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REVIEW: The Flash 3×21 “Cause and Effect”

You know what, this episode had no right to be as much fun as it was and I am totally ok with that. “Cause and Effect” should have been this big turning point with finding out what makes Savitar who he is and why he wants to kill Iris, but that is all handled in the first five minutes. After that we get perhaps one of the better examples of Barry forgetting his powers as Barry suffers amnesia and the team has to deal with the ramifications. This easily could have been played only for laughs, which it mostly was, but there was actually a surprising amount of depth to Barry’s amnesia that managed to make it all just kind of work. It was also a nice episode where all of our side characters managed to get a brief moment to shine in one way or another. It really feels like I should have been annoyed by this but by the end I was smiling ear to ear like an old fashion episode.

So, lets know out the heavy plot elements of the episode as Barry finally confronted Savitar and we were able to find out how our Barry could possibly become him. I like the idea of Savitar being a time remnant and not fully being tied down to our Barry’s past, present, and future. I also really enjoyed Grant Gustin’s performance as Savitar is just an extremely broken version of Barry who believes the rules no longer apply to him. Savitar simply wants to prove the worth of his existence to those the real Barry cares for. Sure, he is doing it in the worst possible way by making himself into a god, but it’s the thought that counts. I also really am enjoying the idea of Barry being able to sympathize with the big bad. It makes the fight all the more interesting and I really can’t wait for the final race this year.

Same kinda goes for Barry or as he went by this episode Bart Allen. It is strange that never once did I think about the possibility that Barry having his memories stripped away would make him infinitely more likable. I mean we got a huge info dump  on Barry’s past and what he was like growing up. I mean Barry hits all the major nerd marks in being part of the anime club in high school. Plus we get to have the real fun of watching Barry geek out over having powers and what that means. I mean how awesome was it to see him actually enjoy the idea of being The Flash without all of the doom and gloom. It was also a nice if cliched touch to have Iris fall in love with Barry despite him having no memories of their connection. It helps to show how truly close the two of them are even in the strangest and darkest of times.

We also had the great moments of watching the team attempt to salvage Barry’s day to day life despite having his memory erased. Everything from Barry marveling at his and Iris’ apartment to the court room scene just added such a small sense of joy to the entire proceedings. I mean I laughed pretty hard when Julian was feeding Barry all the science jargon and ended his message with a smiley face. If the show decides to go full Ron Burgundy for any sort of reason I can’t say I will be entirely displeased. It was also enjoyable to see Cisco be fumbling around after his mistakes and wondering how in the world he was going to fix everything. As joe pointed out Cisco is the tech guy of the team and not the doctor so it was feeling like we were playing a woman down until Killer Frost showed up.

It has been a slight mystery as to just how much of Caitlin’s memories does Killer Frost actually have. Here we seem to get a clear answer that although Killer Frost is clearly in control there is some element of Caitlin that is trying to fight back and take some semblance of control. I mean I don’t really understand why she is helping Savitar at all but it is nice to see the big bad have some real assistance rather than simply going it alone. This was of course capped by the reveal that Caitlin is indeed fighting fro some amount of control over Killer Frost. I don’t honestly know if she will be able to make it but Killer Frost with some of Caitlin’s quirks would surely be fun to watch.

Overall it was another really strong episode and the season seems to be ending on a really strong note. Next week though it’s time for a heist.

Final Grade A-

+Barry “Bart” Allen was hilarious

+Watching the team stumble to help Barry

+Iris and Barry falling in love again

+Killer Frost/ Caitlin conflict

+Savitar’s explanation of his origin

-Savitar is sidelined for most of the episode

-Whatever was happening with HR

Extra Thoughts

-That final shot of prison guard King Shark just makes me so happy inside.

-Seriously, stop playing around and just give us the real Bart already.

-The bit of Barry checking his skin tone after Wally said they were brothers may have been a little wrong, still laughed.

About the author

Scott Swartz