. But, I have a feeling that any more Harrison Wells might completely lose my mom.