A Closer Look: The Flash – “Killer Frost”

Last Season, Kevin Smith tried his hand at directing an episode of The Flash. The result was one of the most poignant and emotional episodes ever titled “The Runaway Dinosaur”. This week he did it again with the highly anticipated episode titled “Killer Frost” where we finally got to see what would become of Caitlin Snow in this post Flashpoint universe.

Would Caitlin remain good or go bad? Would we learn who Alchemy was? Would Wally get his powers? Would this episode be as hard hitting as his last?

We got the answer to all these and more, so let’s take a deep breath and take a Closer Look at the greatest episode of The Flash to date, titled “Killer Frost”.

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Do No Harm – The Cold Exterior Yet Warm Heart Of Killer Frost:

When we first think of our Caitlin Snow becoming Killer Frost, out knee jerk reaction is “No, no no, no, please God no, no”. Yes, that was her alternate identity in the comics, but OUR Earth 1 Caitlin is not that person. From meeting her in Season 2 of Arrow to hearing her drunkenly karaoke in Season 1 of The Flash, it’s almost impossible to see Caitlin as anything but adorable and warm hearted. Well this episode changed that – and yet didn’t.

If you need an example of excellent character development, this episode should be a textbook case. On top of the Killer Frost outbursts we’ve seen in the past two episodes, everything this episode seemed perfectly on key and believable in terms of growth. Not only does Caitlin address and explain her kind origins with how both of her parents were doctors and thus the Hippocratic oath “do no harm” was in her DNA, she perfectly uses that line to show her DNA has changed. We are dealing with someone else now and yet that person is still using reason. After she lists everthing Barry’s done, we ourselves even realize that Barry’s messed up a lot for her. By trying to save his mother, he set in motion the events that killed Ronnie and brought Zoom. Then by trying to do it again, he gave Caitlin these powers. Finally, by having to save Barry, Caitlin’s powers manifest fully. Barry’s 0-3 it seems.

Though even with all these marks against him, we see it’s still OUR kind hearted Caitlin in there, and it’s appropriate that Barry is the one to bring it out. As we heard this episode from HR, Barry’s real superpower is hope and he knows Caitlin isn’t a killer. These are also words echoed by her mother several episodes ago in “Monster”. Caitlin might have a cold outside now, but that doesn’t change who she is on the inside – and Caitlin proves she’s stronger than that in every way. The emotional range we saw in Caitlin this episode made us not only feel everything but also shows how amazingly gifted an actress Danielle Panabaker. Through the whole episode, they still managed to balance that “is she good or is she bad” dynamic, and I’m very happy to say it looks like our Caitlin Snow is about to become her own hero/ good version of Killer Frost. I still have hopes for my Ice theory, but even if she did end up going bad, this episode shows that they can still do it while remaining true to character.

Previous Theories Confirmed – Alchemy’s Identity, Killer Frost’s Escape & Evil Cisco?

In order to get the full gravity of this episode, it’s best to watch it as a Part 2 of last week’s episode “Shade” because in reality they are very much two parts of the same episode. Not only did this week’s episode pick up immediately from where last week’s left off, but also confirmed several theories that came in to play last episode. As we discussed last week, the three theories/questions were:

  • Due to his blatant absence from the swat strike on alchemy, is Julian Alchemy?
  • Is Alchemy can give people the powers of their Flashpoint selves, can he also restore people to their non-powered Flashpoint selves?
  • Did Cisco’s ‘vibe’ really show Caitlin evil or due to lack of context actually show Cisco go evil?

This week we got confirmation on two as well as strong confirmation on the third. The first we should deal with is of course Julian’s role as Alchemy. Let’s face it, we saw this one coming for a while – and his outburst in “Magenta” was the first major snowball in all of it – now confirming he was trying to make the malevolent Magenta personality arise. Though there is much more to this revelation to still be learned as it’s still hard to rectify his hatred of metas with his mission to restore meta powers. We haven’t seen a split personality per say yet, but there is a definite dislike on his part for helping Savitar. The relationship between the two needs to be explored more, but we can assume that he’ll keep a close eye on Caitlin as we learned Savitar has plans for her.

