The Flash Season 4 Episode 1 Recap: Samuroids & The Thinker Explained

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The Flash Season 4 episode 1, “The Flash Reborn” spoilers ahead.

In Barry’s absence, Kid Flash and Vibe are saving Central City (well, at least they are trying). Apparently they only catch one out of three metahumans they encounter. Two of the most powerful metahumans and they can’t beat a ridiculous looking Samuroid? (Who are the Samuroids? We’ll get to that soon.) The Thinker, aka Clifford DeVoe, is also revealed, which is probably the first time The Flash has introduced a big villain this early in the season. And, of course, there were tons of easter eggs (which you can read about here). Here’s a recap of everything important.

How Does Barry Get Out Of The Speed Force?

Cisco uses the Samuroid’s threat against Central City as an excuse to convince Iris to bring Barry out of the speed force. He’s been secretly working on a special sphere that combined with the speed bazuko, will get Barry out of speed force prison without needing someone to replace him (something about Barry’s bio-electric code that would trick the speed force?). Cisco recruits Caitlin to help, who is now working at a bar and doesn’t use her powers (though I’m convinced there’s still something suspicious about her). At first, Cisco doesn’t think the speed cork sphere thing works, but we see Barry appear on a rural road naked and immediately pass out.

Barry is back, with a beard.
Barry is back, with a beard. CW

The police recognize Barry and bring him to Central City, where team Flash discovers he’s mentally not all there. Maybe he just needs some time, maybe he has dementia? Nobody really knows, but they have to put him in a cell because he’s using his powers erratically. Thankfully, Killer Frost is there to subdue him.

What Are Samuroids?

Samuroid gave Team Flash 24 hours to deliver the real Flash to him, but Barry cleary isn’t up for the task--he’s writing something all over the walls and Cisco can’t figure out what he’s trying to say. Time is up, so Wally, Cisco and Joe go attempt to stop him with the police. But Iris shows up and asks Samuroid to take her because “The Flash will come for me.” Samuroid puts Iris on his back and flies away.

Joe goes to see Barry in his cell and tells him he needs to save Iris. Barry, still transcribing some sort of message all over the walls, bolts out of the cell, grabs his new suit, weaves through hundreds of windmills, and saves Iris (Barry’s inherent connection with Iris definitely exists. It’s like she can activate his powers). He goes to unmask the Samuroid, who is revealed as an android. “Welcome back Flash,” it says while it’s dying.

'The Attack of the Samuroids' was an arc in The Flash #181.
'The Attack of the Samuroids' was an arc in The Flash #181. DC

In the comics, the Samuroids are robots with superhuman abilities and crazy swordfighting skilled. They were built and controlled by Baron Katana, and are a classic Flash villain. But in the series, it appears they are being controlled by The Thinker.

Who Is The Thinker aka Clifford DeVoe? Also, The Mechanic

At the very end of the episode, we see a woman inspect the destroyed Samuroid. She walks over to the other side of the room and confronts her boss, played by Neil Sandilands. We know he’s playing the Thinker, aka Clifford DeVoe, a villain who was name-dropped in The Flash Season 3 episode 18. Future Barry mentioned a “cerebral inhibitor” he uses in the future against Devoe.

The Thinker
The Thinker DC

There are many iterations but Clifford DeVoe is the original Thinker, an ex-lawyer famous for his ‘Thinking Cap,’ giving the villain telekinesis and mind control abilities. He became a member of the Injustice Society and Suicide Squad. After DeVoe’s death, his cap technology (to the fault of Mr. Terrific) lived on, grew sentient, and became the AI Thinker.

The AI Thinker
The AI Thinker DC

The woman who is working with The Thinker is played by Kim Engelbrech and known as The Mechanic. She builds tech and gadgets (aka Samuroids) for The Thinker. The most interesting part of the interaction between The Thinker and The Mechanic is the fact that it may not have been Cisco and Caitlin who saved Barry. The two villains say, “He’s back. Everything is going as planned,” which means all the writing on the walls and Barry’s return from the speed force may have been The Thinker’s doing.

“This house is bitchin”

When Barry comes back from the speed force, he transcribes unknown shapes and letters all over the walls. Cisco decodes the messages, and it says, “This House is Bitchin.” Barry has no idea what it means and doesn’t even remember writing stuff all over the walls or acting crazy.

What does Barry's writing mean?
What does Barry's writing mean? CW

What’s Up With Caitlin?

Caitlin goes to quit her job at the bar. When the manager gives her a hard time, she becomes Killer Frost and fends him off. As she goes outside, she says, “No, not again.” Something is up with her.

The Flash Season 4 episode 1, "Reborn."
The Flash Season 4 episode 1, "Reborn." CW
Did you like the first episode? Let us know in the comments.
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