If you were looking for more development with Alchemy in this episode, then let me quickly tell you not to get your hopes up. This episode focuses more on the romantic relationships of the various members of the team, and the impending problem of Harry and Jesse remaining on Earth-1. It is the lightest of what we’ve seen so far this season, with a heavy peppering of awkwardness on top, thanks to Barry’s trouble handling romantic relationships.
There is still a featured metahuman, of course! Mirror Master came about from the particle accelerator explosion three years ago. In present day, Sam Scudder has woken up from a long slumber in a mirror to go on an extensive search to find Snart. It turns out they had a deal that went wrong and he hasn’t forgotten it since. Too bad for him, Snart is on a grand adventure through time and probably has no idea who Scudder is. And since Scudder isn’t hurting anyone innocent, he’s somewhat low on the list of priorities for Team Flash.
Just as soon as Iris and Barry’s love life seems to be progressing, we hit yet another hurdle. Finally getting past the awkward dates, we now come to awkward encounters with Joe. Barry can’t even bring himself to deal with kissing Iris in front of him, and Joe can’t bring himself to watch. It’s a conversation Barry doesn’t want to have, and even when he finally does, the issue is left largely unresolved by both of them, who would just rather assume it’s fine. As happy as I am that Barry and Iris are together, the aftermath has left for some cringe-worthy dialog between the West family. After all this tension, I’m still holding strong to the more heartfelt moments shared during earlier episodes.
Predictably, Wally and Jesse have paired off and are falling for each other. Wally tires to put a speedy stop to it, citing Jesse’s inevitable departure to Earth-2 as a reason for them to be just friends. In fact, no one seems to want Harry or Jesse return to Earth-2, but Harry’s adamant that they return to help their own world. Caitlin and Cisco say that the team isn’t the same without a Harrison Wells, so it’s Harry’s brilliant idea to send out something of a help wanted ad to all the Harrison Wells throughout the multiverse and see if any are willing to leave their Earth and lend a hand to Earth-1. This is by far the oddest plan I have ever seen formed on the show, yet the team is completely fine with this and goes along with the plan.
Four Harrisons respond to the call, cracking his code and proving their intelligence and motivation to the team. If you thought that visiting the alternate universe of Earth-2 was fun, then buckle your seatbelt as we’re presented with quite the array of choices to go through. Enter cowboy Harrison, or “Hell’s Wells” as he’s known on his Earth. While I think he’s the strongest contender, we also meet Victorian Steampunk Wells, French Wells–who they claim they believe is a mime and therefore cannot be trusted–and lastly Hipster Wells. Harry shuts down all of them, while Cisco and Caitlin seem to be accepting of the Hipster Wells. He seems not only extremely capable, but is very willing to help the team fight metahumans.
It’s simple to see that Harry doesn’t want to leave, but why he’s so adamant that Jesse and he go back to Earth-2 is beyond me. He didn’t seem to have much attachment to Earth-2 and he enjoys his time with Team Flash, but he claims that they need to fix their own world. However, Jesse is quickly earning her place in Earth-1 as Jesse Quick! Watching Jesse come into r her own as a Speedster brings such fond memories of Barry’s development as a leader. He’s happy to give her tips and encourage her, even taking a page from Oliver Queen’s book with how he dishes out advice.
If Barry is acting like Oliver, then Jesse’s similarities to Barry might explain why when the showdown with Mirror Master and Top begins, Jesse screws up big time. Instead of listening to Barry and letting him chase after Scudder on his own, she follows along and gets taken out by Top’s vertigo power. Barry saves her from a life-threatening drop, but at the price of being trapped in a mirror.
While Jesse blames herself, Wally is the one surprising us all, stepping forward to give her the confidence she needs in her new found powers. I was not expecting Wally of all people, to give Jesse the words of wisdom she needed to take her place as a new Speedster. Not only that, but he actually expresses his fears of falling for her because in the end, she will only leave. Where did this kid come from? He seems much more comfortable with and optimistic in himself than he did previously, and he’s much less obsessed with his lack of speed.
Watching Harry brainstorm with Cisco and Caitlin only makes his impending departure that much more bittersweet. I just can’t imagine another Harrison fitting in so well with them. Together they figure out that a cold gun would be able to freeze the molecules of the mirror to a low enough temperature so Barry can phase through it. Even with all the planning, it doesn’t seem to work, and before Cisco and Harry can settle down and fix it, the metahuman alert goes off dragging them and the rest of the team away.
It’s the best opening for Caitlin to use her budding powers. She manages to freeze down the mirror enough for Barry to escape and allow him to rejoin the team. You’d think no one would be perceptive enough to notice, but Harry does. He would later reveal to Cisco that their device to free Barry wasn’t cold enough, meaning an outside force chilled the mirror.
The final battle comes down to Mirror Master and Top versus Jesse Quick and Flash, and it ends quickly enough. Thanks to Barry’s quick thinking and scientific knowledge, he uses a simple mirror trick to trap Mirror Master. Jesse also learns that if you run fast enough, you can defeat most metahumans. It is reminiscent of battles from Season one, leaving a little nostalgic effect on the team once it is over.
Before Harry and Jesse leave to go back to Earth-2, Cisco vibes across 18 dimensions to bring Hipster Harrison, or HR as he wants to be called, to Earth-1. He is certainly not the Wells we’ve grown attached to, but he’s all they have. Seeing how he develops with the team will be an interesting road ahead.
It’ll be especially interesting since Caitlin’s powers are growing out of control. Her physical appearance is changing more into that of Killer Frost with white hair and blue lips. We’ve seen complete acceptance of Cisco’s metahuman powers, so why is Caitlin so afraid to show off her own? Each episode leaves me wanting more Caitlin and to see her step into her own as Killer Frost, but for now I’ll just have to chill.