Devoe implemented his brain-rebooting Enlightenment this week, while Team Flash tapped into a new power Barry discovers about tapping into the Speed Force. They save a few lives, but it’s still not enough to derail the Thinker.
Spoilers ahead for “Think Fast,” the latest episode of The CW’s Flash, which aired Tuesday, May 15, 2018.
“It’s not a burden if we shoulder it together.” -Caitlin
Devoe is nigh unstoppable at this point, and uses all his powers to take over an Argus facility (sporting the face of John Diggle, no less) to take control of the metahuman Fallout (R.I.P. Neil Borman), who he uses as a battery to power his mind-wiping satellites. We get to see his full complement of powers on display during the opening scene, which is a literal symphony of violence as The Thinker makes short work of Argus’ finest and its litany of security measures. It’s a stunning scene, especially by CW standards, and brings to mind Marvel’s famed hallway fight scenes from Netflix’s Daredevil — just with a boatload of special effects tying it all together.
Devoe’s final steps to launching his Enlightenment serve as a catalyst for Team Flash to work through some lingering emotions from the death of Ralph Dibny and Barry’s lingering fear that he might lose another friend in this war. The only way to save the Argus agents being held hostage and still have a shot at thwarting Devoe’s launch is for Barry to bring Cisco and Caitlin into Flashtime so they can all roll at super-duper speed to save everyone. After seeing Dibny die right in front of him, Barry is dealing with the fact that he's still hesitant to send Cisco and Caitlin into the fray. It finally reaches a boiling point in an emotional moment between Barry and Cisco as Barry is once again reminded that sometimes he has to share the load if he wants to have a shot to save the day.
Unlike most of the team’s efforts to stop Devoe, the plan actually works — hostages are saved, and Barry uses the shrapnel grenade Amunet Black gave him to fry one of Devoe’s satellites. Sadly, the Thinker had already thought through that plan and had a contingency in place. He raids STAR Labs and hacks the insanely powerful super-computer Gideon, which was left over from Thawne’s tenure as Harrison Wells all the way back in Season 1. He also takes over a STAR Labs satellite to replace the one Barry destroyed. We fade to black with the Enlightenment underway and Devoe in full control of Gideon.
Iris and Harry also have a side mission to recruit Devoe’s recently estranged wife Marlize to help stop him from implementing his plan, and thanks to Harry’s newfound emotional intelligence, Team Flash might’ve just found a much-needed ally at the eleventh hour. Marlize’s story has arguably been one of the most compelling arcs this season; after seeing her literally brainwashed into submission before finally breaking free, it’s satisfying to see her finally take some agency and responsibility for her role in all this. We know Marlize didn’t always believe in Devoe’s vision, and if she can manage to recapture some of that agency.
He might seem to be devoid of emotion, but there’s no doubt Marlize’s exit is weighing on Devoe. His interactions with Barry make it clear he’s still spurned and bitter about her leaving, and if Team Flash can channel that, it could be a key weapon in the final fight.
*It’s always great to see Diggle show up for some crossover action, and true to form, we also get to see him throw up. The fact that Team Flash is literally preparing for it when he arrives only makes it funnier.
*Harry has lost quite a bit of his intelligence at this point, and seeing a clumsy, broken version of the character was both sad and hopeful. Harry relied on his intelligence so much, and with it stripped away, he’s still doing everything he can to stay in the fight. Plus, dude cannot recognize chairs.
*The running subplot of Team Flash visiting a therapist and confusing the heck out of her has made for a fun one. It also pulls at an interesting thread — how does a superhero process all those emotions after a tough day of battling evil?
*Cecile’s abilities take a strange turn this week, as she’s now literally being influenced by the minds she reads. That baby is coming soon.
*Big reveal on the Killer Frost front: Somehow, Caitlin had repressed a memory that she had Killer Frost inside her as a child — years before the particle accelerator accident that caused metahuman abilities. How? Yeah, that’s one big question mark.
Next week: Season finale time, as Barry hacks into Devoe/s mind? Will Flash save the day? Or is the entire Arrowverse getting its mind rebooted?