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THE FLASH “Killer Frost” Recap

By on November 23, 2016

The Flash -- "Killer Frost" -- Pictured (L-R): Danielle Panabaker as Caitlin Snow/Killer Frost and Grant Gustin as Barry Allen -- Photo: Diyah Pera/The CW

By Justin Carter

Killer Frost

Superheroes and comics love to deal with shades of gray by way of anti-heroes, villains doing heroic things, or vice versa. Doctor Octopus was Spider-Man for a while via brain swap (don’t ask), Doctor Doom’s currently taking up Iron Man’s mantle, and everyone’s well aware of the Suicide Squad. The same thing extends to the CWverse as well, with both Captain Cold and Heatwave having saved the world, and Malcolm Merlyn being…Malcolm Merlyn. It comes as no surprise that “Killer Frost” does this with not one, but two characters this week.

Let’s just get this one out of this way: there was absolutely no way that Julian wasn’t going to turn out to be Doctor Alchemy. For one thing, it’s Tom Felton, and you don’t just get him for a bit part and brief appearances; for another, Felton’s star power came from being weirdly sympathetic, after a fashion. With the reveal of him as Alchemy, it also turns out that he’s being forced to undertake the role by Savitar for whatever reason. Julian may be a jerk, but odds are that the self proclaimed Speed God is forcing him to with the promise of powers that’ll save his life, or something to that effect. I imagine a lot of people had the idea that he was the villain from the moment he was cast, but the show certainly did an effective job at making you think otherwise.

With that bomb dropped, Savitar still straddles the line between being formidable and also kinda dumb. It’s clear that he’s powerful, since he can warp from one point to another in the blink of an eye, but the exact nature as to why he needs a human to help him and is only visible to a select few could end up having a dumb reasoning like “oh, he only comes to believers!” or Speed Force owners. Only two appearances are under his belt, and much like Zoom, he’s got one strong opening, I just hope the show can deliver this time around.

Savitar and Alchemy are largely McGuffins for the episode after bowing out early on. Barry’s ass kicking by way of Savitar forced Cisco and Caitlin to take on their superhero identities to save Barry, and this unfortunately pushes Caitlin over the edge into Killer Frost mode. Her villainous streak starts creeping in, and Danielle Panabaker does great in having Caitlin let her bad side go both physically and verbally. She gets in some great (and deserving) cutting lines at Barry’s expense, bringing up his selfishness, particularly revealing to Cisco that his brother Dante was alive pre-Flashpoint. Villainous she may be for the episode, but she’s also a very tragic figure because her intentions to find Alchemy are pure and she’s clearly not in her right state of mind. Thankfully, the two are able to move past it and work to take her down. The best moment of the episode comes when Barry decides to let Caitlin go with the caveat that she has to kill him without him putting up a fight to leave.

She can’t go through with it, which puts her back to normal (for now, most likely), but that still leaves Julian to deal with, since she kidnapped and injured him while iced up. In exchange for doing right by Barry and keeping quiet, Julian wants him to quit the CCPD on the basis that he’s too biased to properly handle police work with metahumans. That’s honestly not entirely wrong of a perspective to take, and up until the Alchemy reveal at the end, I was banking on this being the moment where Barry tells him about his double life. It’s cold hearted to be sure, but it’s not like Barry will be hard up for cash, since Thawne-Wells left all that money to him.

Finally, there’s Wally, who spends most of the episode inside a cocoon. Once Joe and HR bust him out, Caitlin creates a formula that gets him back in the right mindset, and with that, Kid Flash is born! Sort of, since he he still has to train and get used to his new powers. He’s apparently faster than Barry was when he first started running, and with the extra speed on hand, Team Flash may have a good chance of stopping Savitar and Julian from whatever they’re planning.

Additional Notes

  • Savitar’s name is apparently derived from the Hindu god of motion, so maybe he’s just constantly in motion in a way that’s not visible unless he slows down enough for a clear image?
  • Next week is the four part superhero crossover Heroes vs. Aliens, and man, that’s gonna be a doozy.

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