This season of The Flash has been a change-up all the way through, and that format-busting approach carried through the season finale in a big way. Plus, we got a whole lot of set-up for Season 5.
Spoilers ahead for “We are the Flash,” the latest episode of The Flash, which aired May 22, 2018 on The CW.
When The Flash introduced Devoe, aka The Thinker, as the season’s big bad it was clear we’d be getting something different that the usual speedster battle that has been a staple of every finale up to this point. “We are the Flash” delivered in spades, with the final face off literally taking place in Devoe’s mind, and it wasn’t even Barry who delivered the winning strike. The episode’s title has become a mantra for the season, as Barry slowly learned to trust the heroes around him and share the load of saving Central City.
We’ve seen him do that more and more this year, even after the approach got Dibny (seemingly) killed and his body taken over by Devoe. Thankfully, that death was reversed in the season finale in a way that actually didn’t cheapen the emotions of his passing in the first place. When Barry went full Inception into Devoe’s mind, the plan was to search out any “good” that’s left within his psyche (which is drenched in lens flare for some reason). The remnants of Devoe’s original self have long since died inside his heart and mind, making him essentially irredeemable, but the wasn’t the only good inside him. On his vision quest Barry runs across his old pal Dibny, still hiding out deep in Devoe’s mind, essentially a prisoner within his own body.
Turns out they didn’t need the “good” Devoe to make a stand — the goodness of good ol’ Dibny was more than enough to give The Thinker a run for his money. In a classic bit of counterpunch, its Dibny’s unique style that actually lets he and Barry fight their way through a Matrix-style, never-ending supply of Devoe mental clones. The trick? Think about nothing, and Devoe can’t read your mind. So Dibny thinks about all the different types of shrimp he wants to eat, and the obligatory CGI slugfest is on. It’s a silly moment, but certainly on theme. How do you beat The Thinker? Don’t think. No one is better at that than Dibny.
The resurrection of Ralph Dibny also served another point, namely that it’s not Flash alone who takes down Devoe. It’s Barry and Dibny, working side by side, with the full support of Team Flash in the real world to make it happen. Barry has assembled an amazing crew around him, and he’s finally starting to trust them to help bear the weight of the world. Literally.
Along with taking out Devoe and resurrecting Dibny, the finale also answered another question that’s been lingering for much of the season: The identity of Mystery Girl. Turns out the prevailing theory was correct. She crashes Joe and Cecile’s baby welcome party to tell the gang she is Barry and Iris’ future daughter, Nora. Comic fans will note Barry and Iris’ daughter is actually named Dawn, but it seems they made the change for the Arrowverse as a nod to Barry’s late mother. Which obviously makes sense. She’s traveled back in time (a few times) because she’s made some grand mistake and needs the help of her future parents to right the wrong. Considering how they’ve threaded her through so much of the year, it looks like this will be a major plot point next season. And considering the setup, it has the potential to be a very fun one.
Also of note: She delivers the “This house is bitchin’” line that Barry mentioned way back in the season premiere after coming back from the Speed Force, so this is certainly a story they’ve been setting up for a while now.
The finale had a lot of threads to pay off, and wisely focused more on heart than plot. Team Flash is stronger together, and its that bond that helped them defeat an enemy who, for all intents and purposes, should’ve been unbeatable. Now that’s a message that’s true to the heart of The Flash.
*After being unemployed for a chunk of the season Capt. Singh leaves Barry a message letting him know he can get his job back. The call is interrupted by the Enlightenment, but it sounds like Barry will be back at CCPD next season.
*Dibny is back! He joins up with the team for the final fight to stop the falling satellite, and looks to be sliding back into his role with Team Flash nicely. He made for a great addition, and it’s encouraging to see him back in the fold. Here’s hoping he sticks around for a long, long time.
*Joe and Cecile had their baby! Look for parenthood to be a fun subplot next season. Also, it seems Cecile’s psychic powers are gone now that the baby’s arrived, so that story looks to have run its course.
*Marlize Devoe has had an interesting arc this season, and though we got to see the utter moral collapse of her husband, she ultimately chose a more hopeful path. She helped Team Flash ultimate derail her husband’s plot, and ended the episode heading off into the sunset to try and help better the world. It was an unexpected ending for her story, but a satisfying one. Here’s hoping she jumps back in and saves the world herself, one village at a time.
*It seems we’ll be getting yet another new Wells next season, which isn’t much of a surprise. Tom Cavanagh is still a main cast member next year, but a very changed version of Harry is headed home to Earth-2 in an effort to reconnect with his estranged daughter. After losing his intellect, Marlize shares a device that “fixes” Harry, but doesn’t actually return his intelligence. This Harry 2.0 might not have all the science know-how, but he’s found his heart. It was an interesting (if abrupt) end to that story, and here’s hoping we get to check in on Harry next year at some point to see how he’s doing.
*So what was up with Cecile’s bizarre growl while talking to Caitlin? Was she channeling Killer Frost? Something else? For what it’s worth, she said: “I found Thomas he’s been this way all the time.” Yeah, look for more on that next year. It’s simply too random to have dropped for no reason.
*Speaking of weird stuff: Harry is tapping into the same Speed Force babbling and drawing that Barry did when he escaped the Speed Force at the start of the season. What does it mean? Considering Mystery Girl’s identity, we’d look for more next season.
*We get to check in with Wally, though viewers of Legends of Tomorrow know what he’s been up to anyway. He tells Joe he’s really found a place with his new team, and yeah, he’s a great fit for the Waverider crew.