There’s enough romance in the air of “The Darkness and the Light” that you’d be forgiven for thinking it’s Valentine’s Day in Central City. But while Cupid’s arrows may not be timely, they have struck Barry, Caitlin, and Cisco to varying degrees of success just as Harrison Wells’ face, if not the Wells they knew, reappears in their lives.
Speaking of Harrison, or Harry, as the Earth-2’s version of the character is not-so-affectionately called, Tom Cavanaugh has the opportunity to finally show off his latest spin on Wells. And while it may not be the Wells viewers might for, it’s another distinct and powerful performance from an actor who has already portrayed two iterations of this character (the brief moments of the actual Harrison and the Eobard Thawne version).
Cavanaugh’s work was such a consistent highlight of the first season, and so I was overjoyed he’d be back in some fashion for season 2. And though he is, as Cisco so bluntly puts it, “kind of a dick,” it’s still riveting to watch the latest Wells work alongside Team Flash.
“Darkness” serves as our proper introduction to Harry, who, in his own universe, seized the metahuman outbreak as a business opportunity. He created apps and wearables to alert Central City’s citizens to the presence of metas. And unlike Barry and Eobard’s Wells, Jay and Harry do not get along. Before Jay lost his speed, he and Wells had a public fight over whose responsibility it was to stop Zoom.
Eight months later, Harry has come to Barry’s world to find a new Flash to put Zoom in his place. Naturally, the team does not take too kindly to a man wearing the face of someone who killed and/or endangered so many loved ones, but Barry wants them to give this awkward situation a try. (Calling Cisco “Crisco” starts the two of them off on the wrong foot, and their next few meetings are similarly awkward and then tense, but played with just the right dose of humor from Carlos Valdes.)
Harry’s appearance has everyone on edge, including Joe, who gives Iris a gun just in case the worst comes to pass. But in between all of the life-altering introductions, that pesky lovebug is flying through Central. Cisco decides to ask the new CC Jitters barista out on a date, but in the wake of her rejection he has a vision of a bank robbery in progress.
Barry speeds off to put a stop to it but is thrown off by the new meta’s powers. Dr. Light, as she’s revealed to be known on Earth-2, can harness the power of stars, emitting dazzlingly bright and dangerous waves of energy that allow her to escape.
On Jay and Harry’s Earth, she’s a small-time criminal, not a killer, but Harry believes she’s here to kill, just as all of Zoom’s other metas were. Jay wants them to treat Dr. Light humanely, but Harry wants to use her to finish Zoom off now. He’s been growing more powerful, and Harry wants this threat dealt with now, no matter the cost it seems. And though Jay’s not too happy with that idea, Barry has a point that shuts down both of their arguments: They first have to find and stop Dr. Light.
Barry has other concerns on his mind after he finally asks Patty out on a date, one he promises he will not let all of his “science stuff” cause him to reschedule. He may regret that promise after his next Dr. Light encounter, though.
NEXT: Barry goes on a literally blind date.