The Flash‘s Barry Allen has finally met his greatest foe yet: Clifford DeVoe, aka the Thinker. In last week’s episode, Barry and Joe confronted DeVoe, only to find an unassuming middle aged man in a wheelchair and his wife. However, Barry isn’t about to let DeVoe go — at least, not until he’s able to show DeVoe to be the villain Barry swears he is. During a set visit, the Scarlet Speedster himself Grant Gustin weighed in on the threat of the Thinker and how Barry will become “obsessed” with proving his nefarious intentions, causing tension among the members of Team Flash.
“Barry starts to get an inkling early that this is going to be somebody serious and we’re going to want to nip it in the bud right away just because when we heard about this guy, thinking back to who we heard about him from, Kadabra mentioned DeVoe to Barry and then Savitar, evil Barry actually mentioned him Barry and Iris. So Barry… is taking it pretty seriously right away,” Gustin explained. “He starts to, before anybody else on the team, knows for sure that this is our guy and starts to become a little bit obsessed with getting him, because he doesn’t want things to get out of hand again, as they always do. We start to see him… unravel slightly for the first time all season, because he’s been pretty put together this year, positive. He starts to become a little obsessed with finding this guy and getting everyone to see and be on the same page as him and see that this our guy for sure. But everyone else has their doubts for a while.”
“Why Barry’s starting to get obsessed that this is our guy, he realizes that it’s going to get dirty quick, and before it gets dirty he wants to get ahead of this guy,” he continued. “And then they start to realize what a challenging foe he’s going to be and different than any other speedsters we’ve faced in the past. He’s not a speedster, he’s something we’ve never seen before. Things are going to take a dark turn quickly in the middle of the year.”
Barry’s obsession with the Thinker will also cause some tensions amongst Team Flash. “Barry is trying his best to mature and I think a lot of it is happening naturally so we’ll see them start to butt heads,” Gustin revealed. “He’s still Barry and he’s hot-headed and when he’s sure he’s right, he’s stubborn. But the team is in a good place this year so we’re not going to see any massive hiccups with the team at this point in the season. They’ll recover.”
“Also with bringing in Ralph Dibny, they have their detective background with each other. That’s kind of the selling point with Ralph, why he wants to get him to work with Team Flash, he’s like, ‘I want to teach you how to be a good detective again.’ There’s been a lot more of that for Barry and we don’t see him too much as a CSI. There’s been a little bit less of the like, ‘Guys, what do I do?’ and more of the problem solving on his own,” he teased. “We’ll still some of the, ‘Guys, what do I do? I’m not fast enough!’ but he’s been trying to solve more problems on his own, a lot more detective work and Ralph and Barry have been doing that together a lot which has been cool. And the DeVoe storyline calls for it because we’re just solving a problem from the beginning of the season on.”
However, the Thinker won’t think as much of Team Flash. “The Thinker is less about Barry and more about his vision of Central City and how he thinks he can make it better and make the world better. He doesn’t really become obsessed with Barry and the team as in the way as they start to become. Although he also has a bigger picture in mind that the team isn’t aware of. So I don’t even know necessarily where they’re going with DeVoe because he’s obviously our big bad of the year. There’s thing I don’t necessarily know, what he knows about the team. But he’s more all-knowing than any big bad we’ve had before. Every time we think we’re ahead of him, we realize he’s still three steps ahead, so I, Grant, have no idea what is going to happen. So Barry has no idea what’s going to happen whatsoever.”
“We have the bus metas and DeVoe created all of them. And they all have to do with his plan. None of this was an accident. We don’t realize that at first but we start to see everything’s connected and we don’t know why he needs all these people and why he did this to them,” he concluded.
Candice Patton, who plays Barry’s soon-to-be bride, also weighed in on the Season 4 big bad and the toll he will take on their relationship. “The Thinker is a huge villain this season. I think people will be really pleased with him,” she shared. “There’s a lot more than meets the eye with him. We’ll get into more at the of that episode. It kind of ends up driving Barry crazy, because he thinks he knows more about this guy, that’s he’s not all that he’s cracked up to be, or that’s he’s portraying himself to be. It pushes Barry to do some things that could possibly get him in trouble. Devoe is extraordinarily smart and he’s always three, four, five steps ahead of Barry and everyone on Team Flash. So, they have to work really hard to figure out how to get ahead of him.”
“It’s troubling for Iris. I think she thinks Barry’s gotta take a step back or you could end up in a lot of trouble,” she added. “You can’t go after people like that. There’s laws and things. There’s going to be a little tension there. Iris is gonna be a little worked about how serious he’s taking this DeVoe character.”
Starring Grant Gustin as the Scarlet Speedster, The Flash airs Tuesdays at 8 p.m. ET/PT on The CW. The series also stars Jesse L. Martin, Tom Cavanagh, Carlos Valdes, Candice Patton, Danielle Panabaker, Keiynan Lonsdale and more.
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