- NOTE: This article is about the incarnation of the Thinker from the Arrowverse. The mainstream version can be found here: Thinker.
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|“||Imagine a world enlightened. Within a day, soldiers will lay down their arms. Every nuclear weapon will be disarmed within six months. Poverty, famine, and disease will be eradicated. We will clean up the streets. People will put down their idiot phones and become curious again, and I will be there to teach them. I, not you, will save this godforsaken world.||„|
|~ DeVoe explaining his long term plan to Barry.|
Clifford DeVoe, mostly referred to as DeVoe and nicknamed The Thinker by Cisco Ramon, is an unseen antagonist mentioned in The Flash's third season and the main antagonist of its fourth season. He is the Arrowverse's live action adaptation of the DC Comics villain Thinker.
He is primarily portrayed by Neil Sandilands, while also portrayed by Kendrick Sampson, Stephanie Lyn Beard, Miranda MacDougall, Arturo Del Puerto and Hartley Sawyer when inhabiting other bodies.
Clifford DeVoe was born and raised in South Africa. After studying history and econometrics at the University of Johannesburg, he took a teaching position at Oxford, specializing in the history of warfare and military strategy, focusing on the early Middle Ages. At Oxford, he met fellow professor Marlize DeVoe and the two fell in love and eventually married.
Both DeVoes eventually came to teach at the Central City University. Clifford soon became frustrated with the disinterest the students showed in his class but did not openly show it to them. After finishing one lecture, he was visited in the classroom by his wife who had just finished her own lecture. Clifford shared his concern with Marlize and wondered how they could possibly enlighten their students' minds too small for their knowledge. Although Marlize stated that their "plan" would work, Clifford stated that he himself was not smart enough to deliver the knowledge to his students. He revealed to Marlize that he had created a blueprint for a "thinking cap", which would help him get smarter. Marlize agreed to built the cap for her husband.
During the next months, Marlize started working on the thinking cap. Meanwhile, at S.T.A.R. Labs, "Harrison Wells" was finishing his work on the particle accelerator which was to be activated soon as well. While he was watching an interview with Wells on the TV, Marlize revealed the finished thinking cap to Clifford. She revealed that there was one last problem with the thinking cap; it required an enormous energy source. Thinking about a solution, Clifford looked at the TV once more and realized that Wells might just have provided him with the solution. Both Clifford and Marlize went to the final press conference for the accelerator where, unbeknownst to them, Barry Allen was nearby as well.
When Harrison Wells asked whether there were any questions, Marlize reminded him that protesters thought that the accelerator could create a black hole or a Higgs-Boson-Bridge. Wells assured her that he had foreseen any possible outcome and asked Marlize for her name. When she told him the name, he remembered the name DeVoe and realized that he was looking at Marlize and Clifford DeVoe, who were to become supervillains in the future. Wells claimed to be a big fan of DeVoe's work and that it would have enormous impact on the future. Wishing DeVoe "good luck" for his future plans, Wells then left the stage.
Outside the laboratory, Marlize revealed to Clifford that she believed that Wells was lying and that he actually wanted a particle accelerator explosion. She advised Clifford to delay the plan as it was too risky, but Clifford convinced her to go through with it. Moments before the accelerator was activated, DeVoe realized that the event had started because the rain was suddenly not falling down but flying upward. He put on the thinking cap but the explosion of the accelerator overloaded the device, electrocuting him severely and stopping his heart. Shocked, Marlize began to reanimate her husband and succeeded. Furthermore, their plan had succeeded as well and by using the thinking cap, Clifford had actually gained the power of limitless thought. When the delighted Marlize asked Clifford how he felt, DeVoe replied that he felt "enlightened".
Back at home, DeVoe solved many mathematical problems with ease and proved how much smarter he has gotten - for example by finding out the true identity of Jack the Ripper. Delighted and still shocked by the procedure, DeVoe revealed to Marlize that he felt like every little bit of knowledge now resided in his brain and that he knows every answer to every question ever asked. While thanking Marlize for making everything possible, Clifford suddenly collapsed and fell to the floor twitching, much to the shock of Marlize. He was brought to a hospital where, after some tests, a doctor started revealing the diagnosis to him. However, DeVoe interrupted him and delivered the rest of the diagnosis himself, having realized that he has a case of the muscle degenerating disease ALS. However, the doctor revealed to him that his muscles were degenerating far more quickly than normal. The doctor further revealed that the life expectancy of a normal ALS patient is two to five years, but that in Clifford's case it would be half. When the doctor left the two to give them a moment to stomach the reveal, Clifford realized something and told Marlize that his brain is so extremely functional that it is drawing power from the rest of his body, slowly killing him.