The next theory was would Caitlin and the gang try to approach Dr Alchemy and see if he can use his powers in reverse and thus restore someone to their non powered Flashpoint self. Well Caitlin had the exact same idea we had and that quest is what drove most of this episode. Though in the end, even though Alchemy could, he wouldn’t because Savitar apparently has plans for Killer Frost. What these plans are we don’t know but I have faith in Caitlin and don’t think she’ll be manipulated into Savitar’s plans. Seeing her, Barry and Cisco 3 on 1 Savitar at the beginning was a great moment and could foreshadow the season’s end. Then again, it might be a different hero that’s tempted and falls to the wayside.

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The final theory of ours was did Cisco have his vibe backwards. With no context, it’s impossible to know if his vibe was Cisco stopping Caitlin, a training session or Caitlin stopping Cisco. Well this episode gave ample evidence for Option 3 as we not only see ample evidence for Caitlin fighting her Killer side and being Caitlin; but also see Cisco start to get very cold toward Barry. Additionally, the episode kicks off with word that Cisco received a brain injury trying to open an intra-dimensional portal. Now it’s important to note INTRA means within the same dimension. In other words, this was the first time Cisco used Earth 1 to Earth 1, and not Earth 1 to Earth 19, etc. This tampering within the same universe put an enormous strain on him but also gave him new powers. Could these new massive powers hurt him mentally and make him snap OR could he try to use these powers to tamper with reality and bring back his brother.

We’ve seen Barry use his powers selfishly and yet this episode he learned to always cherish what he has over what he lost. With one member of Team Flash learning his lesson, could another now start making the same mistakes? And don’t forget there has always been this weight on ‘Caitlin going bad’ but Cisco has also had hints of the dark side. From meeting Reverb to first thinking his powers evil since they came from Evil Wells, Cisco’s had more genuine evil foreshadowing as opposed to Caitlin who’s had it primarily in name alone.

In A Flash – Easter Eggs, Quotes & Other Notables:

  • Favorite Quotes: Winner – Caitlin
    • “You may serve the Speed Force Flash, but I rule it” – Savitar
    • “That was a new and painful use of my powers” – Cisco
    • “That’s nice… that’s not scary… at all” – Cisco to the revelation that they might be facing a God
    • “Maybe its time you started fearing me” – Caitlin
    • “Cup of Joe, Joe” – HR
    • “Barry’s real super power isn’t speed, it’s hope” – HR
    • “That was cold Flash, but this is colder” – Caitlin
    • “Guess your all smarter than I thought” – Caitlin
    • “You know for a hero Flash, you sure let a lot of people die” – Caitlin
    • “You scared me for a second there getting all Mother of Dragons on me with that hair” – Cisco
    • “Being a doctor, that I’m always up for” – Caitlin
  • I know it’d kill me, but I’m still jealous of that Killer Frost kiss  ❤ #PandaCrush
  • Once again Iris drops some amazingly sage advice and tells Barry how people will ‘do anything to make the pain stop, [but that] doesn’t make you a bad person, it makes you human’. Could we see Cisco follow that path as well?
  • Since even Barry had trouble following him, could Savitar’s power actually be time manipulation/ the perception of time and not speed?
  • So Wally is faster than Barry was when he started? At what point will Barry stop calling himself “the fastest man alive” in the opening?
  • Does Friendship get in the way of Justice or is Julian just too black and white? It’s option #2.
  • “Only together can we bring about my return?” What does Savitar mean? Is he not really back? Is this not his real form? Is that why he looks so transformery? Is this why only Barry can see him?

This episode is going to last with us a while and I think it’s safe to say I have a new favorite episode. So many twists and turns will be coming as both Caitlin and Wally get used to their powers – and we see what happens with Cisco. Though for right now, we need to prepare for the major Heroes vs Aliens crossover that kicks off next week! Needless to say this week’s episode of The Flash took after this week’s Supergirl and – unlike Arrow and Legends of Tomorrow – left off on ridiculously epic moments as we head into an even more epic crossover.

So to all my US readers, I wish you a Happy Thanksgiving! To all my international readers, Happy Week Ahead! And to everyone reading, see you next week!

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2 thoughts on “A Closer Look: The Flash – “Killer Frost”

  1. The acting was off the scale this week. Amazing performances all round. Loving the new Harry, sorry HR. One thing. Wally was faster than Barry was at the beginning – not than he is now.

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