Wednesday, May 2, 2018

The Flash Episode Guide: Season 4, Episode 20 - Therefore She Is

For a summary of the episode guide layout & categories, click here


Gypsy arrives from Earth-19 to have a long overdue talk with Cisco about their relationship and the job her father offered him. She also gets recruited to help battle The Thinker, whose plan to bring about his so-called Enlightenment has entered its final stages.


Flowers For Algernon (the idea of a man's intelligence being artificially accelerated only for him to lose everything he gained - both for Harry and DeVoe)


The opening scene depicts the scene where The DeVoe's first met as being set "Eight Years Ago" (i.e. 2010). Yet Episode 413 had The Thinker distinctly recalling that their first dance and first kiss was in 1997!

How is Joe allowed to bring his kids to a crime scene investigation? Especially Barry, who was still persona non grata with the CCPD by the order of the mayor last we checked?

Much as I love the idea of giving Iris something useful to do on this show, having her tell Barry to knock The Thinker out and cuff him seems kinda stupid... even ignoring that The Thinker can hear their communications with his technopathy.

How did Caitlin get to Mercury Labs almost as fast Cisco, Barry and Gypsy without breaching?


Neil Sandilands and Kim Engelbrecht do a fantastic job of playing a young couple in love in the flashback scenes. It only makes the horror of their relationship in the modern day all the more disturbing.


The flashback scene of The DeVoes' first date is well-shot and orchestrated.

Flash Facts

The episode title is based on a declaration by philosopher Rene Descartes - "I think, therefore I am."

The first company that The Thinker robs to get what he needs for his device is Vandermeer Steel. In the original DC Comics universe, Vandermeer Steel was a corrupt technological/industrial firm run by a man named James Hancock Finch. Finch is notable for having been an enemy of Firestorm, who financed his own personal corporate metahuman team - The Captains of Industry - to protect corporate interests against environmentalist vigilantes.


Harry and Cisco plan to use Cisco's Vibe powers to vibrate Caitlin on a molecular level and see if that triggers an adrenaline spike that reawakens Killer Frost.

Cisco lowers the amps on the glove Harry built for him.

Harry confirms that the Dark Matter infusion into his brain is now overwhelming his synapses, slowing them down rather than speeding them up. Cisco believes the process is reversible, however.

Alloy 1771 contains gallium antimonide substrates which can harness power at 400% efficiency. As Iris explains later, this metal is being used to make experimental solar panels.

In order to co-vibe, the breachers must focus their minds on precisely the same thing. Even when successful, it still causes an odd sensation, according to Cisco.

Cecile says that when she tries to read Harry's thoughts, it is like they start to form and then the more the ideas appear, the faster they disappear. This suggests that the more Harry tries to use his brain, the faster his intelligence decreases. She later realizes that she can use her telepathy to read Harry's thoughts and see them before they disappear.

Barry deduces that The Thinker is building multiple satellites  The satellites being able to speak to one another would require a massive amount of computational power - something to triangulate communication between each satellite, like a quantum computer.

The Mechanic describes the computers at Mercury Labs as running on polynomial time computing.

Each individual satellite possess a 30 cubit quantum system, capable of redirecting concentrated Dark Matter back to Earth in 10 million megawatt bursts. This is toxic enough to effect each and every human brain on the planet and reboot them back to a simplified state.

The Mechanic fractures her scaphoid during the fight with Team Flash.

The Thinker's chair can be used to accelerate The Mechanic's healing.

Dialogue Triumphs

Clifford DeVoe: The Taoists, in pursuit of immortality, discovered gunpowder. Alfred Nobel created The Nobel Prize so he wouldn't be remembered as the man who invented dynamite. History has shown us time and time again that whenever a technological advancement can be used to hurt humanity, it will be.
Marlize: You can't blame technology for the way people choose to use it, Professor.
Clifford DeVoe: You can't ignore that the best of ideas by the smartest of men often have a way of becoming corrupted.

(Cisco and Barry look at the crime scene at Vandermeer Steel.)
Cisco: Okay. So... where should we start? I'm thinking, if we can gain acc-
(Barry blurrs into motion as everything around him freezes. We see him run around the room searching drawers before stopping at a computer monitor. Screen load quickly as Barry reads through an inventory list.)
-ccess to their files?
Barry: Alloy 1771? It's the only item missing from the inventory files.
Cisco: Or I can just stand here and look pretty.

