Major spoilers below for the latest and greatest episode of The Flash, titled “The Death of Vibe.”
For an episode with such a bummer title (that didn’t exactly match reality), “The Death of Vibe” was a delight from beginning to end. It nailed everything the best Flash episodes do, and also introduced Tom Cavanagh’s newest multiverse creation: Sherloque Wells, a master elixir composed of Pepé Le Pew’s accent, a porkpie hat, and nine-day-old facial hair.
It was a welcome treat to get Tom Cavanagh’s talents back on The Flash, even after only a short absence. So let’s talk about that big introduction, the big mystery he’ll probably solve first, and what else he could do in Season 5.
Sherloque Wells, At Your Pleasure
With one exception, every iteration of Harrison Wells throughout the multiverse is always going to be the smartest man in the room. With Harrison Sherloque Wells, however, the genius factor kicks up about 221(b) notches. When Sherlock Holmes is mixed with Harrison Wells, mass egotism and presumptive judgment are the specials of the day, and it’s kind of fabulous.
Sure, Sherloque is rough around the edges and the jawline, but it always takes a few episodes for Tom Cavanagh to pull back some layers on each of his character’s truths. Except for Sunny Wells, whose truths were instantly self-evident. In any case, the detective extraordinaire immediately let everyone know exactly what his personality is, and what he’s looking at when he walks into a room. (Answer: everything.)
In the scheme of things, it’s not always easy to trust a Multiverse Wells. The first one we met turned out to be Reverse-Flash in disguise. Earth-2’s Harry was kind of a mope, but his daughter and other Earth-2 elements could speak to his character. H.R. was too much of a loopy teddy bear to be evil, admittedly. But what kind of proof is there so far that Sherloque Wells is such a great guy? Okay, Harrison Wolfgang Wells’ word. But what else?!?
At San Diego Comic-Con, Tom Cavanagh spoke with CinemaBlend and other press, then offering up our very first hints at the kind of character he would be playing in Season 5.
And so this year, we’ve got a lot of things that we have to solve, and I thought it’d be nice to have a dynamic where we have someone that we don’t necessarily know that we can trust, but is undeniably brilliant. Which offers up its own things that you have to contend with when you deal with somebody like that. Because much like The Thinker last year, they’re a few steps ahead. So we’ll see that very early on with this character. We’ve got some backstory set up, which I don’t want to spoil for you, but I think that character’s going to be fodder for comedy, but also for good storytelling hopefully. So I’m looking forward to doing it.
As for reasons why he might not be trustworthy as either a character or a good detective, let’s take a look at how badly his first Earth-1 case went.
Sherloque Was So Wrong About Cicada
Given the authority Sherloque Wells exuded when identifying Cicada’s “real” identity, David Hersch, Team Flash bypassed a lot of the research that cops and other authorities go through. Who needs things like that when you can just show up somewhere instantaneously and get a potential criminal arrested, armed only with coerced intel from an interdimensional traveler? It’s just paperwork.
Sure, the falsely identified Cicada ended up being a legitimate terrorist whose capture ended up making the world a better place. But the point is, Sherloque wasn’t right about it being David Hersch, which is the name of the comics’ New Earth take on Cicada. Cool reference, bro, but not a great way to prove your worth or your asking fee. You didn’t even ask about any variables.
I’ll admit that having Cicada be David Hersch in every other universe would be pretty convincing proof that Earth-1’s version would follow suit. But no one accounted for Nora’s time-travel escapades to factor in. That is precisely where Sherloque messed up, because he was too comfortable following patterns instead of looking for exceptions and anomalies. (We did learn a lot more about Cicada tonight, at least.)
Granted, we’ll probably see the detective make all kinds of correct calls in the near future. Still, I do enjoy watching any version of Wells get their assumptions squashed. But what about his Nora assumptions?
Sherloque May Discover One Of Nora’s Secrets
Even if Sherloque’s Cicada deductions proved shoddy, his suspicions perked up again at the end of the episode during a conversation with Nora. These may prove to be more fruitful, and more interesting for fans curious about the unresolved elements of Nora’s arrival in current-era Central City.
Having learned more about how Nora gunked up the timeline, Sherloque found something very curious about the future-speedster choosing that moment by helping Barry punch the bejesus out of that falling satellite. When he asked her about that being solely her decision, her wall of silence made it clear that The Flash won’t be ignoring that peculiar detail in the future. But what could it uncover?
Personally, I think this could be where we learn more about an element that has been ignored recently: the weird symbols that Nora and Barry were both jotting down in Season 4. (Symbols that also showed up on The Thinker in pasty-mode.) I’m obviously not sure how that would work, exactly, but it’s probably because I’m the opposite of both a speedster and a genius.
Another big mystery, obviously, is if Sherloque is merely feigning his cartoon skunk-esque accent for a specific reason to be revealed in a later episode. Maybe he read in everyone’s file that they all responded better to suggestions made by French-speaking people, and deduced that he could swindle S.T.A.R. Labs out of a healthy retainer just by changing how he talked to everyone. But then that accent may be how he got all those wives.
The Flash airs Tuesday nights on The CW at 8:00 p.m. ET. Fall TV is full of mysteries and comic book adventures, so be sure to keep current with all the newest premieres.