In The Flash season 4 finale recap, Barry and the team face off with Clifford DeVoe one last time as they try to stop him from initiating the Enlightenment…
By Damon Martin — Editor/Lead Writer
A season filled by the most cerebral villain The Flash has ever known came to an end on Tuesday with a final battle pitting Team Flash against ‘The Thinker’ Clifford DeVoe.
In what was ultimately a brilliantly plotted out season, DeVoe found all the pieces necessary to launch satellites into space that would then bombard the Earth with enough dark matter to reset everyone’s brains back to zero.
While it looked like Barry had at least slowed him down a week ago, DeVoe has always been one step ahead because he had a back up plan by using the STAR Labs satellite as his fail safe to launch the plan he called ‘the Enlightenment’.
With time running out, Barry and the team are required to team up with DeVoe’s estranged wife to try and stop him.
Plus before the season is over, we get a slight hint at what lies ahead as well as the identity of the mystery girl finally revealed.
With that said, let’s recap The Flash season 4 finale titled ‘We Are The Flash’…
Mind Over Matter
As the satellites in space begin to launch the dark matter attack on the Earth, a huge electro-magnetic pulse like event washes over Central City as anything electronic or electric is rendered useless. Even Barry’s old boss, who was calling to give him his old job back, was stuck watching the city fall into darkness.
Back at STAR Labs, Cisco is able to get the power back up for them but the problems they’re facing are just as bad as ever before.
DeVoe has launched his satellites and it’s only a matter of time before dark matter blankets the Earth and leaves everyone in the mindless state that Harry is beginning to devolve into as his brain continues to deteriorate. On top of all that, Joe and Cecile arrive after she’s gone into labor and with no cars running, there’s no way to get her to a hospital in time.
Caitlin offers to deliver the baby but none of that will matter if DeVoe can carry out his plans.
That’s when Iris arrives with help in the from of DeVoe’s estranged wife Marlize, who has seen the error of her ways and has decided to help stop him from this intelligence genocide.
Marlize tells Barry that there’s only one way to stop Clifford at this point and that’s to literally invade his mind. While Cisco wants to call on Supergirl or Arrow to help out, Marlize says that Clifford carefully orchestrated the bus meta-humans to give him powers that could combat anybody that Team Flash would throw at him once he amassed all of their abilities. By now the only way to stop Clifford would be to send Barry into his brain where she hopes he can find the last ‘good’ part of him that will take out the bad. As skeptical as everybody seems, Marlize tells them that before the particle accelerator explosion that Clifford DeVoe was a man of science who wanted to actually help people.
Barry agrees to the plan but the entire strategy hinges on Cecile because she has the ability to read people’s minds or even cast her own mind into someone else’s brain. That’s the trick they need so Cecille launches Barry into DeVoe’s mind where he will have limited time to turn around the former history professor so he will stop this mad plan to wipe out the world’s intelligence. With each passing minute, the percentages of the dark matter bombarding the Earth go higher and once that meter reaches 100-percent, it’s going to be too late.
The Mind of a Maniac
Inside DeVoe’s head, Barry is dumped right by the bus where the meta-humans were created when he returned from the Speed Force and he immediately runs into an evil version of ‘The Thinker’ floating around in his ominous chair of doom.
With advice from Marlize, Barry races to the DeVoe’s home in hopes of tracking down whatever good is left in him, but alas the place is empty.
Barry then runs to Oxford, the site where Clifford first fell in love with Marlize, but he only finds a picnic blanket and empty wine glasses. A moment later, Barry finds something he never expected — Ralph Dibny is alive and well inside DeVoe’s head.
It seems when DeVoe took over Ralph’s body as the final meta-human he had to absorb, he was forced to keep part of him alive to allow himself the ability to shape shift into anybody or anything he wanted. Remember, DeVoe is actually Ralph but he had to shape shift to look like his old self.
As elated as Barry is to reunited with Ralph, they still have bigger problems when they find the ‘good DeVoe’ already dead because the evil version killed him. It seems the new DeVoe saw this plan of attack coming and he already killed whatever good was left inside as a pre-emptive attack.
Things get even more complicated when Cecile’s labor kicks into high gear and Marlize is forced to tell the team that if she has the baby, her psychic powers will disappear. On top of that, Cecile’s powers going away means that Barry would be trapped inside DeVoe’s mind from now until forever.
Back in DeVoe’s brain, Barry and Ralph are left to battle an army of Thinkers as time begins to run out on either one of them escaping. That’s when Barry figures out that by sending Ralph through DeVoe’s central cortex, he could regain control over his body and exorcize the man who stole it from him in the first place.
