THE FLASH “THEREFORE SHE IS”
BY JUSTIN CARTER
It not exactly a stretch to say the last few episodes of The Flash have not painted the relationship between Devoe and Marlize in a positive light. Now that we know she’s come to the epiphany multiple times that he’s becoming heartless and has wiped her memory of these events and turned her into his submissive assistant, there’s been a layer of creepiness in their scenes together. She had to leave him eventually, and it’s this week that she finally does, having had enough of his heartlessness.
There was something of an odd relationship going on between the two in the also, highlighted by an incident in which Marlize was swayed by Devoe’s reasoning and ideas for the Enlightenment. The episode opens with a flashback in Oxford wherein he mansplains to her why technology is a detriment to humanity. His plan to perform what’s basically a global lobotomy and sap the human race of its intelligence is frankly a horrifying plan, and Marlize was right to walk out on him when he tried to give her the sales pitch. It’s all the more baffling that all it takes for her to hop on this plan is to become the survivor of a warlord attack for a water purification system she made.
The present day situation where Devoe has a baker’s dozen of meta powers only highlights the abusive angle even more, such as when he uses Null’s powers to turn her body around and make her watch him strangle Gypsy while she can only look on like a berated child. I’m not entirely sure if I’m comfortable with this — like I said, Devoe has altered her memory enough times that all this can’t help but look creepy. But Kim Englebrecht is still compelling as Marlize, and it’s satisfying as hell when she leaves and tells Devoe he’s nothing without her in the end, if nothing else.
Devoe and Marlize’s relationship isn’t the only one in trouble, as Cisco finally has to confront Gypsy about her dad’s job offer. Barry briefly gets involved to speed up the process and get back to Devoe hunting, but that goes about as well as expected and only exacerbates the issue even further. Neither of them want him to take the job, but Cisco wants something more serious rather than interdimensional flings, while she … doesn’t. It’s a bit of a mixed bag because while I do like the dynamic Gypsy and Cisco have, their relationship is not as defined as it could have been be by the time they break up. Her appearances were admittedly very sporadic, and I wish that we could’ve had more time just seeing them together so that this moment could have had the opportunity to land perfectly.
How much “Therefore She Is” will work is wholly dependent on how invested one is in the relationships of the Devoes and Gypsy/Cisco. As someone who prefers the latter and not so much the former, it’s a mixed bag overall. There’s some solid character work done here, but it does not help the episode’s case that the Enlightenment has spent so long being poorly defined as it did. Like its seasonal villain, the show may have spent too long setting up its game plan.
- A small scene that I enjoyed was Gypsy asking for more shots at Jitters like the hardboiled detective that she is on her Earth.
- Oh hey, Cecile’s back! Much more visibly pregnant and able to use her telepathy to help Harry with his deteriorating brain.
- The Mystery Girl shows up to hand Joe and Cecile a baby shower gift, and if nothing else, this definitely confirms she’s a West-Allen the way she ducks out once Iris shows up and has speedster powers with a color not unlike Iris’.
- Apparently Wally once sent the family something from Moses once, and I can’t help but wonder what that whole process was like.