The Flash has become a very different show to when it first started out especially in this third season. This season is particular has been a lot darker than what we’re used to since the show began, which is down to the way in which Barry Allen has really made a habit of changing his and the lives of everyone around him. Since the actions of Flashpoint, things have been very different in Central City which has led the Scarlet Speedster up to his current predicament in this battle with Savitar. So far this season we have seen the effects of Flashpoint take a massive impact on Team Flash with Cisco’s brother dying, Caitlin becoming Killer Frost, the battle with the Dominators, Wally beginning to doubt himself and the massive blow being the birth and creation of Savitar.
THIS REVIEW WILL CONTAIN SLIGHT SPOILERS!!!! IF YOU’RE NOT UP TO DATE WITH THE FLASH THEN STOP READING NOW!!!!
The latest episode titled “Cause and Effect” was a brilliant episode and one that was one needed that shifted the tone of the show slightly. The Flash has been on par with Arrow this season is terms of it’s darker vibe than previous seasons, so this episode really broke that up creating a fun episode that was a pleasure to watch. I liked this episode a lot as it showed us a more carefree Barry Allen who isn’t carrying the weight of the world on his shoulders. By the end of the episode we had the old Barry back but I think it did a great job of creating that lighthearted and fun balance that we saw back in Season 1.
I think this episode really stands up there as one of the highlight’s in Season 3 so far, even though it was an episode that didn’t focus as heavily around the Savitar conflict. The main focus of this episode was to show us what Barry’s life would be like not carrying the weight of being a superhero and going up a formidable enemy. The beginning and ending scenes brought back the momentum to the Savitar storyline, but it the rest of the episode added some humour and light hearted fun when Team Flash attempted to form a plan to stop Savitar. Cisco comes up with the idea of attempting to stop Barry from making new memories, which would stop Savitar being able to predict exactly what he’ll come up with to stop the evil speedster…things don’t quite go the way Cisco intended as ends up giving Barry a case of amnesia!
It was a really fun episode to see a different version of Barry as he seemed a lot more carefree and happy go luckily that the current version of the character. He had a hard time believing Team Flash that his name is Barry Allen, with the little joke of referring to himself as “Bart” which did make me laugh I must admit! He was trying to make sense of a world that he has no memory of which proved highly entertaining. One of the stand out moments was when Wally attempted to convince that he and Barry are brothers, the look on his face was priceless. I thought that Grant Gustin was brilliant in the episode adding some comedy stand out scenes, which I think was fun for the writers of the show to portray a different version to his character.
At points in the episode, Barry did start to become more like the pre-amnesia version of his character towards the end and we did get to see some really emotional scenes between the characters. It was one of my favourite Barry/ Iris moments in the season as it really captured the emotion between the two. I have to take my hat off to Candice Patton in this episode as I thought she really portrayed an honest performance of how Iris was in a difficult situation, but also showing how relived she was to see Barry free of his superhero responsibilities. It was kind of ironic as towards the end of the episode she had to be the one to bring Barry back to himself and place him back in the firing line of carrying the burden of trying to save his future wife. I thought that scene at the end had so many feels in it! It did show the audience that despite the tragedies that Barry has encountered in his life, it has shaped and defined him into the hero he is. Behind every great superhero is an important and tragic backstory. I really enjoyed this style of writing from the writers as it gave them something different to play with and could even be included for the tone of Season 4.
I thought that Grant Gustin did a brilliant job of portraying different versions of his character, like what Tom Cavanagh has done with Harrison Wells. I think that Gustin was brilliant in showing the confused “Bart” and then bringing him back around to Barry all in one episode and it seemed flawless. I have to say though that my favourite performance of him was playing the scarred, future Barry who is Savitar. That opening 5 minutes where he explains to present Barry why he became the evil god of speed just gave me chills. He was only in the episode for the opening part but shit was it an effective moment. After the cliffhanger in episode 19 where we found out the identity of Savitar, I know that every fan had so many unanswered questions. The opening scenes helped the audience understand who Savitar is, what his intentions are and why he has come to hate Team Flash. I think that Savitar is a metaphor version of current Barry that is a result of the mistakes, pain and suffering he has encountered in the past, present and clearly the future as well.
With present Barry suffering from the temporary case of amnesia this too affected Savitar, to the point that he didn’t even realise Killer Frost. This led on to some really great scenes with Killer Frost returning to STAR Labs to temporarily rejoin with her former friends to restore both Barry’s memories. I liked that even though we currently have the cold hearted villain, there were moments where we could see the old Caitlin still inside her. It does seem that Killer Frost was struggling in this episode as it was like she was having an inner struggle with herself, attempting to keep Caitlin from resurfacing completely. I do have a feeling that the writers are setting up something major for Killer Frost leading into these final few episodes, which I cannot wait to see!
Overall I thought that this week’s episode of The Flash was brilliant and made a great change in pace to the show’s recent darker vibe. I think the lighthearted comedy and a sense of fun was well needed for the show and distracted us from the current conflict with Savitar. “Cause and Effect” did give a lot in terms of understanding Savitar and why he is on his current mission to destroy The Flash. The episode really delivered some strong character drama and development, which definitely came in the form of Killer Frost trying to suppress the goodness inside her, as well as Barry enjoying a moment of escapism from his current situation. I think these last 2 episode in Season 3 are going to be amazing leading up to the final conclusion of the Savitar conflict.