Caitlin gets cold and Barry faces some very hard truths in the best episode so far this season…
Continuing on from last week’s cliffhanger, the latest episode of The Flash began with an action-packed opener that saw Barry being totally outclassed by Savitar, the God of Speed, and then joined in the field by Killer Frost and Vibe. Somehow the pace and excitement never let up from there.
As can be gathered from the title, ‘Killer Frost’ saw Caitlin finally tip over the edge into evil metahuman territory. Unlike the Earth-2 version from season two, though, her transformation was very nuanced and well-handled. Danielle Panabaker gave her best work on the show yet, making Caitlin dangerous through her anger and fear rather than turning her into a cartoon supervillain. Some nice restraint was also shown by the special effects people. Some CGI silver eyes, an echoey voice and some blond highlights were all that were needed to signify the change.
Caitlin giving her friends the cold shoulder also meant lots of great material for Grant Gustin and Carlos Valdes. In her rage, Caitlin spills the beans about the real reason for Dante’s death which causes Cisco to push away from Barry. Valdes is one of those actors whose crying face can’t help but get the viewer blubbing as well so this was naturally an emotional subplot.
That all of the team’s current problems are his fault was something Barry really needed to hear and I found myself nodding along when Caitlin flung accusation after accusation at him. But then in a brilliant move the show reminded us how much of a hero Barry is by having him put his life on the line to bring Caitlin back to the side of good, and then quit his job in order to protect her. The guy might like screwing up the timeline but he does have a massive heart.
Speaking of Barry, it was a small moment but I thought the best scene this week was Iris’ pep talk to Barry about how these bad events might have happened anyway without Flashpoint. Iris gives these sort of speeches a lot but this one was particularly powerful, and it really sold the love between these two and just how much Barry relies on her. Her line about how he will never have to live without her has got me worried for Iris’ fate, however…
This episode was so good I hardly minded when Julian Albert turned out to be Alchemy. Because of course he is. It’s not The Flash if one of Barry’s social circle doesn’t turn out to be the big bad. But regardless of this underwhelming reveal, all the drama surrounding Barry, Cisco and Caitlin made ‘Killer Frost’ the most satisfying episode this season.
P.S. I should probably mention that Wally finally got his speed powers. Let’s hope we have now seen the last of whiny Wally and he can grow into someone like the version we love from Justice League or Young Justice.