Flash recap

The Flash Recap: Memory Lame

This week on The Flash, a clever attempt to put one over on Savitar left Barry bamboozled. Meanwhile, is Killer Frost starting to warm up?

But first… Savitar went into heavy exposition mode to explain to Barry how he (they?) came to be. (Luckily, Cisco later mapped it out for us/the team after, to bring a bit more clarity.) But simply said, just as Barry fetched a time remnant to help defeat Zoom a year ago, Future Barry will create one years from now to help take down Savitar. That “shunned, broken” remnant, however, will go crazy and become obsessed with becoming a god, to end the pain — and to do that, he needs two things: Iris’ death (to drive Barry into a dark enough place that Savitar can be born), and… well, he was cheeky and didn’t tell himself the second thing.

When Barry suggests that killing himself will thus vanquish Savitar, his rival warns, “Cause and effect is a tricky thing,” as the Thawnes have already shown them. “The more you time travel, the less the rules apply to you,” he gloats.

Anywho… Team Flash gathers to strategize, but realize that Savitar will always know what their Barry knows — so how to circumvent that? By way of reckless brain tinkering! So even without bio whiz Caitlin on hand to lead the way, Cisco and Julian set out to block Barry’s short-term memory, so that they can form a plan that Savitar isn’t privy to. Alas, Barry emerges from the procedure as an amnesic who prefers the name “Bart” (heh), and who is lighter, happier and not bogged down by memories of murdered parents.

Thing is, “Bart” (despite Julian and Cisco’s help) can’t negotiate his way through his testimony as a CSI, allowing an arsonist dubbed Heat Monger to go free. Neither is “Bart” a capable speedster, a shortcoming that comes to the fore when The Flash is needed to put out a massive fire. That’s where Killer Frost’s special brand of “help” comes into play. Since Savitar also went amnesic from Team Flash’s goof — and since Wally thus is now powerless, having never been nudged toward his destiny by Savitar/Alchemy — Killer Frost offers Caitlin’s brainy goodness to get Barry his memories back.

A gizmo she creates gets the job half done, but to finish it, Iris must trigger a visceral memory for Barry, by detailing his mother’s brutal murder. His memory restored, and with Kid Flash also back in play, the fire is put out — and Killer Frost is allowed to walk free (though an earlier trip down memory lane with Cisco, about Ronnie and their old S.T.A.R. Lab days, seems to warm her up juuuuust a bit). That said, she coolly tells Julian on her way out that she does not reciprocate his “I love you.”

At hour’s end, (the adorable) Tracy Brand and H.R. (who are now kissing and stuff) unveil for the team the “Speed Force Bazooka,” which can trap Savitar in the Speed Force forever… provided they find 3.86 terajoules of energy aka “more than the sun” to fuel it. But King Shark apparently is protecting an alien energy source that will get the job done…?

What did you think of “Cause and Effect”?

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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63 Comments
  1. Diggory says:

    Filler episode, but fun

    • Matt Webb Mitovich says:

      Very filler-y at points. (I even got a bit bored.)

      • herman1959 says:

        Oh Matt, REALLY?

      • Stan says:

        Matt, with as much TV as you are required to watch, I imagine aimless, filler episodes must be absolute torture.

      • oke says:

        it wasn’t so bad guys

        • AnnieM says:

          I didn’t think it was bad at all. I thought it was a much-needed respite from all of this season’s dour-ness (except for ‘Duet’, of course :-) ). For those of you who hated it, have you forgotten all the humor and lightness of season one? That’s what the humor in this episode reminded me of, and I really enjoyed it. To each their own, I guess. ::shrug::

          • MrD says:

            I don’t think it was the “lightheartedness” of it that has so many screaming bloody murder, or rather memory-lame filler, but the dragged out little to no progress towards the end goal. Had this exact ep been 5 or 10 episodes sooner in the season it would have been 9 or 10 out of 10. But that’s just me

      • Kim R says:

        I did as well. A little too much jibber/jabber. :D

    • partisan says:

      Agreed

  2. herman1959 says:

    The reset button – a Valentine to the Flash fans – was pushed and I fully enjoyed it. Thank you, Greg, I love you again.

  3. Diana says:

    I know this was probably filler-y, but it was so much fun that I don’t even care. I really needed the break from the doom and gloom. I don’t think I even realized how much. Grant did a great job with ‘Bart’. Lots of really sweet Iris and Barry moments too.

  4. luke says:

    Probably not a good sign that Barry was a this best when the writing for him was erased lol

  5. Laura Moser says:

    I think my head hurts.

  6. Agent 86 says:

    Wait … what? If Savitar is a future time remnant version of Barry from a pre-Flashpoint timeline, then how does he have all of “our” Barry’s memories and why he is effected by what happens to “our” Barry?

