In “Killer Frost,” Caitlin went bye-bye for a while, Savitar mopped the floor with Barry as most big bads do around this time of the season on The Flash and Tom Fenton abandoned all hopes that he’d escaped Draco Malfoy’s shadow. Plus, Barry was forced to quit his job as CSI to protect Cailtin, and everyone pretended it was an incredibly big deal even though it’s been very easy for a good chunk of this show’s run to completely forget that he even had that job as CSI.
I snark because, well, that’s what we’re all supposed to do on the internet, but this was an intriguing episode, continuing the season-long narrative of throwing Barry’s failures in his face. Plus, Caitlin and Barry kissed. That has to be fun for any SnowBarry shippers except, of course, she kissed him as a freeze attack while in mini-Killer Frost mode, temporarily freezing his entire body. So, the passion, not necessarily running hot between these two.
After two full seasons, The Flash is ready to flex in its inner-Arrow by allowing the supporting characters to rebel against the hero or call him out on his varied failures and hypocrisies. Team Flash hasn’t had nearly as much reason to do so with Barry as Team Arrow has with Oliver, but “Killer Forst” was the latest season 3 episode to hold Barry’s feet to the proverbial fire by bringing him face to face with the consequences of his actions. I didn’t particularly respond well to Barry’s battles with a CGI god which only he can see, but observing the pain on Caitlin, Cisco and even Joe’s faces as they dealt with their respective dramas in “Killer Frost” is The Flash at its most compelling right now.
Favorite Moment(s): Any time Caitlin or Cisco called Barry out on his selfishness and secrets, successfully pointing out his flaws and refusing to let him off the hook just because he’s, well, Barry and oh, look, so lovable. I mean, I do love Barry, but the harder The Flash works to nominate him for sainthood the more I long for others to point out his flaws, something “Killer Flash” tackled head on. Iris was quick to let Barry off the hook, as you’d expect from his girlfriend, and to her credit her arguments in his defense made sense. He can’t be 100% certain Caitlin’s powers and Dante’s death are because of Flashpoint, and even if they are it certainly wasn’t intentional, the side effects of a selfish decision made in a moment of extreme emotional vulnerability. Still, that’s what happened, and while he insists upon being able to fix it the true recourse is to simply take his lumps and let Caitlin and Cisco deal and feel however they want to about him.
Any time HR spoke. Not even one specific line or scene, but just about any time he spoke I was pleased/entertained/amused – take your pick. Seeing as how I was initially resistant to HR I am really having to eat my words right now. I rejected the notion of them simply plucking another Harrison Wells from the multiverse and saying goodbye to Harry. However, the manner in which the hyper-caffeinated HR proposes ideas which he then quickly attributes to someone else or seamlessly rolls with the punches if his idea is rejected is unlike I’ve ever seen before, and I’m loving it.
Least Favorite Moment(s): The reveal that Julian is (or is about to become?) Alchemy. Just, blah. It could not have been more obvious that he was Alchemy, from the complete lack of other suspects to the stunt-casting of Tom Fenton to Julian’s open antagonism of Barry to his convenient absences to this simply being the way this show does this kind of thing now.
Also, Savitar? More like Savitdon’t, amirite?
But, no, seriously, I am fine with the occasional CGI monster-of-the-week like Grodd or King Shark, but I have my reservations about going the complete CGI route for the season’s big bad. There are certain things The Flash can do which are on par or close to a big budget movie, but in this particular area their budget restraints are more obvious. As a result, Savitar has the appearance of a lesser, more cartoony Ultron to me.
1. Greg Gunberg (remember him from Heroes?) randomly appears as a new cop on the metahuman case, likely gifted the role by his AMC co-host Kevin Smith, who directed this episode. Gunberg rode similar connections to bit parts in Star Wars: The Force Awakens and Star Trek Beyond, but it was hard to not find his presence in this episode a little jarring, particularly because we’ve never seen him before yet he was treated as if he’s been around the precinct for some time. Aren’t there previously established supporting characters who could have fulfilled the same story function as Gunberg’s character?
2. Is there any specific reason Caitlin’s powers turned her homicidal and more Killer Forst-like? Perhaps I misread her scenes last season, but I never got the impression the Earth-2 Killer Frost was evil specifically because her powers had somehow altered her personality and brain waves. The metas who get their powers from Alchemy certainly have a history of homicidal tendencies, but that’s not universally true for those metas who got their powers the old-fashioned particle accelerator way.
So, what did I miss? Why exactly was Caitlin going full-on Killer Frost other than, um, “that’s how it is in the comics” or “well, that Earth-2 doppleganger was evil, so….”? Caitlin using her powers to save Barry at the beginning could understandably kickstart a period of her losing control of said powers, but that didn’t have to come with a psychotic break as well. I actually liked what they did with it, particularly Caitlin tearing Barry a new one from behind her prison cell. So, I’m not complaining. I am just curious if I missed something along the way.
What did you think of the episode? What were your favorite parts? Least favorite? And are you totally questioning Julian’s whole “I have a girlfriend” excuse? Let me know in the comments.