The Flash is now the flagship TV Show of the Arrowverse. As begrudging as it is to admit, stupidity maybe The Flash’s greatest suit but so is TRP. The Flash started out as a great psycho-thriller with Reverse Flash playing tricks with Barry’s mind and getting under his skin each and every step of the way.
In Season 2, Zoom’s attempt at breaking the Flash was devastating for the Scarlet Speedster. Savitar’s big reveal may be disappointing but the fights between the two Barry’s were unquestionably awesome. Season 1, Season 2, and to some extent even Season 3 was unmatched in terms of depth and engaging the audience. And then there’s The Flash Season 4.
The season 4 is the first ever season where the big baddie does not have speed powers, he goes by the name ‘The Thinker’. He is not the fastest man alive but he is definitely the smartest man alive who is testing the mental limits of Barry Allen aka The Flash as he outsmarts him every level and continues to be 10 steps ahead of Team Flash. Todd Helbing, the studio executive described ‘The Thinker’ as the smartest man whose motives are not clear, so it’s a big mystery for everyone as to what is he up to next.
The show’s producer Todd Helbing talked about what it means to have a non-speedster villain and that in no way this means that the fans have had enough of speedsters as they would always be at the core of Flash mythology. Here is what he said:
“There are certainly speedsters in the cannon of Flash that we want to explore and we want on the show and everybody… Like Reverse Flash to me personally is one of my favorite villains, one of my favorite speedsters, so I’d love that guy to pop up now and then, you know what I mean? But I think it was refreshing, and it’s just been a lot of fun this year not having to constantly come up with new ideas of how a speedster could pose a threat to Barry. So, it’s fun, and it’s new, and it’s a new challenge, but I think having speedsters in the mythology of the show is never going to change.”
“I think having Zoom and then followed up by Savitar, you know, I can understand that feeling. It’s because trying to reinvent, you know, like a new power for an evil speedster or what they can do … Like we can’t have it just who’s faster for the entirety of a series.”
Till, now in this season, we have seen various ups and downs in Barry’s life. Barry has met what it looks like the greatest villain he will ever face, he knew how to deal with villains like him i.e speedsters but someone like ‘The Thinker’ who is extremely calculating and now with powers of so many metas, it is almost impossible for him to beat him now. At every episode, new hurdles kept popping in front of him which were written to be more thrilling, but in reality are not as exciting as the makers thought.
We have seen new Meta-Humans brought into the show by Clifford DeVoe aka The Thinker. One of these Metas has joined the Team Flash as Elongated Man. And other than him, 4 more metahumans have been revealed till now, and Flash fought them one by one with the help of his team and put them into the meta wing of the Iron Heights Penitentiary.
The Thinker than framed Barry for his own murder and Barry argued that he will only come out of jail after clearing his name in the right way. He refused to accept Cecile’s (Joe West’s girlfriend and Barry’s lawyer) suggestion and Iris’s persuasion that he should out his secret identity to the jury and the whole central city to prove his innocence, also he did not use his speed powers to escape the prison and become a fugitive.
In the recent episode, as the warden of Iron Heights Penitentiary found out that Barry is the Flash, he had put him in the meta wing with all the other bus metas that Barry had captured earlier this season. Later Barry and the other Metas in the Meta wing found out that the Warden is trying to sell them to Amunet for her business purposes. Their powers were not working as they were locked in a meta-proof facility. And they were about to be sold to a crazy woman who will use their powers for sinister ends.
Then Barry found out a way to break all these Metas out of the wing so that their powers do not fall into the wrong hands and are not misused by Amunet or anyone else. Barry and others manage to break out successfully but coming out, they find the Warden and an elite squad ready for them. Warden then manages to turn the rest of the Metas that Barry is, in fact, the Flash and was the reason they all got captured in the first place. Becky who was one of those Metas still helped Barry and stopped all these other Metahumans, Amunet, the Warden and his elite squad.
Right at that moment, The Thinker shows up and takes the powers of each of those bus Metas, and transfers his powers and consciousness into Becky’s body. Now, he has the powers of 6 Meta-Humans combined which are having the smartest brain of the planet, the power to control new tech machines, control statues, shrink things down, telepathic ability and most importantly, turn people’s luck into bad luck.
The revelation of this plan was meant to have a thrilling effect, but still, it was kind of stupid! Now, we are left to wonder what bigger plans The Thinker has for this season as he is so not finished. We have seen that having the brain which he does, his previous body started to break down break down and he was dying, and he used that to his advantage by framing Barry. Even now, after having all these powers, his or I should say her body does not have any regenerative abilities. So it is bound to break down as the show moves forward.
Barry’s body, on the other hand, does possess regenerative abilities because of his fast metabolism. In the episode, we saw that there are some bus metas which are yet to be revealed. By the looks of it, either one of those might be having regenerative abilities or DeVoe is looking to first capture the abilities of all the bus metas and then transfer himself into Barry’s body and be the ultimate Meta human that will, in fact, conquer this entire planet. This could be insane, but who knows what will happen. If this is indeed the plan of ‘The Thinker’ all this time then it is just masterful and bold. This is the only way the show can deliver a big pay off to the build-up which is seemingly pissing people off than engaging them on a subconscious level.
It is possible as there is a profound connection between Flash and The Thinker pertaining to the Speed-force and it is believed that both Flash and Thinker draw their powers from the same source. The speed-force can help you become a speedster and move at breakneck speeds but it can also help you become “fastest mind” alive by allowing you to absorb massive amounts of information at a much faster rate.
The Flash returns 6th March on Tuesday at 9:00 on The CW network. The title of the 15th episode is “Enter Flashtime” and here is the official synopsis released by the showrunners:
“JESSE QUICK AND JAY GARRICK TEAM UP WITH THE FLASH — When a nuclear bomb detonates in downtown Central City, Barry (Grant Gustin), Jesse Quick (guest star Violett Beane) and Jay Garrick (guest star John Wesley Shipp) slow down time by entering Flashtime. As everyone in the city is frozen, the three speedsters push themselves to the breaking point to save the city and everyone in it”.