How The Flash Could Use The Cerebral Inhibitor To Defeat The Thinker

Spoilers below for anyone who hasn't yet watched the midseason premiere for The Flash.

Defeating The Flash's countless villains is rarely a simple matter for anyone involved, and Season 4's The Thinker has proven himself quite the formidable and nontraditional foe. With Barry heading to prison, our protagonists seems doomed to suffer whatever the hell Clifford DeVoe's ultimate plans are. But Flash viewers probably recall the Season 3 foreshadowing when Savitar mentioned the cerebral inhibitor would later be used to defeat DeVoe. We understand that might have happened in a now-different timeline, and that Savitar might have also been lying, but here are two big ways Team Flash could utilize the cerebral inhibitor to take The Thinker down.

By Messing With His Mind-Reading Power

Now that Clifford DeVoe has taken over the mind and body of Dominic "Brainstorm" Lanse, he's not only shed his need for his floating Thinker chair, but he's also equipped with more mental advantages than ever before. As if it wasn't enough that DeVoe has consistently and confidently stayed a step ahead of Barry & Co. all season, but he can now read others' minds, which just seems unfair.

But methinks DeVoe's ego got ahead of him in "The Trial of the Flash" when he clued Barry in on his ability to read minds. Now Barry will be able to share that info with Cisco and the others, who will hopefully get to work on figuring out a way to use the cerebral inhibitor to thwart those mind-reading capabilities. But how?

Since The Thinker was doing just fine before he got his new power, it probably wouldn't just involve him losing the telepathy. But what if Team Flash can figure out a way to use the cerebral inhibitor to manipulate what DeVoe is picking up from other people? For instance, if the device could block off a character's actual conscious thoughts while projecting out other manufactured thoughts. In that way, someone from Team Flash could project thoughts about a decoy plan for DeVoe to react to, with a legitimate plan being carried out simultaneously. Granted, DeVoe might already know that this is what Team Flash would try and do, but there's got to be a way around that somewhere up the ladder, right? If not, we'll go for Option 2.

By Stopping Him From Changing Bodies

Though Clifford DeVoe had quasi-admirable ideals when trying to achieve next-level intelligence, everything in him soured once he realized his brainpower was causing his physical body to fall apart. After lots of angst and suffering later, DeVoe found a temporary new lease on life in Dominic Lanse's body, much to the chagrin of Marlize. While it's not clear yet if Dominic's body will also start to deteriorate, the body transference power certainly gives The Thinker a way to keep himself alive and agile. So what if Team Flash was able to take that away from him?

If the S.T.A.R. Labs squad can capture DeVoe and trap him while he's inside Dominic's body, it stands to reason that they could find a way to sedate or injure the physical form so that DeVoe wouldn't be able to move around to get to his wife or his myriad Flash-thwarting technologies. Like the telepathy plan, this also wouldn't put the Thinker at a bigger disadvantage from where he started the season, but it always takes more than one carefully placed swing of the axe to take down a big tree.

As comic fans might know, one version of the Thinker wasn't human at all, but rather an A.I. creation modeled after the human version's Thinking Cap. Because The Flash likes to get as weird as can be with its page-to-screen storytelling, I wouldn't be the least big surprised if we get to see the live-action DeVoe somehow zap his consciousness over into a computerized device, attempting to give himself eternal life through technology. That could be dangerous, obviously, but if Team Flash figures out a way to use the inhibitor to trap his consciousness, then they could keep him within an easily controllable (and hopefully offline) computer program. If nothing else, it would at least feel more ethical and moral to turn off a computer than to kill a human being.

Since we're still in the middle of the season, The Flash could very well introduce a dozen more plot points that could either prove or disprove the theories above. After all, when Season 4 started, the assumption was that the cerebral inhibitor would merely be used to stop DeVoe from thinking so damned much, and now things are in a completely different place. Maybe Marlize will end up being the real big bad of the season, and the cerebral inhibitor will have to be used on her. Or maybe it won't be used at all. Or maybe it's already been used...on me!

The Flash airs Tuesday nights on The CW at 8:00 p.m. ET. And if these theories don't pass muster, check out this twist-driven theory that could explain why everything is so weird this season. Hit up our 2018 Superhero TV schedule for all the speedy and high-flying fun on the way, and check out our midseason premiere schedule for everything else.

Nick Venable
Assistant Managing Editor

Nick is a Cajun Country native and an Assistant Managing Editor with a focus on TV and features. His humble origin story with CinemaBlend began all the way back in the pre-streaming era, circa 2009, as a freelancing DVD reviewer and TV recapper.  Nick leapfrogged over to the small screen to cover more and more television news and interviews, eventually taking over the section for the current era and covering topics like Yellowstone, The Walking Dead and horror. Born in Louisiana and currently living in Texas — Who Dat Nation over America’s Team all day, all night — Nick spent several years in the hospitality industry, and also worked as a 911 operator. If you ever happened to hear his music or read his comics/short stories, you have his sympathy.