The Flash Season 3 Finale ended on a bit of a knife-edge, to say the least.
Sure, not as cliffhangery as it’s green hooded compatriot, but some would say we were left with even more questions than answers.
Barry Allen has given himself up to the Speed Force after defeating Savitar aka Barry Allen in order to stop the Speed Force Storm destroying Central City. This means Wally has been promoted from Kid Flash to Flash (and presumably gets to wear red for a while) and we reckon Jay Garrick might stick around to mentor and help Wally out… not that Barry done a good job of this anyway, really. *looks at long list of moments when Barry was a dick to Wally*
However, the inevitable is that another big bad will come along. Wally, Jay & probably Jesse will have no problem dealing with the petty crime and C-List Metas that try to take advantage in Barry’s absence. While villains of the week & bank robberies won’t be too much of a challenge, a proper sinister and talented nemesis seeking world domination/end of the Flash/insert as appropriate etc etc. will be a different story.
So, let’s look at our big bad for Season 4. Arguably we are all suffering Speedster fatigue, unless it’s Thawne. We’ll all take more Thawne – but we know already that we won’t be dealing with a Speedster villain. The evidence we have been given thus far points to another key villain in the Flash mythos (two name drops is enough, right?!). Clifford DeVoe aka The Thinker.
DeVoe’s origin is one based in law. He was a District Attorney in Keystone City who bottled a case and turned to providing alibis & legal precedents to criminals for a pay-day. He also possesses a genius level intellect that is key to his villainous prowess. Now, given that we’ve already had the DA turn rogue with Adrian Chase on Arrow last season it would make more sense to come up a different origin for DeVoe’s Thinker.
Here at Nerd Lowdown Towers feel that the best way to portray this version of The Thinker is to take that genius intellect that DeVoe possesses and place him within the Advanced Sciences/Defence division of one of the DC Universes many & sometimes dodgy corporations – Mercury Labs, STAR Labs, Kord Industries
even ARGUS and have him fired in disgrace for ambitious but immoral ideas and devices (Ed. – Maybe not ARGUS, they’d love that shit). When the Speed Force Storm lands, he gets struck by the lightning. Instead of getting superspeed, as would usually be the case, it is his intellect that gets a meta boost from the Speed Force Storm and possibly even become connected to the Speed Force. This would be a pretty fresh take and show that the Speed Force can nurture brain and not just brawn as we have seen so far. And thus, The Thinker is born.
DeVoe, now with the ability to be five or six steps ahead of Team Flash at all times, unites The Rogues in an attempt to fulfil their goal (get rid of The Flash/Flashes) as well as whatever ulterior motive DeVoe has. Whether it’s coming up with traps, escapes, or picking teams of Rogues for missions based on particular weaknesses in Team Flash, Wally & co. can’t keep on top of the madness and Central City has officially gone to shit. So what do our heroes do to try to save the world?
That’s right. You’ve guessed it. They run into the Speed Force and break Barry out – that’s if the Speed Force doesn’t let Barry out first telling him he has a longer race to run etc. A cop-out that should only happen after six or so episodes but will inevitably happen after two, much like Flashpoint – but if you don’t expect anything, you’re not disappointed I suppose. We’ve come to expect predictability and convenience happenings in the Arrowverse and some would say it’s almost part of its charm at this stage.
We’re then set on a course of Barry struggling against/defeating the Rogues until the reveal that The Thinker is the true mastermind behind what is happening, the reveal that it is DeVoe himself and then the bombshell that he is actually connected to the Speed Force presenting a whole new challenge to Team Flash. Team Flash then create the Cerebral Inhibitor as mentioned by Savitar and cut off DeVoe’s mental connection to the Speed Force. Everyone’s happy, and then pre-season 5 twist to finish.
While much of this writes itself, it is what The Thinker brings to The Flash series rather than what happens is where the interest really lies. The Speed Force is and always has been such a key aspect throughout the three series of The Flash we have got so far and given how Season 3 ended, it would be hard to set it aside. Showing that it can create more than just Speedsters, rather than have the Thinker as just another Meta would set up a precedence to do similar things in future seasons of The Flash. Instead of being physically faster than The Flash, DeVoe will be mentally faster and will out think Barry & co. before they have time to take any action against them. With the Rogues providing the brawn, we’ve got an entirely new challenge for Team Flash apart from the old adage “RUN BARRY, RUN!”.
Season 4 of The Flash will return on the CW October 2017.
Optional Sub-Plot: Bart Allen (descendant of Barry) comes back from the future to warn Team Flash about a future where DeVoe has used his brain power to become immortal/time travel and conquer Central City/The World in the 25th Century (thus linking him to Thawne). After being name dropped in the Barry Memory Loss episode, it would seem that the producers have Bart Allen on their minds and would probably love to feature him at least once. If you get Bart into the mix, you’ve completed the full set of core Speedsters – Barry, Wally, Jay, Jesse & Bart. Good luck explaining Bart is Barry’s grandson but from 500+ years in the future, writers!
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