TV Review: The Flash - Season 3 Episode 7 "Killer Frost"
EPISODE 7: "Killer Frost"
SYNOPSIS: Caitlin uses her powers to save Barry but as her mother predicted, the effort unleashes her inner Killer Frost. Killer Frost goes on a rampage looking for Dr. Alchemy, kidnapping Julian and battling both The Flash and Vibe. Meanwhile, Joe and H.R. have a heart to heart talk.
REVIEW: Last season, Kevin Smith directed a very emotionally centered episode. While that hour may have been lacking in some trademark Flash action, it allowed the self-avowed comic book nerd in Smith to bring some of his DC superhero knowledge to life. Returning for another hour, Smith gets to this time play with the origins of Killer Frost while also exploring more action elements of The Flash and even being responsible for some significant reveals including the identity of Alchemy and the birth of Kid Flash. All of this comes in an hour that also gives us a lot clearer look at Savitar and sets the stage for next week's four part crossover event with Supergirl, Arrow, and Legends of Tomorrow.
Picking up at the moment last week's episode concluded, The Flash and Savitar continue to exchange words. Savitar once again professes his ranking as the God of Speed before dragging Barry through a variation of the Speed Force that looks like the remnants of a bad early-90s video game. It is tough to say exactly how strong Savitar is but the inability for anyone but Barry to actually see him makes him a difficult villain to stop. Savitar drags Barry around like a rag doll and is only stopped by Cisco vibing a portal that allows Caitlyn to freeze the new speedster long enough to save Barry. Savitar easily breaks free and escapes. It does not appear that Savitar is wearing a traditional costume nor whether he is actually human or not, but this does not seem like a retread of what we have seen with Reverse Flash or even Zoom. This is something much bigger. Plus, we now know that Alchemy is not out main bad guy and is more of a lackey to Savitar.
But what Savitar's emergence has forced is the development of Caitlyn into Killer Frost. Each time she uses her powers, Caitlyn becomes more of her evil alter ego. Saving Barry this week is enough to send her over the edge and seek help from Alchemy himself. With Wally encased in the weird chrysalis thing, the team is at a loss as to what to do. Joe confronts one of Alchemy's henchmen and Caitlyn follows suit. Taking the man prisoner before switching to Julian Albert, the entire CCPD is after her, led by a detective played by Kevin Smith's hosting partner Greg Grunberg. Barry locates Caitlyn at a frozen food factory where she is forcing Julian to track down Alchemy so she can demand the villain take her powers away. The CCPD descend on the location where Barry has knocked out Julian and is trying to save his friend. Instead, Caitlyn reveals over the closed circuit camera that Barry's creation of Flashpoint resulted in the death of Cisco's brother which further throws a wrench in that volatile relationship. She then uses an ice shard to stab Barry in the leg and make her escape.
The cat and mouse chase between Flash and Caitlyn doesn't last long as they manage to capture her and take her back to STAR Labs where they need her help in saving Wally. In a bizarre decision, Joe and H.R. decide to remove the younger West from the chrysalis which immediately begins to kill him. Needing to find a way to save him before it is too late, Barry challenges Caitlyn to let her Killer Frost run totally free and to kill him. Barry knows the goodness in his friend will prevent her from actually doing it and the emotional turmoil forces the meta-human side of her to return to dormancy and freeing Caitlyn to be herself again, How long this will last remains to be seen, but for now, things are back to normal. Well, except for the fact that the newly saved Wally has developed his ability as a speedster and now has the powers he has always wanted. That, and one other thing.
In a reveal that everyone seemed to have already figured out, Julian is outed as the alternate identity of Alchemy. Since Julian knew that Caityn was his attacker, Barry heads to the hospital to convince his boss/coworker not to out her as a metahuman. Julian gives Barry that in exchange for his resignation from the CCPD. Julian tells Barry that his moral compass is broken but Barry agrees in order to save his friend. In the closing scene of the episode, Savitar confronts Julian and asks him to once more become his servant, Alchemy. The question is whether Julian was only Alchemy in Flashpoint or if he has been acting as the lackey unknowingly this season, but we will obviously find out more in the episodes leading up to Barry and the rest of the team learning the truth.
A very solid episode and a far superior outing for Kevin Smith who even got to bring to life Killer Frost's iconic cold kiss which she almost kills Barry with here. The Alchemy reveal was a bit telegraphed, but there is still so much that can be done with that side of the story. I am curious to see just how things play out and who Savitar really is, but so far we now have deeper complications and rifts within Team Flash that could fracture this group permanently. How can the team forgive and trust Caitlyn knowing that her evil side could return at any moment? Will Cisco forgive Barry a second time? What will Wally do with his powers? Can he be responsible or as reckless as he was in Flashpoint? These are all great questions to ponder but it will likely be some time as next week is the massive crossover event that brings all four CW/DC shows together for our characters to fight an alien invasion. Stay tuned!
NEXT ON THE FLASH: "Invasion!" airs November 29th - When aliens called the Dominators attack Central City, Barry speeds over to Star City to ask the Green Arrow for help in stopping them. Realizing the battle against the Dominators is bigger than they thought, they track down the Legends of Tomorrow, and Barry and Cisco create a breach to bring back a secret weapon – Supergirl.