“You can’t ignore that the best of ideas by the smartest of men often have a way of becoming corrupted.”
DeVoe’s ‘Enlightenment’ plan is finally revealed, Cisco and Gypsy’s relationship is on the rocks, and Coffee Shop Girl makes her ‘post-credits’ return as we countdown to the final confrontation between Team Flash and the Thinker.
The relationship between DeVoe and Marlize’s has, from the start, been a major part of the Thinker’s rise to power. Even with his true plan in the dark, there was an opening to glean more from their bond. And while the Thinker as a villain has been somewhat underwhelming, “Therefore She Is” changes the spotlight and instead of shining it on DeVoe, we see the true formation of their partnership alongside the truly heinous nature of the ‘Enlightenment’.
Years before he became the Thinker, Clifford DeVoe believed that the continual technological advances of our world would be humanity’s downfall. Despite the good technology and invention have provided to the world, he can only see it as a corrupting influence that will one day cause society to crumble. So, what better way to defeat the technological scourge than to reset humanity? It’s head scratching that this brilliant man sees the only way to “save” mankind is to destroy its intelligence, all the while using that very same technology to push forward his agenda. In that, DeVoe, being the sole person not affected by the ‘intelligence wipe’, would be the sole intelligence of a population of billions. Any hope that Devoe would be more than mustache-twirling baddie intent on total control was wiped away with this revelation.
Thankfully, despite the disappointment that has been the Thinker, Kim Engelbrecht shines as Marlize DeVoe. Using a handful of well-crafted flashbacks, we see the start of the DeVoes as well as their tumult when Marlize discovers Clifford’s disdain for technology. The scenes give us a much better foundation for the pair and at the end when she has finally come to terms that Clifford DeVoe and the Thinker are not one in the same, offers a much more solid blow when she leaves him. Greater still is that she throws Clifford’s words back at him: “You are nothing without me”. If earlier foreshadowing wasn’t suggestive enough, her final words solidifies Marlize’s importance in finally taking him down.
The DeVoes weren’t the only couple whose relationship imploded. Though circumstance has caused the Cisco/Gypsy ‘ship to remain on the backburner, when the team needs her help, they are forced to confront their future…or lack thereof. It’s not that dissimilar from Marlize and Clifford—other than the monstrous desire to rule the world—but Cisco’s tired of the stolen moments, and wants them to be more. Unfortunately Gypsy is fine where things stand. The two relationships may be on opposite ends of the spectrum and show they are a reminder that, like in life, circumstance can indeed fracture a relationship even if the love remains.
Considering the serious nature of the previously mentioned pairings, it was good to get at least a modicum of levity—even if the backdrop is a man losing his intelligence. Harry and Cecile’s friendship has always been a unique one: he’s a gruff genius from another Earth while she is a lovely and sweet (though tough) woman expecting a child late in light. Despite that, the two have this rocky chemistry that shouldn’t work but does, primarily due to how well Tom Cavanagh and Danielle Nicolet play off one another. Better here is that her inability to respect the privacy of someone’s mind finally has a positive outcome: realizing she can read Harry’s thoughts before they vanish, they help the team understand DeVoe’s horrid endgame. While that doesn’t seem like much, understanding Harry’s condition and how it mirrors the potential fate of humanity may be the jumpstart Team Flash needs to take down DeVoe.
That and a big hand from Marlize DeVoe.
- Personally, DeVoe has never been a good villain. Yes, with three straight years of speedsters as the big bad, something new was absolutely necessary lest the show get stale. Still, there is something lacking with the Thinker and it has nothing to do with Neil Sandilands performance. In fact, were it a lesser actor, this season would be unwatchable. Admittedly, gaining a bit of history of the DeVoes this week was a brilliant move and offered a solid structure for the devolution of the brilliant couple.
- The question on whether or not Coffee Shop Girl is a speedster has been answered. She visited the team during Cecile’s surprise baby shower, offering nothing but smiles to the expecting mother and Joe. What’s more curious though, is her attitude to certain team members. Last time she gave Caitlin and Harry the side eye but it looked as if Iris was in her line of vision this time. The issue is deciphering her emotion: is it anger, disappointment, confusion? Whatever those emotions may be, they’ll play a pivotal role in season 5. Whether for good or ill…well, we’ll just have to wait until next season.
- It was good to see the Barry we all know and love. Despite time running out and the recent loss of Ralph, the positive Barry Allen has returned. Not only does he (naively) believe that Cisco and Gypsy can make things work but, when confronted with Harry’s diminishing intelligence issue, he reminds the team that, despite DeVoe’s ability to break them apart, “we’re all still here. We’re a family; that’s how we’re gonna beat, Devoe.”
- Though she failed this time, I loved Caitlin’s renewed determination to get Killer Frost back. Even when Iris tries giving her support that the team will find a way, Caitlin shakes off that notion, reiterating that she will be the one to bring her alter ego back into the fold.
The Flash: “Therefore She Is”: