The Flash – Therefore I Am
By: Stacy Miller
Central City University Four Years Ago. Professor Clifford DeVoe (Neil Sandilands) is concluding his lecture by writing on the board about the topics for their essays. Professor DeVoe is wants to impart knowledge, but his class seems more interested in You Tube videos. He aks his wife Marlize (Kim Engelbrecht), “How can we enlighten them if their minds seem too small to handle the knowledge?” She assures his plan will work. Clifford DeVoe has his doubts even though Marlize tells him he is the most brilliant mind she knows. He hopes he will be able to execute his it, then shows her blueprints for what he calls his thinking cap. He wants Marlize to build it. Marlize tells Clifford that his dreams are her dreams. “I’d be nothing without you,” Clifford tells Marlize.
In the present day, Joe (Jesse L. Martin) and Barry (Grant Gustin) are at Clifford and Marlize’s house, telling them the name DeVoe came up in an investigation that they are working on and just want to rule him out as a suspect. They ask Clifford what brought him to Central City. He explains about being born in South Africa and how he took a teaching position at Oxford, which is where he met Marlize. He swept her off her feet while Marlize piles him with the best mac and cheese. Next, Joe and Barry show DeVoe photos of bus passengers and dark matter victims Deacon Ramsey, Becky Sharpe, Ralph Dibney and Mina Chaytan and asks whether he know any of them. Clifford says he doesn’t recognize the others, but Professor Chaytan was a colleague who was dismissed. “Mina was an animated woman,” Clifford says, subtly hinting about Chaytan’s metahuman ability as Black Bison, who was able to make inanimated objects come to life. Joe and Barry notice DeVoe’s picture of a samurai. Clifford calls the samurai formidable foes and then speaks a little Japanese. When Clifford talks about his passion for teaching and how he wants to expand his students’ minds, Marlize tells Joe and Barry that her husband needs to get his rest so they leave.
Outside the DeVoe’s house, Harry (Tom Cavanagh) asks if DeVoe is their guy. At Star Labs, Joe’s not certain that mac and cheese loving mild mannered DeVoe is their man while Barry reminds that The Council of Wells gave Clifford’s name for a reason. Team Flash will continue to investigate DeVoe.
In the past, Marlize has built Clifford’s thinking cap. But she tells him they will need an infinite power source to charge it. Clifford is watching Harrison Wells giving a news conference about his (Wells) particle accelerator. Marlize thinks the particle accelerator is the power source they need.
In the present, Professor DeVoe sees Barry sitting in a chair in the lecture hall. After he dismisses his class, Clifford asks Barry why he is there. Barry says he has a few more questions for him, starting with where DeVoe was the night of January 7 four years ago. Does DeVoe ever take public transportation, like a bus? Clifford comment it would be difficult in a wheelchair so he usually takes Lyft. Again, DeVoe asks Barry what this is all about. “I’m just trying to establish a timeline,” Barry says. Clifford thinks Barry is not trying to rule him (Clifford) out as a suspect, it seems like Allen has already “got his man,” so this feels more like persecution. Barry apologizes for bothering Clifford but super speeds as The Flash and grabs DeVoe’s coffee mug.
Back at Star Labs, Caitlin (Danielle Panabaker) shows Barry, Iris (Candice Patton), Cisco (Carlos Valdes) and Harry the results from the DNA test she ran of the mug. It shows that Clifford DeVoe doesn’t experience any characteristics of being a metahuman. Joe, Cisco and Harry’s investigations don’t turn up anything except that DeVoe’s never been arrested, pays his taxes and mortgage and volunteers as a Big Brother. Besides for being a little absent minded, Clifford DeVoe appears to be a good guy and not a supervillain. And when Cisco vibes, all he sees is Marlize’s awesome mac and cheese. Iris pulls Barry aside to talk. Barry still feels Clifford DeVoe is too good to be true. Plus why would he be warned about someone named DeVoe if Clifford is just a normal college professor? Iris believes Barry is just suffering from the anxiety of their wedding being a week away.
In the past, Iris, Barry, Clifford and Marlize attend Harrison Wells’ announcement of the particle accelerator going online that night. But a robber steals Iris’ purse so she and Barry’s miss the rest. Marlize asks whether Wells has calculated every variable and can say that nothing can go wrong. Wells assures that he has, but Marlize thinks he’s lying. She later tells Clifford they should delay their plans to use the particle accelerator to power DeVoe’s thinking cap because there could be an explosion and the dark matter released may be volatile. But Clifford feels that it is worth the risk. As the particle accelerator explodes in a thunderstorm, Clifford DeVoe puts on his thinking cap and receives a huge jolt of dark matter. Marlize, who was monitoring the situation, rushes outside where she finds her husband unconscious on the ground. “No! Clifford, don’t you dare leave me,” Marlize cries as it appears Clifford DeVoe is dead. Suddenly, Clifford takes a breath. “I thought I lost you. How do you feel?” Marlize asks. “Enlightening,” Clifford answers.
