TELEVISION EPISODE REVIEW: The Flash S4 EP20 ‘Therefore She Is’

The Thinker and his ever-loving wife take the next step to the Enlightenment; unfortunately, Team Flash becomes distracted, what with Harry losing his very thoughts and Cisco’s mind on other matters. What is the Enlightenment, and more importantly, will Team Flash be able to stop it?

Directed by: Rob J. Greenlea
Written by: Sterling Gates and Thomas Pound

What You Need To Know:

Since the previous episode, the only thing that has really gone on is the emotional acceptance that Ralph Dibney is gone. Team Flash is in the dark with DeVoe, but hey…what’s new? Cecile and Joe hooked up and got pregnant; quite a while ago actually. Gypsy, a breacher from earth 19, and Cisco became a thing near the beginning of this season and their relationship has NOT been fleshed out well, making this episode somewhat distracting from more important matters. What you need to know? DeVoe is winning, for now, and he is closer than ever to getting what he wants.

What You’ll Find Out:
So, last week we went on a very twisty, turning emotional roller coaster, but not much was covered. A bus meta was taken care of, who apparently DeVoe didn’t REALLY want, and Cisco found out Harry was becoming less and less…relevant? No, no wrong word; smart! That’s it. Harry was losing his intelligence due to over-stimulation from Dark Matter. But, the most intriguing and entertaining it got last week was DeVoe and Marlize’s relationship. DeVoe claims emotions are unneeded for what he had planned, and Marlize took the fall for it. (Okay, yeah turns out I have been mispronouncing the woman’s name. It’s MarlIze, not MarlEze! *Bangs head on table* Stupid, stupid stupid!)

As we open into this episode, we take a step into the past; a simpler time, a flashback. But, simple as they may have been, there are always some who saw it differently. A young Marlize speaks out at a supposed college conference about worldly matters. She explains her passion for the growth the world was experiencing in technologies and higher-educated people. And that’s when she met the man who changed her life; he sat across from her, and ever-so rudely corrected her professional opinion. DeVoe sat within the group of professors and explained that the sciences of man were becoming out of control, in a very simplified matter of course. He disagrees with Marlize in the kerfuffle they have, and the scene cuts to the present. Marleze daydreaming, watching her husband plan for their first attempt at the start of the Enlightenment; and in her eyes, you can see pure desperation and mourning.

(Flashbacks in this episode appear very wonkily; so bear with me.)

So, back in the present, we find a not-so-hard working Cisco, who receives a message. It’s from his long-distant girlfriend who breaches in every now and then. Remember Breacher? (Or MACHETE FROM SPY KIDS!!!!) He popped in a few episodes ago because of his…ahem, ability issues. He sought Cisco’s help, but ultimately Cisco just couldn’t help him get back what he was losing because of age. So, Breacher resigned, and the spot he left was left open for another; he asked Cisco to fill it. Well, apparently Cisco does NOT have an answer quite yet and has gotten quite a few of these messages from Gypsy over the weeks.

Taking a step away from that, Harry calls Cisco to the training room, because Caitlin and the others needed him. Harry may have found a way to get Killer Frost back, or so he thought. With Cisco’s vibes, he may be able to shake up the cells inside of Caitlin and get them moving again. Cisco tried multiple times but, this failed, due to one problem. Harry FORGOT Caitlin lost all traces of Dark Matter, meaning his plan failed due to his ignorance. And, in these moments of stuttering blunders, the Team finds out Harry isn’t doing very well. He was rapidly declining in intelligence and brain activity. Team Flash promises to find a way to help him. It all makes for a pretty good opening. They could have taken a chance with Harry and made his mind like a child’s, simple and one-sided and stuff. BUT, they took the intelligent route and gave him the character a weight of sorts, and that fuels stories well.

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We move onto DeVoe and Marlize, who step into a facility named Vandermeer Steel. Now, the question that is what are they here for is answered pretty quickly; Alloy 1771. This metal could be used as a solar panel used to absorb the sun’s energy at 400% the rate. Using one of his many abilities, DeVoe shrinks the large rectangular blocks of metal, and orders his wife to grab them. Right then and there I could tell, this episode was going to go either very well for Marlize, or very bad; because she does NOT like to be talked to like that. But, she does as he says, and they seem to be home free; until a nosy security guard finds them.

