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The Flash: Therefore She Is

“You can’t save everyone.”

This is the bookend of “Therefore I Am” which depicted Clifford DeVoe’s transformation into The Thinker. That episode left us believing DeVoe’s benevolent intention to “enlighten” the world was twisted by the infusion of dark matter or supplanted by his desire for self-preservation. Marlize was the talented and loving wife first intent on bringing her husband’s altruistic dream to fruition and then on saving his life.

Boy, were we wrong.

Here we have the story of Marlize’s descent into her husband’s madness and her journey back. With doctorates in mechanical engineering and advanced robotics, it is unsurprising that she puts her faith in technology as a force for good. Clifford, the historian, is far more cynical. He believes that technology has been a corrupting influence on Man throughout history or at least consistently used with evil intent.

Marlize’s attraction for an intellectual equal she can spar with outweighs Clifford’s pessimistic and often patronizing comments. Especially when his fondness for her is so evident. As their relationship deepens, she learns that his pessimistic view is the tip of the iceberg. Clifford believes humanity’s only hope lies in their complete regression and destroying all technology. Horrified, Marlize leaves him and pursues the advancement of society through technology as she had before. She develops a means of purifying water and is attacked for her invention. The attack led to dozens of deaths. This trauma convinces Marlize that Clifford was right - technology is a cancer.

While one can argue whether it’s technology that can’t be trusted or humanity itself, Clifford is as vulnerable to its allure as anyone else. Marlize’s goals may have been misguided, but her desire to benefit humanity never wavered. Yet her inventions created to enable the “Enlightenment” are now being used by a man no longer bound by empathy or societal norms. Clifford has become worse than the ill he was trying to cure. Not only does he have no compunction about killing, he enjoys it. Despite her love for him, Marlize can no longer stomach the monster he’s become and leaves him once again.

We have two stories vying for attention on the Team Flash side of the equation. The first revolves around Cisco’s decision whether or not to take Breacher’s job offer. On the one hand, he’ll get to see the woman he loves regularly. On the other, he must leave his friends, family, and universe in order to do so. I understand his indecisiveness. That Gypsy has sent multiple boxes begging for his answer hasn’t helped.

Things go from bad to worse when The Thinker attacks Vandemeer Steel, and the only clue is the gun the security guard used to shoot himself. Barry believes their only option is for Cisco to “vibe” it and since Cisco is not powerful enough to attempt this on his own Barry, unknowingly asks for Gypsy to assist. “Co-vibing” requires Gypsy and Cisco have to be in sync and at the moment they are anything but. Their first attempt sends them to the right location but to the wrong shipping container. Tensions flare, blame is hurled, and Team Flash learns of the job offer.

Barry does his best Dr. Finkel impression but only succeeds in pushing Gypsy and Cisco further apart. Their second attempt to co-vibe sends each of them flying across the room. They finally do what they should have done in the beginning – talk to each other. I suspect they were avoiding the conversation because they already knew the outcome. Cisco wants to move forward in their relationship and Gypsy... doesn’t. Knowing they are at an impasse doesn’t help when you truly care about someone. My heart broke for Cisco, but I was secretly pleased that he would not be leaving for Earth 19.

Harry’s secret is now out in the open as well. In true martyr fashion, he refuses to let the rest of the team waste any time on him instead of focusing on The Thinker. Feeling unworthy of any other task, Harry agrees to “babysit” Cecile while Joe plans her baby shower. And the purpose of Cecile’s powers is revealed. She can read Harry’s thoughts before he forgets them.

So what do we know?

The outline of The Powers That Be’s Grand Scheme is slowly coming into focus.

The Thinker plans to use multiple satellites to saturate the Earth with enough dark matter to remove everyone’s intelligence. He seems to have everything he needs yet we have three more episodes. What are we missing?

As I predicted, Marlize has seen the error of her ways. I believe her assistance will be essential to The Thinker’s defeat.

Barry’s comment that they can defeat DeVoe because they are a family was strangely prophetic. It’s a given that Team Flash will work together to defeat DeVoe but it appears to be more than that. As if they will need their specific abilities working in tandem the way The Thinker can access the powers he stole.

Our Mystery Girl crashes Cecile’s baby shower. She’s a speedster which lends my belief that she's Barry and Iris's daughter credibility. Then again, she walked up to Barry the first time she saw him but made a quick escape when Iris turned towards the door. Could Iris know who she is?

This was a tantalizing glimpse of things to come. More, please!

4 out of 5 linked satellites

Parting Thoughts:

Vandemeer Steel is from the comics although it was located in Pittsburgh, PA. While Boeing and the Jamison Institute are IRL.

Has DeVoe grown so arrogant that he no longer needs to read Marlize’s mind, or is he just oblivious?

In that same vein, can he no longer predict what people are going to do or does he believe himself so powerful he doesn’t need to care?


Marlize: “You can’t blame technology for the way men choose to use it."

Gypsy: “...Take as much time as you need. Ok. It’s, um...”
Cisco: “Don’t say it’s fine. Don’t say it’s fine.”
Gypsy: “...fine.”

Barry: “Who else can 'Kilgore' a retinal scan and 'Dibny' a vault lock?"

Harry: “Lose my mind, become a babysitter.”

Gypsy: “Can’t a woman caffeinate in peace around here?”

Gypsy: “Don’t ever 'whoosh' me again, alright?"

Clifford: “What kind of future do I have if you’re not by my side?”

Cisco: “I don’t want to have to breach to see the woman I love. I want to wake up next to her. Every morning.”

Cisco: “He really is a Bond villain.”

DeVoe: “Children should be seen and not heard.”

Gypsy: “You treat me like I’m the only woman in the multiverse, and I want more. What is wrong with me?”

Marlize: “You are nothing without me.”

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

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