TV REVIEW: The Flash S4E20, ‘Therefore She Is’ (CONTAINS SPOILERS)

More than one romance comes to an end in “Therefore She Is,” some more tragically than others. The Flash finally unveils Clifford Devoe’s (Neil Sandilands) technophobic plan, which he ironically needs a lot of technology to enact, through a series of flashbacks that chart his wife Marlize’s (Kim Engelbrecht) change of heart in the early days of their relationship. Meanwhile, Cisco (Carlos Valdes) needs his girlfriend Cynthia’s (guest star Jessica Camacho) to help Vibe in order to get their most frustrating enemy yet, but the cracks in their relationship are preventing them from being in sync on the field. 

Not a lot actually happens during “Therefore She Is,” but there is more balance in the tone than in most episodes of late, and the revelations feel like a long time coming. And while it’s not particularly thrilling that Devoe wants to revert humanity back to a primitive state, Marlize’s journey from professional rivalry to the blossoming of love to the horror of how much he’s hiding is compelling and well-acted by Engelbrecht. And the flashbacks pair nicely with their present-day plans coming to fruition just as Marlize’s convictions falter once more. Her commitment to not destroying innocent life has remained consistent throughout, but it obviously hit a snag once Devoe started drugging her.

That does raise the question of whether her husband stopped drugging her once he was back in his own body, but assuming that’s true, it furthers the theme of emotions being his blind spot. Despite Marlize protesting ever since he killed the Warden several episodes again, Clifford remains convinced that he can pursue any action he likes and treat Marlize like dirt under his shoe with no consequences whatsoever. The added weight of the flashbacks, which show us that he may have once appeared more benign but was always dangerous, make Marlize’s final choice all the sweeter.

Cisco’s storyline also moves speedily along thanks to Barry’s (Grant Gustin) manic interference. Convinced that two Vibes are better one, Barry begs his friend to bring Cynthia in on the plan to get ahead of Devoe only to discover that Cisco’s been offered a job on Earth-19 that he’s reluctant to take. To his credit, Barry doesn’t try to convince Cisco to stay even though he’d clearly like to, but that doesn’t stop him from playing relationship counselor when he should have just called up Sharon Finkel. Iris (Candice Patton) does her best to keep her husband in check, but his over-eager tendencies force a real conversation between the breaching lovers sooner rather than later. The fact that they both truly love each other and are wonderful people is what makes their estrangement so painful, but it gives Valdes and Camacho a chance to act their hearts out.

Despite Cisco and Cynthia being out of sync, Iris’ solid leadership actually coaches everyone through a near-win against Devoe until Team Flash is foiled by one of their own. Caitlin (Danielle Panabaker) is so determined to get her alter ego back that she endangers herself and everyone else in “Therefore She Is” just to scare Killer Frost out of hiding. While the newfound closeness between Caitlin and Killer Frost was believable in previous episodes – not to mention an interesting change of pace – her recklessness this week feels tacked on and out of place. Giving her character development after years of alternating stagnation and loss of agency is a good thing, but jumping from point A to point D without seeing the steps in between makes her transformation incomplete.

On the other hand, Harry (Tom Cavanagh) boasts one of the most consistent storylines of recent weeks – even when it’s a little annoying. It’s refreshing to see him admit his mistakes to the team and take responsibility for his actions, and once again both he and the audience are reminded that intelligence does not make or break a person’s worth. It also seems that the writers have found a great platonic spark between him and Cecile (guest star Danielle Nicolet), whom he must keep distracted while Joe (Jesse L. Martin) plans her baby shower. Together, they realize that Cecile’s mind-reading powers allow her to read his thoughts before he forgets them, which means they finally have a solid lead on the Thinker’s plans and how to catch up to him. Twenty episodes is a little too late in the game to reach an even playing field, but at least the next three weeks will have more give and take.

Last but certainly not least, the West-Allen’s loft receives a very unexpected visitor during the baby shower that has fans buzzing all over again. The Mystery Girl (even though we all know who she is, especially considering the colors of her lightning) has now met everyone on The Flash except for Iris, who she’s actively avoiding. And though one scene every five episodes is not enough, the new theories that crop up with each of her visits are just about the best thing the show has going for it at the moment.

Rating: 3.5/5

Reviewer: Tatiana Hullender (@myrcellasear)

The Flash airs Tuesdays on the CW at 8/7c in the US.

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One comment

  1. Lauren /

    A 3.5! Wonderful. I was hoping for at least a 3 rating since this ep was such an improvement from past weeks. Great review! I agree w/ most if not all of it and can’t wait for your next one. 🙂

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