Marlize jumps at the chance of allowing the man to walk away, instead of DeVoe resorting to hostility to take care of him. The guard refuses, and DeVoe takes extreme measures. Unsure of whether to listen to his mind and kill the man, or his wife and leave him, DeVoe stands there. He’s almost ready to leave the man and go, no bloodshed; but the guard pisses him off and alerts the complex that there were trespassers. Come on dude!!! DeVoe points the gun at the man’s head with the man’s own hand and has his way with him…ordering Marlize that it was time to go.

YES! Have I ever mentioned how much I enjoy death? Not real death, but fake, in-tv death! When they sneak something like that in there to show a villain who has just truly fallen is a great dramatic effect. The first season of Arrow was full of emotional and physical trauma, which included killing. (Okay, to be fair EVERY season of Arrow is usually like that) but it really brings a darker sense to the Flash, which I believe this season has handled well.

Transitioning from a horrific evening to a crime-scened morning; Barry and Cisco(why is Cisco there? Usually crime scenes do not allow anyone who wants to check for dark matter signatures onto the crime scene. But, okay!) investigate. Well, Barry does with a quick run around the room. He finds certain data on the computer system, and discovers what was missing; Alloy 1771. He slows down to inform Cisco, and feeling useless, Cisco makes a funny little comment; “…Or, I could just stand here and look pretty.” With a little floof of his hair. It’s okay Cisco, we love you!

Barry questions why DeVoe was after a solar panel and asks Cisco if he could vibe the gun used by the guard who shot himself to pick up DeVoe’s dark matter signature. Cisco frantically declines, knowing that the last time he vibed something of DeVoe’s, he was blasted into a wall. Well, Barry has an answer for that, but Cisco still didn’t like it; bring in Gypsy. With their combined vibe, they could both handle the power and get a clue. Again, Cisco declines in a panic, really NOT wanting to see Gypsy at the moment.

The scene cuts off pretty quickly, and exchanges it with a scene of Joe and Harry at Jitters; it’s basically Joe comforting Harry about his mental problems and that the “kids” at STAR Labs would figure something out. Of course, the conversation brings Cecile into it, mentioning just HOW pregnant she’s gotten his last we saw her. Cecile, and even Joe haven’t been around much since quite a few episodes ago. I suppose they haven’t really been NECESSARY, but still, leaving supposed key characters out who have had some sort of effect on the show and team is lazy. But, she gets a solid mention!!!

Flashback time!
DeVoe and Marlize are on a picnic, and Marlize discusses her thoughts on DeVoe and how she was now on a date with a man who had disrespected her. It is a lovely scene, and you really start to see how charming each character was and what drew them to each other. DeVoe here mentions his disapproval of man’s technologies again, and this time Marlize doesn’t counter him; because, DeVoe invites her to stand, and dance to an old technological breakthrough…a radio playing a very mellow tune. This was an extreme ‘Aww’ moment for the characters, or at least for me it was.

And then, a very wonky transition back to Team Flash. Usually, flashbacks associate with who they are about and connect directly back to them. The flashback here though…is placed VERY oddly. And throughout the entire episode as well.
Anyways, we get back to Team Flash, who called on Gypsy to help vibe an object and get the jump on DeVoe. Of course, adding a bit of awkwardness between Cisco and Gypsy was necessary.

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It seems when this show finds a fork in the road, they cut them off, and end up leaving them behind. Gypsy was the first to disappear, and this entire episode really hints at what it leads up to. I predicted it from the moment Cisco showed his troubles with her. But, onto more pressing matters. Through vibing, Gypsy and Cisco find a hint; shipping yard. A single crate was their focus, and they presume that must be where DeVoe was going to strike next. So, Vibe, Gypsy, and the Flash are off!

A shipping yard is their destination, but DeVoe, of course, was one step ahead! Having obtained whatever it was he was after, DeVoe takes on the three heroes, and transports Flash to the north pole, leaving Gypsy and Vibe. DeVoe owns both of them in the fight (if that’s what we want to call that) and escapes. And then, the couple troubles start. Gypsy blames Cisco, Cisco blames Gypsy, then they erupt about the job position offered to Cisco. All while Barry listens in, after running back from the icy region. Cisco had a lot to explain.

So, Cisco reveals that Breacher offered him a job, and he didn’t know if he wanted to take t or not. Being the loyal friend Barry is, he listens and tries to make the situation better. Barry seems much different, due to pace and script, in this episode. It seems off compared to his previous actions during this season. Anyways, Gypsy went off on her own and Cisco was left at STAR Labs.

Meanwhile, flashback time!

