THE FLASH Review: “Cause and Effect”

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One of the questions brought up in not only comics but in mythological lore is does the man make the hero or does the hero make the man? THE FLASH attempts to answer that question this week to a satisfying answer. With Savitar’s true identity revealed, Barry tells the team what’s what. It seems the team has gotten in their own way with trying to stop Savitar as once again a plan backfires badly. With Candice Patton taking center stage this week, giving Iris much-needed screen time, she shines in an unexpectedly touching episode as we face the inevitable demise of Iris.

It’s great that we pick up at the exact moment we left off last week with Savitar explaining to Barry how he came to be. So, I was partially right, Flashpoint does play a part in why Savitar exists, but really, it’s very sad about why he came to be. Savitar is a time remnant created by Barry in trying to stop Savitar. They succeeded but they shunned the time remnant as he wasn’t the “real” Barry. Hurt, the time remnant goes back in time declaring himself the god of speed developing such hate and bitterness and amassing acolytes.

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It’s weird to see the team shut someone as they’ve brought in just about everyone who’s helped them. They created a villain by rejecting technically another human being, which is cruel. Another running theme of Barry being the true villain. Last week, I was not with Barry being Savitar but they justified it this week with the explanation given. Savitar is Barry at his most twisted, hateful broken self which is saying something as just two weeks ago we saw a very broken version of what happens to him without Iris. With the team now knowing Savitar’s identity, Cisco (Carlos Valdes) and Julian (Tom Felton) resolve to have Barry not make any new memories, so they can be ahead of Savitar instead of two steps behind. Well, that backfires as they wipe Barry’s memories period. And it couldn’t come at a worse possible time as Cecile (Danielle Nicolet) needs Barry to testify against the Heat Monger. If Barry fails to testify then he goes free, ready to wreak havoc on Central City again. The memory wipe was such a bad play that it even brings Killer Frost (Danielle Panabaker) to S.T.A.R. Labs to help get Savitar’s memories back. Iris got to see a Barry that was pure and innocent making her fall in love with him all over again. She fell in love with a version of Barry that didn’t have to worry about saving the world or feel the pain of losing his parents. She got to show this Barry the world, his world, through childlike eyes. Candice Patton played this in the most simple, effective way possible. I loved watching her take Barry around and showing him his life including nerdy high school Barry. What sucked was when Barry asked Iris if they’ve been planning their wedding and subsequent honeymoon, you could see the disappointment on her face.

The Flash -- "Cause and Effect" -- FLA321b_0190b.jpg -- Pictured (L-R): Keiynan Lonsdale as Kid Flash, Grant Gustin as The Flash and Jesse L. Martin as Detective Joe West -- Photo: Katie Yu/The CW -- © 2017 The CW Network, LLC. All rights reserved.

With the team now knowing Savitar’s identity, Cisco (Carlos Valdes) and Julian (Tom Felton) resolve to have Barry not make any new memories, so they can be ahead of Savitar instead of two steps behind. Well, that backfires as they wipe Barry’s memories period. And it couldn’t come at a worse possible time as Cecile (Danielle Nicolet) needs Barry to testify against the Heat Monger. If Barry fails to testify then he goes free, ready to wreak havoc on Central City again. The memory wipe was such a bad play that it even brings Killer Frost (Danielle Panabaker) to S.T.A.R. Labs to help get Savitar’s memories back. Iris got to see a Barry that was pure and innocent making her fall in love with him all over again. She fell in love with a version of Barry that didn’t have to worry about saving the world or feel the pain of losing his parents. She got to show this Barry the world, his world, through childlike eyes. Candice Patton played this in the most simple, effective way possible. I loved watching her take Barry around and showing him his life including nerdy high school Barry. What sucked was when Barry asked Iris if they’ve been planning their wedding and subsequent honeymoon, you could see the disappointment

With the team now knowing Savitar’s identity, Cisco (Carlos Valdes) and Julian (Tom Felton) resolve to have Barry not make any new memories, so they can be ahead of Savitar instead of two steps behind. Well, that backfires as they wipe Barry’s memories period. And it couldn’t come at a worse possible time as Cecile (Danielle Nicolet) needs Barry to testify against the Heat Monger. If Barry fails to testify then he goes free, ready to wreak havoc on Central City again. The memory wipe was such a bad play that it even brings Killer Frost (Danielle Panabaker) to S.T.A.R. Labs to help get Savitar’s memories back.

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Iris got to see a Barry that was pure and innocent making her fall in love with him all over again. She fell in love with a version of Barry that didn’t have to worry about saving the world or feel the pain of losing his parents. She got to show this Barry the world, his world, through childlike eyes. Candice Patton played this in the most simple, effective way possible. I loved watching her take Barry around and showing him his life including nerdy high school Barry. What sucked was when Barry asked Iris if they’ve been planning their wedding and subsequent honeymoon, you could see the disappointment on her face as they’ve been spending every waking hour trying to save Iris’ life. Finally, someone addressed how Iris and Barry are able to afford that apartment even if it’s Barry asking the question himself.

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What was cool on the writers’ part was having Barry call himself Bart. For us comic nerds Bart Allen is Iris and Barry’s grandchild who is a more powerful speedster than Wally is. Bart is Kid Flash 2 aka Impulse who can control the Speed Force at will and has managed long term photographic memory something no other Flash has done (or master and control). If this is the writers setting up his arrival down line for an appearance in future episodes and/or seasons then it is a welcome one. Bart has a lot of cool history to his character and I’d like to see the team deal with Bart.

So it seems that Catlin Snow is starting to resurface once Julian declares his love for her. With each member of the team trying to persuade Killer Frost back to their side, it seemed to be working. Caitlin is stronger than she realizes and even if Caitlin Snow never resurfaces, maybe Killer Frost might join up with the team. That scene where Cisco recalls them working with Wells was touching and smart on Cisco’s part by appealing to her humanity. I also think the promise of Julian trying to find a cure for her might’ve helped as well.

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H.R. (Tom Cavanagh) and Tracy Brand (Anne Dudek) seem to be falling in love with each other which is touching. As Tracy builds what will throw Savitar into the Speed Force, H.R. provides stable support as her rock. With the Speed Force bazooka built and ready, Tracy explains to the team that they need 3. 86 terra joules of energy to power the weapon. Which is more energy than the sun.

Will Team Flash be able to steal from King Shark?! Can Iris be saved? Will Killer Frost revert back to Caitlin Snow? Stay tuned true believers!

TB-TV-Grade-A-

Season 3, Episode 21 (S03E21)
The Flash airs Tuesdays at 8PM on The CW

Read all of our reviews of The Flash here. 
Read our reviews of more of your favorite shows here.


A lifelong film enthusiast since he can remember, Brandon is an indie filmmaker/screenwriter and freelance critic who resides in Trenton, NJ. Feel free to hit him up on Twitter to talk movies, shows, and music (especially hip-hop).
Follow Brandon on Twitter: @bwood0824
Keep up with all of Brandon’s reviews here.

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