‘Cause and Effect’ Proves That The Flash Needs To Get Its Act Together

The Flash — “Cause and Effect” — FLA321b_0233b.jpg — Pictured (L-R): Anne Dudek as Tracy Brand and Tom Cavanagh as Harrison Wells — Photo: Katie Yu/The CW — © 2017 The CW Network, LLC. All rights reserved.

Let’s start here. If you like the current season of The Flash, good for you. I’m not trying to convince you that you are wrong. Nerd culture if full of diverse opinions. For instance, Speed Racer is one of my favorite movies. Who am I to tell people how to feel about something they enjoy? Like what you like.

With that out of the way, Cause and Effect is pointless and at this point, I feel confident in saying that Season 3 is a real disappointment.

What do you do when you need to write twenty-three episode of a story that shouldn’t take more than ten to tell? You can either do what far superior superhero shows do and break up the story into what are being called “pods” or you can pad the season with fluff like Cause and Effect. The Flash has chosen the latter and it very well may be its undoing.

When we start the episode, Savitar explains that he is a time remnant from a future that not even the Flash subreddit seems to fully understand. Cisco explains it best by drawing and infinity symbol on the whiteboard and labeling Savitar as part of a time loop. Aside from those two conversations, we learn next to nothing new about the plot and make no new discoveries about our main characters, except for one amazing one. Let’s get that out of the way.

HR continues to be great. His romance with Tracy Brand is delightful. It’s almost too delightful, to the point where I am starting to be worried that she may be some sort of spy. Although, if you were trying to compromise someone at STAR Labs, HR seems pretty low on the list. Either way, he is the best part of the episode and many of the previous episodes because he is consistently entertaining.

The Barry/Iris scenes from this episode, however, were bizarre. At one point Iris actually said that she fell in love with Barry when his mother was killed and he became her “brother”. When she said that line both myself and my girlfriend, who very charitably watches this show with me, said “ew” because it’s kinda gross when you think about it. The whole Barry/Iris relationship was always strange. Joe has hung a lampshade on it multiple times. But if you asked me “What would be the strangest moment for Iris to fall in love with Barry?” I would have answ, red “Either when Eddy killed himself or when Barry’s mom died.”

Otherwise, nothing interesting happened. Barry lost his memory and then got it back. He let Heat Monger go but then got him back. Wally lost his powers but got them back. Everyone learned that Barry losing his parents is a big part of who he is. There is nothing significant.

Watch Agents of SHIELD.

Seriously. SHIELD is great. It may be tough to catch up to four seasons of television but give it a shot or maybe just start at Season 4 and have a friend bring you up to speed. If your friends don’t watch SHIELD, tweet me. @nationofnando I’d be happy to bring you into the fold.

SHIELD did a Flashpoint style arc this season and it wiped the floor with The Flash’s. The effects are better (which is to be expected considering ABC’s budget). The emotional arcs are more compelling. The writing is more clever.

I hate to say it but when I sit down on Sunday night and look at my TV schedule for the following week, it’s my comedies (Veep, Bob’s Burgers, The President Show) and Agents of SHIELD. The Flash is nowhere to be found.

I’m willing to give Season 4 another shot but there need to be some changes. The Flash has dropped the ball.

Matthew Nando Kelly is the cool and tough Managing Editor of Pop Break who was allowed to write his own bio. Besides weekly Flash recaps, he has a podcast called Mad Bracket Status where he makes pop culture brackets with fellow writer DJ Chapman.