A small apartment crammed with boxes and furniture; Marlize and DeVoe were moving in together, happy and crazy! Marlize informs DeVoe that they needed food, and wine; lots of them both. DeVoe, of course, pleases his wife by obeying her and going off to buy some groceries. But, as Marlize is unpacking…she finds something; and item of DeVoe’s, a journal. Opening it revealed DeVoe’s thoughts and plans or their future together, and Marlize didn’t like them.

Time passes, and DeVoe returns with what he went out for. But, Marlize is almost comatose in reading this journal. She reads aloud what Clifford had written; technologies and the minds of men were scattered and overpowered. They were lazy and vile, and he had a plan for it all. Mind you, this is before he was struck by the Particle Accelerator, and he was still out to get the world with his intelligence. Marlize was disgusted at the fact that DeVoe saw the world, humanity, as a disease that needed to be pushed back, that needed to be extinguished and started over through destruction of technology; destruction of humanity. She left in a huff, leaving DeVoe alone, with his thoughts.

As we move through the episode, we come to realize that this is a very slow-paced episode. Most episodes stick to a formulaic pattern. But, this episode is very low to the ground; which honestly works in my mind. It gives time to explain the beginning of Marlize and Clifford’s journey, as well as continue towards “the Enlightenment”. As well, of course, handling Harry’s problem and Cisco’s love life. Harry continues working on himself, trying to find a way out of the mess he had made for himself. Then, lo and behold, Cecile Horton walks through the door! Harry and Cecile’s friendship blossomed many episodes back, though Cecile was left out of the equation up until this week’s episode. She finds Harry and tries to help him with his situation. She reads his mind a few times (yes, she still does that), and finds something. Every time Harry would think of something, it’d leave the next second. Or, push something else out. So, basically, every time he used his brain, he’d grow less and less intelligent with each thought, until everything was gone.

Moving onto apparently more important matters, Gypsy sits in Jitters, taking shots of cappuccino. Barry finds her, in which doesn’t make her any happier and tries to convince her to talk with Cisco. She’s willing, but doesn’t seem sure, SO…Barry takes matters into his own hand; literally. He “wooshes” Gypsy to STAR Labs, and forces her and Cisco together for a chat. Though, Cisco and Gypsy don’t get a word in while Barry uses his words to work out their problems. (Psst, nobody likes a third wheel, Barry!)
When Cisco and Gyspy finally get free of Barry babbling, they reveal to each other that neither one wants Cisco to take the job as Breacher. Why? Well, we know Cisco would much rather stay behind and do what he’s better at, but he wants Gypsy too! Gyspy? Her reasons are a little unknown. She doesn’t want to feel tied down and distracted? Who knows?! But, Cisco says he just wants more with the woman he loves, and pops a question; was she happy the way they were doing things? Her answer?
Yes
Wrong answer! Cisco wasn’t happy, and he couldn’t keep doing things like this, seeing her every now and then and not getting to “wake up beside her”, like he wants to. It’s a moment that really should have happened earlier than this; the lead to a break-up. Cisco deserves to be happy, but how can he with her? He tried to make it work, at least!

As this is happening, Barry and Iris have a chat. Iris doesn’t want Barry intruding on Cisco’s business. It wasn’t his problem to solve; some things needed to stay separate. Iris seems to say something that makes Barry realize. All the things DeVoe was stealing, he thought he was building something. But he wasn’t…with was building something!
Predictive writing and lazy basic storytelling; Cecile gets it, Caitlin gets it…and now, Barry has a moment where he seems to get his head out of his rear-end and realize something he really didn’t have any evidence for. It was a spontaneous and unbelievable moment for the character and felt as if they wanted to rush Barry’s realization of what DeVoe was up to.

Harry and Cecile work together, and Cecile finds something. Again, a spontaneous switch of scenes, but this was a good answer to Harry’s problem. Cecile could read Harry’s thoughts…BEFORE they disappeared! So, she would be able to write them out so they wouldn’t forget! Was this why they gave Cecile powers? So someone would be able to aid Harry when his time came? I mean, it seems that way, that they planned this from the beginning (the showrunners, I mean), but it was NOT handled very…hm, well.
So, with this newfound knowledge, Cecile and Harry figure out what DeVoe is doing. Okay, so let’s discuss this. SOMEHOW, without dark matter of the thinking cap, Harry’s mind was able to momentarily figure out what DeVoe is doing with the pieces of tech he is gathering. How though? Harry wasn’t able to figure this out because the thoughts left his mind the second new ones appeared? Um…

But, anyways, they find out exactly what DeVoe was planning…the pieces of tech he gathered; they were pieces to construct satellites. With the Alloy 1771, they’d be able to project intense amounts of dark matter across the earth, affecting each and everyone’s mind; just like dark matter’s effect on Harry. The question comes to mind…did DeVoe know since Harry built the thinking cap, that he would act as a sort of test subject? He found out that Harry had built a copy, and was using it. OR, did he not account for the fact Cecile could read minds, and Harry could figure out what DeVoe was doing. His plan seemingly comes to light because of Cecile in these moments, so seems like the Thinker was outthought.