Realizing that they were so close to their goal and that he still would not be able to make it, DeVoe grew bitter and disappointed, claiming that while many of the meta-humans used their powers for evil, he wanted to use his own powers for the good of humanity and is condemned nonetheless. As DeVoe's disease spread, he was eventually depending on a wheelchair. Unable to do things he would normally have been able to do, Clifford once fell out of the wheelchair while grabbing a book. Alarmed, Marlize came to his help but bitterly, Clifford sent her away. Shocked, Marlize stated that she only wanted to help but Clifford coldly stated that if she wanted to do so, she should create a time machine in order to prevent him from ever becoming this monstrosity. Clifford asked Marlize to let him die, but Marlize, determined to save her husband, refused and made other plans. Although she was unable to stop DeVoe's muscles from degenerating, she was able to build a technically advanced pod which at least slowed down the degeneration. This levitating pod-like chair, outfitted with loads of high-tech equipment, served as a way to prolong DeVoe's life until another way to save him could be found.
With the problem temporarily out of the way, Clifford and Marlize realized that the only way of saving Clifford was to get him a new body entirely. As this new body would have to be able to withstand DeVoe's immense intellect, they came to the conclusion that a meta-human was required to be the new host for him. They fabricated a plan which, if executed right, would result in the new creation of several meta-humans and they decided to keep close surveillance afterwards in order to find the best suited target. This operation, however, meant that their true plan, to enlighten the people, would have to be postponed until Clifford had his new body.
Although they would not meet him until much later, DeVoe is teased multiple times throughout Team Flash's adventures.
While Team Flash is searching for a way to defeat the evil speedster Savitar, they come upon Abra Kadabra, a magician from the future. Kadabra is aware of the Flash's future, which is past for Kadabra, and mentions the name DeVoe as one of the Flash's most important adversaries next to Savitar, Eobard Thawne and Zoom.
When Savitar, revealed to be a time remnant of Barry Allen from the future, briefly "teams up" with Team Flash and arrives at S.T.A.R. Labs, he recalls memories from the past which include taking down DeVoe with a cerebral inhibitor. When Barry asks who Savitar was talking about, Savitar smiles and claims that Barry hasn't "gotten" there yet.
Setting things in motion
After Savitar's defeat, Barry is forced inside the Speed Force and disappears for good. This, however, is a set-back for DeVoe, whose plan depends on the Flash. In order to draw Barry out of the Speed Force, DeVoe makes a plan. Marlize creates a Samuroid and sends him into the City where the robot demands that the Flash is handed to him. Because of the Samuroid's demands, Cisco and the rest of Team Flash attempt to bring Barry out of the Speed Force in order to have him battle the Samuroid. This works out and Barry emerges from the Speed Force, although, unleashing dark matter from his return, Barry accidentally gives meta-human powers to several civilians that were inside a bus close to where he opened the Speed Force portal.
After Barry finally takes down the Samuroid, Marlize informs DeVoe that the Samuroid has served its purpose. DeVoe, who is sitting in his levitating chair, replies that the Samuroid did its job, just like the samurai did in feudal Japan. Marlize claims that their plan worked and that the Flash is back in Central City. DeVoe agrees that it appears as if things were going as planned. When Marlize asks him what their next step is, DeVoe replies that he is currently thinking about it.
A week later, DeVoe is playing Schubert's unfinished eighth symphony on a holographic piano when Marlize approaches him, musing how she enjoyed the song as a child. DeVoe proves his immense mental power and intellect when he reveals that the symphony is no longer unfinished, as he completed it with ease after familiarizing him with all 600 of Schubert's works in one morning, simply because he woke up early. DeVoe then asks Marlize for an update on Kilg%re and Marlize reveals that Deacon is safely locked up in the meta-human wing of Iron Heights, exactly where DeVoe wanted him. When Marlize asks what their next step is, DeVoe claims that it is time to locate "the others", revealing the eleven other meta-humans that have been created by Barry's return.
