This post contains spoilers for The Flash.
Check out our previous review here.
We’ve only got a few more episodes left in this season of The Flash, and things have been ramping up for Barry and his team. Unfortunately, they haven’t been ramping up quiet as excitedly as one would expect for a show so late in its season. On the one hand, it’s nice to see them finally playing with a non-speedster villain. On the other, DeVoe’s smarter-than-thou gimmick started growing stale around episode ten, and the season is still playing the same tune in twenty. “Therefore She Is” is more informative than exciting, but damn does it finally give the ladies of the show the great moments they deserve.
Though “Therefore She Is” seemed like it was going to be plot heavy early on, it only touches on a few (albeit important) points that matter to the future of the show. The first: Cisco turning down the offer to take over Breacher’s job, leading to some heartbreaking and perfect moments between him and Gypsy that we will dive into a little bit more later. The second is breaking down what the enlightenment actually is. Conveniently, we’ve already gotten a glimpse of what the result of the Thinker’s plan will be through Harry Wells. The DeVoes want to revert everyone’s brains to a point that they forget about technology and their attachment to it. That seems dastardly enough, but for some reason it also manages to be super boring. Thankfully, it seems we’ll be getting a couple twists before the finale. The first of which is one of the several shining moments for the women.
Marlize DeVoe is fascinating, and she was only made moreso in “Therefore She Is”. Though flashbacks have been given a bad name due to Arrow’s overuse, they actually serve a purpose on this week’s The Flash. We learn that Marlize wasn’t always on board with Clifford’s plans, and that he’s always been a bit of a dick. She was going to save the world, but after mercenaries take down her mobile lab, Marlize sees that her future husband was right all along. He drafts her to her cause, recanting the mantra that would become the theme of their marriage: “I am nothing without you.”
We’ll get a chance to see just how true that is in the coming episodes, because The Thinker’s new found love for dropping bodies was the final nail in the proverbial coffin for his wife. Marlize traps him in their lab and leaves. What she’ll be doing now remains up in the air, but it seems unlikely that she’s going to head to Team Flash and help them out. Perhaps we’ve been paying attention to the wrong DeVoe all along, and it will be Marlize who completes their plan to enlighten humanity.
Though The Flash has historically had some issues with its female characters, Marlize isn’t the only character who’s given agency this week. At no point have the writers known what to do with Caitlin Snow, but playing Killer Frost as an anti-hero has been a baby step in the right direction for them. Tonight they took another, giving Caitlin the opportunity to handle something on her own. Team Flash is all about togetherness and family, and that’s all well and good, but only if it doesn’t result in your characters being given the opportunity to grow. Cait makes a rash decision that almost results in Gypsy’s death, but when confronted about it by Iris, she doesn’t duck her head the way she usually would. Instead, she acknowledges her rash decision while still admitting that she’ll do whatever it takes on her own to get her other half back. Don’t take that praise the wrong way, Caitlin’s decision to go it alone is for sure the wrong one, but a refreshing move for the character all the same.
Finally, there’s Gypsy. Her great moment is less about being given agency (because that’s never been a thing she’s had issue with), but because of the show’s acknowledgment of a common relationship issue for career driven women both in story and in real life. Gypsy and Cisco love each other, but they both want different things. Because of that, they make the heartbreaking decision to break things off. Cisco takes her back to Earth 19 and the two cry a little, but it results in this exchange:
“You treat me like I’m the only woman in the world, but I don’t want more. What’s wrong with me?”
“Nothing. Nothing is wrong with you.”
That’s it. It’s that simple. Nothing. Nothing is wrong with you. What a wonderful bit of dialogue to have in a genre that is getting past women being damsels and letting them be heroes. We’ve had female heroines for decades, but are finally learning how to break the mold of “strong female character” and show layers and emotion and flaws. It’s such a small moment, but it’s great all the same. Hopefully this won’t be the last we see of Gypsy, but if it’s her end, it was a good one.
Next week we’re going rogue. Caitlin has a plan, and it involves Amunet of all people. It seems the side-quest villain will be joining up with Team Flash temporarily to try and take down The Thinker (or Marlize). There’s no lead-in to this weird partnership, but not much is needed when you’re at risk of becoming a big dummy yourself if the other other team succeeds. We’ll see her get uppity again down the road provided she survives the big showdown, but in the meantime it seems the enemy of her enemy is her friend.
You know what do if you had thoughts on this week’s episode while you wait!