Spoilers for last night’s episode of The Flash “The Sound and the Fury” are ahead!
As has become the norm with many episodes of The Flash, last night’s final scene in “The Sound and the Fury” gave more insight into the mysterious Harrison Wells, a.k.a the recently outed Reverse-Flash. Viewers saw him using the tachyon particle device he stole in “The Man In The Yellow Suit” to charge himself with a strange energy called the “Speed Force,” which is currently empowering him with the super speed seen earlier in the episode. As it turns out, this Speed Force isn't just giving power to Wells, but also to Barry Allen.
Executive producer Andrew Kreisberg explained to Entertainment Weekly how the Speed Force, which originated from the comics, is responsible for the titular hero’s powers, and how it will be used for future episodes of The Flash, using Star Wars as a comparison for the concept.
“Right now, the Speed Force is a little bit like the force in Star Wars before midi-chlorians came along. It’s an amorphous thing, which hopefully for comic book fans will make them feel like we’re heading in certain directions. For right now, it’s a catch-all phrase that speaks to a grander universe and a grander power and ultimately grander abilities. If you know the comics and you know what having access to the speed force gives you the abilities to do.”
The Speed Force was introduced in the 1990s by writer Mark Waid as the source of power for all speedsters in the DC universe. In addition to imbuing people with super speed, it also gives them powers like intangibility and an accelerated healing factor. Different writers have altered how exactly the Speed Force works, although one recent revelation in the comics is that Barry Allen himself generates the Speed Force as he continues to run, making him necessary to keep it flowing throughout time and space. This is the first mention of the Speed Force on the series, although the way that Barry defeated Farooq Gibran, a.k.a. Blackout, in “Power Outage” suggests that he may have somehow tapped into the energy inadvertently.
Wells mentioned to his A.I. Gideon that he’s having trouble tapping into the Speed Force to retain his speed, and that the tachyon particle device is only a temporary measure. Although Wells’ “endgame” hasn’t been revealed, it’s possible that he will eventually attempt to steal Barry’s power to reestablish his connection to the Speed Force, thereby making Wells a speedster again and eliminating his enemy. Two birds, one stone. All this still doesn’t explain certain things, such as how Reverse-Flash and Wells were in the same room during the mid-season finale, but one step at a time.
You can catch The Flash Tuesdays at 8 p.m. ET on The CW.