    Savitar isn’t a future time remnant version of “our” Barry, because he confirmed that “Flashpoint” is what allowed him to escape, through the creation of Kid Flash. So, he must be future time remnant version of Barry from another timeline.

    Also, if Savitar is a legendary “speed god” then even Jay Garrick has heard of, then how did he become such a legend? Did he travel back in time (from the future time of his creation) just to appear throughout history on multiple Earths to become a “legend” before heading back to his original (future) time to be imprisoned by future Flash? And talk about a time paradox with Savitar being created from a time remnant who was only created to help defeat Savitar.

    • The resetting of Flashpoint created him, as in this timeline he exists. How he’s vmcreated is the future of this timeline. But because he’s a speedster himself, as a matter of fact, he’s Barry himself, he has knowledge of Flashpoint. And he is created by an event he takes part in himself, the show solves this paradox by calling it a closed time loop. It has no beginning or end.

      • Also, he’s not a pre Flashpoint version, he exists in the post Flashpoint universe.

        • Agent 86 says:

          Thanks. I guess that makes sense, except Savitar seemed to suggest that he was imprisoned pre-Flashpoint and that it was the events of Flashpoint, notably Wally receiving the Speed Force in the alternate timeline, that allowed him to plan and engineer his escape.
          Unless he’s from a post-Flashpoint timeline where Wally didn’t become Kid Flash. But, then how would he know all of the “current” dialogue since events would be different if Wally didn’t have his powers.
          It’s all too confusing for my brain, I guess a (weather) wizard did it!

          • Actually the reason Barry can’t outsmart him is because everything he does instantaneously changes Savitar’s memory too. Like how Barry losing his memory caused him to instantaneously lose his memory. So every new thing that happens updates his memory to the latest version.

  7. Andrew says:

    I enjoyed the episode. It may have been filler, but they at least made it enjoyable. Though I have a question about next week. Is King Shark guarding the energy source or trapped with it? Last I remember he was imprisoned by ARGUS. Also, didn’t Barry mention that Grodd will be in prison next to King Shark, in the Gorilla City episodes. Anywho, I’m sure that will be explained next week.

  8. Dick Whitman says:

    This was so SO bad. I’m very close to giving up on this show. They need to make seasons shorter to avoid having episodes this awful.

  9. Lysh says:

    I don’t really care how useless this episode was, it was so much fun. And funny. And the Caitlin and Cisco moment was sweet, I miss them. Barry’s been almost Oliver Queen levels of the weight of the world on his shoulders, it was nice to see him happy. Also two people connecting over their coffee addiction is probably my future, so I really dig the HR and Tracy pairing.

  10. Drew says:

    I’m usually good with timey-wimey stuff, but it didn’t sit right with me that Wally and company remembered Wally had powers when he supposedly couldn’t have powers because Barry’s memory was wiped so Barry didn’t create Savitar who didn’t give Wally powers. If you can remember having powers after Barry’s brain-wipe, then you did have powers and should still have them. If you don’t have powers after Barry’s brain-wipe, you shouldn’t remember having powers. Headache inducing stuff here…

    • Q says:

      I was sitting here wondering the same thing while driving. No other way to explain but its TV. Most people would just overlooked it. Maybe Salvatair was just meant to be to give walley powers at another time

  11. Nick says:

    Wait so I’m confused (no surprise)…if Barry killing himself wouldn’t have effected Savitar then why did Barry’s temporary memory loss cause Savitar to lose his?

    • Well time remnant’s creation point matters. But once its has been created, it can survive in the speed force even if early Barry dies, although (Legends of Tomorrow spoiler alert) it’ll be hunted by keepers of the speed force like Zoom. Memory on the other hand, directly affects him. And even if it doesn’t make sense, well, the force of plot is strong. The show has explained time loops and aberrations using comic book science, so you have that.

  12. abz says:

    I LOVED THIS EPISODE! Definitely one of my favourite of this season. It’s been a while since I can remember ever laughing this much and smiling throughout while watching this show. It definitely reminded me of past seasons. Loved the scene with Cisco, Killer Frost, and Julian working in the lab. I’d love to see Ronnie and Hartley again.

    I’m really glad next season will be a non-speedster villain. I am over this Savitar storyline. It was very underwhelming overall.

  13. Ram510 says:

    I felt this was one of the best episodes in a while. Whether the memory lose was just a way to cover up the fact it was a “filler episode” I loved all the call backs and old photos. More importantly I loved the lighthearted Barry (or Bart) it’s been a while since we’ve seen that. All the brooding and crying has gotten to be very Arrow-esque, which sucks cause the reason why I like the flash over Arrow was for the lightheartedness with touching moments only sprinkled in, not all the time. I enjoyed this episode a lot, especially after last weeks 55 minutes of a snoozefest

  14. Nick says:

    I am so sick of this story line. Wrap it up and lets move on already. Obviously Barry must not have much strength of character if the death of a loved one sends him on the path to insanely evil Barry. Enough with all the melancholy interaction between Barry and Iris. Cisco is the only thing that’s keeping me watching this show.

