[Review] The Flash (2014) Episode 3×21: “Cause and Effect”

Yes, this is a week late. I had the stomach flu and then George caught it. We’re better now. Enjoy this recap of CW’s The Flash.

Okay, home stretch. C’mon, Flash, hit it out of the park…

*watches the episode*

…or, you know, dribble it back to the pitcher for the easy out. That’s a valid strategy, I suppose.

Spoilers under the cut.

We pick up right where we left off last week, with Barry Allen looking at a cracked version of himself, both figuratively and literally. Savitar explains that he is a time remnant, created when Barry fights Savitar. [EDITOR’S NOTE: No, that’s not a typo. Yes, this show’s time travel is absolutely nonsensical.] Only instead of dying, he lived and was shunned by everyone. In his darkest moment, he let go of his humanity and started on the path to becoming Savitar.

Savitar reveals that only two more things need to happen for him to become a god. One is Iris’ death, the other he keeps to himself. Barry threatens to kill himself, but Savitar points out that Eobard Thawne is still kicking around because cause and effect…well, affects time travelers differently. Barry sucker-punches Savitar before he’s able to get into the suit, but the suit itself begins attacking Barry. Savitar is able to leap into the suit and they both charge up and throw lightning bolts at each other. In the resulting explosion of energy, Savitar escapes and we get the opening title.

At S.T.A.R. Labs, Barry has filled in the team on Savitar’s identity and origin. Wally asks the most pertinent questions: Why does Savitar want to kill Iris and how can they make a plan to stop Barry that he won’t remember? Barry has no answers and walks away. Iris finds him and they talk about the dark place Savitar comes from, the rage that Barry still feels when he thinks about the way his parents died. Iris points out that Barry isn’t alone, but Barry wonders what he’s going to have to become to stop Savitar. Cisco comes running in with the worst idea of all time, and the episode proceeds to take a long walk off a tall cliff.

Cisco wants to zap Barry’s brain so that it stops making new memories. As I point out that the end result is a plot point which everyone in the audience can see coming, I’ll also say that Cisco trying this without even consulting with someone like Harry or even an alt-universe Caitlin so he doesn’t completely lobotomize Barry is the most out of character I’ve seen him written in a while. This is just an astonishingly bad idea. And everyone goes along with it, because they needed to get an episode out, I guess.

Of course Barry’s memory is completely wiped out. Of course they can’t reverse it. And of course there is a dire emergency situation that requires his years of training and memory and testifying in court with Cisco and Julian feeding him the answers and I’m pretty sure this was an episode of Night Court at one point.

During all of this, Killer Frost has to team up with Team Flash once more because Savitar can’t remember who he is, and an angry tank with super-speed is the last thing anyone on Earth wants. Cisco tries to get through to Caitlin, and it kinda works, but it’s not quite enough to override Killer Frost. Eventually, Heatmonger – the guy Barry was brought to court to help reconvict but ended up setting free because he couldn’t remember anything – sets an office building on fire and Barry has to try and save the people inside. But he’s paralyzed with fear until Iris tells him everything about his parents, which triggers his memories, and the Flash is back. Kid Flash, too, since Barry was the source of Wally’s powers.

After a contentious goodbye to Killer Frost, Iris and Barry talk about him accepting the pain and remorse that he always feels. H.R. butts in and takes them to Tracy, who has engineered the Speed Force bazooka. Problem is, it requires more energy than the sun. But, deep in the bowels of an A.R.G.U.S. facility, there exists such a power source. A dominating power source. And it is guarded by something monstrous. And the show ends on a killer cliffhanger.

I actually enjoyed this one more than I remember from my initial viewing. I attribute that to all of the cast being on their A-games, despite the fact that this is an amnesia plot. I mean, this was the kind of plot that ended Full House, for fuck’s sake. Anyway, now that that dud has been laid, we begin Season Three’s end game.

You can find…what’s that name again? Oh, right, George Hatch on Twitter at @Raeseti.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.