Last night’s episode of The Flash was a weird one, as it allowed a lot of the season’s storylines to wrap up before the big crossover, but also introduced DeVoe for real, and gave the character some motivation – but nowhere near enough. Be warned, spoilers follow.
1. A team of flip-floppers
This episode showed Team Flash being both overly trusting and overly forgiving. At first, they couldn’t understand Barry’s obsession with DeVoe (honestly, neither could I), but as soon as it turns out that DeVoe knows he’s the Flash, they can’t apologize soon enough. It was nice seeing the team have a little backbone, because Barry was acting a little whacked out. But not whacked out enough for them to dismiss him outright.
This is what I don’t get – Barry is being a little obsessive, sure, but he’s their leader, and it takes until he’s suspended from work for breaking and entering for anyone to ask him, “Yo dude, what’s up?”
The team clearly wants2. DeVoe’s motivation is…
…I’m still not sure. I mean, we know how he became a meta, and what his power are, but can anyone tell me why he’s targeting Barry? Was I zoning out and missed it? It seems like he’s just bored because he’s so smart, and so wants to try something new, like vigilante hunting.
3. Mrs. DeVoe
I know that I tend to relate both things back to The Sopranos, but Mrs. DeVoe reminded me a lot of Charmaine Bucco – a hustler who didn’t take no for an answer, and who pushed her (sometimes overly emotional) husband to do great things (there was also a physical resemblance). I liked that the show gave this man of immense intellect not just a strong, supportive wife, but also one that had guts and motivation to make some serious waves. While the character maybe got played a little too transparent from the beginning, it was a rare instance of the show giving us a fully formed couple – we get lots of new loves, but very few established ones.
4. Wally’s back!
Hey, Wally’s back! Nothing else to say here really, but he’s back!
5. Hokey threat mongering
Barry was acting like a maniac all episode, crossing lines that he would never have crossed in the past, all because in his gut, DeVoe felt more serious than prior villains, or so he says. Sorry Barrold, but I call bullshit on this. You saw Savitar literally kill your fiance, and this guy scares you based on just the fact that two villains namedropped him?
I know the show has to make it seem like each season’s big bad is worse than the last, but there are ways to do that with more nuance than just having Barry say “I just feel it in my bones, yo!” Or, maybe the show shouldn’t have shot its three speedster wads back to back to back. Or reduced the Rogues to nothing. Or chose not to make Grodd a season-long villain.
My point is this: if you want the Thinker the season’s main villain, figure out why he’s scary, and then build the season around that. This seems like they decided on him as the big bad, and then forgot to prepare, and then had to bullshit their way through a presentation to the network about how the season would progress.
“So…uh…there’s this guy…and he’s super smart. And he sits in a thing that’s sort of like the Mobius chair…and he’s the deadliest villain because he’s…smart?”
Next week: the big crossover!