By: Casey Johnston (@DarthHockey)
WARNING: There are spoilers ahead for the latest episode of The Flash.
A Plot: Barry Has Met His Match
The bulk of this episode focused on Barry trying his best to discover the hidden identity of Clifford DeVoe, aka The Thinker. For most of this episode, Barry failed in that attempt. This series is at its best when the Flash is faced with seemingly insurmountable villains. Barry had barely realized his powers when he faced the Reverse Flash, he had just begun to scratch the surface of the multiverse and the Speed Force when he went up against Zoom, and he literally had to sacrifice himself to defeat Savitar. The Thinker is not like any of these past villains. It was a wise move to finally put the Flash up against someone who isn’t a speedster, but as DeVoe pointed out tonight, he has the fastest mind of anyone in the multiverse. His enhanced intellect has put him a seemingly infinite amount of steps ahead of Team Flash and that makes him seem invincible right now.
I don’t think it’s a coincidence that the show getting away from evil speedsters has resulted in potentially the best villain so far. While he still has ways to go before he exceeds the Reverse Flash from season one, I think the potential is definitely there. I feel like every step Barry has taken so far this season has been planned out by DeVoe. There’s nothing Barry can do that Devoe hasn’t already thought of and that makes him such an interesting villain to watch. I also love that the writers have revealed him to Team Flash so early in the season. The team was almost ripped apart and Barry’s non-superhero career was almost ruined in one episode tonight. It will be fascinating to watch as Barry goes mad trying to defeat The Thinker.
B Plot: DeVoe’s Origin Story
I like that DeVoe’s origin started with him trying to unlock his mind to make the world a better place and I hope that’s a continuing motivation for him. The three main villains we’ve had so far have all had selfish intents. The Reverse Flash just wanted to get back home to his time, Zoom wanted to be the fastest speedster in the multiverse, and Savitar wanted to get revenge on Barry for imprisoning him in the Speed Force. In addition to DeVoe not being a speedster, I like how he has no personal grudge against Barry that we know of. He’s just an evil genius who seems to have a narcissistic view of what’s best for humanity. I hope that remains his motivation throughout the season. I want him to just be a villain with an idea and the Flash is standing in the way of him realizing that idea, nothing more. The personal disconnect from Barry is working for me.
Thanks for reading!