Who Is H.R. Wells On 'The Flash'? Harry's Replacement May Not Be As Nice As He Seems
I don't trust most new characters on The Flash and for good reason. The CW series has taught me to question any character played by Tom Cavanagh, and that's a lot of characters. In last Tuesday's episode, "The New Rogues," The Flash introduced H.R. Wells, Harry's doppelgänger from Earth-19. H.R. was one of the doppels to answer the call put out by S.T.A.R. Labs. With Harry and Jesse departing back to Earth-2, S.T.A.R. Labs essentially blasted out a job description across timelines. (Can't have S.T.A.R. Labs without a Wells.) The storyline gave Cavanagh the opportunity to play with a handful of personalities, all very unlike the Harry and the Harrison the audience already knows. In the end, Cisco and Harry chose H.R. as Harry's replacement. But who is H.R. Wells really? And could this universe-hopping stranger be as harmless as he seems?
When he walks through the inter-dimensional gate into Earth-1, H.R. is all smiles. He's got jokes. ("Greetings, Earthlings.") He compliments Harry for being so damn handsome. He seems like a dream. (Though Harry isn't an immediate fan.) And without conflict, there is no show. I know he just got here, but I can't be the only Flash fan waiting for the other shoe to drop concerning H.R. Wells. If it looks too good to be true, it usually is.
As proven by Reverse-Flash and Zoom, it's immensely valuable to a villain to be in good with Team Flash and have access to S.T.A.R. Labs tech. H.R. Wells might be there to help, or he might be there to gather intel. Or worse, as the first step of an infiltration. Fans don't have much to go on yet to hazard a guess at possible other identities, but some theories are already making the rounds.
First, there's the possibility that H.R. Wells is Doctor Alchemy. The villain made his presence known in the season premiere. And since Flashpoint ended, he's been refitting average Central City residents with the powers they possessed in the other timeline. Saw actor Tobin Bell provides Alchemy's voice, but it could still be H.R.'s voice altered in some way. Moving backwards though, there are some holes in this hypothesis. Alchemy is already on Earth-1 as of the destruction of Flashpoint. Why would he jump to another timeline just to return? And how would he be able to predict that S.T.A.R. Labs were going to be looking to other universes for help?
Reddit user Princeromy presents a more layered theory that could lead into the epic four-way DC TV crossover of The Flash, Arrow, Supergirl, and Legends Of Tomorrow that's coming up later this season. (Deadline announced in September that the Dominators will be the problem causers in that TV event.) "H.R is a spy sent by the Dominators, the aliens that will be the villains in the crossover," the posts reads. "They're from a different Earth and that's why Supergirl will get involved as they will be trying to take over multiple earths." Another possible clue: It's hard to ignore the similarity between the name H.R. Wells and H.G. Wells, the author of War Of The Worlds. A war of the worlds is what Team Flash could be looking at.
In DC comics, the Dominators are an alien race who feel threatened by the existence of metahumans on Earth. Used to being the big dogs in the universe, the Dominators invade Earth to eliminate the competition. (Could Alchemy's work be intended to rush that invasion? The more metas on Earth, the angrier the Dominators.) That's certainly a big enough problem to warrant the confluence of four different super-teams.
I want to believe that H.R. Wells is just a friendly hipster, in town to help out some new friends. But taking Flash history into account, it's much more likely that he's got an agenda, alien-related or otherwise.
Images: The CW; dailysnowbarry/Tumblr (2)