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A Bit of Wits on THE FLASH

The Flash’s seventh episode (“Therefore I Am”) had Barry veering quickly into Barry no territory, aka bad decision making. At one point, Iris asks him—mildly horrified—“So you think DeVoe and his wife are supervillains?” The kicker is, obviously, that Barry isn’t wrong. Sure, he gets in trouble at work, breaks into their house, and then violates a restraining order. (Proving, tangentially, how pointless a restraining order can be when someone is out-of-their-mind determined.)

Barry spends most of the episode out of sorts, because his “Spidey sense is just tingling way off the charts.” The thing is, the frenetic determination was pretty pitch perfect. At some point in our lives—probably as often as the third Tuesday of every month, if you’re me—our gut tells us something we know but cannot immediately prove. Sure, it’s probably not about evil masterminds, one of whom makes amazing mac and cheese. (Loved Cisco’s vibe, although I have questions about that particular memory. Can The Thinker control something like that?)

But you know who was amazing, again? Iris. She’s organizing everyone, assigning tasks, calling Barry out on his crazypants shenanigans of NOPE—and supporting him. She gave him some pretty solid life advice, too: “A time goes by, there’s going to be even more for us to lose. … You can’t let that consume you.” That’s the trick to life—not getting bogged down by the fear and the what-ifs, the dark things that live in the corners of your brain. It was nice to see Iris as a grounding, calming force for Barry. It’s good to see their love in action.

Speaking of love in action, DeVoe and his wife would be terribly sweet, if they weren’t each a bit…zealous. She’s brilliant as all hell, mechanically speaking. And he’s the smartest—although often the most tactless—man alive. Or as he phrases it, “You may be the fastest man alive, Allen. I’m the fastest mind.” A side effect of the accelerator explosion resulted in a super speedy case of ALS, which is why the creeptastic floating chair is necessary to prolong his life.

I really enjoyed Neil Sandilands’ scenes with Grant Gustin. He brought a smug, quiet menace to the roll, which is contrasted by his frustration and condescension in other scenes (with his wife when he fell, with the doctor who stumbled over his diagnosis). His self-assuredness is fascinating.

I enjoyed that Barry cautioned, “He’s moved us like chess pieces in a game we didn’t even know we were playing.” The running theme/imagery of chess is thoughtful. That lead up gave us Wally’s return, which made me very happy! Weirdly, though, I missed Ralph a little. He always adds levity to an episode.

All in all, I think DeVoe might, strangely, be the most compelling villain, since the beginning of the show. I can’t wait to see how the rest of his evil plans unfold. NARF. Wait, that’s not right…

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