If there is one thing The Flash doesn’t get credit for, it’s the show’s visuals that both create a pleasing environment and provide a great effect. This week’s visual effects were at their best and it was evident from the start. “Killer Frost” picked up where we were left last week with Barry trapped in the hands of Savitar. Their battle through the streets of Central City immersed the audience with its fast pace, flashy lights, and crisp CGI. Savitar looks cool, and of course, Barry’s stream of light is great, but the true highlight is Caitlin’s frosty glow and icicle bullets. The show has taken her Killer Frost character and brought it life in a great way.
This week centered on Caitlin and her struggle of being two people (if you couldn’t tell by the episode’s title). She officially pushed herself over the edge when she helped Barry temporarily fight off Savitar and it forced her to spend the episode looking for Alchemy. The one thing Caitlin and her other half have in common is they both don’t want the icy powers and she hoped Alchemy could take them away. Killer Frost, however, used her powers throughout the episode to put people into harm’s way.
First, she kidnapped Julian and forced him to track down a pair of Alchemy’s followers. Doing so left him in the hospital with frostbite (that and Barry socked him in the head). She then found one of Alchemy’s followers, but after she threatened him and his family, it was revealed that Savitar, a self-proclaimed god destined her Killer Frost persona. This lead to a faceoff between her, Barry, and Cisco. What’s interesting, though, is you could tell the real Caitlin was inside Killer Frost the whole time. She didn’t want to be evil but Killer Frost was too strong.
Even after Team Flash locked her up, the sassy and condescending Killer Frost was still there and she took it out on Barry. Through the cell walls, she called Barry out for being selfish. She attributed everyone’s problems to Barry wanting to save his parents. He made his life (temporarily better) while ruining everyone else’s. It wasn’t until Barry gave her a choice, stay, or kill him and leave, that the real Caitlin snapped back to life. No matter how evil she was on the surface, the real Caitlin Snow wouldn’t have harmed anyone. Danielle Panabaker was at her best this week and played both roles convincingly.
This week also saw that birth of Wally as Kid Flash. After Joe and HR cut him out of his cocoon he was out of sync and sped off, but Joe and Barry (with the help of Caitlin) were able to balance him out and bring him back to the lab. As of now, he seems “normal” and ready to be a superhero, but only time will tell the effect Alchemy’s cocoon had on him. Like Caitlin, I’m sure we will see him struggle between good and evil for the remainder of the season.
Perhaps the biggest surprise (or not surprise) of the episode was the reveal that Julian is Alchemy. While in the hospital, Barry came to him and asked that he not identify Caitlin as Killer Frost to the police. In exchange, though, Barry promised to quit his job with the police department. After that, we heard Savitar coax him out of the hospital and back to the department where he pulled Alchemy’s mask out of a drawer. This reveal is pretty disappointing because Julian was the most obvious person to be Alchemy. He was Barry’s rival at the office, so of course, he would be his rival outside the office too. In general, though, we still don’t know a lot about Alchemy or Savitar so there is still time for some real surprises.
Aside from this predicted letdown, “Killer Frost” was one of the stronger episodes of the season. We finally got something different that the usual “villain-of-the-week” setup. The relationships and dynamics of Team Flash drive the show and this week allowed that chemistry to flow. We saw Barry and Cisco’s relationship struggle and Caitlin’s relationship with the whole team grow. Joe, Iris, and Wally showed how valuable they are to the team and even HR is turning out better than I though. Even though the overarching conflict this season hasn’t been the best, the focus of the show is as strong as ever, and it really showed this week.