On this week’s episode of The Flash, the date of Iris’ death is approaching. But the team may have figured out a way to get one step ahead of Savitar. It involves messing with Barry’s brain. What could go wrong?!
Are we made of our memories? Our experiences play a definitive role in shaping who we are throughout our lives. But without our past, what remains of our personality? According to The Flash, quite a bit! Heroes still want to help people, even if they can’t remember how they once did so. We see this in action with an amnesiac Barry in one of the better episodes of the season. It’s ripe with comedy, long-sought answers and a light-hearted touch.
“Cause and Effect” picks up where we left off last week, with Barry confronting his evil doppelganger. Savitar is a time remnant that Barry creates in the future, to try and defeat….Savitar. Wait, stay with me. When the remnants fail, the one survivor is shunned by Team Flash. This version of Barry, reeling from the loss of Iris, snaps completely and decides to become a god. He becomes Savitar, creating himself in a closed loop. He wants to kill Iris to make Barry suffer for abandoning him and to guarantee his own creation. Make sense? No? Blame “Flashpoint.” Savitar does.
Barry tries to use this info to his advantage, asking if he could kill himself to prevent Savitar’s existence. But as evilBarry says, Eddie did that two years ago and Reverse-Flash is still running around (kind of). Instead, he goes for the next best thing. If Savitar knows Barry’s memories, then what if Barry couldn’t make new ones? Then Savitar would have no idea what our heroes are planning. Well, the device works, but a bit too well. It wipes out all Barry’s memories, along with Savitar’s. Whoops.
This leads to some of the funniest scenes of the season, as Barry stumbles around confused and a bit freaked out. When Wally tells Barry that he’s his brother, Barry looks their different skin tones, perplexed. He blankly stumbles through a testimony in court for the CCPD against a Heat Wave copycat. Iris walks him down memory lane to his days as an anime-loving, unstylish teen. It’s all great. And what’s best of all is how light and happy Barry acts, despite the memory loss. He’s not weighed down by the tragedies of his past, as Iris says. Maybe the writers have realized that the show has gone too far down the road of darkness. In any case, these scenes are not only fun, but they give Candice Patton an opportunity to dig into some really strong material. It’s probably the most Iris has done all season.
Light and darkness also come into play in how the amnesiac Barry and Savitar react to their surroundings. Barry still wants to do the right thing, including saving people from the new fire baddie. Meanwhile, the first thing Savitar does without his memories is attack Killer Frost. Even without a known past, these two are still committed to their paths. It’s an interesting look at character, especially when played against Caitlin. She comes to S.T.A.R. Labs to help the team get Barry memories back, so she can continue her work with Savitar. Cisco, Julian and a memory-restored Barry try to get through to Caitlin in a well-acted scene, only for her to turn her back on them again. But there appears to be a flicker of their friend somewhere in Killer Frost. She hasn’t committed to her path yet.
But with their memories back, Barry and Savitar are once again on a collision course. Team Flash even has a potential weapon to stop evilBarry. But it’s going to need a massive power source. Time for a robbery!
– The two speedsters clashing with throws of lightning looks really cool.
– H.R. and Tracy finally kiss, adding yet another office romance to the mix. But it does help Tracey figure out what she needs to create the “speedforce bazooka.”
– H.R.’s favorite Star Trek is Voyager. Not my choice, but given his vagabond spirit, it somewhat makes sense.
– The “speedforce bazooka” seems like a great idea, but why did the team immediately tell Barry about it? He should have asked to remain ignorant so Savitar wouldn’t know what they have planned. No memory-tampering required!
– Next week, two villainous favorites return: Captain Cold and King Shark!