Tom Cavanagh has been a series regular in every season of The Flash to date. However, unlike his castmates on the hit series, Cavanagh has played several characters throughout the run. Now that the long-awaited seventh season has begun, the question remains. Who will Tom Cavanagh be playing this season?
When The Flash first premiered in 2014, Cavanagh played paralysed Star Labs founder Harrison Wells – who was in actuality an imposter, villainous speedster Eobard Thawne, as well as playing the real Wells in flashbacks.
Since the second season, the show’s multiverse or parallel worlds concept has allowed Cavanagh to play several iterations of the Wells character. Referred to as ‘doppelgangers’, each have hailed from an alternate Earth while also possessing different skillskets and personality traits.
Those who have joined Team Flash at different points include: anti-social but well-intentioned scientist Harry Wells, clueless author HR Wells, French detective Sherloque Wells and most recently, adventurer Nash Wells. Cavanagh has also played several other versions in minor roles, such as the Council of Wells and wizard Wells the Grey, during various episodes of The Flash.
Following the crossover event Crisis on Infinite Earths, Nash Wells became the last surviving doppelganger with a physical body. After all other Earths in the original multiverse were destroyed, every other Wells took up residence in Nash’s mind, often appearing to him as visions that only he could see.
However, in The Flash Season 7 premiere, “All’s Well That Ends Wells”, Nash and his counterparts elect to sacrifice themselves as an “organic receptor” to power an artificial speed force that ultimately restores Barry Allen’s powers. As well as playing Nash in the episode, Cavanagh also portrayed several fan favourite Wells, including Harry, Sherloque and the late HR, all of whom bid farewell to their old friend Barry Allen.
Nash Wells died after a climatic and emotional farewell, which also seemed to be Tom Cavanagh’s final appearance on The Flash. It was later confirmed by The CW that Cavanagh was still involved with the show.
Showrunner Eric Wallace revealed this to Entertainment Weekly, “Tom Cavanagh is still part of the show. I would just say that we’ve already seen there’s an infinite numbers of Wellses. Just because they’re all dead doesn’t mean that should change. And Tom Cavanagh has more to do in season 7 — much more to do.”
There are already hints being laid about where Cavanagh’s character storyline is heading in upcoming episodes. In fact, Cavanagh resurfaced at the conclusion of season 7 episode 2, “The Speed of Thought”, which revealed the original Harrison Wells seemingly reanimating from his roadside grave, where he had been buried by Eobard Thawne prior to Season 1.
After spending the entire first season with a counterfeit, will Team Flash finally meet the real Earth-1 Harrison Wells? It seems to be pointing in that direction.
The Flash airs Tuesdays 8/7c on The CW.