DeVoe was back with a vengeance this week, as Team Flash’s slapdash plan to take on The Thinker went absolutely haywire. And the stakes have rarely been higher. It wasn’t a season finale, but it sure felt like one.
Spoilers ahead for “Lose Yourself,” the latest episode of The CW’s Flash, which aired April 17, 2018.
Damn you, Flash. This show has lost characters before, sure, but this one hurt. Dibny has grown into one of the most likable, relatable and downright interesting things about this show this year — and in “Lose Yourself” we had to powerlessly watch him get ripped away just as he finally realized how great a hero he could become. Much of this season has largely been framed around Dibny’s journey, from stepping in during Barry’s prison time to grappling with his own insecurities.
This week, he deals with something Barry himself has grappled with in the past — trying to decide how far is too far when it comes to beating back the bad guy. It’s not a new concept, and we’ve seen the other side of that story play out a time or two on sibling series Arrow before, but Dibny was an example of what could happen when you come from the shadier side of the tracks and still decide not to cross that line. When he explained to Barry that wasn’t scared for himself, but for his friends, it was a heartbreaking moment. Dibny had finally found the family he’d been searching for his whole life in Team Flash, and he doesn’t want to let DeVoe — or anyone else for that matter — hurt them.
But like every other DeVoe encounter has played out, Team Flash ends up watching yet another bus meta be taken over by The Thinker. As Barry fruitlessly vows to save him, Dibny uses his last words to let him know he already had. By pulling him out of a downward spiral of a life, Barry gave Dibny the purpose he never knew he needed. Having it snuffed out so violently is one of the Arrowverse’s toughest blows yet, made even worse by the fact that Dibny is now literally inhabited by the team’s most conniving enemy yet.
Of course, by keeping the character’s body “alive” (though DeVoe has seemingly used Dibny’s abilities to restore his original face, meaning there may not be much room left for star Harley Sawyer through the rest of this arc), there’s always a chance they could use some scientific McGuffins to bring him back once they’ve defeated DeVoe. But, that seems somewhat less likely by the way the story was handled. There was some weight and finality to seeing Barry clean out Dibny’s office, leaving that last drink on the table for his lost friend. Bringing him back would strip the power from that emotional moment, but still, it’d be a shame to lose such a fantastic character. Heck, if not on Flash, ship him off to the island of misfit heroes on Legends of Tomorrow.
*Though Dibny’s except understandably sucked up most of the air in the room, there was also another hero(ish) seemingly lost during that face off with DeVoe. While trying to shut him down, Killer Frost has her dark matter pulled out by The Thinker’s expansive power set — meaning Caitlin has effectively been “cured.” Though she spent a whole lot of time trying to do just that, Caitlin has only recently found a symbiotic balance with Killer Frost. Not to mention the fact that Team Flash is now two super-metahumans down.
*Edwin Gauss was absolutely hilarious. A shame to see him gone so soon.
*It’s been brewing for weeks, and Harry finally reached the breaking point. Giving a genius access to something that can make him smarter is a recipe for disaster in pretty much every way, and that proved true this week. Joe turns a mirror on Harry to show him just how addicted he’s become to the thinking cap’s hold on him, and just when Harry is trying to manage that need, DeVoe busts in and Harry cranks up the power to 11 in an effort to stop him. It backfires, knocking Harry out and allowing DeVoe to steal his dark matter (which he was secretly using against Cisco’s insistence).
*As much as we’d have liked to see Joe vs. the robot samurai, having him stroll back in with the severed head made for the cooler moment. Don’t sleep on Joe. Dude is still a badass.
*The Barry vs. Dibny fight was also a great little moment to showcase those superpowers and super-effects.
*The story about DeVoe brainwashing and drugging his wife was oddly sidelined this week, which felt like an odd way to follow-up that reveal from last week. Here she’s sword-fighting and defending her husband with no qualms. It made for an odd juxtaposition.
Next week: With some vacancies on the team, it seems Captain Cold is (somehow?) back to help out.