Marlize: I miss those days. I was young and foolish and brave!
Clifford DeVoe: And now you're just foolish? (chuckles)
Marlize: To agree to a date with someone I first met as they were so rudely disagreeing with my professional opinion? Foolish, maybe. (She pauses for a moment as she regards Clifford and smiles) Yeah, no one's ever challenged me like that... It was refreshing.
(Clifford leans in and touches Marlize's shoulder. Their lips are about to meet as the song "Out Of My Head" starts to play on the radio when her phone rings.)
Marlize: (laughs as she checks her phone) Ah. Maybe you are right about technology distracting us. It certainly can destroy moments.
Clifford DeVoe: (reaching over, taking Marlize's phone away.) Although... sometimes, technology can create them as well.
(Clifford stands up and offers Marlize his hand. She laughs and lets her pull him up as the two begin to slow dance to the music.)

(The Flash, Vibe and Gypsy emerge from a breach at the Central City docks.)
The Flash: Alright. It looks like we made it in time. Whatever is in this container, we can't let DeVoe have it.
The Thinker: Actually...
(The three spin around to see The Thinker standing behind them, on top of a different shipping container.)
The Thinker: It's what's in (kicks the box behind him twice) this container you can't let me have. (chuckles as he holds up a small piece of electronics) Well... what was in this container.
(The Flash charges at The Thinker only for him to open a Folded Man portal in his path. Suddenly, The Flash is standing in the middle of a snowy landscape. It is night and the Aurora Borealis are visible in the sky. The Flash shouts in annoyance and starts running back to Central City.)

(The Thinker is telekinetically strangling Gypsy.)
The Mechanic: Our plan is to save them.
The Thinker: Well, you can't save everyone, my love.
The Mechanic: Perhaps. But I won't watch you kill an innocent life again!
(The Mechanic turns around and starts to walk way. The Thinker reaches out with his free hand and grabs her with Null's gravity powers, forcing her to turn around.)
The Thinker: Yes. You will.

(Marlize has just said that she's come to agree with the logic of Clifford's manifesto.)
Clifford DeVoe: You believe.
Marlize: I believe in you. Enlighten them, Clifford. You the only one who can!
Clifford DeVoe: (taking her hand) I'm nothing without you.

The Mechanic: Initially, we set out to enlighten the world. Now you want to rule it. (pauses) I am leaving you, Clifford.
(The Thinker approaches her and bumps into a force-field.) 
The Mechanic: Nothing can get in or out.
The Thinker: You dare orchestrate an exodus on the eve of humanity's greatest reckoning? You made a vow.
The Mechanic: To my husband! But my husband is dead. The Thinker's first victim.
The Thinker: The Enlightenment will come for you too, Marlize. I will be all that remains.
(The Thinker's chair begins to levitate away.)
The Mechanic: Oh, Clifford. You are nothing with me.
(The Mechanic teleports away as The Thinker presses against the force field with one hand.)


A flashback shows that Clifford and Marlize DeVoe met at Oxford University in while engaged in a debate over technology's ability to improve the lot of humanity.

Gypsy sends Cisco a hologram cube, asking if he's thought about the job offer her father gave him in 417.

Gypsy last appeared in 404.

Harry briefly forgets the term for The Scientific Method, though he can still name the individual steps.

Harry also calls Melting Point Null and completely forgets that Caitlin doesn't have any Dark Matter in her system, so his plan to jump-start her powers with an adrenaline spike won't work.

The rest of Team Flash learn about Harry's decreasing intelligence.

Barry has the idea to bring in Gypsy to help double Cisco's effectiveness so they can safely Vibe The Thinker's whereabouts.

Joe asks Harry to distract Cecile because he has no idea why he need to distract her from a surprise Joe is arranging.

A flashback sequence shows The DeVoes' first date, which The Thinker discussed in 413. As he mentioned in the earlier episode, the two experienced their first kiss shortly after their first dance to the song "Going Out Of My Head." We also see The "favorite dress" that The Mechanic was wearing in 418 is the dress she wore on this date.

Marlize DeVoe aced her Intro To Heat Transfer class her first year in college.

Gypsy and Cisco are able to Vibe that The Thinker will be going after a shipping container at the Central City docks with the number 16. This later turns out to be the wrong number.

