The Scarlet Speedster and his team of heroes will race against the clock during The Flash finale to stop DeVoe from enacting his Enlightenment — and they’ll do so in Inception-like fashion.
As DeVoe (Neil Sandilands) aims to basically erase everyone’s intelligence, Team Flash will attempt to appeal to his humanity, sending Barry (Grant Gustin) inside DeVoe’s consciousness to find it.
“They come up with this crazy scheme to stop the Thinker in a way that we have never seen them fight a villain before,” says executive producer Todd Helbing, who also teases that the finale will finally reveal the identity of the Mystery Girl (Jessica Parker Kennedy). Read our theories on her identity here, and then read below for more scoop on the finale:
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: What can you tease of the ultimate showdown with DeVoe in the season finale?
TODD HELBING: Basically the team has run out of options. Every avenue they’ve gone down, they’ve come up with nothing, and Barry can’t defeat him physically and the team is dwindling with their powers. Killer Frost is still not a part of Caitlin, and Harry is losing his intelligence more and more. They just don’t have a lot of ways to stop him. At the top of the episode, they’re gonna toss a Hail Mary. They come up with this crazy scheme to stop the Thinker in a way that we have never seen them fight a villain before. During that, there is a massive twist. I know we say this every year, but this is by far the biggest episode that we’ve done on a visual effects level, and in conjunction with story level. I would say it’s an Inception-inspired episode.
Can you expand on what that means?
In the last episode, Iris and Harry, or what remained of Harry, went and tracked down Marlize and convinced her to come back and join the fight against her husband. So she comes up with this idea that the only way that they can take him down is to go into his mind and find the good part that’s left in him and appeal to whatever good is left of DeVoe. At one point in his career, he was a teacher who wanted to teach people and better humanity. Once he got corrupted by the dark matter and became The Thinker, all of his humanity was swept aside. She knows though, being married to him, that there is good that’s left in, or thinks that there’s good that’s left in him. She convinces Barry and the team that that’s the only way that they can take him down. So they literally send Barry’s consciousness into DeVoe’s. And when he gets in there, things aren’t quite as he thinks things are gonna be.
How does this finale compare to past Flash finales that we’ve seen?
I think it’s funny, because it’s bigger. The story itself is smaller, but I think there’s an emotional quotient to it that is just as big if not bigger. But the special effects and the device that we use to tell the story is bigger than we’ve ever done before.
Will we get a definitive answer on Mystery Girl’s identity in the finale?
Yeah, it’s funny that you bring that up. Yeah, you definitely get the question answered as to who she is, and there’s actually an extra little bonus where something happens where you’ll realize exactly how she’ll play a part in the future.
Are we going to see Cecile’s baby born by season’s end?
Yeah, there’s an interesting thing that happens with her pregnancy and her gestational telepathy that all plays a massive part in the last couple of episodes. You see her power start to mature as she gets closer to having the baby and change a little bit. Then that plays a massive factor in the finale especially.
Does that mean the baby is going to have powers?
No, we’re not going to have any telepathic babies. It’s funny because we talked about that in the room quite a bit, but no. It’s hard enough to shoot with a baby anyways, you know? But to have one with metahuman powers I think might be a little impossible.
Will you dropping any hints as to who the villain is going to be next season?
It depends on how the cut turns out, but yeah. We filmed something that will be up next season, and most people that are familiar with comics will probably be able to deduce who the big bad is for next season. I’m not sure my mother will know, but if it ends up in the cut — depending on how much time we have. There are two cliffhangers: There’s the explanation of who mystery girl is and how she’ll play into next season, then there’s also a potential tee-up for who the villain is.
How does Barry’s journey as a leader come to a head in the finale?
We’ve had this theme a lot this year — we are the Flash — and what Barry learns is that it doesn’t always have to be just him, it can be the team and it can spread out even further than that, and so this year it’s more of a collective save, or collective effort to save the city.
This season was the first time you didn’t have a speedster as a villain. How do you feel like you guys did with that, and does that encourage you next search to branch out again in that regard?
I think up until now, the Reverse-Flash, to me, was probably our best version of a villain, but the reason for that is because we got to know Thawne as a man. He was Harrison Wells all season, he had an easy want. It was just, “I just want to go home,” right? With DeVoe, we got to see this love story and this evolution of a couple and how, at one point, you see where this whole idea originated for the Enlightenment, and how technology and ideas can get corrupted, and that parallels this relationship with Marlize and Clifford. Any time you can humanize your villain, it makes it land a lot more, so it’s not so much about the powers and what a metahuman has — if they’re speedsters or not, or if they’re just this amazing computer mind that the Thinker has — but I think it’s more about telling a human story that’s gonna land with the audience. So that is certainly something that we’ve taken into account for the next season, and we are going to probably be more in that lane.
The Flash finale airs Tuesday at 8 p.m. ET on The CW.