True to his word, DeVoe soon finds another new meta-human, Rebecca Sharpe, who has developed the power to advance or lower the probability of luck in her and others. While observing her from his lair, DeVoe starts a recording in which he collects his findings and thoughts about Becky. He comes to the conclusion that Becky's self esteem will allow him to manipulate her with ease. He later tells Marlize that Rebecca might be the most formidable candidate but also states that further observation is required. After Becky has been captured and arrested, Marlize claims that maybe the team is smarter than DeVoe gives them credit. DeVoe replies that he is smarter still, revealing that the Samuroid head that Team Flash now has on their desk at S.T.A.R. Labs is outfitted with a camera and allows DeVoe to see the team's every move.
After capturing Kilg%re and Sharpe, Team Flash slowly connects the dots and start suspecting that Barry's return from the Speed Force and the subsequent creation of the meta-humans was planned by somebody. After solving the case around Ralph Dibny and Mayor Anthony Bellows, Barry is also told by Dibny that a mystery client called "DeVoe" employed him to look into the mayor. The name DeVoe triggers the memory of Abra Kadabra's monologue in Barry and he realizes that this "DeVoe" might be the person behind the events of the last weeks.
The team makes it their top priority to find out the identity of "DeVoe", starting with the premise that it is the surname of the person. However, as there are thousands of people with the name DeVoe in the state, and they have no age or gender to lower the number of possible suspects, the search is harder than anticipated. While the team struggles to identify him, DeVoe heads out into the city in his levitating chair. He tracks down one of his meta-humans, the so-called "Weeper", and tells him that he cannot run until he has fulfilled the destiny DeVoe created him for - after all, DeVoe went through a lot of trouble creating him in the first place. DeVoe then fires and energy blast out of his chair at the Weeper, knocking him out, and kidnaps him.
Revealing himself to Barry
|“||Your Council of Wells... Could anyone of those clowns identify what my abilities are? You could gather every genius on any planet and you still couldn' outthink me. You have done wonders all these years, punching gorillas with rudimentary powers, chasing madmen shooting icicles... Those were children! With playguns; Savitar, Zoom, Thawne... their powers are nothing compared to the power of limitless thought You may be the fastest man alive, Allen, I'm the fastest mind...||„|
|~ DeVoe reveals his powers.|
Realizing that her husband's calculations are still good enough, Marlize begrudgingly agrees to continue their work. Meanwhile, Team Flash still searches for a way to deduce DeVoe's identity. In order to do so, Harry Wells calls in several of his counterparts from different realities so that they can use their brainpower to find out who DeVoe is. However, Team Flash also has to deal with Black Bison, one of the bus meta-humans who is stealing artifacts belonging to her people.
With the help of the Harrison Wells from all other universes, Team Flash is able to deduce Clifford DeVoe as the true identity of the DeVoe who hired Ralph Dibny. They give the identity and his address to Barry who heads to the place together with Joe West. However, as they decide to do so at S.T.A.R. Labs, DeVoe is warned through the Samuroid camera. When Barry and Joe arrive at DeVoe's house, they are greeted by Marlize and Clifford - in civillian clothes and with Clifford sitting in a wheelchair.
After their initial surprise, Barry and Joe are invited into the DeVoe household where they see nothing more than a happy marriage and a jovial Clifford. When DeVoe asks how he can help them, Barry reveals that the name DeVoe came up in an investigation and that they would like to ask him some questions. They state that the name came up in connection to four criminal cases and when Marlize asks if they think that Clifford is a witness, Barry states that they would like to eliminate him as a suspect. Marlize acts outraged but Clifford claims that it is alright. He answers Barry's and Joe's questions, revealing things about his past. He also reveals that they came to Central City four years ago. When Barry and Joe show them photos of the meta-humans they have identified so far, DeVoe claims that he knows none of them save for Mina Chaytan who was a colleague of theirs at Central City University.
