This week we finally got the answers we were searching for!
This season’s biggest mystery and question: What in the world is Devoe’s (Neil Sandilands) ‘plan of enlightenment?’” In “Therefore She Is,” we finally got the answer to that question and it is nuts. This week’s episode was filled with flashbacks of Devoe and Marlize’s (Kim Engelbrecht) developing love story, which has now turned dark. Through the flashbacks, we learned Devoe believes technology is a disease and will only turn the world into madness. Thanks to Cecile (Danielle Nicolet) and Harry (Tom Cavanagh), Team Flash learned Devoe’s plan is to wipe every one of their intelligence and to revert them back into a “simplified state.” In other words, if his plan succeeds, everyone in the world will forget everything they have known. Talk about a super-evil plan!
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To foil Devoe’s plan, the team enlisted the help of Gypsy (Jessica Lisa Camacho) to get double the vibe power. Her relationship with Cisco (Carlos Valdes) take a huge hit, as the two fought over their time, or lack thereof, together. Turns out living on two different Earths wasn’t the ideal scenario for a relationship!
Caitlin (Danielle Panabaker) is pretty hellbent in retrieving her alter-ego back to the point where she could’ve gotten herself killed in a mission and put the team at risk. When Iris (Candice Patton) told her that there were different ways in getting her back together, Caitlin emphasized that she was going to get her back alone. Just don’t get yourself killed in the process, Caitlin!
Here to discuss relationships, evil plans, and more is our The Flash roundtable!
Vanessa (@westallenallure) – Rambling and Flash extraordinaire.
Jessica (@newsflash52) – Lover of all things DC, especially The Flash and Iris WestAllen, and podcast host for Ladies w Gumption.
Alexis (@alexiswaverider) – Hope we are less screwed in 2018.
Chelsea (@flezrasbarry) – Ezra Miller and Barry Allen fangirl.
Will Polk (@willmpolk) – Blerd @SceneNNerd podcast producer with host @sjbelmont, Flash fan.
1. So many Marvoe flashbacks tonight! What did you think about how it weaved into their story?
Vanessa (@westallenallure): I’d first like to say that I wish they didn’t make DeVoe treat Marlize so horrifically and they would’ve stuck with them being evil partners honestly devoted to each other because I would’ve been swooning for the flashbacks. Bad. Moving on from that, I like how we see that there was indeed a deep connection there, their initial genuine chemistry, and how it started falling apart. It was interesting to find out about how Marlize was always skittish about ‘The Enlightenment,’ as she has shown in present day before. Also, I enjoyed seeing that DeVoe’s plan, although pretty nonsensical; wasn’t initially as perverted as it is now. They really conveyed how too much power can consume, cloud, and corrupt who you are.
Jessica (@newsflash52): I thought it was really to see into their past, and how maybe Marlize had always seen their relationship through rose-colored glasses. Hey! She and a certain Girl of Steel have something in common. Looking back, there were always signs that he was crazy, and she ignored or glossed over them because she loved him. Within the show, I think it also shows that the Devoes aren’t just now following apart because Clifford’s being affected by his meta powers. This monster was always there, and the flashbacks help show that.
Alexis (@alexiswaverider): Their origin story was completely different than I had imagined earlier in the season. It turns out that Clifford has always had abusive tendencies towards Marlize and it made me question what she saw in him in the first place. Although it wasn’t entirely clear, I wouldn’t be shocked if Clifford had orchestrated that attack in Kenya in an effort to “win” her back and get her to join his cause.
Will (@willmpolk): This is the episode we’ve all been waiting for and while I really enjoyed the flashbacks, I really wished that they had sprinkled all these points in over the course of the entire season. I think if they had done that it would have made Devoe a dangerous villain throughout, instead of a bland boring one while he was collecting the various bus metas. However, that being said, as I noted earlier here or on our @SceneNNerd podcast, they are finishing strong for the most part. Devoe’s ultimate goal is a form of dystopian eugenics, great stakes for the end game, but damn feel like they missed an opportunity in how it was rolled out.
Chelsea (@flezrasbarry): I think Marlize finally getting a point of view was much overdue. It provided insights as to why she was so loyal to her husband and his cause. It also showed how much the relationship had devolved since DeVoe took on this route for “Enlightenment.” It was also a nice callback to “Therefore I Am” and the Thinker’s origin story. It started with “I’m nothing without you” and now it’s “you’re nothing without me.” It was also interesting to see how they were paralleled with WestAllen in “Therefore I Am” as a couple who are on the same page and love and value each other more than anything. While in this episode they were paralleled with Cynco showing how when two people no longer want the same things, and can’t seem to agree on things, they are meant to drift apart.