Barry is called into Captain Singh’s (Patrick Sabongui) office where he finds Marlize and Clifford already there. Clifford is telling Captain Singh how Mr. Allen first came to their home and then his classroom. “What’s next, our bedroom where we sleep?” DeVoe asks sarcastically. Captain Singh offers his apologies on behalf of the Central City Police Department. Barry reluctantly apologizes as well. After the DeVoes leave the office, Captain Singh tells Barry that the couple filed a harassment claim against him (Barry) and warns him to stop bothering the DeVoe. Unless Clifford DeVoe is guilty of a specific crime, they (Joe and Barry) need to follow protocol. At home, Iris finds Barry has a clipboard of information of Marlize and Clifford. Barry tells Iris that Marlize DeVoe isn’t just some Stepford Wife who makes the perfect mac and cheese; she has two PHDs one in quantum mechanics and the other in robotics. DeVoe may execute the plans but Marlize carries them out. Iris knows that Barry was already called on the carpet by Captain Singh for harassing the DeVoe and urges for the sake of their upcoming wedding for him to let it go. But Barry doesn’t listen to her and later breaks into the DeVoe’s home to gather more information. When Marlize returns home from grocery shopping, Barry super speeds out of the DeVoe home.
In the past, Clifford is told by Dr. Ortiz (Paul Batten) that the condition in his legs has worsen and his paralysis will eventually lead to death. It seems like one of the effects of the particle accelerator helping to increase Clifford’s mind, as he now knows everything about everything, is that it has weaken his body. Marlize reminds that she didn’t sign on for his death. Later, Malize shows Clifford how the thinking cap can also delay the decay of his body.
At Star Labs in the present, Barry tells Team Flash that he found a listening device inside a samurai statute. This proves that the DeVoes have been watching them this entire time. When they learn that Barry broke into the DeVoes’ house they think that he is taking his obsession with Marlize and Clifford DeVoe too far. Barry can’t believe that his friends can’t see what a danger the DeVoes are. When he receives a message from Joe, Barry leaves Star Labs and goes to Central City Police Department. He finds Marlize in Captain Singh’s office crying about how she no longer feels safe in her own home. She has a picture that proves Barry broke in. Captain Singh assures Mrs. DeVoe that Mr. Allen will stop this immediately. Before he leaves Captain Singh’s office, Marlize slaps Barry! Captain Singh suspends Barry for two weeks and says that he Allen is lucky that he isn’t arresting him. Captain Singh encourages Barry to use the time to consider his (Barry) future in laws enforcement.
Iris returns home to find Barry sitting by the window moping. He shows her the restraining order against him; he has to stay five yards away from Clifford DeVoe. Barry tells Iris that he’s faced a lot of villains, but DeVoe seems more dangerous then all of them combined. Not knowing about DeVoe scare Barry. Iris reminds that they always have things coming after them. “How is it you’re not scared?” Barry asks. “Because we’re The Flash,” Iris answers.
The next day, Barry violates the restraining order and goes to see Clifford DeVoe at the college. “I wanted to look you and the eye and ask who are you really,” Barry says. DeVoe turns his wheelchair around and has his own question for Allen. “Who’s asking? Barry Allen or The Flash?” “How did you know?” Barry asks. Clifford tells Barry that his secret is underwhelming. DeVoe tells Barry that he (Clifford) was “born” the same day as The Flash due to the particle accelerator. Clifford DeVoe admits that he decided to come clean now because he has nothing to fear from Barry. And even Allen’s Council of Wells couldn’t uncover anything about him (DeVoe). Barry realizes that Clifford DeVoe’s ability is his intellect. “You may be the fastest man alive Allen. But I’m the fastest mind,” Clifford DeVoe taunts. “So this is how we begin whatever twisted game you have planned,” Barry says.
Returning to Star Labs, Barry tells Team Flash that DeVoe knows he (Barry) is The Flash and that Clifford’s ability is his mind. Cisco names DeVoe The Thinker. Team Flash is happy when Wally (Keiynan Lonsdale) enters, he’s back.
Marlize asks Clifford whether he’s actually going to let Iris and Barry marry. “What is knowledge without love?” Clifford smiles.