After last week’s big reveal saw Savitar being unveiled as a future version of Barry, one would have expected this week’s episode, “Cause and Effect” to strike while the iron is hot and deliver one of the best and most dramatic episodes of the season so far. Instead, the episode resulted in one of the most unbalanced and misjudged entries of this impressive season, with a massive opportunity missed in favour of a much more light-hearted approach.
Opening with Barry and Savitar face to face following the conclusion of last week’s episode, we finally delved into just how the speed god is indeed another version of Barry. With Barry now in possession of this vital information – and following a very brief moment of combat – he head back to STAR Labs to tell the team and look to find out just how they can deal with a version of himself who essentially knows what his every move is. Cisco’s answer – erase Barry’s short-term memory in the hope that it would have the same effect on their nemesis. While this solution was of course logical it did mean that the episode was then turned into one big comedic routine and lacked that real emotional drama that it should have driven.
Often The Flash pulls out the comedy card within its more serious episodes and it just works, but this week it felt all too misplaced and mistimed, especially with us reaching such a pivotal stage of season 3. With Barry’s memory wiped it meant we were essentially back to square one: Barry and Wally without powers, and Mr. Allen with no recollection of his life. Played out more for laughs than anything, there were occasional moments between him and Iris that struck a chord but ultimately this felt like an episode that had very little purpose, especially in that Cisco’s idea literally took the team no further than they already were.
That task came down to Tracy once more as she looked to finally complete the tool to take down Savitar, with the help of the ever-brilliant HR. Their moments were tinged with humour and worked, amnesia-struck Barry was a different case.
That being said, the episode did work in its bringing together of Caitlin/Killer Frost and both Cisco and Julian, with the pair looking to break down the icy walls and call to their close friend. It looks like Caitlin may yet break through and the moment in which Cisco recollected a memory involving Ronnie showcased the first moment of vulnerability in the newfound villain. It was perfectly executed and really posed the question as to whether we may yet see her play a pivotal part in the ultimate battle to come with Savitar.
A show that has regularly combined humour and human drama so seamlessly in the past, this week’s episode of The Flash felt sadly muddled and served little purpose in Barry’s quest to take down Savitar. The humour felt overwhelming and the raw drama lacking, and while there were certainly moments to savour it resulted in one of the more forgettable episodes of season 3 so far.
With King Shark and Captain Cold set to enter the fray next week it looks like we may get an action-packed episode as the road to Savitar versus Barry approaches us rapidly…
The Flash airs on The CW on Tuesdays.
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