2. Barry tried to be a therapist this week. What did you think of the advice Iris gave him?
Vanessa: Iris’ advice is always good and it was very poignant. Barry is known for being kind of a meddler, even if it’s from a good-hearted place; but he does need to learn that not everything is up to him and people need to sort things their way. Not to mention, his intentions are pure but with the mindset that he needs Cynco to fix things so they can continue stopping DeVoe – something that he did with Izzy and see how that worked out. That being said, I loved getting to see Barry and Cynthia interacting, Iris spurring to action Barry’s brain as a lightning rod would, and how soft Barry was trying to give relationship advice. He does ‘relationship’ well but not the ‘advice’ part.
Jessica: Barry is certainly no Leo Snart or Sharon Finkle lol. His motivations to mend Cisco and Cynthia’s relationship weren’t exactly the purest. He needed them on the same page to stop Devoe, and, as a speedster, he’s a little impatient, so he tried to rush the situation. I think Iris was right to advise Barry to slow down. It’s not their job to fix their friends’ relationship. They should just listen (like really listen) and support. Let things work out the way they are going to work out.
Alexis: Barry was very pushy towards Cisco and Cynthia this episode. As much as you love someone, sometimes you just have to let them be proactive in solving their problems. Your role as a friend or loved one is to be by their side encouraging and supporting them as needed. So yes, Iris as always is absolutely right which again indicates why she’s Barry’s tether and voice of reason for the show.
Will: Barry once again shows that while his heart is in a good place, Iris was correct in telling him what she did. People need time and space to work through their issues. Him forcing that could have turned sideways for him and Cisco, thankfully it did not. I think the lesson Barry needed there was that if people want or need help they should ask for it. In any relationship, folks that are helpers by nature have to fight that impulse to jump in and solve the problem that their friends or significant others are dealing with and speaking from experience, sometimes all they need is just someone to listen.
Chelsea: Barry is a terrible relationship counselor, let’s be real. I don’t know that he helped anything, and just made it worse. I think when he’s laser-focused on a mission, he loses sight that some things are just complicated and he can’t just patch people together just because he needs them to get from point A to point B. I think Iris’ advice to him was spot on and I always love how she’s cautiously optimistic. I think it’s also a testament to how she’s more emotionally mature in dealing with people and never stops being cautiously optimistic which is what makes her a great leader.
3. Cisco and Cynthia went through the ringer. What did you think about the ending of their relationship?
Vanessa: I got really emotional. Jessica Camacho really showcased her range when she started crying and questioning why she was the way she was – it felt so incredibly real. I hope this isn’t the end of Cynco and I fully expect them to get back together because I love them and the writers can’t hate me that much. In fact, I think we can see Cynthia come to Earth 1 and be a regular on the show.
Jessica: It was painful! I’m really sad, but what could they do at that point? Neither of them wanted to move or force the other into a situation that would make them unhappy. Even though Cynthia liked where the way they were, I’m glad Cisco stood his ground for his emotional health and what he wanted out of a relationship. And I also like that he didn’t force her to choose. Their goodbye was bittersweet, but I’m hoping this isn’t the end for them.
Alexis: They were my favorite couple in the show’s history alongside Barry and Iris and Joe and Cecile. As much as I want them to stay together, I do think they each had a valid perspective on their relationship and how far they were willing or not willing to go for it. In the end, I felt it was a realistic choice. I, however, hope this isn’t the last we’ve seen of Cynthia.
Will: Aside from the real world of actress Jessica Camacho getting a new gig, storywise it made sense, as Cisco has been wanting more and Gypsy would not or could not give it. Hopefully, he finds some happiness in a relationship. I have to give him props though that he did not demand that she give up her job to move from Earth-19 to Earth 1.
Chelsea: I thought the ending was a little abrupt. I would have loved to see Cisco pace back and forth between taking the job and potentially more moments leading up to this episode with Cynthia so we could have more of a sense of how they wanted different things out of each other instead of just being told they did. I do understand that with Jessica’s other commitments they were limited on this.
4. Caitlin seems hellbent on getting Killer Frost back. How do you feel her about desperation in getting her back?
Vanessa: I’m honestly so disconnected from that storyline because Caitlin’s treatment of her meta powers does a complete 360 every couple of episodes it seems. I like the idea of her being at peace with her now and actually appreciating her but the development was nonexistent except sticky notes and Killer Frost relatively stoically saying to look after Caitlin in “Enter Flashtime.” Moreover, a big thing that doesn’t let me invest in her is the lack of consequence she faces for her actions which further regresses any sense of growth the writers want to display. It takes away from the characters “history,” which also doesn’t give her any substantial ties to the character. I overall feel like, why invest if things will change soon and her arc will morph into something else?
