Therefore I Am was easily one of the most refreshing episodes of the last two seasons. In The Thinker, the show finally has a villain who will provide Team Flash with a different challenge beyond Barry running faster. And with this killer episode, season 4’s main conflict officially gets underway.
The Flash #182 comic book had one of the most definitive villain origin stories and this episode provided a great showcase for The Thinker. Unlike Arrow, The Flash doesn’t lean too heavily into flashbacks making them more meaningful when they appear. There was a nice balance here with the flashbacks detailing how DeVoe and his wife, Marlize (Kim Engelbrecht) became The Thinker and The Mechanic.
Among the many great parts of this episode was seeing a villain relationship that mirrors Barry and Iris. Without her, Barry is lost and the same is true for DeVoe. Neil Sandilands and Engelbrecht were exceptionally strong this episode and made DeVoe and Marlize tragically, sympathetic characters. Considering Flash’s other season villains have been fully irredeemable, it’s nice to actually have a villain who evolves into a bad guy instead of starting off that way.
Naturally, DeVoe’s menace originated from the particle accelerator. That’s been a crutch for the writers, but at least it felt like they worked for it more than normal this time. And I’m not gonna complain since this provided an avenue for the comic accurate thinking cap.
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The real beauty of this episode was how Barry was right all along about DeVoe, but Team Flash was justified in questioning him. Barry was acting like a crazy, obsessed person right down to breaking into DeVoe’s place without a mask and moving at normal speed. I loved DeVoe playing mind games and screwing with Barry on the harassment claims, the samuroid camera and filing the restraint order.
I also appreciated DeVoe straight up telling Barry everything. This puts the onus on Team Flash to stop him instead of trying to prove he’s a bad guy. The smug overconfidence shown here was amazing too. Most of the time, The Flash’s villains don’t get that quality gloat time until deep in the season. This is calling Barry out — not to determine how fast he can run, but if he can out think The Thinker.
As much fun as it’s been seeing Iris as the Team Flash leader, the writers are doing her a disservice. Girls Night Out emphasized that Iris’ life completely revolves around Barry. Would it be so bad for her to be a reporter or anything so she could have her own life and maybe even make some friends? At least Wally is back to keep her company.
Considering this fresh momentum from Therefore I Am, it’s almost a shame The Flash has to jump into the Crisis crossover. While I’m anxious to see it play out, I’m just as interested in seeing The Flash/Thinker conflict further escalate.
Rating: 9.5 out of 10
Photo Credit: The CW