    • Technically Future Barry isn’t Savitar, Time Remnant Barry is Savitar and it wasn’t just the death of Iris, it was that combined with being shunned by every one he cared about because he wasn’t the real thing that drove him to evil.\

      • Nick says:

        Obviously I just don’t pay close enough attention to this stuff. Thanks for setting me straight but I’m still bored.

  15. Looks like we might be getting Caitlin back after all.

    • AnnieM says:

      I hope so! I don’t care if in the comic she’s evil – all DC shows back to ‘Smallville’ have taken liberties with the source material in some way. I also don’t care who will pooh-pooh me for this, but I’d like to see Killer Frost become a superhero.

  16. Sheldon Wiebe says:

    Good idea carried out in a manner that can certainly be described as cringeworthy. Compared to what Barry’s going through, Arrow is now the lighter show.

    Cause and Effect is a great argument for doing shorter seasons.

  17. Anybody else find the line about needing more energy than the sun a little ridiculous? Just out of curiosity I looked it up and the sun produces a trillion times that amount of energy every second. I get that it was hyperbole and that this is fiction, but it took me about 30 seconds to look that up either change the number or use a different comparison that isn’t quite so exaggerated.

    • m-w San says:

      thank you, that was exactly my point

    • AnnieM says:

      So….this would be kind of their ‘Kessel Run in less than 12 parsecs.”…?

    • F Ozkan says:

      Exactly! I know they are throwing around a lot of made-up tech and science but at least get real science information correct. Hiroshima bomb should be about 63 TJ or something like that. Even that particle accelerator explosion might have had more energy than 3.86 TJ.

  18. Thithya says:

    I know it was a filler episode but I enjoyed it so much. It was a nice escape from a rather dark half season. There were a lot funny moments. Especially the scene where Barry asks Wally how they know each other. I don’t think I’ve ever laughed so hard.

    • AnnieM says:

      I do love that Wally told him he was his brother. I think this is the first time they’ve been directly referred to as brothers. :-)

      • I’ll never understand the disdain some people have for so-called “filler” episodes. It’s still an episode of The Flash whether it moves the story forward or not… Anyway, I personally welcomed a break from all the heaviness. The episode was great fun.
        .
        “Bart” was adorable and he reminded me of season 1 Barry.
        I enjoyed Julian and Cisco’s interactions. I don’t have the words to express how much I love Cisco (marry me, Carlos lol).
        I’ve always liked Killer Frost but I really miss Cait.
        Wally telling Barry he was his brother warmed my heart. I love the way their relationship has grown and how supportive they are of each other.
        .
        Watching Barry and Iris at Jitters was super cute. I could tell Iris was falling in love all over again and I laughed out loud when their kiss triggered Barry’s powers in the loft.
        I’m rooting for HR and Tracy but I’m terrified that something will happen to HR.
        .
        Can’t wait for the next episode. I’ve enjoyed this season soooo much. What a wonderful show. I think I’m in love with the entire cast which has got to be a first. Definitely my favorite show on the CW this season (sorry SPN but between Mary, the BMOL and the disappearing Winchesters you’ve lost your spot this season).

      • Sorry, AnnieM. I have no idea how my comment ended up as a reply to yours. I think I got lost somewhere lol.

  19. Luis Roman says:

    That’s an awful lot of filler for the second-to-last episode of the season.

  20. Qudsia Ali says:

    I’m not sure how Savatar revealing his identity will affect the future – because by previous episodes, only Killer Frost knew his identity and the future Barry did not. At some point in the future Barry had created remnants to capture Savatar not knowing who he was. But now that he knows what he will be doing and to whom, it doesn’t make sense that Savatar would jeapordize himself coming into existence by revealing his identity.
    Argh, my head hurts…

    • Azerty says:

      They should have went with the time remnant from Zoom battle. Here if Barry decide not to create the time remnants against Savitar then he will never be born. So he never goes back in time to kill Iris. And if they want to go with the “he is protected by the Speedforce” line then he should be chased by Black Flash just like Thawne was during Legends of Tomorrow…the time remnant from S2 finale would have been a much better explanation since it is already done, Barry would not have been able to go back without messing with The timeline / the win against Zoom. And it would not be a paradox…

  21. m-w San says:

