The Flash: "Cause And Effect" Starts Silly And Ends Strong

This article contains spoilers for The Flash episode Cause And Effect.

.

.

.

.

.

flash321

Fifteen or twenty minutes into last night's episode, I wasn't happy. Cause and Effect was coming across as a silly, sitcom style throwaway episode that I would've expected a show in its third season to be well past doing.

Cisco Ramon decides to prevent Barry from making new memories so Savitar (future Barry Allen time remnant) would not know what they were planning. There was no way this was gong to go right, especially since their brain expert, Caitlin Snow, was currently Killer Frost and working for the bad guy. Of course things go wrong, all of Barry's memories were wiped. He is then needed to testify for his CSI day job that he hasn't seem to be doing much of lately. Cisco and Julian Albert go full Cyrano de Bergerac and rig up some glasses so they can message him while he's testifying… but he can't get them wet. Julian can't help adding flourishes to the messages and of course Barry sweats on the glasses, blowing them out and setting the Heat Wave knock off villain free. Total sitcom story going on with only two episodes left in a very serious season.

And then things took a turn. Iris West started to see this version of Barry without the weight of his tragic life. An innocent happiness that she enjoyed seeing, but then began to wonder if it was fair to Barry to put that weight back on him. We learn of other side effects of what Cisco did…Savitar has no memory either and without Savitar's intervention, Wally West loses his speed. This brings Killer Frost to STAR Labs to help get Barry his memories back to fix Savitar. The interesting thing here is that no one, not even Iris, ever brought up the other side effect. If Savitar has no memories, he has no reason to kill Iris. The mind wipe solved the big problem of the season. I think Barry would gladly sacrifice his memories to save her. Would Wally sacrifice his speed to save his sister? The question was never presented in the episode, which I think would've been a good dramatic scene.

With Killer Frost working with them for a while, this gives Cisco a chance to start trying to reach Caitlin. Julian went a step further by confessing his love for Caitlin. The result, though subtle, was a quick change in eye color showing that maybe there is still hope. Meanwhile, with the Speed Force Bazooka, there is a romance building between H.R. Wells and Tracy Brand that's fun to watch.

One interesting moment in the episode is Cisco's reference to Hartley Rathaway/Pied Piper (Andy Mientus) who we haven't seen since in a while. He compares Julian to Hartley, not a flattering thing, but it also brings up one of the early changes Barry made through time travel. It's surprising we haven't seen the character return.

Where there was a lot of talk about characters coming back for the season finales of Arrow and Supergirl, there had been almost no talk at all about The Flash. Now, we see that the penultimate episode of the season contains the return of two characters – Wentworth Miller as Leonard Snart/Captain Cold and the digitally created King Shark. Barry must steal a power source left over from the Invasion aliens and asks for Snart's help to get it. But King Shark is protecting it. How does Snart appear when he's dead? Guessing that the thing behind him is the Waverider, it's possible that Barry is borrowing Snart from a point before he died but was working with the Legends. Also, the title is a nice nod to Carmine Infantino, the co-creator of the Barry Allen version of The Flash.

https://youtu.be/L7OIzZMH31Q

About Dan Wickline

Has quietly been working at Bleeding Cool for over three years. He has written comics for Image, Top Cow, Shadowline, Avatar, IDW, Dynamite, Moonstone, Humanoids and Zenescope. He is the author of the Lucius Fogg series of novels and a published photographer.