Was it opposite day on The Flash ? “Therefore I Am” felt very off tone for the show and almost like an alternative reality for most of the hour. Instead of the fun, positive, joke-filled The Flash, it was dour and gloomy. The shift suited The Thinker’s origin story, but wasn’t all that enjoyable to watch.
The battle between the Fastest Man alive and Fastest Mind while-he’s-still-alive has officially begun. Once Barry and Joe showed up at the DeVoe residence at the end of last week’s episode, it was game on. In this first round, DeVoe/The Thinker definitely came out on top. He and his wife played Barry perfectly.
But Barry became obsessed that DeVoe was the man behind the Bus Metas, even though everyone around him was unsupportive. In fact, surprisingly and over-the-top unsupportive! Team Flash didn’t believe him. Joe didn’t believe him. Even Iris wasn’t on his side. If anything, they worked against Barry.
Barry’s made a lot of mistakes in the past, but this time the team’s utter disregard of his hunch and investigation seemed very out of character. Did DeVoe have something to do with that? There’s nothing to support that theory, but there’s also no explanation as to why they would all turn their back on their team leader, friend, and partner.
In the end, Barry was right. DeVoe was behind orchestrating Barry’s release from the Speed Force and creating the Bus Metas, though the Thinker’s ultimate goal remains a mystery. Now, the real challenge begins. Will Barry and his team be able to outthink and outmaneuver the greatest mind alive? Or could they win by default because DeVoe’s body gives out before he reaches the conclusion of his plan?
While DeVoe’s plan remains a mystery, the hour did reveal how the professor became The Thinker on the night of the Particle Accelerator explosion. DeVoe and his wife worked together to come up with a thinking cap to increase a person’s intellect four years ago. His wife, the Mechanic, was able to build the cap, but they didn’t have a power source strong enough for it to work. Enter Harrison Wells’ Particle Accelerator launch which also happened four years ago.
DeVoe was smart enough to recognize the problem with the accelerator and wanted to use its “failure” to power the cap. Just like Barry, DeVoe was hit with lightning. Instead of gaining speed, though, his brain was stimulated to unforeseen levels — but it came at a cost. His body was deteriorating in order to fuel his new, all-knowing brain. The solution: The Mechanic developed the chair and helmet he wears to power his mind, while protecting his body.
While Barry and DeVoe both gained powers on the same night, that alone doesn’t explain why DeVoe is targeting Barry and his team. If he’s all-knowing, does he want Barry to pay for messing with time? Or, perhaps he wants Barry to go back in time once again to do something for him?
Even though DeVoe’s motives and endgame are unclear, the battle between Team Flash versus the Thinker and the Mechanic is going to be a wild ride. Being fast doesn’t help you against someone who knows every move, every possibility and every outcome. In order to bring down the Thinker, the team is going to have to use skills and brainpower unlike they’ve ever had to use before.
While “Therefore I Am” wasn’t the most entertaining hour (and even dragged at points), DeVoe’s backstory and the face-off between the Fastest Man and the Fastest Mind worked well. The set-up for this season’s major foe has been established and set up a formidable fight.
Until then, the “Crisis on Earth-X” four-part crossover trailer looks amazing! Good luck to Barry and Iris. May their wedding go off without an interruption by Nazis from another Earth…
Rating: ★★★ Good