Barry notices a painting in the living room of the DeVoe's, which depicts a samurai. He mentions it and Clifford states that the samurai were formidable warriors of old. He claims that the history of feudal Japan is one of his areas of expertise,but of course, both Barry and Joe remember of the Samuroid attack. When Barry asks whether Clifford speaks the language as a way to test him, DeVoe actually answers in fluent Japanese. DeVoe states that he loves teaching and that, as a teacher, he has to change the way people think. Marlize interrupts him, claiming that he is passionate about his work but needs his rest. Barry and Joe take their leave and back at S.T.A.R. Labs, they discuss what happened. Everyone, minus Barry, is skeptic Clifford DeVoe is the true villain since he is wheelchair-bound and on paper appears to be a pretty nice guy with a clean record.
Unwilling to rule DeVoe out as a suspect so fast, Barry visits one of his university lectures. DeVoe notices him but continues his lecture nonetheless. After the students are dismissed, Barry confronts DeVoe once more and asks him where he was at the night of the particle accelerator explosion. DeVoe states that he has no idea because that event was four years ago. When Barry asks him whether DeVoe ever uses public service for travelling - implying that DeVoe could be one of the bus-metas, DeVoe reminds him that he is in a wheelchair. DeVoe claims that it looks as if Barry got the guy he was looking for. Barry apologizes and turns to leave. Before he leaves the university, he hands DeVoe his business card and tells him to e-mail him if he remembers anything important. However, he then uses his speed to swiftly steal DeVoe's coffee mug to get his DNA. Back at S.T.A.R. Labs, the team analyzes DeVoe's DNA and comes to the conclusion that DeVoe is not a meta-human. Despite Barry insisting that DeVoe is hiding something, the team does not believe it. Even vibing the cup reveals nothing suspicious.
DeVoe and Marlize head to the CCPD precinct where they complain to Barry's superior, Captain Singh, about Barry who has now twice been accusing them without any reason or evidence. Singh orders Barry into his office where he witnesses DeVoe testifying that Barry has now harassed him in his own home and at his workplace. He demands that these intrusions stop and Singh apologizes and forces Barry to apologize as well. After DeVoe and Marlize have left, Singh orders Barry to stay away from the DeVoes.
Back at S.T.A.R. Labs, Barry notices a weird sound and finds the camera in the Samuroid head. He immediately speeds to the DeVoe house and, watching Marlize drive off, uses the chance to break in. He searches the house for evidence but does not find anything. Furthermore, as he is not wearing his Flash costume, his face is clearly visible. DeVoe, having anticipated this move from Barry, has had cameras built into his home. The next day, Barry is called to Singh's office once more where a crying Marlize tearfully states that she does not feel safe anymore. When Barry enters, Marlize accuses him of breaking into her home and shows him the pictures. Singh is forced to suspend Barry for this.
Unsure what to do next, Barry visits DeVoe's lecture once more. When he enters the room, DeVoe mentions that Barry is in violation of a restraining order but asks what Barry wants that is so important that he would risk incarceration. Barry states that he came to look DeVoe in the eyes and ask him who he is. DeVoe returns a question, he wants to know whether it is Barry or the Flash asking. Barry is surprised and asks how DeVoe found that out but DeVoe states that this is one of the easier and more underwhelming discoveries he made. DeVoe states that, like Barry, he was "born" on the day of the particle accelerator explosion. Barry asks how DeVoe managed to trick the DNA analysis but DeVoe replies that the answer is surprisingly clever - he is smarter than Barry and his team is and the team has no device, method or plan that DeVoe cannot anticipate and deflect with ease.
Barry asks why DeVoe would reveal himself now and DeVoe states that he did it because he has nothing to fear from Barry. Barry tells him not to be so sure of that because he has some of the smartest people in the multiverse on his side but DeVoe breaks out in laughter and claims that Barry's "Council of Wells" barely managed to uncover his identity and that not one of these clowns could identify his special powers. Barry warns DeVoe that many meta-humans have tried to harm him and his friends and family, but DeVoe compares these to children with toy guns. He claims that none of their powers equal his own - the power of limitless thought - and when Barry states that this seems to be how they start DeVoe's twisted game, DeVoe replies that Barry has already lost without even realizing it. As a frustrated Barry turns to leave - he has no evidence against DeVoe, after all - DeVoe arrogantly congratulates him on his upcoming marriage. He states that he will definitely be thinking of Barry.
