'The Flash': Why The Thinker Might Be Targeting Ralph

The Flash may be on a small hiatus thanks in part to the Winter Olympics, but before going on a [...]

The Flash may be on a small hiatus thanks in part to the Winter Olympics, but before going on a short break The CW series gave fans some major twists, namely that Barry is now a free man and that Ralph can use his powers to shapeshift into other people.

But while Ralph's new power was amazing when he used it to convincingly impersonate Clifford DeVoe -- the original one as played by Neil Sandilands, not Thinker-as-Dominic Lanse -- and get Barry's conviction thrown out, it also led to some fans wondering if The Thinker may end up targeting Ralph. As we saw in the episode's other major takeaway, The Thinker wasn't content to simply absorb the powers of the other bus metas or just take Lanse's body. He took Hazard's (Sugar Lyn Beard) as well. With Ralph being one of the bus metas, it would make sense that The Thinker might want to take Ralph's incredibly stretchy abilities, but now that we've had a little time to think there could be a deeper, somewhat more sinister reason The Thinker could target Ralph, but it also might lead to The Thinker's defeat.

The theory is that The Thinker is targeting Ralph not to take his power, but to take over his body as well. Taking over Ralph's body would not only give him Ralph's powers, but it would also be easier than having to use Ralph's shapeshifting ability second-hand. While Ralph did manage to master the skill by the end of "True Colors," it took him some practice and appeared to take quite a bit of energy. As was established earlier this season, The Thinker's immense mental capacity already takes a lot of energy as it is -- so much so that it was literally destroying The Thinker's original body. Trying to use the ability in Ralph's body as opposed to the power transfer version may require less energy and therefore be easier for The Thinker, along with giving The Thinker all of the benefits of Ralph's stretchy, seemingly unkillable abilities.

If The Thinker were to take over Ralph's body, he would then be able to successfully infiltrate Team Flash in person. Until now, he's only been able to spy on the team via the Samuroid head and reading minds. If the team were unaware that The Thinker had taken over Ralph, he'd be able to smoothly fit right in and carry out what might be his master plan: take over Barry's body or, at a minimum, impersonate Barry.

If you think back to the Arrowverse crossover during Season Three of The Flash, there is a message from the future (via the Waverider) from Barry telling them to not trust him. At the time, audiences assumed that it had something to do with Flashpoint, but it might have been a clue that, at some point, Barry is no longer Barry, but is instead The Thinker masquerading as Barry. If The Thinker either took Barry's body or simply impersonated him using Ralph's powers -- and considering how much fun The Thinker seems to have toying with Barry, we're inclined to think it's impersonation and not bodysnatching that transpires -- that would explain why Future Barry would warn his friends not to trust him. They would have a hard time knowing if The Thinker was the real Barry or not.

We also know that everything going on with The Thinker has ties back to Savitar as well. Last season, when Savitar Barry is brought to STAR Labs, he tells the team that they were in the very room where the Cerebral Inhibitor that they created to stop The Thinker was made. With the team starting to realize that Ralph could be in danger, they may connect the dots with the Cerebral Inhibitor sooner rather than later, potentially even adapting it as a device that they can use to prevent DeVoe from taking Ralph's powers or controlling him should he try to take his body, providing the team a way to stop the villain once and for all.

The Flash airs on Tuesdays at 8 p.m. ET/PT. New episodes resume on February 27th.