When we first saw the title for this week’s episode of The Flash, we were really excited. Caitlin (Danielle Panabaker) has always been frightfully underused and we’ve been waiting for her Killer Frost storyline to unfold since we first saw the flash of her at the end of Season One. Pair that with it being directed by Kevin Smith (who directed last seasons ‘The Runaway Dinosaur’), we wanted the episode and we wanted it now. So when we finally got to watch the episode we felt, well, disappointed.
In an episode called ‘Killer Frost’, we expected it to be centred around Caitlin, and in a way it was, but so much of the attention was drawn away from her and placed onto Wally (Keiynan Lonsdale) and his inevitable becoming of Kid Flash that finally happened. At the end of last week’s ‘Shade’, Wally ended up inside some sort of Goop Tree cocoon. It’s not the prop departments finest work, and honestly, we’re not entirely sure why it doesn’t just look like an actual cocoon if that is what it is supposed to be. Obviously, Joe (Jesse L Martin) is worried about Wally, what is going on with him inside the pod? What is going to happen to him? Is he going to turn into goop like a caterpillar?
Naturally, he doesn’t wait to find out, with HR (Tom Cavanagh) acting as the devil on his shoulder ‘trusting Joe’s gut’ and starts to shoot the cocoon apart. Which isn’t really a great idea, if you ask us. Wally could well have been caterpillar goop and just being held in human form inside or something. Wally, once out of the pod, speeds off and away from STAR Labs and they quickly decide that, of course, he’s gone back to his mother’s house because that’s where he always goes when he’s upset. They find him, and with the help of a serum from Caitlin, he stops violently vibrating and then collapses.
The storyline that we really care about, however, is Caitlin’s. On leaping through a Cisco-made (Carlos Valdes) portal to help Barry (Grant Gustin), Caitlin has to use her powers in order to freeze the ‘Speed God’, Savitar (Andre Tricoteux) and save Barry’s life. Using her powers in this way opens her up to them, and she starts to more and more become Killer Frost.
At CCPD Caitlin wants information on where to find Alchemy, intent on him taking away her powers rather than giving them to her in full. She freezes the CCTV and hightails it out of there once she has the information she can get, but runs into our new favourite antagonist, Julian Albert (Tom Felton). Because he sees her face, she kidnaps him, and forces him to trace down the addresses for those who have done social media posts about Savitar so she can track down Alchemy. The Flash appears and tries to talk her down, punching out Julian in the process because he keeps telling him to kill his friend. When Killer Frost locations one of the two men she can ask for Alchemy’s location, Cisco draws her out in an attempt to stop her from killing any more people. The amount he cares is evident. Barry then also appears, but she is having none of it, floors him and turns him into a Flashicle with a kiss (and then we remember that time they did adorable karaoke and wonder what that world would be like.)
Once they manage to trap Caitlin, they know they need her to help Wally, and in what is the stand-out scene of the episode, Barry goes to let her out of the cell. She can be free if she kills him. That’s the deal. But Caitlin, or Cait as Barry has been calling her all episode, is still in there, and she isn’t going to kill one of her best friends. With Caitlin now back in the room, and the power-dampening cuffs on her wrists, Caitlin helps Wally and it all seems hunky dory. Of course, this won’t be the end of it, it can’t be. It’s been rushed out and tied up far too quickly that we’re hoping this isn’t the end of it.
Of course, then there is the problem that is Julian knowing that Caitlin was the one to take him, and hurt him, and is friends with Barry. When the latter visits the former in hospital to ask him not to tell the police, Julian strikes a deal with him. He got hit hard in the head and remembers nothing if Barry quits his job as a CSI. Cue Barry taking the deal, he’d do anything to protect his team, and more to protect his friends. Naturally this doesn’t sit well with Iris (Candice Patton) and Joe, but after some sickly sweet “You are my life moments”, they let it go.
Finally, we come to the ‘twist’. Which wasn’t really a twist when you look at The Flash‘s track record of making the antagonists (and supposed ‘friends’) the bad guy. When it was revealed that Julian is Alchemy. Raise your hand if you really were surprised? While he might not be seemingly the big bad of the season, we’re half expecting him to become it in Flash style… speaking of style, just how many plaid shirts does Barry have?
Oh, and we have to give a shout out to Greg Grunberg (Heroes, every JJ Abrams project ever) who made an appearance this week as CCPD officer Tom Patterson.
For an episode that had so much promise, the pacing of it, and the concentrating too much on Wally when Caitlin’s storyline has definitely been the most interesting leaves us with an odd taste in our mouths. It wasn’t bad, and we didn’t hate it, but this could have easily been a five-star episode and it simply wasn’t.