Back at S.T.A.R. Labs, Barry reveals his findings to Team Flash. Cisco gives DeVoe the nickname "Thinker" and the team thinks about how they can counter DeVoe's supreme intelligence. Meanwhile, Clifford and Marlize head back into their lair. Marlize admits that Clifford was correct in assuming that Barry would come to confront him. DeVoe compliments Barry on finally seizing control of his fear and also tells Marlize that he likes the nickname the team gave him. He also says that Barry and his friends will be the first to experience the "Enlightenment" but suddenly starts twitching. Horrified, Marlize realizes that he has been unplugged from the regeneration chair for too long. She lovingly states that she is nothing without her husband and kisses him but after a brief moment, DeVoe's expression gets cold again and he bluntly tells her to proceed. Marlize then activates the chair and several wires and mechanical tentacles grab DeVoe, connect to his body and brain - which is lying free under the fake scalp he is wearing - and lift DeVoe into the chair. Marlize claims that Clifford's body is deteriorating faster than the chair can handle but DeVoe replies that it will be enough until they have found their candidate. Marlize then asks him if he really wants to let Barry and Iris get married and DeVoe states that he will not interfere with the wedding - after all, what is knowledge without love.
Making his move against Barry
After having revealed himself to Barry, DeVoe finally finds the bus meta-human whose body he plans to inherit. It is the mind-reader Dominic Lanse but Lanse, who is in possession of the crime lord and meta-human trafficker Amunet Black, has been attacked and now has a metal shrapnel buried into his skull and is comatose. While Amunet works on the problem being fixed, DeVoe performs his move against Barry on Christmas Day. The plan starts by sending Barry and Iris, who have recently gotten married, an anonymous gift - a box with an ebony-inlaid knife. Barry and Iris are surprised but do not think much about the gift.
In his own home, DeVoe tells his wife that the atrophy in his hands has gotten worse but, surprisingly optimistic, he also tells Marlize that it doesn't matter because today is "the day" after all. Marlize appreciates the joyfulness of her husband and tells Clifford that it is fitting that he will soon share a birthday with the Messiah. DeVoe is amused and reveals to Marlize that Jesus wasn't born until spring. He realizes that he told Marlize this before and asks her if it is true. Marlie admits that it is but sadly states that she will never grow tired of hearing Clifford's voice. DeVoe tells her that even after he has possessed Dominic's body, the words will still be his even if the voice is not. He asks Marlize if she has doubts but she denies it, she states that it will take some time getting used to. When Marilze moves to leave the room, DeVoe stops her and promises her that he will stand by her again.
While Barry and Iris are out in the city in order to buy the last Christmas presents, they are suddenly confronted by DeVoe in his levitating chair. Before they can even see him, DeVoe blasts Barry with an energy blast. Hovering past Iris, DeVoe congratulates her on her wedding but then turns to Barry once more. Barry, who has meanwhile donned his Flash suit, speeds Iris out of harm's way before heading back for DeVoe. He speeds up a house in order to get up to DeVoe's height but DeVoe grabs him out of the air with his chair's tentacle arms, tasers him and flies off with him.
After Iris has informed the Team about Barry, Cisco tries to vibe his location but through some fail-safe on DeVoe's part, he is not only unable to do so but also being hurt by doing it. Barry, meanwhile, wakes up in DeVoe's futuristic lair where he is captured by a speedster-proof force field. Eventually, DeVoe flies down into the room and greets Barry. Barry sarcastically congratulates him on his dramatic entrance and asks whether this is DeVoe's sanctuary. Equally sarcastic, DeVoe asks what exactly gave that away. Barry wants to know why DeVoe took him, because if he wanted Barry dead he could just have electrocuted him to death out on the street. DeVoe tells Barry that Barry is here to be taught - DeVoe is a teacher, after all. Barry reveals what he knows of DeVoe's involvement in his life so far, including the Samuroid, his return from the Speed Force, and the creation of the bus-metas. He wants to know what DeVoe's endgame is but DeVoe claims that his ultimate plan is not part of today's syllabus. Barry claims that he is a fast learner and that they can surely fit it in somewhere but DeVoe arrogantly states that Barry is as capable of understanding his plan as an infant is capable of mastering advanced physics.
