Barry has finally met the DeVoe he was warned about last season. Clifford DeVoe and his wife, Marlize, greet Barry at the door of their home just like any typical couple would. While they have the outer appearance of a happy, loving couple, we know that facade is far from the truth.
Teaching at the local university, Clifford DeVoe is known as a brilliant and kind professor. Marlize is his happy and supportive wife who keeps their home together. Their backgrounds are clean, and personalities only solidify the fact they are good people. To Team Flash, they are in no way the ones responsible for the onslaught of Metahumans.
Except for Barry, who spends the entire episode trying to prove that DeVoe is the Thinker– the one responsible for freeing him from the speed force. It’s an uncomfortable episode as Barry is made to be seen as an obsessed cop who is harassing the couple. Barry believes that the Council of Wells put them on their trail for a reason, so they must be living a double life. While he has little to back him up, one detail sticks out. Marlize holds two doctorates and seems happy to keep home; it doesn’t sit right with him. She’s brilliant; two doctorates show she loves learning, so why would she slow down to keep Clifford happy? He believes Marlize and Clifford work together to execute their ideas. A perfect couple indeed, but not one entirely “good.”
Barry is entirely right in his guesses, but without the support of his friends, he can’t prove it. We get a peek into Marlize and Clifford’s past, beginning four years ago, just before the particle explosion. The couple designed and built a machine capable of boosting Clifford’s brain capacity. The explosion is a perfect catalyst to power it, and it works as anticipated. The only drawback is his body– it can’t support him, and he ends up with an advanced form of ALS.
Other than bringing knowledge to the world, Clifford’s intentions are not entirely clear. Barry confronts him and doesn’t learn much else; the only thing he manages to confirm is Clifford’s identity of being the Thinker.
It’s a let down of a first meeting, with the Thinker being as brilliant as he is, you’d think the team would be led down a much more exciting game of cat and mouse. Next week begins the first crossover event of the season that happens to focus on Barry and Iris’ wedding. Wally returned right before the episode ended, so I’m excited to see a lot more people return as well for the event next week.