With this knowledge, they also find out that to power satellites like these, basically a super computer was needed. Thankfully, a lab a few blocks down just installed some brand new, high-tech super computers! Really, guys? That’s the best you could do? Okay then…

FLASHBACK!
Somewhere in India, I believe, Marlize is working on a piece of tech that purifies water. It could save the lives of thousands! She succeeds and sends her associate off to tell the others. In this time, she receives a radio call. It was DeVoe, begging for her to come home. Marlize tells him that she can’t be part of whatever he has planned because she didn’t see technology as a bad thing. Clifford is broken, a complete mess here without Marlize. It really showed his true and undying love for her here, though it takes a turn for the worse. Marlize’s rescue camp is bombarded by terrorists, and Clifford is left with a dial tone.

Back to the present, DeVoe and Marlize break into said lab to get said super computers to power said satellites. Shrinking the giant consoles, DeVoe thinks he has won. BUT, Team Flash appears out of nowhere and begins their attack.

DeVoe is actually caught off-guard here, and shot by a bolt of electricity from Flash; he’s down. Gypsy is on top of keeping DeVoe down, and Cisco takes Marlize. Barry prepares to strike him again, as Marlize cries out in pleads for them to stop; they were killing him. At this moment, we get a cry from a woman who seemingly has been drugged into submission and “love”…yet here, she pleads for them to stop, even after all she disagrees with from DeVoe. But, DeVoe’s turn! He lasts the team back and gets free.
Caitlin, who yearns for her bestie back, takes a cold gun to DeVoe, asking aloud for her to come back; she hoped DeVoe would frighten Killer Frost out of her, but it failed, and he weighed Caitlin down, as well as Flash. Marlize had broken free of Cisco and knocked him out. And Gypsy…well, she gets herself caught.

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The tables turned here, and Marlize begged DeVoe to stop; this wasn’t their plan. Killing innocent people wasn’t their plan. But, DeVoe was ready to kill Gypsy and able to do it. But, it was the loving pleas of his wife that stopped him; she begged for Clifford to come back to her, and for him to stop. DeVoe failed to do what he had planned to do with Gypsy but left Team Flash beaten for the thousandth time, and left with what he wanted.
Gypsy was left without a scar, Team Flash had lost, and DeVoe got away. Seems I find myself saying the same thing over and over. There is always that one good reason though. DeVoe usually gets the better because he has his wife with him…

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After everything, DeVoe finally had what he wanted. But did Marlize?

FLASHBACK!
DeVoe sits on Marlize’s bedside, in the camp in India. He said he came when he heard the news of what happened. She had been knocked out by a blast, and something in her changed. She saw the greed of man for her machine. She saw the technology they used to get it. She finally agreed with DeVoe, and admitted that the minds of men were greedy, selfish, and unwise. She accepted DeVoe’s request to join him…and the journey began.

Marleze was injured from the battle, and remembered back all those years ago, as she sat in the Thinker’s chair, waiting for Clifford to miraculously heal her arm. DeVoe had what he wanted, and she had to watch him. But something had snapped in her. He had forced her to watch him almost kill Gypsy…and everything inside of Clifford that may have been there, any good…was dead. DeVoe was ready to help, but she defied him. She trapped him inside of an energy prison projected by the chair she had invented. She refused him, and she defied him. The Enlightenment, Clifford…she couldn’t do it. He warned her of what would happen if she left, and she didn’t care. Because her Clifford had died long ago; the first tragedy the Thinker had caused. And, with a press of a button, Marlize left her husband there; alone.

