Plot Lines of The Flash: Season 3, Episode 21 “Cause and Effect”

By: Casey Johnston (@DarthHockey)

WARNING: There are spoilers ahead for the latest episode of The Flash.


Judalina Neira

Lauren Certo

A Plot: The Memory Doesn’t Remain

The writers of this episode managed to mix lighthearted whimsy with some real dark pain. The effects of Barry losing his memories bordered on slapstick comedy while everyone else around him had to deal with the still-present Savitar problem. Having Barry lose his memories while still retaining his speed powers reminded us that he’s a good person at his core. This was Barry at his most primal state. Without a memory of who he is or what he’s capable of, Barry could have just walked away from everything without a second thought, but that’s not who he is. He’s a guy who helps people; that’s his most basic instinct. Showing us that tonight was a nice contrast considering last week’s Savitar reveal. Even though Savitar isn’t really Barry (the time remnant reveal should be a nice middle ground for people who couldn’t accept that Barry can be bad), the writers still needed to show us that Barry doesn’t have an evil bone in his body.

Bringing Killer Frost back into STAR Labs was also a nice touch. Much like Barry, Caitlin is good at heart. Right now, though, every fiber of her being is fighting that good nature. I feel like the whole point of her story tonight was to show us that she’s not beyond redemption. Much has been made about how lost Caitlin is, but we saw tonight that she’s still in there fighting to break herself free of Killer Frost’s hold. This gives the writers some good flexibility with the story going into the next two episodes. It’s possible that Caitlin could be the key to defeating Savitar in the end.

B Plot: Heat Monger

While this episode was all about Barry, the writers still managed to sneak in a villain-of-the-week in Heat Monger. It was a fantastic choice to have Barry unwittingly screw over Cecile’s efforts as a DA right after learning the true identity of Flash. It was also a nice way for the writers to show us Barry’s true nature. Barry learning about his powers while Heat Wave terrorized the city was a real defining moment for him. This was the point that Barry could have shirked his duties as a superhero but he didn’t. Even though he knew nothing about being the Flash, he still ran towards the danger without a second thought.

C Plot: Speed Force Bazooka

We didn’t get to spend as much time with Tracy Brand this week but she was still vital to the story. It’s a testamentĀ to the writers that they could spend the whole episode focusing on Barry and his problems while still driving the main plot forward with just three scenes. That kind of smooth transition is what makesĀ The Flash my favorite of all the DC shows on the CW.

Thanks for reading!