    Error reporting;

    the said they need 3.86 terajoules (= 3.86 * 10^12)

    and Cisco said it’s more energy in the sun, which is not true because

    the Sun’s power = 5 * 10^23 (horspower); /* where horspower = 745.7 J/S */

  22. Alichat says:

    Even though this was a filler episode, couldn’t the writing have been a bit smarter? ‘Bart’ HAD to testify? All that had to happen was they state Barry is sick and if they couldn’t delay the trial, Julian testifies. That heat villain wasn’t needed for a building to be on fire. They allow Killer Frost to roam the lab where Tracy just happens to be building a machine that can trap Savitar. Nope, Frost won’t see that at all. They need something more powerful than the sun? Seriously? How did Wally lose his powers? If wiping Barry’s mind wiped Savitar’s mind and thus Savitar never gave Wally his powers, how did Savitar have his suit? Why was he Savitar in the first place? If wiping Barry’s mind today retroactively wiped things that had already happened, then shouldn’t that have wiped Remnant Barry from becoming Savitar? Or from creating that suit? If Savitar already knows everything the team will do, then shouldn’t he know that they would do this brain wipe since Barry got his memory back? I just don’t get it.

    • Nick says:

      I think unfortunately at the end of the day you just can’t think about it too much because it ultimately doesn’t make sense. Time travel always creates these kind of issues, just gotta turn the brain off somewhat.

      • I think this point was missed because maybe they assumed it obvious which, in my opinion, it clearly wasn’t, but, courts do not generally allow change in witness at such short notices, you’re supposed to submit a list. If you do introduce a new witness, the judge has to allow it, which may or may not have been possible. (I watch a lot of legal drama and comedy too)

      • BerserkRL says:

        Although I agree that time travel doesn’t ultimately make sense, a good time travel story creates an illusion of consistency and coherence. I enjoy the CW superhero shows, but both Flash and Legends are guilty of making no attempt at all to maintain an illusion of consistency and coherence when it comes to time travel. It seems like the rules for time travel are different in almost every episode.

  23. Tasha says:

    After Barry regained his memory why would they share ANYTHING with him since Savitar will know too. So won’t he just go after the energy source now as well? They need to make the plans and just tell him what to do in the moment. And since they know the date of death why not just go on a nice vacation somewhere lol

  24. Mo says:

    Filler ep being a filler ep. But it is the 2nd fun ep of the season after Duet. It was nice to finally have something to laugh about as team flash try the memory trick & the fallout from that. We get CSI Barry testifying in court?! Moar of this next season! And Julian got to be funny and emotionally punched!!! Please let us have Caitlin with KF powers. Fingers crossed team flash for next season is Caitlin, Cisco & Julian. They have chemistry & makes sense. Did we really need to waste time on HR & Tracy’s multiple attempted canoodling just so we get the Tracy figured it out announcement? This was the most on-point use of Iris but it’s definitely not something we need more of. And why would kidIris fall in love with a traumatized kidBarry? Are they trying to have her match Barry’s creepiness? I get she likes to be in charge of Barry but this? Yikes.

  25. Dominique says:

    a very filler-y episode, but a fun one, with still some plot-driven stuff in it! it was nice to see barry this lighthearted and joyful, even if just for a while. i also loved that we got to see a little more of killer frost that just the killer she’s made out to be right now. she’s definitely not gone yet, although it leaves me with this gut-feeling she might sacrifice herself or something to save team flash. and i do NOT want caitlin to die!.
    .
    the heat monger storyline was kind of out of the blue and a sad repeat of legendary mick (yes puns, i know). but i guess it was neede in order to jumpstart barry’s memory.
    on that note, i did not like iris’ reasoning this week as to why they shouldn’t get barry his memories back. she made it sound very much like it was about her, that SHE thought this was better, that SHE couldn’t help but like this version… i was a little appalled that she’d pretty much already made up her mind about it, and joe wasn’t apparently going to argue with her about it.

    • AnnieM says:

      Now, I saw just the opposite – that she was willing to give up ‘her’ Barry because Bart-Barry was so happy by not having all of the tragic memories in his head. ::shrug::

  26. oliver says:

    thats an awesome episode can’t wait to watch it

  27. shimoliver says:

    how is savitar a legendary speedster if his the future alteration of bary

  28. Mary says:

    I enjoyed the lightness of no-memory Barry. It was refreshing in the face of danger. I loved the visceral memory Iris related to Barry. Great job with Savitor’s suit and all the stuff like CGI. Love this episode.

  29. Mary says:

    I still have questions, like what is the second reason besides Killing Iris to destroy Barry? I think he wants to destroy the universe just as Zoom did, or rule it. I also wonder why Barry didn’t answer Wally’s question of why Evil TR Barry wanted to kill Iris, yet having good Barry’s memories of the love he has for her?

  30. gift says:

    There is no need for long grammar, Barry needed time out and it was a fun episode. I love it!! !!!.

  31. Lydia Amah says:

    great episode loved every single westallen scene .God!they are so good together they make the heart of the show very beautiful.

  32. adedeji says:

    Bored