Man, do I love Kevin Smith’s direction or what. This was a good episode, it finally felt like we were being treated to a solid and believable episode of The Flash. Strong character moments, solid quips, strong villains. These are all trademarks of a classic episode and truly reminds me what we had been missing in this season so far. “Killer Frost” is what The Flash always should be, an exciting, fast paced, emotionally driven forty two minutes. I mean this was an episode that managed to showcase all of the cast in one way or another, and especially managed to elevate the performances of our main three. Danielle Panabaker, Grant Gustin, and Carlos Valdes all delivered some of their best material to date while making way for what I believe will be a strong back half of the season. Oh yeah, boy is Savitar cool to watch.
So the big star of tonight was Panabaker’s Caitlin Snow and it was great that she is getting time to shine. Often it feels like Barry and Cisco are the A-team while Caitlin and the others are the B-team. So, for her to be able to have the spotlight in any capacity is always a true joy to watch. I especially enjoyed the traits of Caitlin’s character as Killer Frost as you could see that the woman we have come to know and respect was still under the cold exterior. Caitlin was simply desperate, much like Barry when he lost his dad or Cisco when he saw Dante be attacked by Snart. For the team to not only recognize this but also empathize with her situation made it all the better. We are often shown team Flash as a family, but this was a real moment for them to attempt to help one of their hurting friends. Just great work by Panabaker to bring out the best of the rest of the team.
With how good Panabaker was tonight it could be easy to overlook Gustin and Valdes’ performances, but each were really impactful. Grant did a great job attempting to sacrifice everything to make up for his making of Flashpoint. Showing Caitlin that she could be a better person, apologizing to Cisco about the reason his brother is dead, doing his best to protect Wally from what is coming. Each were great character moments that show just how much Barry’s friends and family mean to him and just how far he is willing to go to protect them. This was of course all capped off by Barry quitting the police in order to protect Caitlin. Julian is right, no matter how great of a CSI he is, Barry’s perspective and moral compass are comprised in the face of meta’s and his friends. Granted we never really got to see much of Barry in his lab but I will definitely miss watch the antics in the police station.
Same thing goes for Valdes’ performance as Cisco tonight as it started off as normal Cisco and took a hard turn as he is forced to reexamine his relationships with Barry and Caitlin. I was very worried the whole Dante being killed by Flashpoint thing had been swept under the rug, but it made a huge comeback this week. I love that Cisco truly doesn’t know if Barry and him will ever truly be best friends or if he will be able to respect Barry again. Hopefully this tension will force Cisco to question Barry more, rather than simply backing his play all the time. I am also hoping to see more of Cisco in the support group as seeing him cope with Dante’s death and what it now means will change everything.
As for the other main plots of the episode I like that Wally being cocooned was solved relatively quickly and that Joe, who always trusts his gut was partially wrong this time. Joe is correct that the team needs to respect him and his detective skills more, but cutting Wally out of the cocoon could have ended horribly. All we know is that Wally has some speed force in him now, we don’t know the ramifications or if because the process was cut short if his powers will remain. There are a lot of avenues this story can take and I am cautiously optimistic about watching it all play out.
Lastly let’s talk about those opening and closing scenes with Savitar. First, holy shit they were not kidding when they made Savitar the god of speed because he is damn fast. Watching him and Barry blink all over the city and having Barry get his ass thoroughly kicked is always a sight to behold. I honestly don’t want Barry to be able to outrun Savitar and would rather see him rebuild the team and take on the bad as a family rather than a solo fight. As for the end, I mean it was kind of telegraphed that Julian was Alchemy but the question now becomes is Julian in control as Alchemy or is it split personality deal like the other flashpoint metas. Hopefully we will learn more in the coming weeks and not have a Zoom scenario where we learn everything in a massive info dump.
An excellent episode and easily the best of the season.
Final Grade A
+Kevin Smith’s direction
+Savitar laying waste to Barry
+Excellent work from Panabaker, Valdes, and Gustin
+Wally getting his speed
+Consequences of Barry altering the timeline
-Julian being revealed as Alchemy
-So Savitar is not human so what is he? The speed force with form, an alien, an extra dimensional being? Place your bets.
-The Killer Frost vs Vibe fight I guess is a precursor as Savitar has plans for Caitlin. I am assuming these plans are bad.
-Having Caitlin name all the people who have died or been screwed over by Barry messing with the timeline really drives home Barry is a shitty time traveler.
-So will Wally keep his original costume or get his New 52 one?