DeVoe claims that the lesson he has prepared for today is much easier - Life 101, so to speak - and reveals that the lesson is "There are no happy endings". While DeVoe claims that Barry should learn to lose once in a while, the two hear the bell of DeVoe's house door upstairs ringing. Through a monitor, DeVoe shows Barry that Joe West has come to his home. This visibly shocks Barry and while DeVoe flies off to greet Joe, Barry screams after him not to hurt Joe. DeVoe heads upstairs and gets out of his high-tech chair. He lets Joe and into his home and welcomes them. Joe outright demands to get his son back but, feigning ignorance, DeVoe claims that he had no idea Barry is missing. DeVoe, enjoying his superiority, claims that - thinly veiled threats aside - he is aware that Joe's companion is lying in wait just behind the door, carrying an ionic sub-repeating pulse gun. DeVoe laughs when Harry Wells, whose cover is blown, enters the building as well, and claims that the bird bath would have been a much better vantage point.
Regarding Barry, DeVoe finds it amusing that Joe as a detective failed to take the number one reason for missing children into occasion - maybe Barry simply ran away. This provokes Joe enough to storm at DeVoe but Harry holds him back while DeVoe threatens to get a restraining order against Joe as well. Joe warns DeVoe that if anything happens to Barry, there is no restraining order that can stop him. He claims that he will come back with a search warrant but DeVoe claims that it is completely unnecessary since he will gladly allow Joe to search his house. While Joe takes a look through DeVoe's house, Harry tells DeVoe that he is not as smart as he thinks he is but DeVoe replies that he is.
After Joe and Harry have left, having found no evidence whatsoever, DeVoe heads down into the lair again. However, he finds Barry's force-field to be empty, only one of Barry's gloves lies on the floor. In disbelief, DeVoe deactivates the force field to take a closer look but suddenly, Barry appears again and reveals to DeVoe that he never left the cell, he only vibrated his own body so that it was faster than the human eye could see. He rushes out of the cell before DeVoe can activate the force field again. Barry tells DeVoe that his mind may be perfect, but his body is still human. He tells DeVoe that it is over but DeVoe replies that it is far from over. He moves to push a button on his chair but Barry speeds up to him and holds his arm before DeVoe can push it. Hammering his arm down onto the chair, DeVoe forces Barry to let go and although Barry grabs him again, DeVoe pushes another button with his other hand.
This teleports the chair into the sky over Central City, much to the shock of Barry. Although both DeVoe and Barry fall towards the city, DeVoe can regain control over his chair's levitation and starts hovering over the streets of the city, with Barry grabbing on to the chair. To get rid of Barry, DeVoe flies the chair against the facades of several skyscrapers but Barry keeps holding on to the chair. To eliminate Barry anyways, DeVoe activates the chair's metal arms which try to grab Barry. However, Barry vibrates again so the arms pass right through him and instead of electrocuting Barry, they electrocute DeVoe's chair. This causes an explosion which hurls both DeVoe and Barry forward. With his electronics fried, DeVoe has no way of regaining control of the chair and is only able to scream as it falls down. Luckily, the fight has led both men to the river, so instead of being smashed on the concrete floor, both men crash-land into the water.
After Barry has returned to S.T.A.R. Labs, the team searches for DeVoe but can neither find a trace of DeVoe himself, nor of his wife. They do not know why DeVoe kidnapped Barry in the first place, but believe that DeVoe is interested in Barry's powers. With no plans to go on with, they plan to stop the DeVoe hunt for now and start celebrating Christmas. However, while the team decorates Joe's house, Amunet finally sells Dominic Lanse to Marlize.
On a rooftop in Central City, Dominic regains consciousness and begs Marlize to spare him. Marlize replies that she will not do anything to him and behind Dominic, DeVoe in a fully functional regeneration chair levitates onto the roof. DeVoe states that he is pleased to meet Dominic, his sixth subject, and has the chair's metal arms grab Dominic by the head. DeVoe states that while he has created many meta-humans, only Dominic's unique abilities allow him to do what he will do now. With a last look to Marlize, he presses the button on his chair and all his brain functions, his memories, his intellect and his personality are transferred from the failing body of Clifford DeVoe into the young and healthy body of Dominic Lanse. As the procedure is complete, Clifford DeVoe's body slumps back into the chair - now nothing more than an empty hull - as Dominic Lanse rises. The procedure is revealed to be a success and the mind of DeVoe has now absolute control over the body of the young telepath.
