‘The Flash’ Recap ‘Cause and Effect’: Disposable Heroes

In ‘The Flash’ recap, Savitar’s origin is revealed as Barry and the team try to figure out a way to stop him before Iris dies…

By Damon Martin — Editor/Lead Writer

If there’s one immutable fact when it comes to time travel it’s that things always get messed up and it never seems to be a very good idea in the end.

Even Marty McFly’s misadventures in “Back to the Future” caused as much harm as good over the course of three films and that was a level of time travel that was at least a hundred times easier to follow than what’s happening on ‘The Flash’ this season.

In the latest episode, Barry Allen comes face-to-face with his future self — the man who becomes Savitar — while getting a detailed explanation about where he came from in the first place.

It’s not easy to follow and even I’m not 100-percent certain I completely understand it, but we’ll try to explain it as best as possible along with the rest of the episode where Team Flash tries to slow down Savitar and it results in near disaster for everybody.

With that said, let’s recap the latest episode of ‘The Flash’ titled ‘Cause and Effect’…

Disposable Heroes

The episode picks up right where last week left off as Barry confronts his future self after Savitar takes off his armor. It gets a little confusing but here goes the origin story as Savitar tells it how he came to be created.

Future Barry/Savitar is actually a time remnant created by the real Barry Allen four years from now when he first encounters the “God of Speed”. That Barry Allen — the emo version we met a few weeks back — created several time remnants to help him battle Savitar before finally finding a way to trap him inside the Speed Force.

Savitar slaughtered all of the time remnants — and just as a refresher, time remnants are basically carbon copies of the original — except for one. He left one time remnant alive, who survives the battle but when he tries to interact with the rest of Team Flash, they shun him as nothing more than a cheap copy of the original and want nothing to do with him. Apparently the future Team Flash failed to mention this aspect of the story.

So the time remnant of Barry Allen, fueled by rejection and anger goes onto become Savitar before traveling back in time to change the loop where he’s the first speedster while recruiting followers throughout the ages. Savitar now needs to kill Iris West to close the loop so every version of Barry Allen from now until forever turns to the darkness before submitting to his worst instincts.

The result is Savitar.

Now if that all sounds rather confusing considering Savitar basically helped create himself, it’s a little less mind boggling when considering time as a circle that goes around rather than a flat line. Every time Barry has gone back or forward, he’s created splinters in time and now Savitar is doing the same by creating a constant loop from the past and the future to ensure that he’s always going to exist while gathering strength to ensure his ascension to a God-like creature in the future.

Savitar even tells Barry that killing Iris is a key in his transition from man to God but there’s one more piece to the puzzle — and he’s not ready to reveal that just yet.

Barry attempts to thwart Savitar right then and there after learning that killing himself won’t even stop him — in the same way that Eddie Thawne killed himself and yet Eobard Thawne was still alive after Flashpoint. Sadly, Barry comes up short in the fight when the Savitar suit ramps up to protect its creator.

Savitar escapes and Barry is no closer to stopping the creature from killing the woman he loves.

Back at STAR Labs, Cisco does his best to make sense of this entire mess while also pointing out that the future Barry remnant who becomes Savitar is really just acting on all the darkness that already lives inside his friend. Barry has seen some shit during his days from his mother being killed to witnessing the love of his life murdered as well so it’s no wonder at some point he would follow his darker instincts rather than turning towards good.

While Tracy Brands is still trying to figure out a way to finish her “Speed Force Bazooka” that will hopefully trap Savitar once and for all, Cisco comes up with another plan to combat Savitar in the mean time. If everything that happens to Barry will eventually become a memory for Savitar, thus why he’s always one step ahead of the group, why not stop him from remembering anything from here on out?

In other words, Cisco wants to stop Barry’s brain from creating new memories, which would then allow them time to come up with a plan to stop him.


Without Caitlin around to advise the group, Cisco and Julian lead the way to zap Barry’s brain to make him stop producing new memories but the plan backfires in a big way.

When Barry comes out from under the machine, he doesn’t remember anything — at all — not his name much less the people at STAR Labs who are there to protect him. Barry is a blank slate and that’s bad for everybody because his memories being wiped means Wally has also lost his powers.

Why you ask?

Because Barry’s memories being wiped means Savitar also loses his memory, thus he doesn’t remember giving Wally his powers after Flashpoint. As the title of the episode suggests, it’s all cause and effect.

To make matters worse, Barry is supposed to testify in court to help keep a pyromaniac named “Heat Monger” in jail but because he can’t remember anything his day in court goes down the drain and the criminal is set free.

Thankfully Team Flash gets an assist from the unlikeliest of allies when Killer Frost shows up at STAR Labs offering to help get Barry his memories back. See, Savitar has also been wiped as a result and that means he can’t give her the one thing she really wants so Killer Frost needs the God of Speed to be reinstated.

Of course, Team Flash realizes if Savitar has no memories this could be the perfect way to stop him from killing Iris, but they also realize that without a Flash in Central City, more people are going to suffer than just a single life being lost. So Cisco and Julian decide to work with Killer Frost to come up with a plan to restore Barry’s memories before the city falls apart.

While working on the device together, Cisco beings reminiscing about old times in the lab with Caitlin, which draws out a few memories from her as well. That means Killer Frost may be in control but Caitlin is still in there somewhere.

As the team works on restoring Barry’s memories, Iris spends time with him to help this adjustment period while he’s trying to make sense of the world. Iris looks back at their time growing up together before falling in love and through it all Barry has an infectious smile on his face. Iris comments how it’s the first time in forever that she’s seen him so happy without any ill feelings hidden behind his eyes.

Still, Iris knows that as much as she loves a happy-go-lucky Barry, it’s all those past experiences — even the painful ones — that brought them together and that’s why she needs him back.

Finally when “Heat Monger” sets fire to a different building after being released from jail, it forces Barry to go into action as the Flash despite having no real understanding of his powers while Killer Frost and the rest of the team get ready to activate the device to hopefully restore his memories.

The Memory Remains

With time running out until the building burns down, the team activates the device, which essentially electroshocks Barry’s brain to unlock his memories. The jolt fuels the tank but he still needs a kick start to actually flood his mind with the memories, which leads to a very sweet scene as Iris recounts the day Barry came to live with them after his mother was killed. She walks him through his catatonic state when first arriving to finally breaking down in her arms later that night. The emotion of that moment is enough to unlock all of the memories as Barry is revived, which means Savitar also awakens and Wally becomes Kid Flash again.

The two Flashes team up to douse the fire and put “Heat Monger” back in jail before returning to STAR Labs.

The team tries to convince Killer Frost that Caitlin is still hiding inside of her and they want nothing more than to help and while she slows down for a moment, it ultimately leads to her lashing out and saying that she never loved any of them in the first place.

Everybody feels dejected until Tracy Brands arrives with some good news.

Thanks to some inspiration from H.R. — including a kiss between the two of them — Tracy has finished the Speed Force Bazooka, which is what they need to trap Savitar for good. Unfortunately, the weapon requires a massive jolt of energy — a bigger reaction than even the Sun creates — and that means Team Flash is going to have to get creative to find the power to fuel Tracy’s new creation.

Thankfully Barry has an idea where to find the power source but no one is going to like where it’s coming from.

In a preview to next week, we find out that the power source is none other than the mind control device used by the Dominators back during the Invasion storyline and it’s now being held at ARGUS with Killer Shark acting as a guard for the weapon. To stop Savitar, Barry is going to need this alien device or Iris West will die.

Only two episodes left to go this season so don’t miss the new episode of ‘The Flash’ next Tuesday night at 8pm ET on the CW.

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