The Flash: 3×21 – Cause and Effect

Previously | Iris gonna die. Caitlin goes full Killer Frost. The 2017 Team Flash enlist Tracy Brand to help them create the tech that will eventually trap Savitar. Oh yes and after 20 episodes of dragging this shit out: Future Barry Allen is Savitar.

THE FUTURE IS EMO | Future Savitar is actually one of the time remnants that Barry creates in his repeated quests to save Iris. As 2024 Barry specifically notes “he kills MOST of the time remnants”. This one survived, and was shunned for being an aberration. He was Barry Duplicate not Barry Actual and this repeated rejection and loss drove Barry Duplicate to seek out becoming a God to feel no pain. 2017 Barry tries to take on Savi-Barry but his Savitar suit is pretty badass and attacks 2017 Barry.

CONTINUITY | This is used to justify that Easter Egg from Legends of Tomorrow where Barry can’t be trusted. The theory that we’re meant to believe is that Duplicate Barry upon becoming Savitar went back into time to kill Iris, this setting the stage in motion for 2017 Barry’s descent into darkness and confirming the time remnants that 2024 Barry made that would lead to his eventual creation. It’s some sort of closed loop ish but once Savitar is formed he doesn’t care about the rules of time travel and somehow the time wraiths don’t get him. Thus “I created myself” and “I am the future Flash” now add up. There is one other thing he needs but he keeps that to himself. Once fully formed as Savitar, Savi time travels all over time creating his myth of him being the strongest speedster, which adds in to how Jay Garrick refers to him as the first speedster ever created. Barry Duplicate was basically his own hype man.

FORGET ME NOT | Savitar has 2017-Barry’s memories because he lived them. Even 2017-Barry can acknowledge he sees the coagulation of pain and loss that created Savitar: the losses of Nora, Henry and Iris is too much to bear. Added to the rejection of the team to Duplicate Barry and it all creates Savitar. Cisco comes up with the idea to stop Barry’s short term memory in order to kill Savitar’s preview pass to Barry’s life. Of course it doesn’t work but the big payoff of this the revelation that Carlos Valdes can act off of anyone and here proves to have lovely chemistry with Tom Felton. Barry’s brain is fried and he can’t remember much of anything. No Iris, No Henry, No the Flash. He doesn’t even remember his own name. In a nice Easter egg “Bart Allen” gets a little name check.

WESTALLEN REVISITED | This new memory scrubbed Barry doesn’t have the weight of the multiple losses and pain on his soul. It’s Iris that leads Barry through the darkness, reminding him of all of their trials throughout the year. The sweetest part of this episode is seeing this Barry fall in love with Iris once more. Iris tells him of the moment when their love story began: as children, when Iris comforted Barry after the loss of his mother. One thing that stands out about this episode is how much Iris wants to protect this new light Barry who wants to help her plan their wedding and go through their high school yearbooks and doesn’t have years of guilt on him. It’s never mentioned anywhere that if Barry stays this way, Iris doesn’t die. Is that because Iris is truly selfless or the writers just dgaf?

CAUSE AND EFFECT | Barry’s memory scrub has consequences: Barry doesn’t know he has powers and Savitar can’t remember who he is either. The B story here involves newly minted Team Flash member Cecile who needs Barry’s testimony as the CSI expert to testify against budget Heatwave “Heatmonger”. Barry flops his testimony in a hilarious scene orchestrated with some special glasses designed by Cisco and Julian feeding Barry the answers. How no one in the court room doesn’t notice this transparent tomfoolery is beyond me. Anyway, Heatmonger is released. Memory scrubbed Barry eventually taps into his powers right before kissing Iris for the first time. This Barry is thrilled and irreverent at having powers but is thoroughly unfit to be a hero. Heatmonger eventually decides to tear shit up though and Kid Flash can’t save the day because with the memory scrub, he doesn’t get his powers!

Killer Frost shows up to help the team restore Barry and thus Savitar, but refuses to say what she gets out of his revival. Cisco tries to thaw Killer Frost’s heart with memories of Ronnie, Hartley and their early Star Labs days. They eventually create a device to help Barry’s memories. Julian’s admission of love is thrown back to his face but in private, Killer Frost’s eyes flicker briefly to Caitlin.

FILLER | The HR and Tracy storyline is complete filler. Basically they like their other and like coffee. They build the speed trap by the end of the episode. The end.

I REMEMBER | Barry’s memory returns with your standard Iris West pep talk. Barry’s memories trigger Kid Flash’s powers being restored and Savitar revived. Wally and Barry save innocents from Heatmonger. Barry admits to Iris that he had the perfect pain free life in Flashpoint but the cost of losing Iris, Cisco, Caitlin and everyone else was too great. Those hardships helped shape him. The episode closes with Team Flash and Tracy going over the Speed Bazooka and the gigantic amount of energy it needs to power up (more energy than the sun!) to trap Savitar and then we cut to King Shark swimming away in Argus.
Stray Observations | How do they really afford to live in that bomb ass apartment?

“Hartley was such a dick, you reminded me of him when you joined the team”

The current Team Flash had more than enough power in Cisco to battle the metas while memory scrubbed Barry trained to be The Flash

I would have liked it if memory scrubbed Barry could have understood the gravity of restoring his memories would lead to the revival of Savitar and Iris’ death. I wanted to see him confront the reality that they could live this life and be happy.

FFFASHION | I’m living for this pink dress that Iris is wearing in this episode. Cisco’s hair is completely beautiful. Gawd he’s gorgeous.

Next: Captain Cold returns somehow to help Barry release King Shark

The Flash 3×22 “Infantino Street”  – With only 24 hours left until Savitar murders Iris (Candice Patton), Barry (Grant Gustin) struggles to save the woman he loves and makes the choice to use any means necessary to do so. Realizing he has one option left to save her, The Flash turns to Captain Cold (Wentworth Miller) for help.





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