The Thinker Debuts Nefarious Plans in The Flash Season 4 Now on Blu-ray

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The Flash Season 4 Blu-ray

For all it's many (many, many) plot faults, the fourth season of THE FLASH is one of my personal favorites. It's not just because the big bad of the season finally wasn't another speedster who was faster than the titular "fastest man alive," or because the villain was (at least at first) one scary AF adversary. No, the real joy of this season of THE FLASH comes from the introduction of HARTLEY SAWYER as Ralph Dibny, aka The Elongated Man. In the Silver Age of comics, Barry Allen and Ralph Dibny were best friends, and teamed up often on cases, so it was nice to see that relationship begin to develop in the television series, even if it did begin on strained terms. The special effects for Ralph's powers were also better than anticipated, and will hopefully be even better and more creative going into the fifth season.

The driving force of this season comes from a new villain, The Thinker, aka Clifford Devoe (NEIL SANDILANDS). The Thinker was born on the same night as The Flash (GRANT GUSTIN), harnessing the wave of dark matter to increase his brain power. He is literally faster than The Flash when it comes to thinking, and has put into motion events that will see him victorious, being several steps ahead of Team Flash at every turn.

The first part of The Thinker's plan was to control the return of Barry Allen from the Speed Force, which took Barry into it at the end of Season 3 to stabilize it from destroying Central City. But Barry's re-emergence came with a disoriented Flash who spoke in prophetic gibberish, and a wave of dark matter particles that swept over a bus of a dozen people. Those people all developed different metahuman abilities, and became targets of The Thinker so that he could take over their bodies and cumulatively absorb all of their powers. Most of the bus metas, as they were referred to, became villains, or at best misunderstood dangers. But from their numbers there did rise one hero: Ralph Dibny, who gained the ability to stretch and contort his body in all sorts of ways.

The next part of The Thinker's plan is to have The Flash put away for murder -- and it works.

The mix of villains created by the dark matter wave were interesting. There was Hazard (SUGAR LYN BEARD) who could manipulate events on a quantum level so that she always had good luck -- with the equal and opposite reaction being that other people had bad luck. Then there was Melting Point, who could swap the metagenes of two different people, so that during his first contact with The Flash he inadvertently stole his speed -- and placed it into Iris (Candice Patton).

The rest of Team Flash have their own stories continuing through this season. Joe West (JESSE L MARTIN) is about to become a father again, and his future baby is giving its mother, D.A. Cecile Horton (DANIELLE NICOLET) temporary mind-reading abilities. Cisco Ramon (CARLOS VALDES) finds himself having to discourage Harrison Wells (TOM CAVANAGH) from following through with his plans to make himself as smart as The Thinker using dark matter, to no avail, leaving Wells facing a declining mental acuity. Caitlin Snow (DANIELLE PANABAKER), aka Killer Frost, tries to find a middle ground with her alternate identity, after escaping her servitude to Amunet Black (KATEE SACKHOFF), a metal-controlling villain who trafficks in metahumans. And there's a young lady appearing occasionally who seems to have a keen knowledge of the future -- with good reason -- who kicks off events at the end of the finale to set up the fifth season.

This Blu-ray release also includes all four episodes of the traditional annual CW crossover with SUPERGIRL, ARROW, and LEGENDS OF TOMORROW. This season that crossover was CRISIS ON EARTH X, pitting all our heroes against the metahumans of another alternate Earth -- one in which the Nazis won World War II.

While I was not crazy with the way The Thinker was finally taken down, because it was telegraphed from such a great distance, this season still had so much in it to enjoy, and some of the emotional rollercoaster that it ran the fans through was definitely worth the price of admission.

THE FLASH

SEASON 4

01. The Flash Reborn
02. Mixed Signals
03. Luck Be a Lady
04. Elongated Journey Into Night
05. Girls Night Out
06. When Harry Met Harry...
07. Therefore I Am
08. Crisis on Earth-X, Part 1-4
09. Don't Run
10. The Trial of The Flash
11. The Elongated Knight Rises
12. Honey, I Shrunk Team Flash
13. True Colors
14. Subject 9
15. Enter Flashtime
16. Run, Iris, Run
17. Null and Annoyed
18. Lose Yourself
19. Fury Rogue
20. Therefore She Is
21. Harry and the Harrisons
22. Think Fast
23. We Are the Flash
Grade: 
4.0 / 5.0