THE FLASH S4x23 – WE ARE THE FLASH

Can Team Flash stop The Thinker?

Here we go. It’s the season finale and the Enlightenment is underway. The satellites take out all electronics worldwide. Joe and Cecile show up, with the latter having contractions. The team has no idea how to stop The Thinker. Once the dark matter field covers the globe, it will be too late to stop him.

Iris returns with Cecile with a frankly crazy plan. Link Barry’s mind with DeVoe’s, so he can find the good in him and bring it to the surface. Very off-the-wall. The writers must’ve read Twitter, because Barry suggests asking someone like Kara, Oliver or Wally for help. However, Cecile said that DeVoe’s combination of stolen meta abilities were planned to prevent any of them from stopping him. Not sure how any of those powers come close to Supergirl’s, but I’ll roll with it.

Good thing Cecile’s car lost power, as it’s her pregnant meta abilities that allows her to link Barry’s mind to DeVoe’s. After searching some important locations of DeVoe’s life with Marlize though, Barry instead finds Ralph Dibny! Part of him is still alive within The Thinker. They speed away to DeVoe’s old classroom, where they do find his good side. Unfortunately, he’s dead. All that’s left of DeVoe now is The Thinker.

In a burst of inspiration, Barry realizes that there is some good left alive: Ralph himself! The two head for the nexus of The Thinker’s mind. They face off against copies of himself, besting them once they stop thinking and just act on instinct, so he can’t read their minds. You would think that DeVoe would be more powerful in his mind than anywhere else. His clone army though doesn’t have any of his real world meta powers. Barry and Ralph easily wreck them once they switch to instinctual fighting. Again, The Thinker is a bit of a disappointment.

It comes down to the last seconds as Barry fights off waves of questionably CGI DeVoes, ala Matrix Reloaded, to get Ralph into the nexus of his mind. Once he’s there though, Ralph quickly regains control, erasing The Thinker for good. Ralph’s alive and back! Marlize shuts down the satellites and our heroes win. Their emotional bonds made them able to overcome The Thinker’s abilities, as Team Flash is more than its titular star.

DeVoe has one last trick up his sleeve from beyond the grave though. He uses his chair as a dead man’s switch, sending one of the satellites plummeting to Earth. Before his death, he used his gravitational powers to increase its mass by 1,000. Such a strong impact would be an Extinction Level Event. Barry runs into destroy the satellite with a sonic punch, but such a force would likely destroy him as well. In a very cool sequence, just as he’s about to hit the satellite, everything freezes, including Flash. It’s like Flash Time, but at a level that even he can’t notice. Then time reverses a bit and when he goes to punch it again, another speedster destroys it alongside him.

The episode ends with a Welcome Home party for Joe and Cecile’s baby girl. Wally even shows up! It’s a nice conclusion that’s interrupted by the arrival of that mysterious girl, who reveals herself as Nora West-Allen. And she says she made a big mistake. What did she do? We’ll find out next season.

So ends The Thinker saga, a flawed season with some strong moments and changes to the team. While Clifford DeVoe started off as a refreshing non-speedster threat, his ultimate plan was a droll rule-the-world schtick. Ralph Dibny’s journey to becoming a hero was uneven, with the character winding up as a highlight or weak point of each episode. While it never reached the nadir of last season’s worst, it’s hard to find many points where the show really excelled this year either. The addition of Nora West-Allen looks to change the dynamic again next year, hopefully for the better. Only the Speed Force knows if it will return to its former heights.

Show Notes:

  • Apparently, Iris’ blog posts about DeVoe were so convincing, that the Mayor read them and decided to give Barry his CCPD job back. Really?
  • When Ralph and Barry think about something else so DeVoe can’t read their minds, Ralph just starts listing off different types of shrimp. For all his faults, I’ve missed Ralph
  • Once again, the show does a complete mood whiplash with Harry. He begs Cisco to let him use the Thinking Cap one more time, to gain the words to direct Barry where to find the good DeVoe. Then he tearfully hugs Cisco goodbye. It’s a moving scene. Don’t know why the writers decided to treat his condition as comedy last week.
  • Marlize gives the team a cure for Harry’s condition before leaving to help improve people’s lives. The cure works, but only to a degree. Harry is lucid and functioning. But his vast Ph.D. intellect has dropped to average. And Harry’s fine with that, having found balance now between his brain and his heart. After thanking the team and a wistful goodbye, he heads back to Earth-2 to make amends with his daughter. As Cisco says, it feels like “the end of an era.” You know, until next season’s Wells.
  • Why is Joe the most badass character on The Flash? When DeVoe moves to make him shoot himself, Joe’s will and love for Cecile is so strong that he’s able to regain control over his actions! DeVoe still knocks him out, but that’s damn impressive!