The Flash Knows How To Defeat DeVoe, So What’s The Catch?

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What does The Thinker want with The Flash?
What does The Thinker want with The Flash? CW

The Flash Season 3 not only introduced the prospect of Clifford DeVoe (aka The Thinker) being the main villain of Season 4, it told us how Barry defeated him too.

The first hint was from Abra Kadabra:

"In the future, you and I have been enemies for years. While there have been others — of course there's Thawne, Zoom, DeVoe — but none of them have hurt you like Savitar.”

The second hint was from Savitar himself:

"I remember everything... This is where we came up with cerebral inhibitor to use against Devoe."

Knowing who the season-long big bad is so early on (and knowing about the cerebral inhibitor) is both relieving and concerning. It means we should be prepared for a catch. The first: does The Thinker know that Barry already knows how to defeat him?

That’s probably a safe yes, and is the first hurdle in figuring out how to defeat DeVoe, even with the cerebral inhibitor. We don’t know exactly how DeVoe’s powers work yet, but the device around his head (that looks like a mini cerebro) is most likely a play on his Thinking Cap from the comics -- a metal hat able to project mental force, allowing him to control minds and predict the future, to a certain extent. But once The Thinker died, his brain lived on through an artificial intelligence also named The Thinker. That’s why this cerebral inhibitor alone may not do the job.

Technology won’t be the only thing Barry and the team need to defeat the Thinker. They’ll have to get one step ahead and figure out his end goal (we have some theories here). DeVoe planned to bring Barry out of the speed force, and to make that bus full of people metahumans. He planned having Elongated Man fall into Team Flash’s lap and tell Barry DeVoe sent him. He already knows the outcome of his actions and how the future is supposed to play out. So far, his efforts have gone according to plan. But now that Barry knows it’s DeVoe behind the shenanigans, how will Team Flash change their strategy?

This predicament is something new to The Flash. Usually, viewers and and Team Flash don’t find out who the villain is until much much later in the season. While this early reveal is certainly a nice change of pace, Executive Producer Andrew Kreisberg said at a press screening this structure could bring some new challenges. And in doing so, he insinuated the DeVoe we’ve met might not be the same DeVoe Abra Kadabra and Savitar initially mentioned.

“Now that they know it's DeVoe, now it's about figuring out which DeVoe it is and there'll be a confrontation sooner rather than later,” Kreisberg said.

“It's not just Flash, but it's a sort of like a constant problem for these kinds of shows about how much you reveal and how much do you hide the bad guy… They're gonna get on him [DeVoe] fast, and this season we really worked on having a plan where trying to figure out who the villain is wasn't what the issue was. The issue was, we know who it is, but how do we stop him? So that's become more of this season, and again, I think it's very easy to sort of fall back on our own writing tropes of... like, hiding the ball for as long as [we] can.”

Are you a fan of this season’s new villain structure? Any theories about a big DeVoe twist? Let us know in the comments. The Flash airs on The CW Tuesdays at 8 p.m.

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