Warning: this story contains spoilers from this week’s episode of The Flash, “Monster.” If you haven’t watched it yet, avert your eyes! Don’t say we didn’t warn you.
To no one’s surprise, the new Harrison Wells (Tom Cavanagh) was hiding a secret on The Flash, but this one wasn’t out to hurt the STAR Labs crew like the last two versions were. After Eobard Thawne (Matt Letscher) pretended to be Harrison Wells and killed Barry’s (Grant Gustin) mother in season one, and Earth-2 Harry Wells worked for Zoom (Teddy Sears) to try and save his daughter in season two, it’s understandable why Barry and Cisco (Carlos Valdes) were so wary of trusting Earth-3’s H. R. Wells. And they were right to be, since he was lying to them from day one.
But twist! This time, Wells’ secret wasn’t anything bad: he was just a novelist looking for the inspiration to write his next great book. No, he wasn’t a scientist like he promised he was to the STAR Labs team. Obviously, since they need a scientist in Harry’s absence, they weren’t thrilled at this revelation, but at least H. R. isn’t trying to kill them or betray them. That’s a nice change of pace. So how is this twist going to change the dynamics at STAR Labs?
“It’s really going to give Tom Cavanagh a lot of play time and has given him a lot of play time so far,” Valdes told Nerdist on set in Vancouver. “You can expect a lot of H. R.’s business and backstory to be rooted in some of this writing of his and specifically the narrative that he’s tackling will reveal itself over upcoming episodes. I mean, he’s already wearing the face of a man that’s burned us. He’s sort of got the chips stacked against him.”
Keiynan Lonsdale agreed, adding, “It’s also funny because it’s not a Wells that we can easily count on all the time. That’s something that’s quite different from the other Wells, not being a scientist.”
And yes, that means, for the first time in his life, Cisco is scientifically superior to Wells.
“This has been a really interesting dynamic to explore,” Valdes said. “I found that regardless of which character he’s playing, Tom seems to just fit right into it really seamlessly. That has been wonderful to work with. That’s like being given a different tool in your toolbox. The dynamic with H. R. is going to be interesting and fun, for sure.”
But H. R.’s profession wasn’t the only shocking revelation from “Monster.” After Caitlin (Danielle Panabaker) decided she needed help in figuring out how to control her new Killer Frost powers, she paid her mother Dr. Tannhauser (Susan Walters) a visit in the hopes that they could figure it out together. And while the two women managed to work through some of their complicated family issues, it wasn’t until the final moment of the episode when Dr. Tannhauser sent Caitlin a video message after she returned to Central City, and in the video she warned her daughter that the more she uses her new powers, the more irreversible the changes would be.
“Episodes five, six, and seven are a little bit more Caitlin-heavy than they have been earlier this year, so it was nice to have [C. Kim Miles, our DP] sort of shepherding me into that world,” Panabaker told Nerdist on set. “Obviously, she is going through some physical changes, but she’s figuring that out. As maybe you remember [in] season one with Barry, it took him a minute to figure out his powers. ‘Oh, I kept passing out because I don’t eat enough.’ Things like that. She’s going to have to figure out different ways to cope with these changes.”
Panabaker loved getting to finally explore Caitlin’s family history after hinting about it for so long on the show. “I would like to see more, always more,” she said. “I think we’ve gotten to see a lot of the Allen family history. We’ve seen a little bit of the Ramon family. I would love to see more of Dr. Tannhauser and Caitlin’s relationship. Her [warning] is definitely scary.”
Because Caitlin’s Killer Frost powers didn’t manifest until after Barry changed the timeline, it would be understandable if she blamed him partially for these unwanted changes she’s currently going through. Is she mad at her BFF for this Flashpoint fallout?
“I thought about that, and I asked myself that question,” Panabaker said. “The way I sort of see it is, this version of Caitlin Snow, this is her life. She doesn’t remember Flashpoint, and she doesn’t remember that other timeline. So she doesn’t know anything else. So I don’t really think she’s mad at Barry. I think it’s fascinating, and also from a scientific perspective, I think it’s interesting to her. But I don’t think she’s mad about it, because this all she knows.”
As of now, Caitlin has yet to confide in any of her friends about her new powers or her fears over not being able to control her icy alter ego. Panabaker explains that she’s hiding this development from Cisco, Barry, Iris and everyone else because “she doesn’t understand it.”
“I think that conversation would be a little bit difficult,” Panabaker says. “Like, ‘Hey guys, I don’t have any answers, but here you go.’ Especially for Caitlin as a scientist and someone who is focused on always having the answers, she wants to get this figured out for herself before she comes to the team.”
What did you think of this week’s episode of The Flash? Let us know in the comments section below or tweet me your thoughts and reactions at @SydneyBucksbaum!
The Flash airs Tuesdays at 8 p.m. on The CW.
Images: The CW
The science behind the Flash’s infinite mass punch