In Dominic's body, DeVoe then follows an invitation Dominic got earlier - to celebrate Christmas with Team Flash. He enters the West house shyly and thanks them for the invitation. When Ralph Dibny tells him that there is only room for one new meta-human on Team Flash, DeVoe assures him that he has no intention of joining the team and just came to celebrate Christmas and to brainstorm about his new powers, at which point Cisco gives him the nickname Brainstorm. Suddenly, Barry is alerted to an incident at their loft and speeds over. In his apartment, he receives a phone call. The caller is revealed to be Dominic and Barry is surprised, but is shocked when Dominic reveals himself to be DeVoe. He reminds Barry that Barry is incapable of seeing the extent of his full plan and states that Barry should have listened to his teacher. He reveals the necessity of rebirth for his ultimate plan and promises that he has not come to harm Barry's family; he wants them to mourn Barry after he is gone.
Barry does not understand but DeVoe tells him that he left something at the loft for Barry - a re-gift for which he has no use anymore. Barry looks under the Christmas tree where he finds the dead body of Clifford DeVoe, stabbed with the ebony knife Barry got sent earlier. At the same time, a SWAT-Team led by Captain Singh arrives outside Barry's apartment and breaks the door, having presumably been sent by DeVoe or Marlize. After they find the body of Clifford, Singh arrests Barry for murder.
After Barry has been arrested, Dominic apologizes to Team Flash and tells them that he needs to leave. He wishes them a merry Christmas and meets up with Marlize, whom he tells that he told her that he would stand beside her once more. Marlize hands him his old wedding ring and DeVoe kisses her. The two then plan to fulfill their initial plan - to bring the "Enlightenment".
DeVoe's old body is buried at Central City's cemetery and Barry is arrested and put on trial for murder. Team Flash now has to save Barry from going to prison as well as to find out DeVoe's current plans.
Back at his lair, DeVoe speaks to Marlize and tells her that while science has pondered what would be necessary to transfer a consciousness for a long time, they managed to go even a step further - DeVoe is now who he was before and also who he desired to become. He realizes that Marlize is not comfortable with Dominic Lanse's body touching her as it still feels strange to her. Marlize tries to deny it but DeVoe reveals that he has inherited his host's power of reading minds. DeVoe claims that they never lied to each other before and that they should not start now. He urges Marlize to see past his body and see Clifford - who is still inside Dominic's body. In tears, Marlize kisses him.
During Barry's trial, Barry is pictured as a monster and that DeVoe desperately attempted to fend Barry off as Barry murdered him. Meanwhile, Joe and Ralph follow Marlize DeVoe and witness her kissing Dominic Lanse. Ralph takes a photo of this to use it to defend Barry. The same day, Marlize is called to the courthouse to give testimony herself. There, Marlize tearfully explains how Barry harassed her husband over two months and explains what led up to Clifford's death. She explains that Clifford went to Barry's loft for a conversation in hope that in the holiday spirit he could convince Barry to leave them alone.
Completely breaking down in tears, Marlize states that she should have stopped her husband but Clifford stated that it was his job to protect his family and left; Marlize never saw him again. However, Barry's defendant Cecile - Joe's girlfriend - uses the photo of Marlize kissing Dominic. Cecile wants to play it off as Marlize was unfaithful to her husband and maybe even convinced Dominic to murder Clifford for her. However, Marlize counters this story by claiming that she and Clifford met Dominic at an ALS gala months ago and that Clifford noticed that Marlize and Dominic shared a bond even before Marlize did. She states that Clifford was happy that Marlize found somebody and urged her to have a life with Dominic after his death.
Shortly before his sentencing, Barry realizes that DeVoe has come to the courthouse. The two meet in an abandoned room and DeVoe tells Barry that there was a twelve percent chance of Barry telling the world that he is the Flash to prevent going to prison. He claims that no matter which way Barry chose, it still would have led to DeVoe's triumph. When Barry doesn't respond, DeVoe reads his mind and realizes that Barry's thoughts are preoccupied with Iris. Barry is surprised and arrogantly, DeVoe reveals to him that he inherited not only Dominic's body but also his powers. Claiming that he wants DeVoe to hear it from his own mouth, Barry states that he will find a way to prove his innocence and that DeVoe has not beaten him. However, DeVoe simply replies "Haven't I?" and leaves the room after wishing Barry a happy life.
