Light spoilers below for the latest episode of The Flash, "Elongated Journey Into Night."
In the early episodes of past seasons of The Flash, fans generally didn't know too much about the respective main villains, but the drama's creative team decided to change that up entirely with Season 4's big bad The Thinker. But just because we know who DeVoe is doesn't mean we have all the facts. During a screening that CinemaBlend attended for The Flash's most recent episode, "Elongated Journey Into Night," executive producer Andrew Kreisberg was asked where The Thinker actually is during the fleeting moments we've seen him in past episodes. Here's what he said:
I think that is part of the mystery of where he is. He's in a really cool set. [laughs] Where he is actually is part of the mystery, we want to preserve that. But I promise you this is not a...You're going to find out a lot about what is going on in these first nine episodes. It's not going to be a 'I've got to wait until March to find out what's going on.'
No one ever said that The Flash writers were super-transparent with answers about the show, so perhaps this shouldn't really surprise anyone. But still, the fact that Andrew Kreisberg & Co. have embedded narrative importance in The Thinker's lair is almost enough of an answer in itself. For what it's worth, showrunner Todd Helbing joked that The Thinker is situated in Vancouver, where The Flash films. But a Canadian setting doesn't really do much to blow minds about where Season 4 is heading.
So let's think about what could be so important about this setting, both the physical location and the timeline location, since it's not out of the question to think that he's perpetrating things from somewhere in the future. (I guess all his technology could have come from his own brainpower and know-how, but still.) I honestly get stumped thinking about noteworthy places for DeVoe to have set up shop as the brainy villain, outside of his room somehow being housed somewhere in the S.T.A.R. Labs building. Which seems ridiculous, but hey, it's The Flash.
Maybe, just maybe, the overall mystery here is less about the actual room/building that Thinker and his unnamed assistant are in, and more about the overall location of where that room/building is. Say, if it's not in Central City at all, but rather in Gotham City or Blüdhaven, or another major superhero setting that the Arrow-verse has already introduced in passing. It's certainly possible that The Thinker's presence could be a key way for The Flash to bring in another beloved comic book protagonist in the coming months. We'd be just as happy with Nightwing as with Batman at this point. But then with Elongated Man being introduced so recently as a potential main character -- and one that DeVoe is specifically tied to -- it might not make that much sense to point the spotlight on another big hero so soon. Assuming things get revealed in these first nine episodes as hinted at above.
Considering The Thinker used his own Samurai creation to draw The Flash out of the Speed Force, resulting in the formation of a bunch of other metahumans, is it possible at all that DeVoe is actually working from within the Speed Force? We know that The Thinker has a way of manipulating the minds of others, and he seems to have deeper ties to Barry's stint within it, so what if the Speed Force is actually just an illusion that the villain created to....Okay, so that probably doesn't make any sense. I've no doubt Andrew Kreisberg, Todd Helbing and the rest could come up with a feasible way to retroactively explain things if that were the case, but it seems like a stretch that not even Ralph Dibney is capable of.
In any case, we know that Team Flash eventually takes The Thinker down with a cerebral inhibitor in some timeline, assuming Savitar's remarks in Season 3 are based in reality. (Or whatever passes for reality these days.) But that's likely far away no matter what timeline it's in, so what will these next five episodes reveal about The Thinker, his plans, and his central location? And will Katee Sackhoff's Amunet Black be involved?