The Flash S04E20 “Therefore She Is” REVIEW

The Flash S04E20 “Therefore She Is” REVIEW

0 comments 📅02 May 2018, 19:38

Airing Tuesdays at 8pm on Sky 1
Sterling Gates & Thomas Pound
Director: Rob J. Greenlea

Essential Plot Points:

  • Flashback! Oxford eight years ago, where Marlize is leading a debate about the fundamental good of technology. DeVoe mansplains her, arguing that the rise of life expectancy in turn leads to dangerous drains on resources. So, thanks for that, Thanos.
  • In the present, they finally locate everything they need for the ‘enlightenment’. It’s time.
  • At STAR Labs, Cisco gets a message cube from Gypsy pushing for a decision about the job. He’s interrupted by Harry, and leaves, putting the cube in a drawer. With all the others…
  • Harry’s plan is to use Cisco’s vibe powers to shake Killer Frost back to life.

  • Nothing happens. Harry, who is visibly forgetting things, reveals he forgot she no longer had any dark matter in her system. Harry is very far from okay. It’s time to come clean.
  • Cisco gives them the good news. The regression is reversible. But Harry insists that he can, and should, fix himself. And only after DeVoe is stopped.
  • Meanwhile, DeVoe and Marlize breach into Vandermeer steel to…well…steel something. Specifically Alloy 1771, an alloy that harnesses power at 400% efficiency. DeVoe shrinks them, steals them and…a guard arrives. Marlize begs him to let them go, DeVoe makes the man hold a gun to his own head and, as Marlize turns away, makes him kill himself.
  • Team Flash arrive the next day as part of the CCPD investigation. Iris discovers Alloy 1771 is a solar panel that magnifies solar energy at 400% efficiency.
  • Barry asks Cisco to vibe the gun and he’s not okay with it. He becomes less okay when everyone decides to have Gypsy come over so they can double their powers and vibe the gun together. Yaaaaay…
  • Joe asks Harry to help keep Cecile distracted when she comes over. Harry grumbles about being a babysitter and Joe reminds him no one will work harder to save him than Team Flash.

  • Flashback! Marlize is dating DeVoe. They dance, kiss and…back in STAR Labs, Gypsy and Cisco start their run.
  • They get an image of a shipping container with a ’16’ on it. For the first time in weeks, Team Flash have a lead.
  • Flash, Cisco and Gypsy arrive but it’s too late. DeVoe effortlessly breaches Barry to the Pole and takes down Cisco and Gypsy.
  • Barry arrives back just in time to see Cisco and Gypsy bickering not just about the co-vibe but about whether or not Cisco’s going to take the job. The job none of the others know about…
  • Barry talks his friend down and tells him he can help then runs off.
  • Flashback! Clifford helps Marlize move. She finds his journal and, curious, opens it. She finds DNA notes, plans for the future, the birth of The Thinker.
  • She’s horrified. Terrified. When Clifford returns she confronts him and he comes clean; technology has become a crutch and must be wiped out for humanity to be rebooted. As she gets angrier, he gets down on one knee and begs her for help. She storms off.
  • Cecile arrives and Harry feeds her the halfhearted plan he’s got to keep her in place. Because Cecile is, remember, temporarily telepathic, Cecile instantly picks up what’s wrong. And helps Harry realize the more he tries to use his brain the quicker he’s going to lose his intelligence…
  • Barry goes to see Gypsy at the coffee shop who talks her down and then…kinda…kidnaps her. A lot. To go see Cisco. Barry puts them both on the same page and just as maximum awkward levels are reached, the alarm goes off; more thefts.
  • Cisco and Gypsy try and co-vibe again and it goes catastrophically, as they’re thrown across the room.
  • Iris talks her guy down and points out he’s pushing too hard. She tells him not to force the pieces together and…Barry cracks the case. DeVoe isn’t building one item. He’s building several.
  • Cecile reassures Harry that there are lots of way to use his brain and still be useful. And then? SHE WRITES DOWN WHAT HE’S THINKING. Cecile can hack Harry’s brain, and read what he’s thinking faster than the damage can erase it.
  • Flashback! To Kenya where Marlize has just perfected a device that instantly cleans water. She takes a satphone call from Clifford who begs her to come back. She turns him down and Clifford is horrified as Marlize’s camp is stormed by thugs.
  • Cisco and Gypsy come clean; Cisco wants more. Not the job. Just more. Just Gypsy. He tells her thaty he’d never ask her to leave her job and asks if what they have is enough. She says yes. It isn’t for him.
  • It’s over.
  • Barry calls them to the control room and reveals he’s put it together; he’s building a network of satellites and his next target is going to be a quantum computer to run them all.

