Central City University– Four Years Ago
Teacher Clifford DeVoe is teaching to a disinterested class, and the bell rings. Everyone leaves and Clifford's fellow teacher and wife Marlize comes in and Clifford complains that nothing matters to their students, and Marlize assures him that he's the most brilliant mid she knows. He shows her his plans for a "thinking cap" that can increase his mind's capacity... and if Marlize can build it. Marlize tells him that she can and they kiss.
Marlize pours lemonade, and Clifford talks about how she can maintain an immaculate household and take care of him. He asks how he can help, and Barry says that the name DeVoe came up in an investigation. Joe explains that it's been connected to four criminal cases, and Clifford tells them his history. Joe asks him if he knows Ramsey, Becky, Ralph, or Mina. Clifford remembers Mina from when she was an anthropologist at the university before she was let go. Barry sees a painting of a samurai that looks like the Samuroid, and Clifford admits that he speaks Japanese and it's one of his areas of expertise. He says that they need to change the way that people think, and Marlize tells Joe and Barry that her husband needs rest. Joe excuses himself and Barry.
Outside, Harry asks if Clifford is their opponent.
Back at S.T.A.R. Labs, Barry figures that Clifford is playing nice and figures that there's something weird about him. They agree to check Clifford's digital footprint and run a background check. Iris asks Barry if he's all right, and he says that he is.
Four Years Ago
Clifford is watching a video of Harrison when Marlize comes in with the thinking cap she created. She warns that it requires an expanding energy source, and Clifford directs her attention to Harrison talking about his power accelerator. Clifford and Marlize figure that they can us that.
Clifford addresses a cabin about cycles in history, and Barry sits in the back watching. The professor sees him and dismisses his class. Afterward, Barry comes down and asks where he was on the night of the particle accelerator explosion. Clifford claims that he has no idea,, and Barry asks him if he ever uses a public bus. He says that he prefers Lyft, and suggests that Barry is prosecuting him. Barry gives him his card and speeds so fast as to be invisible, taking Clifford's coffee cup.
At S.T.A.R. Labs, Caitlin analyzes the DNA on the cup and assures the team that it's not meta DNA. Cisco, Harry, and Iris have found nothing. Barry insists that Clifford isn't what he seems and he's hiding something. He has Cisco vibe the cup, and Cisco sees Clifford and Marlize eating dinner at home. Iris talks to Barry privately and wonders if he's seeing things the way he wants to see them. Barry isn't sure, and Iris says that she needs to get the wedding ready and needs Barry's help.
Four Years Ago
Harrison and Caitlin go to the press conference at the initiation of the particle accelerator. A pickpocket takes off with Iris' purse, and Barry goes after him. Meanwhile, Marlize asks Harrison if the accelerator could cause a benevolent phenomenon. Harrison insists that the outcome has been predicted, and Marlize introduces herself. Harrison realizes that Clifford is with her and says that he's a big fan of his works. He thanks Clifford for coming and leaves.
Outside, Marlize tells Clifford that Harrison is lying and wants an explosion. She suggests that they delay their plans because it's too risky, but Clifford is willing to take the chance to power the cap. Later, Clifford takes up position outside S.T.A.R. Labs while Marlize monitors the energy at their van. The accelerator goes into overdrive and Clifford puts on the cap. The energy levels sweep outward and enter Clifford through the cap, blasting him down. The cap falls off and Marlize runs to her unconscious husband and administers CPR. After a moment he revives and says that he feels enlightened.
At his police lab, Barry is working when an officer calls Barry to Singh's office. When he goes there, he finds Clifford and Marlize there with Joe. Clifford says that Barry is going to continue harassing him, and Singh apologies on behalf of the GCPD. Barry has no choice but to apologize, and the DeVoes leave. Singh asks Barry why he's bothering them, and demands to know what case he and Joe are working on. The captain tells them to stay away from the DeVoes, and Barry looks out the office window to see Clifford looking back at him as he leaves.
