The Flash – Cause and Effect
By: Stacy Miller
The episode opens with Savitar having a heart-to-heart talk with Barry (Grant Gustin), which basically amounts to giving exposition on how Savitar was created. It seems that Savitar is a time remnant The Flash created during one of his speed journeys into the future. He was to battle Savitar, who after their fight, let him live. However, once Team Flash was able to defeat Savitar they ignored the time remnant (him). He came to realize that in order for him not to be forgotten, he had to become Savitar. And in order for him to become Savitar, he had to do something that would force Barry to embrace his anger and that was killing Iris. Grant Gustin plays Savitar in the episode as cold and calculating.
Barry goes to STAR Labs and shares with Team Flash about his Savitar encounter. After hearing his tale, Cisco (Carlos Valdes) remembers the message the Waverider (from Legends of Tomorrow) in which they were warned not to trust Barry Allen. This makes sense now as they were talking about the Barry Allen from the future a/k/a Savitar. It also makes sense when Killer Frost (Danielle Panabaker) was so quick to serve Savitar because she trusted Barry. Now, Team Flash knows why Savitar was also ahead of them in every plan they had. Barry is upset as he thinks that he could have enough evil in him to become Savitar. Of course, Iris (Candice Patton) is there to remind him that he is a good person.
Cisco comes up with an idea that he reasons will stop Savitar from killing Iris. If they can somehow control Barry’s mind and prevent him from making memories, it may help stop from creating Savitar. Okay, playing with someone’s mind…not a good thing and can have serious ramifications. This is something Cisco and H.R. (Tom Cavanagh) soon learn when they cause Barry to lose his memories. He doesn’t even remember who he is!
Amnesia is a plot device that writers have used constantly. I think this is because it gives a character the chance to become newer versions of themselves. They can get away with things that they would never do and behave out of character. That being said, Barry Allen without memories is a pleasure to watch. He is a funny, lighter version of our Barry Allen. When he wakes up at the memory experiment goes wrong, he is at first suspicious of Team Flash and their motives. Iris shows him photos of all of them and tells him that they are his family to get him to trust them and believe they mean him no ill will. Barry pulls out his wallet and sees his driver’s license with his name Bartholomew Allen so he asks to be called Bart. I don’t know. I think Barry sounds way better, but I digress and for the sake of this recap. I’ll comply with Amnesiac Barry’s wish and call him Bart. So, Bart is taken to the Central City Police Department. Of course, he doesn’t remember Cecile (Danielle Nicolet). This is bad as Barry is needed as an expert witness in the case against Lucius Coolidge a/k/a Heat Monger (Richard Zeman). Seeing Heat Monger made me miss Heat Wave (Dominic Purcell). The hardest thing will be having Barry give his testimony without any of his forensic scientist knowledge. For me, the best part of the episode was the scenes in court when Barry took the stand. The first thing I noticed was that he was wearing glasses. The eyewear wasn’t to correct his vision or as a fashion accessory, but as a tool for Julian (Tom Felton) to aid him in his testimony. You see, Julian was giving him the answers to the questions. Even though I’m sure this was not only illegal but unethical, it was sure funny to watch. It was obvious that Barry was reading as he gave his responses. And especially amusing with the larger words and concepts he found difficult to interpret. His explanation of why Heat Monger’s fire was dangerous was because it was yellow was a hoot. The case gets dismissed and a dangerous pyromaniac is released. Definitely not good news for Central City.
Iris liked this version of Barry because he was able to enjoy life as he didn’t have the fate of the world on his shoulders. Barry was free of responsibility and happier than he has been in months. Iris takes Barry to their loft and he comments how beautiful the place is and asks how they can afford it (I’ve been asking that same question myself). While there, Barry experiences a strange vibe of his powers and starts super speeding around the place. He doesn’t know what is happening to him but thinks it’s really cool. He is downright giddy when told he is a superhero.
Meanwhile, Killer Frost finds Savitar who too has lost his memories. She comes to STAR Labs where Wally (Keiynan Lonsdale) doesn’t have his Kid Flash powers. The cause and effect of Savitar losing his memories means he never helped to create Kid Flash. Killer Frost tells Team Flash that the memories need to be restored before it’s too late. While Killer Frost works with Cisco and Julian, Cisco shares a story from their (his and Caitlin’s) STAR Lab past that includes Ronnie. As much as Killer Frost pretends to be the Ice Queen, she is shows emotion over the trip down memory lane.
Central City is in grave danger from Heat Monger who makes a massive fire that burns a downtown building. Memories or not, Bart insists on going to help. After all, he is a superhero. But The Flash without memories is of little use. He doesn’t know how to use his powers. Cisco and Killer Frost make a device that should help jolt Barry’s brain and restore his memories. It doesn’t work. Iris has a way to help Barry remember. She gets on the earpiece and reminds him of a painful chapter of his life: The death of his mother. She talks about how after his mother’s murder and Joe (Jesse L. Martin) brought Young Barry (Liam Hughes) to live with them. Iris recalls how she found Young Barry sitting on the couch one night and crying about his mother. Young Iris (Sasha Rojen) came downstairs to comfort him and it was at that moment she realizes she fell in love with him. The memory jogs Bart’s memory and he is again Barry Allen a/k/a The Flash. With Barry’s memories restored, Savitar and Kid Flash also regain their memories. Kid Flash helps The Flash put out the fire. Barry later talks with Iris and tells her that both his bad and good memories have shaped him into becoming the hero the world needs him to be.
As the episode closes, H.R. and Dr. Tracy Brand (Anne Dudek) tells Team Flash that the device that will trap Savitar in the speed force is nearly ready. However, it needs a power source that is stronger than the Earth’s sun. The power source appears to be the mind control crystal belonging to the Dominator. Unfortunately, it is being guarded by King Shark. Next week…The Flash vs. King Shark.