The Flash: Growing Pains review S7 E7

Growing Pains continues The Flash’s increasingly quicker descent to irrelevance. Bastardizing one of the best stories from The Flash comic of the past 30 years didn’t help either.

One of the best parts of a show with a strong ensemble is there’s at least a few good subplots in a weak episode. So far Season 7 is striking out on all fronts and there’s no signs of any immediate improvement.

Let’s start with our title character. This Nora/Speed Force storyline is goofy. Why is she sticking around? And why is she still hijacking Nora’s form anyway?

The flash growing pains - Frost

Also, is no one else gonna mention how weird it is to call the Speed Force Nora now after losing their daughter Nora?

So the Nora Force is super charging Barry now and that doesn’t really go anywhere. This subplot is so weird and needlessly awkward.

Time to focus on The Flash’s new main character/characters — Frost and Caitlin.

Federal agent Kristen Kramer is gunning for Frost already for her past crimes, but now she’s wanted after a delivery driver is killed by someone with ice powers.

Naturally, Kramer assumes the ice-related homicide is Frost, despite the pesky fact that Frost hasn’t actually killed anyone.

To avoid getting arrested, Frost has to stay in STAR Labs. In other words she’s quarantined…she’s one of us.

The flash growing pains - Chillblaine

I’d trade exactly 50 percent of the Caitlin/Frost subplot (your pick) to focus more on Iris beyond being Nora’s babysitter. Iris is now stuck in the Joe West role where she just offers Barry sage advice.

Kramer now has an arrest warrant for Frost. Sigh. Frost decides to track the killer and makes a connection with the bartender (Jon Cor) at the sleazy bar. Let’s conveniently ignore the fact that he knows way too much about random cryogenics so Frost can get her male gawking on.

This is so wild. The one new character introduced this episode is the mysterious bad guy? Did not see that coming at all. This is a very weak riff on the classic The Flash #182, which detailed Captain Cold’s origin as he faced off with a rip-off Chillblaine.

I loved the irony of Frost stabbing Chillblaine and leaving him for dead and living up to her old name. Good thing her sidekick sped in to magically bandage Chillblaine up.


Kramer apparently got a great tip and was at the scene to arrest Frost. This time she decides to atone for her crimes and turns herself in. My hero.

So yeah, Growing Pains wasn’t awesome, but sadly it’s been consistent with the rest of the season. A few more random thoughts:

After watching The Falcon and the Winter Soldier week in and week out, Chester just comes off like such a lame character.

Arrow’s Curtis already cornered the CW Verse market on the awkward, geeky black guy. It would actually be refreshing to have a smooth cool black guy that happened to be good at tech and was socially competent.

The flash growing pains - Allegra and the flash

Iris is getting so shortchanged this season and the writers really need to do anything with her.

Does Grant Gustin seem over The Flash now or is it just me?

Can anyone explain Claritin’s powers?

Maybe Growing Pains marks the end of this early rough patch for Season 7. I’m losing hope for a turnaround, but there’s still a chance, right?

Rating: 5 out of 10

Photo Credit: The CW