|“||A helper? Is that what you think I am? A mindless minion carrying out her master's bidding? Some sort of evil secretary? No, Mr. Allen. I am now and forever will be my husband's partner.||„|
|~ Marlize snapping at The Flash, offended by his beliefs of her being simply a pawn to her husband.|
|“||Please. Don't. Forget. He's lying to you. He's drugging you. He's a monster! You must escape! Escape now!||„|
|~ Marlize's heartbroken and tearful video log to herself, upon realizing that her husband is using her.|
Dr. Marlize DeVoe is a major antagonist-turned-anti-hero in the TV series The Flash's fourth season. She is the wife and assistant of Clifford DeVoe/The Thinker and is more than willing to assist him in his master plan of "fixing" what is wrong with the human race, at least until his actions become sufficiently ruthless that she begins to have doubts, whereupon her husband begins drugging her to keep her docile and loyal.
She is portrayed by Kim Engelbrecht.
Prior to the events of the series, Marlize met with Clifford DeVoe, with the two of them falling in love and later marrying. The DeVoe family developed a "plan of enlightenment", with them upgrading the "delivery system" of knowledge at the universities. The DeVoe couple both moved to Central City, getting jobs as professors at Central City University. However, the results of their plans were lackluster, with Clifford feeling like he needs greater brainpower to handle the teaching process. Wanting to help him out, Marlize looked at Clifford's Thinking Cap schematics and developed the device accordingly. Their plan to activate it required greater power and they came to believe that the S.T.A.R. Labs particle accelerator, created by "Dr. Harrison Wells". Marlize and her husband went to the press conference that "Wells" had organized and Marlize asked him if he had truly considered every possible outcome. Wells insisted that he had and asked for her name. When he heard her surname, he guessed the identity of her husband and said he was a 'fan' of his work. Marlize guessed that Wells was lying and was planning for the reactor to explode to produce a greater dark matter phenomenon, but Clifford told her that this outcome would be even more beneficial to their plan. As Clifford tested out the Thinking Cap, he was hit by a wave of dark matter and a bolt of lightning, becoming a meta-human. Marlize, seeing that Clifford lost his consciousness after being hit by lightning, tried to revive him and cried in despair, thinking her husband dead. He came alive, however, claiming to be "enlightened".
Marlize is introduced as a stern and goal-oriented woman, occasionally getting short with her husband Clifford when she thinks he is being reckless or not heeding risks. Despite this, she has also been seen being very loyal to him as his wife, caretaker and literal partner in crime. Indeed, she took great offense to Barry Allen even suggesting that she was her husband's henchwoman, or, to use her own words, "some kind of evil secretary", vehemently affirming that she is loyal to her husband absolutely.
That being said, she is shown to be uncomfortable with her husband's plan to transfer his consciousness into the body of an innocent man and then discard his older, failing body. Whether this was out of concern for her husband's safety, general discomfort at the prospect of loving her husband in an unfamiliar body, some level of moral discomfort at the prospect of murder, or a combination of all three, is unclear.
Prior to her transformation into her husband's partner-in-crime, Marlize seemed a warmer person, having a sense of humor and appreciation for things Clifford dismissed as "inane". He noted that he would be nothing without her, a claim that holds weight given how Marlize appeared to keep him grounded and perhaps still does even after both have transformed into hardened criminals.
Marlize was initially utterly loyal to her husband, even in regards to disposing of Barry Allen, as she bluntly tells Barry's wife Iris that she is willing to do whatever she has to for her husband, even eliminating men like Allen who are "in the way". However, after Clifford's murder of Warden Wolfe, Marlize began to show some doubts towards her husband's plans, as she did not expect him to take such drastic or ruthless measures. Recognizing this, Clifford took steps to keep Marlize docile so as to ensure her continued loyalty and keep her increasing discomfort with Clifford's crimes from making her leave him. Once realizing how ruthless and corrupted Clifford had become in his goals to the point of erasing her memories to keep her docile, she came to accept that her husband had become a monster, being left heartbroken and devastated by the betrayal. Unfortunately, Clifford would repeatedly erase her memories each time she came this conclusion, repeating a loop that she isn't even aware of.
Despite her memories being erased of her husband's cruelty, Marlize began to see for herself the monster Clifford had become after finally obtaining the powers of all the twelve meta-humans he ahd created and taken the body of Ralph Dibney (using Dibney's power of shapeshifting to appear as his original self). Despite Marlize's attempts to remind Clifford of their love, his statement that emotion was a weakness and later seeing his callousness and realizing his "enlightenment" was not for the benefit of mankind but to rule it, Marlize finally accepted her husband was gone and abandoned him.
- During casting announcements, Marlize was announced with having the name "The Mechanic". However, during airing, she never receives this name. Indeed, Marlize DeVoe does not appear in DC Comics, and is exclusive to the Flash TV show only.
- In spite of the above, the character has been well-received, with it being noted that she is as sympathetic a villain as her husband is (if not moreso).
- Marlize's marriage to Clifford has come to resemble an abusive relationship:
- She is now uncomfortable in their relationship owing to among other things his new bodies and his willingness to murder innocents to get what he wants.
- She was unable to leave their relationship due to being her husband's prisoner and being drugged and brainwashed regularly.
- Her partner controlled every aspect of her life.
- Through his telepathy and reading her mind (or trying to), he has taken away her privacy.
- She has on at least one occasion been severely yelled at by her husband for "underperforming".
- Marlize's (failed) strategy of leaving video messages to herself to make sure she remembers something important is reminiscent of the film Memento.
- Likewise, her having to undergo the same horrible experience again and again is strongly akin to various movies with a similar theme such as Groundhog Day, Edge of Tomorrow, and so on. This has been noted by multiple critics.