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After a long season, the fourth year of The Flash’s run came to a close. Were you satisfied? I can happily say I was. But of course, there are things to pick at.
The finale, entitled "We Are The Flash," saw Barry Allen going through an intriguing finale battle with season villain Clifford Devoe, The Thinker. The episode tied up a number of loose ends and plots for the season, leaving an interesting few hanging though. So, let’s get down to it...
A Meta Within a Meta
The main story for the finale centred on Barry entering Devoe’s mind in order to find the good side of him so that he can talk some sense into him. This was with the help of not only Team Flash, but also Devoe’s wife, Marlize Devoe, played by the ever powerful performer Kim Engelbrecht.
I think quite early on in the season we know Lady Devoe would be turning on her husband at some point but to be acting as a fully fledged member of Team Flash? Unexpected.
The scenes taking place in Devoe’s mind were as expected. Eerie, blurred camera lenses/techniques used, a wasteland of Central City and surrounding areas as if it’s only Barry and The Thinker present... and maybe someone else.
I was pleased by the entire "inception-style" storyline. This season was always about Barry’s intellect and not his powers. For the showdown of the fastest man and fastest mind, where better than literally in someone’s head?
A plot that went silent for the back end of the season and then picked up again for the last few episodes was Cecille and Joe expecting a daughter.
The storyline has been one of my favourites this year. Not because of looking forward to a new baby for Wally and Iris to babysit, but because of Danielle Nicolet’s comedic performance, and she doesn’t fault in this finale. Her reaction to Caitlin’s announcing that she will deliver her baby. Priceless. I look forward to more Cecille in Season Five.
The Elongated Man Returns
One part of the finale I really didn’t expect. When going into Devoe’s mind, Barry finds that Ralph’s mind has been kept alive.
Hartley Sawyer brings the character to life again. He’s come a long way from being that sleazy private investigator from episode four and Sawyer has pulled the transition off perfectly.
The best thing about Dibny’s return is not that he has now returned from the dead to appear in Season Five, but that at the end of day he was the real hero who stopped Devoe from taking control of his own body again. Let’s hope that doesn’t cause problems later down the line...
I think that’s the end of another villain!
Yes, like a lot of great superhero storylines (minus Infinity War), the villain was defeated. As mentioned, Ralph Dibny took control of his possessed body with the help of Barry and ultimately defeated Devoe. BUT! Then his consciousness in a technological chair he’s been flying around in for the better part of the season... only went and activated. For his wife to destroy it moments later.
I’ll be honest, Devoe’s defeat felt too easy. The way he was defeated in his own mind. The way Marlize destroyed the chair seconds after he reemerged. This guy was hundreds of steps ahead all season and yes, even though the factors of the finale were something he anticipated, it all felt too quick and easy. This is the problem with having a villain who is THAT intelligent; it is hard to write a way to outsmart him that will do the story justice.
Neil Sandilands though. In my opinion, he is now joint at the top with Tom Cavanagh’s Reverse Flash performance. The finale had the culmination of what Clifford Devoe has turned into and Sandilands gave us a great ride. The moment where we see that the personified good version of Devoe has literally been killed by his bad side, then next seeing Devoe and truly knowing what he has become. Devoe has been terrifying, saddening and also slightly charming in some respects this season. Sandilands pulled it out of the bag in this finale. He has played a character with so much believability and with how he holds himself, everything right down to the pace that he speaks at, he gave the show a truly unexpected and fresh type of villain.
My hope is that The Thinker makes a return in some shape or form sometime in the future, maybe in the way that Season Two handled a standalone episode to being Reverse Flash back.
Who’s that girl?
Finally, after five months of waiting, we know who this mystery girl is. We already know she had some kind of knowledge of Team Flash. We know she is a speedster. So when the finale showed a mysterious white-gloved hand helping Barry stop The Enlightenment for good, we knew who was responsible. Then we had the closing moments of the episode.
Cecille announced the name of her baby to be Jenna. Moments later a knock at the door is heard. Now, all season I’d had my bets on the mystery girl being Barry and Iris’ daughter from the future. But, that name reveal? The knock at the door? My instant thought was "shit, it’s Jenni Ognant....or at least a version of her." In the comics she is Barry’s granddaughter from the future. For just a few seconds I was expecting an exchange like "Who are you?" "Her, I’m her. I’m Cecille’s daughter." "Jenna?" "No... I prefer Jenni." CUT TO BLACK! But no. Embarrassingly, we find out she is Nora West-Allen, Barry and Iris’ daughter from thirty years in the future who has "made a mistake." Always stick to your guns, kids. Don’t make a fool of yourself like I did.
But yes, as many of you clever lot picked up on from her Barry/Iris type personality in the hand full of times we’ve seen her, she is a West-Allen. Suddenly Barry’s rambling of "Nora shouldn’t be here" in the first episode of the season makes sense.
Harry’s story comes to a close.
The end of Harry Wells. It’s a sad one, especially when he came into the show a stubborn asshole and is leaving as a lovable idiot. A few episodes back, Wells tried to boost his intelligence to Devoe’s standards and instead began losing his intelligence due to an overload of his own custom-made thinking cap.
The finale breaks our hearts. Tom Cavanagh has done a lot of things as different versions of Wells over his four years on the show. He’s made us laugh, made us angry, made us confused... how he’s damaged us emotionally.
Barely able to speak in the finale, he reasons with Cisco to try and use the thinking cap on himself again in the last hope that he can help defeat Devoe. Ultimately, when they think Wells is back to normal, he actually isn’t. His intelligence is gone but he has more heart and love for his friends.
Those two exchanges between Wells and Cisco are hard to watch. The first has a worried Cisco looking at his mentor with sympathy as he can barely string a sentence together. The second has Cisco disappointed in himself for not fixing Harry’s mind whilst Harry assures him it’s okay and that he is happy. All of this before Harry decides to return to Earth-Two for good. Carlos Valdes and Tom Cavanagh have the best chemistry on screen. They have gone from the bickering Odd Couple of the show to this father-son type final scene between the two.
A new version of Wells will enter Season Five, but when that happens we’ll still "have something in our eyes" from watching Earth-Two Harry’s final scenes.
On the whole, a lot was wrapped up in this episode. The Thinker’s plot foiled, though not as expected. Characters made surprise returns. characters made surprise exits. Mysteries were solved. This was the first finale without a villain being a speedster, and it has signalled you don’t need to be one to make the show tun smoothly. Season Five needs to hurry up already!