Speed Force

“Therefore I Am” Review of S4 Ep7 of THE FLASH

We’ve been building up to this all season. Clifford DeVoe has been operating in the background, manipulating events, pulling all the strings. As we saw in the cliffhanger last week, Barry finally meets Clifford DeVoe, aka The Thinker…so what can the Fastest Man Alive do against the speed of thought? We begin to see that answer in tonight’s episode of THE FLASH! Want to know more? Follow us after the jump!

SPOILERS AHEAD!

Note: This review is posting prior to THE FLASH airing in the Pacific Time Zone USA. If you haven’t seen this episode yet, STOP HERE and come back later! You’ll be glad you did!

This episode gives us the history of The Thinker, told in flashbacks. Clifford DeVoe was a professor with a doctorate in history, married to a genius in mechanical engineering (imdb only refers to her as “The Mechanic”). His story is tied to the particle accelerator accident, but in a very unique way.

He and his wife knew that there was something wrong with the particle accelerator – they were able to analyze the publicly available info and figured that the bad Harrison Wells/Thawne may have even been hoping for an explosion.  Great for their plans – DeVoe had a helmet ready to amplify his intellect, but he needed the power of that explosion to make it work. Sure enough, he is hit with lightning (just like Barry) but instead of gaining speed…

…He gained ultimate intelligence! He now knows the answer to every question, the solution to every problem. He is now a super genius like the world has never seen. Great, right?

Not so great…

His brain is now pulling energy from the rest of his body. It’s like a super-fast version of ALS in terms of his body’s deterioration. He is extremely bitter with the “gifts” he considers wasted by the others impacted by the particle accelerator accident. He is planning his revenge. But, how to stay alive long enough? How to possibly reverse the impact of all these changes?

His wife has a temporary solution – that really wild chair we’ve seen all season. It connects directly to his brain and somehow sustains his body to an extent, slowing down the deterioration. He stays in it as much as he can, but switches to a regular power chair to continue his work as a professor at Central City University.

Now…in present times Barry knows that DeVoe is the bad guy…I mean, he knows it…but the rest of Team Flash spends most of the episode doubting him.  This is my one problem with the episode.  I get that DeVoe is manipulating the police to doubt Barry and to set Barry up for a suspension for harassment…but for Team Flash to doubt Barry after everything they’ve been through doesn’t make sense, even with the initial evidence not supporting him.

Still, we go through Barry basically stalking the DeVoes…without a disguise and without putting on his Flash uniform.  Okay, two things that give me a problem.  Still, it does give us the clear vision of DeVoe as the master manipulator, someone who was playing three steps ahead in a game that no one else knew they were even playing.

In the end, DeVoe reveals himself to Barry, believing that the battle is already won.  Barry and Team Flash now know who DeVoe is, and they…

Decide to wait for him to make the next move…

Really?

Ok, that’s three problems….

I get it, we are setting up for the BIG wedding episode and the HUGE crossover. I cannot wait for that crossover, and I’m certain it will be absolutely awesome. But, the timing for that crossover left this episode being a bit anticlimactic.

NOTES:  We do get Wally back, with a reference that sounds like he battled Starro over in Blue Valley. Having him back is most welcome.  It is good that we got the backstory for The Thinker, and they did a good job setting up how he came to have so much power. The episode did a little less in setting up just why he is so specifically bitter toward the Flash, or what his endgame may be.

Add the “let’s leave him alone for now” ending and this episode comes out as a 7/10 for me. It was watchable, and there are some good qualities…but I think the holding pattern for Crisis On Earth-X affected this episode a bit.  That’s just my opinion – what to YOU think? Leave your comments below!