  • DeVoe and Marlize steal the computers just as Team Flash arrive. They almost take him down before DeVoe effortlessly takes them down. Gypsy saves Cisco at the expense of taking DeVoe down.
  • Caitlin arrives, firing a freeze cannon at DeVoe. He spots her plan, instantly, freezes her and takes Gypsy. He’s about to kill Gypsy in front of everyone else when Marlize refuses to watch him commit murder again.
  • DeVoe freezes her in place and as Gypsy’s neck begins to audibly crackle, Marlize bargains for their lives. At the last possible second, she gets through. DeVoe and Marlize leave and Cisco rushes to Gypsy’s side. She’s okay.
  • Back at STAR Labs, Cecile and Harry fill them in. DeVoe’s satellites are designed to redirect dark matter back onto the entire planet.

  • He’s going to lobotomize the planet.
  • On Earth 19, Gypsy and Cisco go to the Agency. Gypsy breaks down, asking what’s wrong with her for doing what she’s planning. They share a final joke, she kisses her guy one more time and then Cisco goes home.
  • Back home, Joe reveals why he’s been distracting Cecile; her baby shower. Barry checks in with Cisco and Iris asks Caitlin not to be so impulsive again. She reassures her friend that Killer Frost will return and Caitlin agrees. Perhaps too enthusiastically…
  • Flashback! Caitlin wakes up in hospital with Clifford by her side. She’s disgusted that dozens of people were killed because of what she invented. She agrees with him now. In fact, she agreed with him then she just didn’t have the courage to admit it. Until now…
  • Back in the present, DeVoe has put Marlize in the chair to heal her. She takes advantage of it; locking him out of the chair and leaving him,
  • The strange young woman who keeps showing up drops off a gift for Cecile and Joe. Iris goes to see who she is and she hides. And then runs off at super speed, her lightning a combination of Iris and Barry’s colours…


This is the episode of The Flash we’ve been waiting for and, brilliantly, it makes us wait almost the entire run to drop the bombshell; Marlize is DONE. Pound and Gates’ script uses clever, well realized flashbacks to show us the tumultuous nature of the DeVoe’s relationship and finally gives Kim Engelbrecht in particular a lot to do. She carries the emotional weight of the episode as we see what essentially amounts to the radicalization of Marlize DeVoe and her slow return to something approximating humanity. The fact she doesn’t immediately repent and simply wants to be as far away from her monster of a husband as possible is a welcome note of complexity too. Marlize may not be a villain anymore, but she’s not a hero either. Not yet.

Elsewhere the episode impresses too. The wrap up of the Gypsy/Cisco plot is heartfelt and grounded in a way that pays off constantly. From the (slightly creepy) comedy of Barry basically mashing the pair of them together to that final, simple, goodbye this is a superheroic long distance relationship that breaks up for no reason other than attrition. These are good people, doing good things who simply have different agenda. The fact they break up like adults is as refreshing as it is touching.

Then there’s the payoff to Harry’s plot and the clever way Cecile’s powers return to be used for good. Not to mention Caitlin’s slightly fantatical determination to get her ‘other half’ back and the thundering reveal on just what DeVoe has planned. Tatin turn is coupled with a chillingly familiar near fatality that reminds you of Ralph’s final moments. DeVoe’s fighting style is all about domination and power. No wonder he’s abusive. No wonder Marlize dumps him. We hope she takes that chair and gets it sprayed awesome colors too.

Rounded out by a reveal we’ve been expecting for a while, this is a phenomenal episode of a show that’s flat out sprinting for the finish line now. The odds have, finally, tipped in Team Flash’s favor. We don’t know what’s coming next and for the first time? Neither does DeVoe. Bring on the next episode.

The Good:

  • The fact both DeVoe and Marlize’s accents are very different in the flashback is a very cool little touch.
  • The speed hacking moment was fun.
  • Earth-19 Flash! With pink lightning! Wonder if they’re a relative?

  • Kim Engelbrecht is fantastic this week, showing us the evolution of Marlize from principled scientist to devoted (And manipulated) follower.
  • Carlos Valdes is also on top form this week and clearly enjoying doing something other than comedy.

  • Multi-colored lightning! The Mystery Woman is so clearly Barry and Iris’ daughter. Or maybe granddaughter…

The Bad:

  • Being immensely picky, Marlize really should have done some tests on that water before chugging it.

And the Random:

  • Rob J Greenlea has directed for Madam Secretary (Including the fantastic episode Good Bones), Supergirl, Code Black and S.W.A.T. among others.
  • Sterling Gates has written for The Flash, Supergirl and others.
  • Thomas Pound has written for The Flash, Private Eyes and Motive among others.

Best Lines:

  • ‘So that’s gonna end well.’
  • ‘Test show, physically, they’re fine. As a couple? Not so much.’
  • ‘Cisco is family. And when family hurts, we hurt. I get that,’
  • ‘Hey man, you okay?’
    ‘Not really, no.’
  • ‘I think you both did the right thing though.’
    ‘Then why does it hurt so much?’
  • ‘Oh Clifford. You are nothing without me…’
  • ‘Wally already sent us a bassinet, that was apparently…owned by Moses…’

Click here for more of our The Flash coverage

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