Ultimately, the trial comes to an end and Barry is sentenced to life imprisonment at Iron Heights Penitentiary for the murder of Clifford DeVoe.
After Barry and the bus-metas fail to escape from Iron Heights and are cornered by Wolfe and Amunet, DeVoe arrives in his chair, kills Wolfe and catches all the bus-metas there to rob their powers. He possesses Becky Sharpe's body and has the abilities of the other metas. Marlize is uncomfortable with her husband's willingness to gratuitously kill people and the body theft, so Clifford keeps her in check with the Weeper's tears.
His body theft has failed so far to heal his condition, so he goes after Izzy Bowin. While Izzy Bowin seems to be a hope for Team Flash since DeVoe is weak to sound, DeVoe possesses her while Barry and Ralph are helpless.
He apparently tells Veronica Dale about a nuclear bomb truck on A.R.G.U.S., which she exploits. She fails to blow the bomb.
Meanwhile, he has put his wife in a loop where Team Flash finds Matthew Kim, Janet Petty, and Edwin Gauss. They were supposedly safe, but Clifford outsmarted the team by tricking the metahuman members into going to his pocket dimension lair, while he and Marlize attack the base. DeVoe stole the skills from Matthew and Janet while taking the body of Edwin while distracting everyone. Ralph seems to defeat him by putting him in dampening cuffs, but DeVoe hacks them with Kilg%ore's powers and possesses Ralph, which he later exploits to recover his original likeness.
DeVoe could prepare himself for the protection of Neil Borman and the arrival of Leo Snart and Laurel Lance from Earth-X, but provoking Barry by mimicking Ralph leaves Barry too detached, which causes that his plan backfires. DeVoe rejects his wife's efforts to please him and states that emotion is a weakness.
- The Weeper
- Dominic Lanse / Brainstorm
- Becky Sharpe / Hazard
- Mina Chaytan / Black Bison
- Ramsey Deacon / Kilg%re
- Sylbert Rundine / Dwarfstar
- Gregory Wolfe
- Izzy Bowin / The Fiddler
- Edwin Gauss / Folded Man
- Janet Petty / Null
- Matthew Kim / Melting Point
- Neil Borman / Fallout
- Numerous A.R.G.U.S. agents
- Barry Allen/The Flash (erased timeline)
- After having been named "The Thinker" by Team Flash, DeVoe reveals to his wife that in one of the possible outcomes he deduced, they called him "The Teacher". The Teacher is actually the alias of a different villain from the DC Comics.
- DeVoe is the second The Flash villain to be credited as a main character. The first being Eobard Thawne.
- He is the first main antagonist of The Flash to not be a speedster, with the exception of Alchemy who was puppeteered by Savitar. Other differences include:
- DeVoe never worked with Team Flash unlike the first three big bads and cared little about Caitlin Snow.
- In contrast to Eobard Thawne, who faked his paralysis and used his wheelchair to charge him with Speed Force energy, DeVoe's powers are the reason he's ill and resents using a wheelchair.
- The three speedster's who identities were hidden on screen for at least the first half of the season, we as the audience know The Thinker's identity since the beginning of his season.
- Thawne was seemingly celibate, while Zoom and Savitar had failed relationships. DeVoe, on the other hand, has had a loving marriage to Marlize but he has become too evil that she is being alienated by his plans.
- DeVoe shares some similarities with other villains throughout the Arrowverse.
- Prometheus - Both are extremely intelligent strategists who managed to manipulate the protagonists more than once, predict their every move and frame them for murder. (Only Oliver did kill Billy Malone, but was tricked into doing it.)
- Damien Darhk - The main antagonists of the third seasons of Arrow (Ra's al Ghul) and The Flash (Savitar) mention them by the end of the season, before their appearance in the fourth and are both assisted by their wives.
- Eobard Thawne - Both are extremely intelligent scientists who have studied Barry Allen for years. They took the form of another person to further their agendas. The only difference, Thawne left Harrison Wells for dead when he stole his appearance, while DeVoe left his own body for dead with he stole Dominic Lanse's.
- DeVoe is the first Flash main antagonist to not be an evil speedster.
- On top of that, DeVoe is also the second Flash main antagonist to not be from the future. The first was Zoom.