5 Point Discussions – The Flash S4.22: “Think Fast”

by Sage Ashford

With DeVoe having collected almost everything he needs to begin the enlightening, Barry and the others have only one last chance to shut him down. Remember, if you like this article and 5 Point Discussions, please share it on Facebook or Twitter! It really helps. And if you’ve got any comments or questions, please hit me up @SageShinigami.

1. Flash is the most frustrating watch for me on a week to week basis, but the opening scene with DeVoe is a highlight of superpower choreography.  With everything in place for the enlightening, DeVoe finally made a move to secure the final piece of the plan–Fallout.  Since the living nuclear reactor was still hidden by ARGUS, DeVoe shapeshifts into Diggle to make his way in.  Once he (somehow) convinces the guards to shut off the power dampeners, what follows is a scene of brilliantly executed carnage set to Handel’s “Hallelujah Chorus”.    If you’ve ever wanted to see a villain truly cut loose, this is it–he uses nearly every single one of his powers.  Ralph’s ability to repel bullets, Kilgore’s power to control tech, Sylbert Rundine’s power to shrink people in a particularly gruesome death, and Black Bison’s power to control effigies for the most savage beatdown in the Flash since Savitar made his first appearance.

It was an awesome four minutes, even if it highlights the primary problem with this season…and it’s a similar one I had to Arrow Season 4’s Damien Darhk: the villain is too powerful.  When DeVoe cuts loose he’s essentially a god, and nothing short of Superman or someone similar could even hope to compete.  We love to see the stakes raised in stories.  The greater the set back, the greater the comeback…but there comes a point where it’s no longer believable for the hero to even have a solution to the villain.  When that happens, writers often rely on cheap Deus Ex Machina solutions just to finally write the villain off.   And with only a single episode left, that’s where we’re at here.

2. Actress Danielle Nicolet puts on the best performance of the episode, as her powers reach a new level as the baby gets close.  While she’s been capable of reading minds for weeks, now she actually takes on the personality of people she gets too close to.  She plays a stoner pizza bro, does a great impersonation of Caitlin once she and Joe go to visit her to figure out what’s wrong with her powers, and even briefly has Joe’s personality.  For something of a running gag this episode, each time is just as funny as the last, and provides much needed humor for an episode that’s otherwise fairly serious.

The only issue is…with a glimpse of the preview for the last episode, it’s looking as if Caitlin’s powers are going to go away without having any main importance to the plot.   Surely that can’t be right since it would mean her entire long-running plot would’ve just sucked up time for no reason, so maybe she’ll play a part in undoing the mess DeVoe unleashes with the end of this episode.

3. One thing this season of the Flash deserves credit for is giving us a look at some “odd pairings”; making us see how different members of Team Flash interact with one another we’re not used to seeing.  Caitlin and Iris was a big one at the start of this season, last week was Caitlin and Joe, and now this week it’s Iris and Harry.  The two don’t typically interact much–especially since Harrison Wells has been three different guys in three different seasons.

But as Harry’s intelligence continues to dwindle, it’s Iris who tries to help him as much as she can this week, even though she gets frustrated with him once his plans don’t seem to be as helpful as they need to be in the eleventh hour.   Harry becomes convinced  Marlize is the answer to their problems, but Iris is dismissive because of the numerous times Marlize has attempted to hurt not only Barry, but herself and the team as well.

Still, Harry becomes particularly insistent and convinces her to try and find Marlize, which plays out near the end of the episode.  They track down her last known location in her first house in Europe, and finding her there, they talk her into helping them defeat DeVoe.  It shouldn’t be difficult considering he’s a monster, but somehow DeVoe treating Marlize like crap has her even more convinced the Enlightenment is a good idea, because “all humanity is flawed”.   Presumably she realizes humanity would immediately fall back to its old habits then, because Iris fairly quickly convinces her to help them.

4. Somehow, we’ve managed to drag this Killer Frost/Caitlin Snow subplot out for what feels like months.  This week, Caitlin decides to visit the therapist everyone’s been making use of…in the nadir of that running gag.  Caitlin makes herself sound utterly insane, before the therapist hints maybe she’s repressing some childhood trauma.  This trauma problem gets worse when she’s training with Barry and Cisco in order to break into the ARGUS center to rescue the hostages DeVoe has and shut him down–she has a brief glimpse of a forgotten childhood memory she needs Cisco’s help to unlock.

There, she remembers nearly being hit by a vehicle, until Killer Frost awoke within her and saved her life.  The shocking plot point here is Killer Frost existed prior to the particle accelerator activating…which we’ve known for several seasons now.  Still, how she manages to bring Frost back remains to be seen.  With so much to handle in the final episode, it’s possible this storyline gets delayed into the next season…then disappointingly wrapped up in the first episode, same way it happened this season.

5. After cracking into ARGUS, DeVoe has the security of their facilities protecting him from the Flash–the location is packed with special floor tiles packing thousands of volts of electricity.    Barry figures he can use the electricity as a way of recharging his abilities, but then they realize DeVoe’s got a room full of hostages and he can’t save them and stop DeVoe.

From there, Cisco and Caitlin come up with a new plan–realizing Barry doesn’t just use the Speed Force, but he generates that energy when he runs, they surmise he can not only generate it, but share it with other people, the way he did in “Enter Flashtime”.   Cisco and Caitlin then begin to train to use Barry’s powers, and in a shockingly quick amount of time for non-speedsters, manage to get it together while DeVoe’s waiting for Fallout’s energies to grow large enough to power the Enlightenment.

The group arrive at ARGUS and successfully manage to save the hostages while Barry chases after DeVoe, arriving just as he’s setting the satellites for the enlightenment in the air.   He’s fast enough to destroy one of the satellites, which leads them to believe they’ve won…until they get back to STAR Labs only to realize they’ve been hacked, and in place of the destroyed satellite, he’s using theirs instead.  Inside the group’s hidden room, DeVoe uses the super computer Gideon to finally activate his plan, beginning the Enlightenment while Barry fails to vibrate inside the room to stop him.

Welp. The team is going to be busy figuring out some way to undo what’s happened.

The Flash airs on the CW, Tuesday nights.