Killer Frost provided a tantalizing tease of a splintered Team Flash in an great episode with some worrisome elements.
Picking up from last episode, The Flash was getting throttled by the Transformer known as Savitar. I’m contractually obliged to mention that Savitar’s design is horrifically ridiculous, but would make for a great Shrapnel.
Unless the writers have some massive surprise Season 3 seems destined to the worst of the series thanks to the ‘been there, done that’ nature of the great speedster villain. Zoom was pushing it last season, but the betrayal angle made that work. There’s nothing exciting about the prospect of Barry needing to go faster than he’s ever gone before to beat another speedster. Even with Jesse Quick, Kid Flash, Vibe and Killer Frost in tow.
Dr. Alchemy’s reveal was likewise disheartening. Julian was just fine as the prickly office mate making Barry’s civilian life miserable. Outing him as Dr. Alchemy felt like the most uninspired direction to go with a Rogue who’s much cooler than being a Savitar disciple dressed like Killer Moth. Those are all future Flash episode problems. This one had a lot more exciting developments centered on the fracturing of Team Flash.
Comic fans have known from the start that Caitlin and Cisco were going to eventually become Killer Frost and Vibe. That they’ve meshed so smoothly as key members of Team Flash has made their super-powered transformations less of a priority. And that extended buildup made this battle all the more meaningful.
Deadly focused on having Alchemy remove her powers, Caitlin went off the deep end fully embracing her Killer Frost persona. There was some nice irony of Caitlin becoming the very thing she dreaded in order to be rid of it.
Desperation was a major theme as Joe was frantic about freeing Wally from his cocoon. With the unwritten CW directive to make every supporting character a hero, it was refreshing that Joe was fine resorting to police work for a lead. Not that there’s a ton of costume identities left that would work for Joe. HR Wells hanging out with Joe was a nice plus as Tom Cavanagh and Martin don’t get nearly as many opportunities to work one on one as I’d like.
I’ll cut Joe some slack for the bonehead move of snatching Wally out of the power cocoon. He was being a fearful father and Jesse L. Martin conveyed that anxiety great. I’m glad the newly super speed Wally on the loose was just a minor subplot and not an entire focus for an episode.
Not like it was going to be easy for anyone else to stand out in an episode where Danielle Panabaker embraced her inner villain. I’ve loved nerdy and grounded Caitlin Snow, but Panabaker’s icy take on Killer Frost was a minor revelation. While Team Flash doesn’t need to be written off yet, the prospect of seeing the villainous Killer Frost is excited.
In one episode she proved more of a threat than Savitar or Dr. Alchemy. First by physically wounding Flash and then driving a major wedge between Barry and Cisco by revealing Pre-Flashpoint, Cisco’s brother was still alive.
That was especially hurtful and Carlos Valdes really sold the pain over this reveal well. This was an overall strong night of performances from Team Flash with Candice Patton getting in on the action with Iris’ great pep talk to rally Barry. Just like with The Runaway Dinosaur, Director Kevin Smith proves his great knack is coaxing exceptional performances from an already strong cast.
Killer Frost delivered big time with the Team Flash storyline, but the main storyline is far less encouraging. Fortunately, we’ve got the Invasion! crossover next week to keep the good times running for a bit longer.
Rating: 8.5 out of 10
Photo Credit: The CW