The only problem is DeVoe is rather powerful and he’s kicking the crap out of them at every turn. The situation only compounds itself when the real DeVoe busts into STAR Labs determined to stop his wife and her new friends from interfering with his Enlightenment.
Marlize is able to zap everybody into the pocket dimension but that will only hold for so long before Clifford finds them.
Thankfully, Ralph figures out a way to deal with DeVoe, who is actually reading their thoughts before every move because technically everything is happening inside his own brain. Ralph suggests not thinking at all but rather just acting — the old Dibny special — and with that they are finally able to gain the upper hand on DeVoe and his clones.
Time is running out in the real world, however, when DeVoe finally tracks down his wife and the remainder of Team Flash and quickly deals with each and every one of them with his meta-powers. He then tells the team that Barry being locked in his brain was part of his plan as well, which is why he never bothered killing the Flash but rather just toying with him.
Now DeVoe has Ralph’s body that can shape shift into anything and he’ll have Barry’s speed and ability to access the Speed Force. With that, DeVoe expects the end game as he goes for Cecile’s throat to permanently sever her tie to Barry.
Back in DeVoe’s mind, however, the tides have turned as Barry and Ralph are able to gain the upper hand with some timely teamwork and they are finally able to reach the nexus point. Ralph jumps and a moment later Barry awakens in DeVoe’s chair.
DeVoe then begins to convulse as he realizes that Ralph is taking back over his own body, stunned that Team Flash has found a way to defeat him.
The Sky is Falling
DeVoe’s demise doesn’t solve all the problems in town because he actually returns briefly in hologram form — a kill safe program he designed before this all started — but this time it’s Marlize who finally pulls the plug one last time and puts an end to her husband.
Sadly, DeVoe’s final death causes his connection to the satellites to break, which in turn leaves the giant one from STAR Labs hurtling towards Earth.
The team races to move people to safety as Barry gathers as much speed as possible with plans to punch the final piece to obliterate it. Unfortunately even with Barry at his absolute fastest, he won’t be able to generate enough power to destroy the satellite and instead it may destroy him.
But a second later, time reverses itself and Barry’s course towards the satellite is soon shadowed by another speedster — one with purple and yellow lightning — and together they smash the wayward piece of machinery into a thousand shards that fall harmlessly down to Earth.
The day has been saved but Barry has no idea who just assisted him in stopping that satellite.
As for Marlize, she’s invited to stay and help Team Flash but she opts for a return to the work she did before falling under her husband’s spell. She’s going to use technology to help people and with that she exits — but not before handing over a fix that will bring back Harry’s mind from his own personal enlightenment.
All episode long, Harry’s mind has been devolving more and more including several spurts where he was shouting and writing symbols just like Barry did when he returned from the Speed Force. With Marlize’s modifications onto the thinking cap, Cisco activates the mechanism and a few moments later Harry has returned.
He’s healthy, he’s happy and he’s overjoyed to see the rest of the team that he was beginning to forget. There’s just one problem — Harry is himself again except he’s lost the knowledge that came along with the seven PhD’s he earned in college. Harry has all of his faculties back, his memories and his emotional ties but his mind is no longer filled with all that science and math and technology.
While Cisco feels defeated, Harry tells him that he’s actually happy to be unburdened by that knowledge any longer. Now he can just focus on what’s important, which means a trip home to Earth-2 so he can reconnect with his daughter and rebuild his family. Sadly that means Harry is leaving Earth-One and will no longer be a member of Team Flash.
A Terrible Mistake
Following the events of the battle against DeVoe, Cecile gives birth to a baby girl named Jenna and her welcome home party is where everybody reconvenes after a very tumultuous, season long fight. Even Wally has returned for a visit after becoming a permanent member of the Legends of Tomorrow.
Watching Joe and Cecile with their new baby has Iris mentioning to Barry that perhaps they’ll be next. Barry immediately freaks out but Iris reminds him that she’s not saying this has to happen now but rather some time down the road when they’re actually ready for children.
With that there’s a knock on the door and the mystery girl who has been popping up all season long walks through.
Almost everybody recognizes her from various encounters including spilling coffee on Caitlin and Harry as well as serving as a waitress at Barry and Iris’ wedding. It seems all of these interactions are important once the girl reveals her true identity.
“I’m your daughter, Nora, from the future and I think I make a big mistake”
As predicted, the mystery girl was Barry and Iris’ daughter from the future but why she’s returned to present day is unknown much less the mistake she’s made. Barry learned his lesson with ‘Flashpoint’ on the dangers of time travel, which is why he vowed to never do it again. It appears that kind of pragmatic advice didn’t get passed down to the next generation as Nora West-Allen has arrived looking for her parents’ help.
The Flash will return for season 5 in the fall of 2018 on the CW…