THE FLASH S4x18 – LOSE YOURSELF

The Thinker makes his move and Team Flash gets crushed.

We’re at that point in the season. It’s the ramp-up to the season finale, where our main villain makes his move and gives our heroes a devastating loss. In “Lose Yourself,” The Thinker puts the next part of his grand plan into motion and the results are terrible for Team Flash. While there are flaws getting to this point in the episode, it certainly helps to make DeVoe feel dangerous again.

At the start, it looked like there may be a path forward to stopping The Thinker. Harry uses his thinking cap to create a powerful tuning fork, able to generate sonic waves that can harm DeVoe. Plus, it has no tech, making it Kilgore proof. It’s impressive, but Joe is concerned that Harry is becoming addicted to his thinking cap. And it turns out, he’s right. Joe hides Harry’s thinking cap and he freaks out, attacking Cisco for stealing it. Joe has a heart-to-heart with Harry about seeing the signs of addiction in his late wife and not wanting to see the same thing happen to him.

As the team searches for DeVoe, they instead find the last bus meta, Edwin Gauss. His ability lets him access pocket dimensions. Once they find him, Caitlin is injured by DeVoe’s restored robot samurai. Barry takes care of it and saves everyone, but Ralph is left shaken.

This means it’s time for another lesson with the Elongated Man. Ralph thinks that if the team can’t find a way to imprison DeVoe, they should just kill him. But Barry, having been down this road, knows there’s always another way. Ralph switches to asshole mode again, stomping off when he doesn’t get his way. I’m done with this. The writers of this season took a cool, interesting character and sucked all the fun out of him. Plus, Barry’s holier-than-thou attitude is hypocritical, as Team Flash have killed villains before. When Ralph tries to leave with Edwin, to track down DeVoe, him and Barry even have a fight. He’s no match for a speedster though, getting knocked out with one punch.

But Ralph admits that he didn’t want to kill DeVoe to protect himself. He wanted to protect Team Flash, the only family he has outside of his mom. He cares less about what happens to himself, as long as they’re safe. But Barry counters that the team doesn’t want to see Ralph throw everything he’s built away by murdering DeVoe. There’s good acting here from both Grant Gustin and Hartley Sawyer. However, the impact is deadened by the several previous episodes that took on Ralph’s character flaws.

Team Flash decides to use the first half of Ralph’s plan, having Edwin open a pocket dimension to DeVoe’s lab so they can take him on…exactly as The Thinker planned. He arrives at STAR Labs the moment that Flash, Vibe and Killer Frost leave. With instructions not to open the pocket dimension for 15 minutes, that leaves Joe, Iris, Harry and Ralph to stop DeVoe and Marlize. Not good odds.

This sequence is The Thinker at his peak powers. He takes over all of STAR Labs’ tech, brings to life a giant T-Rex skeleton to fight Ralph and has his samurai guard the exit. Joe takes on the robot while Iris confronts Marlize. Meanwhile, Harry tries to hack the system, but falls into temptation to use his thinking cap again in desperation. He tells Gideon to increase the dark matter to maximum, but the strain knocks him out.

When Ralph confronts DeVoe after he kills the other bus metas from the pipeline, he uses the tuning fork to harm The Thinker. Ralph doesn’t kill him though, choosing to capture him with the meta-dampening cuffs. Barry, Cisco and Caitlin return after Iris wins her fight with Marlize. That’s when DeVoe reveals that he negated the cuffs with his tech powers. Then, he takes over Ralph’s body. I honestly didn’t expect this show to kill off Elongated Man.

We’ll see if he stays gone. But until then, The Thinker is nigh-unstoppable. He wrecks our heroes in seconds, even removing the dark matter (and Killer Frost) from Caitlin. The team is left wounded, demoralized and at a loss on how to stop the villain. It ends on a dramatic note, as DeVoe uses his new abilities to shape-shift back into his original body and prepare for the enlightenment. For the first time in a long time, The Thinker is a cataclysmic threat to our heroes. I have no idea how they’ll get out of this one.

Show Notes:

  • Ralph mentions that due to his powers, he no longer has to leave the couch to use the bathroom. Ewww…
  • Cisco makes models of the Enterprise. Of course, he does!
  • When DeVoe mocks Ralph’s intelligence, he quips back, “Everyone I fight is smarter than me.”
  • While it’s a moot point by the end of the episode, Caitlin finds a way to trigger Killer Frost through chemistry. Maybe that will give her a way to restore her powers too.