Say Hello to Bart
>Warning: Spoilers for season 3, episode 21 (Cause and Effect) of The Flash follow. If you have not watched the episode, read on at your own risk.
What Happened to Barry?
If anything, Cause and Effect did a great job of helping us to realize everything that has gone wrong with The Flash in season three. However, it did very little to correct those things. The Flash is just not the same since the show abandoned it’s lighthearted tone. Barry Allen seems to be nothing but a dark pit that swallows every ounce of light around him. Honestly, you can’t blame him for being that way.
We’ve seen, over the course of three seasons, Barry go through a lot of tragedy. It’s understandable that there would be a certain weight on the character. Before though, Barry was always a beacon of light amidst all the darkness. He always found a way to hold his head above the water, so to speak. Now, Barry is not only consumed by all the tragedy in his life but is also the cause of tragedy for others.
His meddling in time caused the death of Cisco’s brother. Joe and Iris were not on speaking terms for a time because of it. You could argue that it was also the cause of Caitlin’s transformation into Killer Frost. If he doesn’t find a way to change the future, he will also be the cause of Iris’ death.
There is a Bright Side
That’s not to say that everything about this season has been terrible though. There have been some wonderful things happen, even in Cause and Effect. Cause and Effect was a nice little break from all the darkness, actually. After discovering the identity of Savitar, Team Flash comes up with a plan to get a step ahead of him. The plan goes south though, and Barry ends up losing his memory. It was very predictable, but seeing Barry without all the weight on his shoulders was pretty fantastic.
As a matter of fact, the show used that to provide maybe the strongest performance that Candice Patton has given us as Iris West. She did a great job displaying the difficulty of the choice she had to make. Without his memories, Barry is free from all the tragedy he’s experienced. In a way, he gets a new start at life. He wouldn’t be Barry that way though. Barry is who he is because of what he’s experienced in life. It’s tough. Iris wants Barry to be happy. She also wants him to be, well, him. Kudos to Candice Patton for the excellent acting this episode.
The scenes involving Killer Frost were definitely the best part of this episode. All season long, Caitlin did everything she could to suppress Killer Frost. Now the roles have been reversed. At times the show has made us wonder if there is even the smallest sliver of Caitlin left. Cause and Effect made us realize that, there is still a lot of Caitlin left in Killer Frost. Frost is trying hard to keep that sliver pushed away. In particular, the scene with Cisco, Frost, and Julian was great. Seeing the way Frost reacted when Cisco brought up a memory of them working on the particle accelerator with Ronnie was very moving. On a certain level, Frost seems to cherish those memories the same way Cisco does.
Honestly, I found myself questioning my desire to see Killer Frost stay a villain. I’m not sure if she will at this point. It seems like there is definitely a chance that she will find some sort of redemption. I still hope that she hangs around to be a major villain in season four. She’s the most intriguing and compelling villain the show has every given us, because of how close she is to the team. That’s too good to pass up. Still, I miss Caitlin. Cisco makes me miss Caitlin.
Last week, we got the big Savitar reveal. This week, we got a sort of explanation. Honestly, I’m not a fan of Barry being Savitar anymore. I think they could have offered up a much better, and easier to understand reason for Barry’s turn to evil. We only learned a couple of weeks ago that Barry used time remnants to fight Savitar in the future. To learn that one of those remnants survived and became the evil he was created to fight was convoluted to say the least. It kind of creates an endless loop that makes no sense at all.
Sure, Cisco drew that handy timeline that made an infinity loop. I still don’t like it. As it is, Savitar has no definitive beginning. It makes no sense. There are still some questions left to be answered. Unless those questions drastically change things, Savitar will go down as my seccond most disliked Arrowverse villain.
Cause and Effect – In Conclusion
Season three of The Flash has been hit and miss all season, but just when it seemed things might really start to pick the show falls flat. The Savitar reveal left us shocked, and then offered us a lousy reason behind it all. There is still some hope left that the show will excel over the last few episodes, but Cause and Effect gave us no reason to believe that season three will match the quality of the seasons before it.