As The Thinker puts his plan into action, can Flash Time be enough to stop him?

This is it. Clifford DeVoe finally makes his move, preparing to unleash the enlightenment. In a strong opening scene, he breaks into a secure A.R.G.U.S. facility effortlessly. He disguises himself as John Diggle, but only to get the prison to lower its meta-dampening shield. Then, he just wrecks everyone in his path. Soldiers are no match for his power set. It’s a really strong opening sequence that actually makes the villain feel threatening again.

The majority of the episode can’t live up to that kickoff, though it’s got some decent segments. After a quick chat with the real Diggle, Barry and the team learn that DeVoe is using Fallout as a nuclear battery to charge his satellites. The team has 12 hours until they are ready for launch. And with The Thinker has six hostages hovering above shock plates installed for security. If Flash attacks DeVoe, the hostages die.

Cisco and Caitlin have a plan for that though. They want Barry to take them into Flash Time. They worked out that he can actually keep them in Flash Time without touching them, using his Speed Force aura. They can save the hostages while Barry gets the speed he needs to follow DeVoe through his pocket dimension. Barry goes with this but training is rough, as a calm, focused mind is needed for Flash Time. Both Cisco and Caitlin lose focus during training, with Caitlin’s childhood trauma coming up.

Barry then refuses to train them anymore as he doesn’t want to risk their lives. It’s part of his trauma from Ralph’s death, but this is a plot point the writers have used a few times already. Cisco even calls Barry out for pulling this again during an argument between them. Plus, he feels just as guilty, as his actions in the season premiere created the bus metas in the first place. All this convinces Barry to let the two of them help, as expected.

In a secondary plot, Iris and Harry try to find Marlize. Iris wants to find her as she thinks she’s a threat, whereas Harry thinks she may help the team stop her husband. By this point, Harry’s brain-drain is near-complete. Unlike the drama of past episodes though on his condition, this time it’s played for laughs, with goofy music. This is a jarring change in tone that does the character disservice. The duo ultimately find Marlize and it’s left up in the air if she’ll help.

Once they arrive at the A.R.G.U.S. facility, the plan actually works! In a pretty exciting sequence, the three of them go into Flash Time, with Cisco and Caitlin saving the hostages and Barry following DeVoe through the breach. He manages to get to one of the launching satellites in time and destroy it with Amunet’s metal projectile. Then him and DeVoe have a nice chat, where the latter pulls from the supervillain playbook to talk about the weakness of emotions. While he monologues, Barry just stands there instead of going into Flash Time again and knocking The Thinker out.

That lack of action comes back to haunt the team at the end of the episode. DeVoe warps into the S.T.A.R. Labs time vault and uses one of the team’s own satellites to complete his set. He runs the operation from that room, taking over all their tech. The enlightenment has begun. As you likely guessed, the series finale is going to come down to the wire for our heroes and for the writers to make this season’s flawed arc pay off.

Show Notes:

  • When Flash is checking all potential launch sites, he zooms by Ferris Air!
  • I love Cisco’s references. “[DeVoe’s] a one-man Legion of Doom, so send the Super-Friends.
  • Caitlin’s Killer Frost journey gets some further movement this week. When she stumbles during Flash Time training, she has a flashback to a repressed childhood memory. With Cisco’s help, she vibes back to that day, when her young self was hit by a car. It’s revealed that her Killer Frost persona existed back then. Her powers predate the particle accelerator explosion.
  • Iris shows her katana wound from when Marlize stabbed her. The location is pretty much right-center chest. Uhhh, if the sword wound was actually there, Iris would be super-dead.
  • In another side plot, Cecile’s nearing her due date and her meta ability is causing her to not just read minds, but also inhabit them. This season has just been seeing how exasperated Joe can get!