REVIEW: The Flash, S4 Ep07 – Therefore I Am

“Therefore I Am,” the seventh episode in The Flash‘s current fourth season, finally gives us some details on who The Thinker really is. In last week’s episode, “When Harry Met Harry…”, The Council of Wells deciphered that the man responsible for creating a busload of meta-humans is an unassuming, disabled college professor named Clifford Devoe. Through flashback sequences “Therefore I Am” tells the secret origin of Clifford Devoe and how his run-in with Harrison Wells’ particle accelerator explosion turned him into the person he is today. Meanwhile, despite the feelings of his teammates, Barry is convinced that Devoe is more than what he seems and won’t give up until he can prove it.

The Devoes are not what they seem

The flashback sequences in this episode do a fine job at telling Devoe’s story and humanizing the character. While it still doesn’t give us all the answers we desire – like the specific reason behind Devoe creating new meta-humans – we learn a lot about him and his wife, Marlize, and can even sympathize with their plight. After finding out that Wells’ particle accelerator explosion struck Devoe’s “thinking cap,” causing him to become highly intelligent and able to determine every answer and outcome, he gradually becomes ill with an advanced form of ALS.

Other than knowing that Devoe is this season’s big bad, so far there isn’t much reason to believe he is a true super villain based on his origin. He is simply a broken man with an extraordinary gift and a devoted and loving wife. Marlize, who is also responsible for perfecting Devoe’s “thinking cap,” also created the chair he sits in as a means of prolonging his life.

Overall, these parts of “Therefore I Am” were very well told and gave us an idea of who Marlize and Clifford Devoe are as people, though we still need to learn more to find out why they are villains. The flashback sequences even brought us back to The Flash‘s series premiere, and did a seamless job at interweaving new footage with old and showing us Harrison Wells’ historic particle accelerator explosion from another viewpoint. Wells – who we later found out was Eobard Thawne/The Reverse Flash in disguise – even hints at knowing who Devoe will become, which would make sense since Thawne was from the future.

The other side of “Therefore I Am” focuses on Barry trying everything he can to find proof of Devoe’s deception, despite the objections from Iris and the rest of the team. Barry interrogates Devoe on school grounds leading to Clifford and Marlize submitting a complaint against the CCPD. Refusing to let up, Barry illegally enters Devoe’s home in an attempt to find any evidence that would prove his guilt. This is after Barry finally finds the hidden camera left in the Samuroid helmet. These acts lead to further complaints to the CCPD, as the Devoe’s have surveillance cameras in their home and video evidence of Barry in their house. Shame on you, Barry, for not wearing a mask.

Joe and Barry question the Devoes

Seeing this side of Barry was definitely interesting, but thinking back to that series premiere we know how great of a forensic detective Barry is. He probably should have played this part a bit safer. Maybe his determination and arrogance led him to making some mistakes. What was more annoying, though, was Team Flash’s reactions to Barry being convinced that Devoe is more than what he seems. Every season’s big bad on this series has been someone unassuming that turned out to be more than what they seemed. Harrison Wells turned out to be Thawne in disguise, Zoom turned out to be Jay Garrick in disguise, and Savitar was Barry Allen himself. Barry probably deserved the benefit of the doubt this time around, all things considered.

With Barry being suspended from the CCPD, “Therefore I Am” concludes with Devoe finally revealing himself in secret to Barry and admitting he knows that Barry is The Flash. Still, Barry has no proof of this, but at least his team believes him, leading to their apologies. By the end, Devoe’s true intentions are not revealed and Barry and Team Flash decide to take a break and focus on the upcoming wedding.

“Therefore I Am” turned out to be one of this season’s more serious episodes, as the previous six featured a lot of humor. This episode rightfully toned things down a bit in order to give us a sense of Devoe’s dark backstory, but there were still some bright moments. One moment in particular was the return of Wally West. We can only imagine what he’ll get into with the rest of the team in next week’s 4-series crossover event, “Crisis on Earth-X.”