Tomorrow is the Season 4 finale of The Flash, and everyone is gearing up to take on Clifford DeVoe (Neil Sandilands), aka the Thinker, in what has been described as an Inception-style episode. Seems that shaking things up a bit in terms of the type of antagonist Team Flash will be going toe-to-toe with is a trend that executive producer Todd Helbing is keen on continuing.
Because let's face it, what was refreshing about this season’s Big Bad was that it was the first time The CW superhero series didn’t feature a speedster as the main villain after Team Flash took on Reverse-Flash during the first season, Zoom in Season 2, and Savitar last year.
Speaking to Entertainment Weekly, Helbing opened up on how he feels they’ve done by choosing a non-speedster villain this season and trying to humanize him to the max; the lessons they feel they’ve learned with DeVoe; and what it means for Season 5.
“I think up until now, the Reverse-Flash, to me, was probably our best version of a villain, but the reason for that is because we got to know Thawne as a man. He was Harrison Wells all season, he had an easy want. It was just, 'I just want to go home,' right?” Helbing told EW. “With DeVoe, we got to see this love story and this evolution of a couple and how, at one point, you see where this whole idea originated for the Enlightenment, and how technology and ideas can get corrupted, and that parallels this relationship with Marlize and Clifford. Any time you can humanize your villain, it makes it land a lot more, so it’s not so much about the powers and what a metahuman has — if they’re speedsters or not, or if they’re just this amazing computer mind that the Thinker has — but I think it’s more about telling a human story that’s gonna land with the audience. So that is certainly something that we’ve taken into account for the next season, and we are going to probably be more in that lane.”
It’s a fact that humanizing your villain is a sure way to make the audience connect with the story that's being told. So yes, definitely more of that, please.
Titled “We Are the Flash,” the Season 4 finale will end on two cliffhangers. Helbing says the first one will finally provide the answer as to the identity of Mystery Girl (Jessica Parker Kennedy, who first appeared at the WestAllen wedding in the Crisis on Earth-X crossover and has made several appearances since) and how she’ll play in the coming season.
The "potential" second one will be setting up the stage for the fifth season’s villain. “It depends on how the cut turns out, but yeah. We filmed something that will be up next season, and most people that are familiar with comics will probably be able to deduce who the Big Bad is for next season,” Helbing said.
Anyone want to take a wild guess as to who the Season 5 Big Bad could be?
The Season 4 finale of The Flash airs May 22 on The CW.