We come back to Team Flash, and a portal opening to Earth 19. The base of Breachers, or CCPD on Earth 19, was where it opened. If you watch this scene carefully, you’ll notice something. A flash of purple and yellow lightning, heading towards the portal before Cisco and Gypsy come out. Odd right? Well, just wait, I’ll get back to that later.
Cisco and Gypsy had made their decision; they couldn’t be together, not with how different their lives were and how they wanted them to be. She asked him one last time if he’d take the job, and he declined. Forced to leave each other, they said their goodbyes with long-lasting kissing…and Cisco said goodbye to Cynthia (Gypsy’s real name, in case you forgot).

Back to Earth 1, a baby shower!!! Because that’s what we needed to mellow the mood! Joe and Cecile turn up at Barry and Iris’s place for their baby shower! It’s all pink and girly; guess they’re having a girl! Barry notices how left out Cisco was, watching Cecile and Joe together…and he had a chat. He asked him if there was anything he could do, and Cisco made sure he understood that there wasn’t. It was a tender, yet bittersweet end to Cisco’s journey with Cynthia(Gypsy) and all things considered, not handled absolutely terribly!

Then, the doorbell rang. Cecile and Joe answered it…and found a familiar face. Well, to the audience anyway. The girl! That one who was at Barry and Iris’s first wedding, the one who bought Cisco and Ralph coffee, the one who could write the same language Barry wrote when he came out of the speedforce. She gave them a gift and said she knew the baby would be along any time now. Joe and Cecile were weirded out, but the next thing left us with gasps. Iris asked who was at the door, and the girl vanished before she could see. The girl evaded Iris…and then SPED AWAY WITH PURPLE AND YELLOW LIGHTNING FOLLOWING HER!!!

What Just Happened?:
DeVoe got what he wanted…but lost something more important. The DeVoe’s journey has been so fun and interesting to watch. Seeing Clifford’s obsession with Marlize and her love and Marlize’s slow ascent into higher knowledge about the evil within Clifford was amazing! Last week, we found Clifford had utterly decided emotion was useless. Before that, he drugged his wife to support him; to love him. But this episode…this episode proved he didn’t care about her anymore. We literally saw that he didn’t truly want her love, he wanted her support and her intellect. She was a side-hand…and every time she found out the truth, he’d drug her and continue using her. Seeing her use his own tech against him…honestly, I expected him to see right through her and stop her before she could, but it wasn’t a bad separation. Marlize finally did what she had to, because her husband was gone…and the Thinker? He didn’t deserve her.

Gypsy, I’m guessing, will return. The breakup was a way to handle getting rid of the character who hasn’t been necessary nor in any way useful. The relationship was never built upon nor given any sort of encouragement to actually inspire the audience to care for them. I will say, I feel bad for Cisco because he finally had someone!!! Now? He’ll be a wreck.

As for the mystery girl; it seems all but confirmed she is, no doubt, Barry and Iris’s daughter. The ability to run fast, the purple and yellow lightning mixture, the fact she didn’t want to see her own mother is still a mystery…but something bigger is happening. This girl means something and DeVoe? He’s not through…not yet.

Rating: 8/10
Final Thoughts:
This episode irked me at some points but was overall fair. The entire point of this season has been about a being who can outthink anyone. At some point though, this has to grow old; the same thing seems to occur ever episode, though it does add to the story every time as well. Should that be an acceptable excuse, though?

The fact DeVoe didn’t see his wife falling away from him was bull. The entire thing with Gypsy and Cisco was almost cringeworthy but went out with a pretty okay scene, one that really felt like they meant it. I really do not like how simplified DeVoe’s plan was made. All this build up, and it’s all found out in minor side-scenes that seemed to drop below the other moments of the show made to be more important. The goodbye of Gypsy was a long-awaited one for me; Cecile returning and aiding the team was clever, but really lackluster. I can’t believe that was the best they could come up with. BUT, with all this hate I seem to be spewing, I really did enjoy the episode. It’s an emotional balance between Marlize and DeVoe was perfectly executed. Marlize’s goodbye was just fun to watch. Saying goodbye to a character that was only really a distraction was well-done, and the return of this mystery girl kept up with our questions and answered even one of them. But, why didn’t she want to see Iris? She’s met everyone now, except Iris. Could it be because Iris is pregnant, and she can’t collide with her past self (inside of Iris) without causing time lapses? Who’s to say she’s even from this earth, seeing as she ran from Earth 19?! SO many questions, but at least we were answered one thing.
Brilliant flashbacks that meshed well with the present provided us with the answer to DeVoe’s plan. He wanted to rid the earth of humanity’s intellect. But, why did he needs all those bus meta’s powers to do this? Questions that hopefully will be answered, as the season draws near to its end.


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