The Flash stars Grant Gustin, Candice Patton, and more weigh in on The Thinker's possible motives
What does he want?
WARNING: This story contains major spoilers from Tuesday’s episode of The Flash. Read at your own risk!
The Flash‘s new big bad The Thinker has thus far been shrouded in mystery, but Tuesday’s episode offered a pretty sizable hint at what the fastest mind alive wants with the fastest man alive.
So far, The Thinker has basically closed out each of the first two episodes, dropping small hints at his ultimate plan. In the premiere, viewers discovered that The Thinker set the Samuroid loose on Central City in a bid to bring the Scarlet Speedster (Grant Gustin) back from the Speed Force.
But it was a clue from this week’s new meta Kilg%re (Dominic Burgess) that may be key in cracking the case wide open. It turns out, Kilg%re — who has the ability to manipulate technology — was not in Central City when the particle accelerator exploded, hence Barry asks how he got his powers. Kilg%re’s fascinatingly cryptic response: “I wasn’t the only one.” The tag of episode 2 then features The Thinker’s right-hand woman The Mechanic (Kim Engelbrecht) saying “Subject 1” is safe in the metahuman wing in Iron Heights, right where The Thinker wants him. The Thinker notes that it’s now time to find the others, and there’s a video screen with room for 11 other metas. What does this all mean?!
The Flash cast stayed relatively mum on this new villain when EW hit the set, but it sounds like that’s because they’re also in the dark like the rest of us. “I don’t really know where we’re going with that character quite yet,” Candice Patton tells EW. “It’s very hush hush. I don’t know what their plans are, to be honest, about the Thinker, but I think the producers really wanted to move away from having a Speedster as the villain and just dealing with the issues of writing time travel, too, so it will free us up to do something different and exciting that we haven’t really done before on the show. This season is markedly different than any other season we’ve done. There’s some big changes happening, and I think they’re really good changes.”
Those changes include reflecting the challenges of today. “We live in the age of technology, millennials, and information, and having a villain whose powers are contingent upon information and his ability to store and assimilate information has an eerie relevance to how we live our lives today,” Carlos Valdes says. “This is the villain I’m most excited about, to be honest, because we have to consider what happens when your capacity to think supersedes the confines of your physical body?”
After the first three seasons included various speedster villains, including Reverse-Flash in season 1, Zoom in season 2, and Savitar in season 3, all involved welcome this new challenge. “I think it’s great that they’ve made the decision not to have this year’s villain be a Speedster,” Danielle Panabaker says. “We’ve done lots of different versions of that over the past three years, and it’s going to be interesting to see how Team Flash adapts to a different kind of villain. Previously we’ve focused on making Barry faster. Barry is fast, we know that, and it’s going to be interesting to see Flash and Team Flash stretch different muscles. Hopefully, there’s a way for them to incorporate Vibe and Killer Frost and Caitlin and Cisco’s intelligence as well.”
Though Team Flash is not yet aware that there’s someone out there pulling the strings, Gustin says they won’t be far behind the audience. “We start to get kind of a sense that he even exists and that we need to be looking out for him,” Gustin says, “but we know nothing about him at this point in the season.”
The Flash airs Tuesdays at 8 p.m. ET on The CW.