Back in his police lab, Barry is going over his files on Clifford when Iris comes in. Barry hides them at superspeed but Iris finds them anyway. Barry says that Marlize is helping Clifford and is a mechanical genius. Iris points out that the others have found nothing on Clifford, and tells Barry to let it go.
Clifford is furiously writing down formulas on a chalkboard in his home. He tells Marlize that he's solved all of them, and invites her to ask him anything. Clifford works out who was Jack the Ripper, and says that Marlize made it all possible. He goes into convulsions and collapses to the floor.
At S.T.A.R. Labs, Barry is going over the new metas when the Samuroid helmet buzzes. Barry opens it and finds a phone inside. He removes the camera inside and speeds to the DeVoe house.
Marlize has placed Clifford in bed and drives off in her car. Barry watches from outside and then breaks into the house. He looks through the house and hears Marlize returns from the grocery store. Barry hides and then speeds out.
A doctor tells Clifford that his muscles are decaying, and Clifford already knows all of the medical history. Marlize asks for a prognosis, and Clifford realizes that complete paralysis and then death will come within two or three years. The doctor leaves and Clifford says that his mind is drawing energy from his body. Marlize refuses to give up, but Clifford points out that dying wasn't part of their plan.
Barry returns to S.T.A.R. Labs and says that he found a camera and it led back to DeVoe. He admits that he didn't trace it, but Cisco points out that the camera isn't active. Barry finally tells them that he broke into the DeVoe house, and insists that Clifford is ahead of them. Joe calls Barry in and tells him to stop, and finds Marlize crying and complaining to Singh. She says that Barry broke into their home and shows Singh photos of Barry breaking in. Singh assures her that Barry will stop it, and Marlize slaps Barry and tells him to stay away from him. Once she walks out, Singh suspends Barry for two weeks and advises him to consider his future in law enforcement.
Later at the apartment, Iris comes home and finds Barry staring out the window. He shows her a restraining order for him against Clifford, and Iris tells him to stop. Barry says that he can't stop, and warns that Clifford feels more dangerous than all the other villains that he's faced. He explains that it's different because he's been happy since he came back from the Speed Force. Now he has more to lose than ever before. Iris points out that there will be more for them to lose as time goes by, and Barry can't let it consume him. Barry wonders how she's not scared, and Iris tells him that the two of them are Flash as they kiss.
Clifford wheels himself to the fireplace and tries to get up to reach a book. He falls and Marlize tries to help him. He orders her away and yells at her that he's an atrocity. After a moment, Clifford asks her what he is. She tells him that he's her husband, and Clifford says that her husband is gone and asks her to let him die. Marlize helps him into his wheelchair and says that she's not going anywhere. When Clifford warns that his body will expire, Marlize shows him her plans for a suit that will let him live longer.
Barry goes to Clifford's auditorium and says that he wanted to ask him who he really is. Clifford asks him if Barry Allen is asking or Flash. He explains that he was "born" on the same night as Flash, and points out that he's prepared for every eventuality. Barry wonders why he's revealing himself now, and Clifford says that he has nothing to fear from him or the Council of Wells. He says that Barry can't outthink him, and says that he has powers of limitless thought and is the fastest mind alive. Students come in and Clifford says that he's already lost, congratulates him on his upcoming wedding, and says that he'll be thinking of him.
Later, Barry tells the team what Clifford told him, and Cisco names him "The Thinker". Wally comes in and figures that they could use a hand, and everyone welcomes him home. Barry figures that it's Thinker's move, and they take their time and formulate a plan. Meanwhile, Iris says that they get married.
In their lab, Clifford tells Mechanic that he likes the name "Thinker" and they will be the first to experience his enlightenment. He starts to have a seizure, and Mechanic kisses him and says that she's nothing without him. After a moment he tells her to proceed, and Mechanic removes the top of his head. The Thinker exo-suit descends and transfers Clifford into its chair. He says that his body will survive long enough, and Mechanic asks if he'll let them get married as they watch S.T.A.R. Labs on the monitors. Thinker says that knowledge is nothing without love.
Written by Gadfly on Nov 22, 2017