Previously on The Flash, “I Know Who You Are”
This episode felt like filler and slowed things down at a time when we need neither. When making the case for shorter seasons on network television, this is an episode I’d cut. That said, it was fun as hell.
In order to be fully onboard with the SaviBar reveal and the outcome, we’ll have to accept a few things. First, Savitar is a time remnant Barry created in the future to help him defeat Savitar. For some reason, he refused to go along with the plan and killed all the other time remnants. However, Barry and the rest of Team Flash (minus Iris; he doesn’t mention her) shunned him as an aberration. He was created to die; not to live a life. This is why Future Barry left that message for Rip Hunter. We’ll have to accept that he was only created to defeat himself, a villain that already exists. Also, during his evil monologue, SaviBar says that it was the creation of Flashpoint that “changed everything.” He’s most likely referring to the fact that he also said (via Julian) that Barry creating Flashpoint it was gave him the idea of how he could escape his prison.
It’s a tad convoluted and it presents that annoying “chicken and the egg” question, but, like I said, this is what we’ll have to accept to get through these final two episodes. And we’ll have to accept the fact that some of the team refuses to let Caitlin go.
Since everyone has a cooler suit than Barry, SaviBar gets away after their confrontation. After the team digests the info about Savitar’s true identity, Cisco comes up with a plan to stop Barry from creating new memories that SaviBar can use against them. Of course, it doesn’t go as planned and Barry forgets everything from his past. Hilarity ensues when Barry has to testify against an arson with Julian feeding him the science knowledge he’s forgotten. We’re able to enjoy these light moments because Savitar has also lost his memory so it puts a temporary pause on his murderous rage, and it doesn’t cause us to scratch our heads over the convenience of the villain being too preoccupied to attack our hero at his most vulnerable. Though, it’s not entirely clear what amnesia Savitar was doing on his own.
Killer Frost offers to work with Team Flash to restore Barry’s memories and set things right, including returning Wally’s powers which have disappeared – somehow, Savitar’s memory lapse means he doesn’t ever give Wally his powers in order to escape the time prison. Listen, I told you this is just something we’re going to accept because time loop.
Without his memories, Savitar is no longer a threat. Wally seems willing to live without his powers and teach Barry how to use his again. And Iris wonders if maybe this happier Barry, with no memories of his dark past, might not be just what Barry needs and deserves (Central City be damned). They could just put a hot one in Killer Frost, whose motives for helping SaviBar remain unknown, and be done with all of their problems. But Team Flash isn’t as petty as I am so they work with Killer Frost to create a device that will jolt Barry’s brain. Iris, as always, provides the spark Barry needs to be the man he was.
Up to Speed
Light hearted Barry was a joy to watch. It was nice to see him fall in love with Iris all over again and revisit the sheer joy he had when he first discovered his powers. So much of this series has focused on Barry coming to terms with the tragedies he’s experienced; this episode saw him take yet another step in reconciling the past with the future he desires.
Everything that was great about this episode came from the performances given by Candice Patton and Grant Gustin. Thanks to the magic of time travel, alternate Earths, and an alien who can create musicals, we’ve been treated to the cast playing several different versions of themselves and it never disappoints. The show avoided the annoying trope of the girl falling in love with the hero while unaware his secret identity has been pining after her. It continues to prove time and again that Iris West loves Barry Allen with or without powers and she’ll always do what’s best for him. Patton again stepped up and portrayed Iris as smart, compassionate, and decisive when she needed to be. Gustin’s “Bart” was like Earth-2’s Barry with a tad more confidence, and was extremely sexy.
Wally West is my favorite everything.
Stuck in Neutral
Didn’t want to put this in the negative section, but I didn’t completely enjoy it either so here we are. I don’t care about Tracy Brand. I need her to build this prison and go. This is mainly because I’m about 99.8% sure H.R. is going to die. Savitar specifically said H.R. survived his wrath in the future, and I think the change of bringing Tracy into it four years early plus H.R.’s feelings for her (and hers for him) all point to him not making it out of episode 3.23 alive. And that blows. Still, Tracy building the weapon we already know she’s going to build is the least interesting thing the show has going on. It would have been nice if she was introduced earlier so we could give a damn about her as a character and not a late-in-the-game plot device. Also, the continued implication that H.R. keeps being her boost of confidence is annoying. She won a damn Nobel prize without having heard of him before.
This Killer Frost business is so.damn.dumb. Why did they let her leave once Barry regained his memories? They don’t know why Savitar needs her, but they know he needs her and they’re trying to stop him. I suppose they didn’t want him to come looking for her since his memories had returned and they don’t know how to stop him? After approximately 15 episodes of telling us that Caitlin’s powers will make her evil (for reasons) and she won’t be able to come back from it, now they’re like, “Maybe not.” I swear, they better reverse engineer her blood into a “cure” because the solution to this needs to be something more substantial than “warm fuzzies.”
Questions That Need Answers
Now that we know for certain that SaviBar is a time remnant created to destroy Savitar, there are still a few questions. They’ve established that remnants are typically created by going back in time just a few minutes. And SaviBar said it was everyone rejecting him that turned him into Savitar (he decided to become a god to avoid the pain that comes with the end of personal connections). So, how and why did he make up his mind so fast to kill all the remnants and have his own life? I get the rejection sparking the anger, but it sounds like he was already feeling some kinda way since he killed the other remnants. How far did Barry go back to create them/him, and why would this one remnant be so damn petty?
Also of note, when he listed everyone who didn’t reject him as an aberration, he didn’t say Iris, Caitlin, or H.R. Is this why he needs Caitlin?
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The Flash S3E21
"Cause and Effect"
Starring: Grant Gustin, Candice Patton, Jesse L. Martin, Tom Cavanagh, Carlos Valdes, Danielle Panabaker, Keinynan Lonsdale, Tom Felton