'The Flash' Reveals The Thinker's Backstory In "Therefore I Am"

The Flash brought Barry face to face with The Thinker last week and tonight, The CW series revealed the backstory for the mysterious Clifford DeVoe.

Spoilers for tonight's episode of The Flash, "Therefore I Am," below.

Tonight's episode revealed how Clifford DeVoe (Neil Sandilands) went from passionate if not eccentric Central City University professor to the villainous The Thinker thanks to a flashback sequence that took viewers back to a time before DeVoe was wheelchair-bound and straight out of science fiction.

In the flashback, we see DeVoe teaching at the university, but he's a little disheartened and disillusioned by his students. He tells the woman we know as The Mechanic (Kim Englebrecht) that the students don't have the brain capacity to receive what he is teaching them -- he claims that their brains are simply too small. However, DeVoe has a solution for that as well as his own too-small brain. He pulls from his bag designs for the headpiece we've seen him in all season. The device is called The Thinking Cap, and he wants the Mechanic to build it for him so that he can be a better teacher. The Mechanic needs no convincing. She says his plans are her plans and the pair kiss.

Or course, we know that this Thinking Cap or at least some part of his plan goes a little awry for him to end up The Thinker as we've seen him, and we also know that this a problem for Barry/The Flash (Grant Gustin.) After all, Barry's been warned about DeVoe before.

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"Barry starts to get an inkling early that this is going to be somebody serious and we're going to want to nip it in the bud right away just because when we heard about this guy, thinking back to who we heard about him from, Kadabra mentioned DeVoe to Barry and then Savitar, evil Barry actually mentioned him to Barry and Iris," Gustin said during a recent set visit. "So, Barry doesn't want to ... Barry's taking it pretty seriously right away. He starts to, before anybody else on the team, knows for sure that this is our guy and starts to become a little bit obsessed with getting him, because he doesn't want things to get out of hand again, as they always do."

The Flash airs Tuesdays at 8/7c on The CW.