Barry learns about Breacher's retirement and the job offer he gave Cisco.

Cisco says he wants to be with Gypsy more than anything but is uncertain about everything else - i.e. moving to Earth 19, taking Breacher's job, etc.

When Marlize and Clifford move in together, Marlize discovers a book Clifford wrote by hand titled "Promulgations of Our Future." In it, Clifford describes his theories on how technology is killing humanity. He says the brains of the masses must be rebooted so they forget their technological crushes.

The second and third sites DeVoe robs are Boeing Labs and The Jamison Institute.

The second time Gypsy and Cisco try to vibe together, the feedback knocks them both across the room.

Barry figures out that DeVoe is building multiples of one thing rather than one big thing. He eventually figures out that the things in question are five satellites.

It is revealed that Marlize left Clifford to develop water filters for poor villages in Kenya. Clifford called her to try and win her back, but she was reluctant until she was nearly killed in a bombing by a militia group who wanted the filter for themselves. This causes her to adopt Clifford's philosophy of technology pushing humanity towards greater depravity. She later claims that she saw the truth of his arguments then but was too afraid to admit he was right given her life's work.

Cisco and Gypsy both agree they don't want Cisco to take Breacher's job.

Cisco says that he wants to wake up next to the woman he loves. Gypsy says she is content with how things are with their distance relationship.

Mercury Labs has an entire system of quantum computers at their home base. The last mention of Mercury Labs came in 412.

Barry's thrown lightning and Gypsy's vibe blasts are shown to be able to hurt The Thinker.

The Thinker is also vulnerable to the Cold Gun, but it only slows him down - presumably because of Ralph's ability to shrug off most forms of damage.

The Thinker says that his plan requires The Flash living for a while longer.

The Collector Agency HQ on Earth 19 resembles Central City Police HQ. The usual mural of the Roman Gods is covered up by a Russian-style propaganda poster depicting Breacher and the words "Happy Retirement, Breacher!"

A woman resembling Killer Frost is being escorted by a Collector just before Cisco and Gypsy arrive in Collector Agency HQ.  We also see a Speedster, who resembles The Accelerated Man from 314, before he runs out of the shot in a burst of purple lightning.

Gypsy and Cisco officially break up.

Joe's surprise turns out to be a baby shower for Cecile.

Caitlin says that she's determined to get back Killer Frost when Iris confronts her about her going to fight DeVoe with the Cold Gun.

The Mechanic leaves The Thinker.

The mystery waiter from Barry and Iris' wedding in S308 shows up with a diaper bag for Cecile. She says Cecile looks like she'll give birth in 21 days.. just in time for the Season Four Finale. She says the bag was sent by someone thought they were special who realizes that time is precious and right now is all we have "relatively speaking". This seems to be another hint that she is related to The West Family somehow. The waiter runs off before Iris can see her. We then see the waiter vanish in a flash of lightning, revealing that she is a speedster.

Wally sent Joe and Cecile a bassinet which was apparently owned my Moses.


Oxford, England - Oxford University -  (1997 or 2010?)
Kenya - ?
Earth 19 - Collector Agency HQ in Central City - 2018

The Boomerang Factor

In a bid to make Iris seem useful, Barry is portrayed as being too dumb to think of knocking a guy out at super-speed while he's helpless.

Irony or Stupidity? The Thinker hates technology and thinks people are becoming stupider because of it. So he devises a way to make himself smarter, using advanced technology, so he can create even more advanced technology to make people too stupid to use modern technology.

The Bottom Line

Apparently the writers became worried that The DeVoes were too sympathetic based on their earlier portrayal and the fans who found their relationship better realized than that of Barry and Iris. That's the only way I can explain the 11th hour reveal that The Thinker's plan to enlighten the world is actually meant to make people stupider because he's a Luddite who hates technology, even though the only reason he's still alive is because of advanced medicine and technology.

I don't mind DeVoe being a hypocrite. I mind that despite this he's still the most logical and well-developed character in the show right now and that his romance with Marlize was far better developed and more heartbreaking than Cisco and Gypsy's break-up in this episode.  I could have done with far less of Barry trying to force the two Breachers to patch up for his own selfish ends and far more of Caitlin coping with the loss of her better half.

Despite everything, I generally liked this episode if only for the contrast between the Thinker/Mechanic relationship between then and now.

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