Jessica: Caitlin is starting to go a little “mad scientist” crazy in her desperation to bring Killer Frost. It’s selfish, and she’s not being a team player right now. Clearly her going out onto the field was not a part of the original team plan, and because she went out onto the field to provoke Devoe, Cynthia was punished for it and almost died. You would think an experience like that would sober her thinking of going off on her own, but at the baby shower, she again makes the point that she’ll will get Killer Frost back, without the team’s help. Nora’s (Dawn) look from “Enter Flashtime” is starting to make a little more sense.
Alexis: I felt like the writers were aiming for the “grass isn’t greener on the other side” lesson for her character but they completely missed the mark. The way this story has unfolded is nothing to write home about. She’s spent two seasons trying to get rid of Frost which has directly led to HR’s death and put various team members, especially Iris, through the ringer. Which by the way, she has not apologized for. Frost leaves her two post-it notes and she’s suddenly hellbent on putting the team in harm’s way to bring back her dual alter-ego? I’m sorry but I’m just not buying it. One thing that has been consistent about Caitlin however, is her selfishness and willingness to betray the team for her own benefit.
Will: This is where the writers failed on the front end to fully develop the basis for Earth 1 Killer Frost and the true nature of Caitlin and Killer Frost, especially from season 3 when she went to her mom’s lab to try to look for away to possibly end her to where we are now. Now on the backend, they are trying to push this narrative they need each other. I get it, but not fully buying it.
Chelsea: No, I completely don’t understand why she’s desperate to get her back. Yes it was nice to see them finally getting along through post-it notes, but her relationship with Team Flash is far closer and Killer Frost is still a liability and danger to these people. It’s also weird to me that no one on the team has expressed any hesitation and they are fully onboard in getting her back instead of focusing on taking down DeVoe. I mean could Killer Frost assist Team Flash in taking him down? Yes but it’s a crap shoot at this point and DeVoe is so many steps ahead of them, it just feels like misplaced time and effort.
5. The Mystery Girl reappeared this week. We all have our theories as to who she is, but why do you think she’s here?
Vanessa: She’s Dawn Allen, that’s first of all, so jot that down. Secondly, I always thought that she and Don, whom I fully expect to be a thing, went back in time and he got lost so she went looking for and made a pitstop to the present time for guidance. But the latest episode changed my whole perspective and I think we’re gearing up for a crazy Season 5 in which the future from where Westallen lineage resides is very messed up. Whether it’s newly enforced rules against metahumans, she is coming from a point in time where the Flash family is obliterated, or something happened to Don which is why we haven’t seen him — it’s something big. The different moods we’ve seen her in is something to keep analyzing though because they vary and skews the audience from picking a certain and exact theory. I’m excited, nonetheless.
Jessica: Since Iris seems to be the only person that Nora-Dawn is afraid of seeing in the past, it makes me think that something may have happened in the future and a lot of the other characters are no longer around. Knowing all the trouble Barry caused by messing with the timeline, her mother (Iris), would probably not approve of her daughter altering the timeline, even if it is to bring Barry back since Dawn’s future will be post-2024 when Barry disappears. So, maybe, Nora-Dawn is hoping to alter the past enough that Barry won’t disappear and will be able to prevent whatever happens in the future.
Alexis: It was obvious by her resisting a face to face meeting with Iris, that she’s Westallen’s daughter who maybe has a strained relationship with her mother in the future. Or she’s afraid that Iris will make the connection straightaway like any mother would. Either way, it’s clear the writers are saving the Iris-Mystery Girl meet for last. If you weren’t convinced she was Westallen’s offspring, her purple and orange lightning confirmed it. She’s here to warn Barry and Iris about an impending danger which will set up season 5.
Will: Just a reminder that I’m still here. I’ve gone everywhere from her being West-Allen daughter (Dawn), to Joe and Cecile’s kid, to it being Thawne (given the menacing looks and awareness of the future), to it being a version of Impulse for this show or let me toss this out maybe Wally’s kid. At this point, I think she will provide an assist to Team Flash in beating Devoe.
Chelsea: I believe with her line about time is precious, and present matters there is clearly something ominous that happened in the future. She’s likely heard stories about Flashpoint and the hazards of time travel. She’s also been very careful in her interactions to avoid causing any issues with the timeline. It leads me to believe there is something very drastic that happens which gives the girl no choice and to make her way back.
