The Flash: Cause and Effect Review
The CW’s The Flash: Season 3, Episode 21: ‘Cause and Effect’ went a little light this week on the drama that has plagued this season with the Savitar arc. The Flash hasn’t been the same show since it started, but that is really because Barry Allen (Grant Gustin) has been facing some dark times. We now have this version of Barry that isn’t the positive guy that we got familiar with. He’s had a lot to deal with and it has affected those around him. This is why we have episodes like this to step out of the darkness for a bit.
‘Cause and Effect’ managed to move away from all the pressures that Barry is facing and take away that stress for a little while. The episode has referenced all the things that went wrong this season and gave viewers a chance to see Barry in his happier times. Even though his gleeful attitude was only temporary, it did offer some optimism that the show can go back to balancing the lighthearted superhero stuff with some character-driven drama.
It just shows just how well this episode was made and it may be one of The Flash’s best episodes despite it being categorized as a filler episode. It did provide some drive into Savitar’s story, but it mainly involved Team Flash fixing a problem that they end up creating. Having Barry regain his memories just pushed the team back to the starting line. Despite Barry losing his memory, it was an entertaining hour. It was hilarious seeing Barry trying to figure out who he is and what kind of life he’s living in. It was a change of pace seeing just Team Flash and their standpoint on things. There were definitely some funny moments with Barry as he tries to take in the fact that he’s a superhero and trying to breeze through a case hearing. Grant Gustin certainly has the comedic chops to pull off those scenes, which is something that the show should continue doing.
As the episode continued and Barry starts to get a little comfortable, things went more emotional, especially with Iris (Candice Patton). We did get some great scenes between Barry and Iris. Candice did some fine work in going into Iris’ struggle in letting Barry forget his burdens in order to see him happy. It all led up to a powerful scene where it went down to Iris to get Barry back to normal and putting his responsibilities back up again. It just shows that Barry can’t simply forget all the bad things that have happened to him because those are the moments that define him to be a better man and superhero. It seems like the show is looking to bring some more light into Barry’s life. It’s definitely something to consider for the show’s new season.
Grant Gustin seems to be better at playing other versions of himself, except for his future self. The future version of Barry wasn’t well thought out, but Gustin managed to refine that performance in this episode in order to make those characters different from one another. His fight with Savitar in the opening scenes of the episode helped in learning more about his motivation and why he doesn’t like Team Flash very much. Savitar isn’t the Barry we are familiar with, but he does represent all of the mistakes that Barry has made in his life.
Other than Barry, Killer Frost (Danielle Panabaker) also was a major scene-stealer during the episode. There’s so much of a divide between Caitlin and her former teammates. We do see some remnants of the old Caitlin in there, so it will be interesting to see if she can get back to her old self again or it this ends up being permanent. Caitline has certainly struggled with her powers and the darkness that comes with it all season. With Killer Frost on the loose, she’s going to try to keep Caitlin from rising again. Perhaps she has a bigger role to play in the upcoming season finale.
Part of the episode could’ve gotten rid of the budding romance growing between H.R. Wells (Tom Cavanagh) and Tracy Brand (Anne Dudek). The two share some great scenes together and their chemistry is impeccable, but having them develop feelings for one another feels a bit rushed and needs to move away from that for now. They certainly don’t need anymore team members so we aren’t sure what her purpose is yet. Hopefully we get more lighthearted episodes like this before we head into the season finale.
‘Cause and Effect’ has certainly proven that sometimes the best episodes can be the ones that don’t focus on the main storyline. Just a bit of comedy mixed in with drama is all you need to make a good episode. It was a breath of fresh air as Savitar’s storyline is close to finishing it’s run. We also had some amazing developments with Killer Frost while Barry got to be happy for a while without worrying about the city’s problems or with Iris. In the end, Barry learns that pain becomes part of who the person is and it defines you.
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