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The Flash: Subject 9

"You're not smart enough to stop me from getting what I want."

Team Flash is coming apart at the seams. The only upside is that Team DeVoe doesn't appear to be doing much better.

Barry may have been released from prison but that doesn't mean everyone believes he's innocent. As I stated in my previous review, in the land of meta-humans the fact that Clifford DeVoe is walking and talking does not necessarily guarantee he's not dead. Central City's new Mayor, anxious to restore her constituents' faith in their public servants, is not willing to take the risk. She asks that Barry take a leave of absence – indefinitely.

Barry's problems aren't limited to his job. The Thinker's continual victories are weighing heavily on him, particularly the death of Becky Sharpe. So, finding someone that poses a threat to The Thinker must have been an enormous temptation for Barry. But I'm not sure if I agree with the episode's apparent contention that Barry's losses are making him paranoid and pig-headed. Iris, the person who can be counted on to give Barry perspective and provide him with wisdom, states that he risks becoming ruthless like DeVoe and that he's "pushing too hard." And when Dibny accuses Barry of scaring Izzy away, he agrees.  But was Barry wrong? His argument that Izzy wasn't ready to face DeVoe was right on the money and now DeVoe has her life and her abilities to show for it.

Harry's frustrations rival Barry's. Harry has yet to figure out how to stop DeVoe or even to determine his endgame. For a man who prides himself on his intellect, this has to be galling. Add in Harry's deteriorating relationship with his daughter and his supposed rage issues and we have a recipe for the meltdown that is currently in progress.

I must admit that the pairing of Harry and D.A. Cecile Horton, as he insists on calling her, is as endearing as it is awkward. His desire for her goodwill coupled with Cecile's ability to read minds and her willingness to call a spade a spade led to multiple hijinks ensuing. It also led to the creation of the long foretold Cerebral Inhibitor. Maybe in an alternate version of the future, this device would have been successful, say prior to The Thinker absorbing Kilgore. As it currently stands, it just served as one final "F#$% you!" from Savitar.

While the rest of Team Flash seem to be maintaining their equilibrium, they are not the well-oiled machine they once were. The fact that no one bothered to check Izzy's social media in their search for her when that used to be step one, is a prime example. The only exception to this slow degeneration is Dibny. After securing both Barry's release and his position on Team Flash, Ralph is riding high. However, Ralph convincing Izzy they would keep her safe only to watch her die has to erode his trust in Team Flash just a little. If for no other reason than what does it say about their ability to save him?

Over at Chez DeVoe (can it be Chez if it's in a pocket dimension?), the decline in The Thinker's ability for human interaction seems to be in inverse correlation with the number of metas he's absorbed. Not only can Clifford no longer display any pretense of emotion, he cannot abide its existence in anyone else. He berates Marlize for rescuing him from Izzy's attack despite the fact that it probably saved his life. Marlize's displeasure with their new power dynamic is evident. Marlize must realize that Clifford no longer considers her his partner. Will there come a time when she considers him a threat?

And if you're thinking I've spent little time actually discussing Izzy Bowin, this week's bus-meta, you'd be correct. This is due to the fact that she exists only to further Dibny's redemption from misogynistic schmuck to full-fledged hero as well as another failure to undermine the confidence of Barry and Team Flash. It is not that most of our "Metas-Of-The-Week" haven't filled similar roles. However, Izzy can be added to the growing list that is more of a stereotype than a three-dimensional character.

That said, I'm willing to accept the argument that most of the more developed characters have their origins in the comics which can sometimes bring decades of backstory to bear. I realize that it is harder to create a nuanced character from whole cloth, especially when they will only exist for one or two episodes.

So what have we learned?

DeVoe can see when Cisco Vibes and can attack him in that state? How is that possible? Where exactly is Cisco when he vibes? Is Cisco in the location that he's viewing? When DeVoe attacked him he went flying back at S.T.A.R. Labs which would imply that his physical body remains where it was. Then what ability was DeVoe using to see him?

The more metas DeVoe absorbs the more dark matter he acquires and the faster his bodies deteriorate. What happens if he gets all twelve? Will their powers somehow balance each other out? Or will DeVoe go nuclear?

Team Flash believes that DeVoe's lair is in a pocket dimension. I have no reason to doubt them.

I have no qualms with this episode. It moved the overarching plot closer to the finale in an enjoyable if somewhat routine fashion. I was just hoping for something more.

3 out of 5 pocket dimensions

Parting Thoughts:

Unfortunately, Izzy's southern accent left a lot to be desired.

The Thinker can read minds, create living effigies, make anything smaller or larger, control any computerized system, and has infinite good luck. Now he can cause brain aneurysms? I don't see how Team Flash can defeat him and he hasn't even acquired all of his planned meta abilities yet. We're getting into dangerous territory where the finale cannot compete with the setup.

How did Kilgore's powers cause Vibe to use his? I'm starting to think I don't know nearly enough about how Cisco's powers work.


Cisco: "Question for the room, how did I get stuck doing the buddy system thing with Ralph?"

Dibny: "Ugh, country music. Music's tone-deaf stepchild."

Izzy: "Well, if it ain't business and it ain't pleasure than we've got nothing left to talk about, now do we?"

Dibny: "Soundwave. That's a great name."
Cisco: "It would be if it wasn't already taken by a Transformer."

Dibny: "Has anyone checked her website?"
Cisco: "Has anyone checked her website?  Dibs, of course, we've checked her website (looking around). No one has checked her website?"

Dibny: "So that evil chipmunk? She wants to kill me too."

Dibny: "I can tell you first hand that these amazing weirdos, they won't bail."

Marlize: "I'm doing all I can."
Clifford: "Yet, you've achieved precisely the opposite."

Cecile: "If I want to hear a grown man scream like a child, I will go home and listen to Joe's stress dreams about showing up naked to math class."

Barry: "He's not going to go easy on her so neither can I."

Cecile: "Harry, that was borderline sweet."

Harry: "What's that?  What are you all doing?  What are– What are those faces?"

Dibny: "This Turner don't need no Hooch."

Barry: "You like me. You really like me."

Shari loves sci-fi, fantasy, supernatural, and anything with a cape.


  1. An excellent review, Shari. I think this was the point when I lost track of DeVoe's meta powers. Too many and it gets confusing. I seem to remember having a similar problem with Heroes.

    I really like Harry and 'D.A. Cecile Horton.' It's really unexpected and cute.

  2. Late to the party here, but I'm enjoying reading through these.

    You've hit on a big problem with Vibe. It's not clear how his powers work, and it's not even clear what his powers are. He can sense facts about things by touching them...travel anywhere...fire repulser beams...there seems to be no logic to it.


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