6. Marlize finally stepped out of Clifford’s life. Do you have any theories as to what her next move is?
Vanessa: She is definitely helping the team defeat DeVoe. It was obvious that she was not on board with what the plan was becoming for a while now and given that the flashbacks showcased how she was always skittish about it. You can see that the doubt was always there but highly suppressed (also with the help of Weeper’s tears). Personally, I think Iris will play a big part in that. It’d be interesting that they fought and then they got to work together. That’s a peculiar and comical twist, I think.
Jessica: Just that I hope she helps Team Flash! Maybe, hearing how Marlize stood up to Clifford to spare Cynthia’s life, Iris will think they may be able to persuade her to join them and will track her down. Fingers crossed for investigative Iris!
Alexis: Her next and logical move would be to align herself with Barry and his team to stop Clifford.
Will: Well everyone called this one and at this point, I like how they brought things full circle with them showing the debate, how she first read his journal for his endgame for the human race. It was a good move with her leaving and then having the incident while she was in the Peace Corps causing her to come to his way of thinking. Finally, to the end of episode finally moving on with that damn chair and using it against him. Again, nice callback to last week with him not calculating for love and now not calculating for his own arrogance causing him to become estranged from his wife being a part of his downfall. She will help Team Flash in some form or fashion to help her redeem herself after being an accomplice to the all the murders she was a part of.
Chelsea: I think her next move will definitely be to stop DeVoe. She understands her husband is too far gone and if he were to have his way it can only hurt everyone. The fact that he cut her off so quickly also means she’s literally fighting for herself and intelligence. She might even consider joining Team Flash.
7. Do you think there is any hope for Cisco and Cynthia’s relationship?
Vanessa: They’re getting back together. They have to. I think they’ve set them up really well and they have the characters hold each other to a very high regard – there’s no way they can just evaporate that. I mean, they can, but I don’t want it and it’s quite illogical.
Jessica: They still are very much in love with each other so there’s always hope!
Alexis: Absolutely. There’s room for their relationship to be explored further in season 5.
Will: Only if they recast the actress, lol. No seriously maybe down the road they will get back together, but I’m glad the writers didn’t use the trope of her almost losing her life to decide to stay with him for now.
Chelsea: I think if Cisco was to realize that having Cynthia in his life is more important than a commitment and all that jazz or if Cynthia were to realize she does want the same things as Cisco, it might. They clearly love each other.
Relationships were at the center of this week’s episode and we loved it!
”Therefore She Is” had an underlying theme, and that was the importance of calling out the cracks in a relationship when you see them. The flashbacks between Devoe and Marlize were the highlights, as we got an insight into not only the origin of their plan, but Marlize’s doubts in their relationship from the beginning. Recent episodes of The Flash alluded to Marlize’s “betrayal” of her husband, and we’re not sure to even call it betrayal because the poor woman was a victim of an abusive relationship. To much relief, Marlize outsmarted Devoe and left her husband, so she’s finally free to live her best life — whatever that may be. We’re very curious as to what her next move is. Will she join forces with Team Flash to take him down? These are the current questions we are actually glad to have!
The Mystery Girl (Jessica Parker Kennedy) made an appearance, and her scene simultaneously answered questions that we had, along with creating new ones. Joe (Jesse L. Martin) threw a surprise baby shower for Cecile in Westallen’s home, and the guest list only consisted of Team Flash — that was until the doorbell rang and a familiar face (to the audience) showed up with a gift! Cecile answers the door and the Mystery Girl gifted her a diaper bag, which she said came from people who understood the importance of time, seeing as how they don’t have that much of it left — “relatively speaking” she mumbled next. Who doesn’t have a lot of time left?
Iris seems to be the only member of Team Flash that hasn’t come into contact with the Mystery Girl, and now we have a sense of why. When she sees Iris coming to the door, the girl quickly leaves and hides. Iris steps out of the doorway to see who delivered the gift, but the girl was gone. The camera pans to the girl in hiding with a worried face, then speeds off with purple and yellow lightning! Not only is she a speedster, but the color of her lightning is that of Barry and Iris’ combined! Come on people, she’s definitely their future daughter!
While we are glad the show finally answered the ‘what is Devoe’s ‘plan of enlightenment’” question, we’re afraid that storyline has run its course. The Mystery Girl may be this season’s saving grace, and we can’t wait to find out more about her origin.
Next week, Team Flash enlists another person’s help: Amunet Black (Katee Sackhoff). We are sticking around to find out why they would need the help of one of their enemies!