The Flash’s seventh episode (“Killer Frost”) may seem like it’s centered around Caitlin’s descent into villainy, but that’s only a small part. Consistently, what I love most about this show are the relationships. The characters, no matter how flawed or prone to hideous mistakes, always show up for each other. They may not all be blood family, but sometimes, family is who you choose. And Barry Allen got lucky there.
While Caitlin goes off the rails (Danielle Panabaker is nothing short of stunning), Iris is (as ever) the calm voice of reason (while Joe gets a turn in Freakout and Panic Town). HR is chattier than a magpie, but he’s charming. He is also resourceful. While he doesn’t seem to come up with his own organic ideas, he’s excellent at mining their old case files and offering solutions. (That’s how they discovered where Caitlin went.) And Cisco even manages a Game of Thrones quip, despite finding out that Dante’s death is Barry’s fault.
This episode carries a lot of emotional weight, which is something I’ve come to expect from Kevin Smith (can’t wait for Mallrats 2, sir!). At one point, Caitlin says, “Some things you break can’t be put back together.” This hearkens back to Jay’s discussion of the broken cup, that even if things can be repaired, they’re not the same. It takes that a step further, pointing out that not everything can be salvaged.
For most of the time, we assume (as an audience) that this is a reflection of Caitlin—that she’s what’s irreparably broken. But Barry, in a stunning scene, manages to get through to Caitlin, to push the Killer Frost back. Caitlin, for who knows how long, returns to her science-y ways, helping to save Wally and then runs tests on him.
But Cisco has been damaged by Barry’s actions and Caitlin’s frostbitten words. And there’s a poignant scene between the two boys that leaves a lot hanging in the air. These two have been ill at odds this season, taking the proverbial two steps forward and one step back. I genuinely adore them, and I’m rooting for Cisco to forgive Barry. I hate it when they fight, which I suppose is the point.
Speaking of hate: Julian. Our lovely little Brit is ALCHEMY. *adopts Chandler Bing’s voice* I KNEW IT. He’s the speed god’s henchmonkey, and he’s somehow going to restore him. So, that should be terrifying. He also manages to blackmail Barry into quitting, so that he won’t reveal that Caitlin is Killer Frost, snapping: “You are unfit to be CSI. Barry Allen has no place in law enforcement.” OUCH. So, yeah, I totally cheered when Barry knocked him out, not gonna lie. Truthfully, I was pulling for Julian to be a good guy or at least good guy-adjacent. But in the immortal words of the Stones, you can’t always get what you want.
Unless you’re Wally, because guess what? (*Don’t say chicken butt. Don’t say chicken butt…*) He’s a speedster now! He’s faster than Barry was in the beginning, and he’s basically beaming. I guess we’ll be seeing a lot more of Kid Flash, and given his utter exuberance, I honestly can’t wait. I think he’ll be a nice addition to the mix.
Lastly, we got to meet Detective Patterson, played by Greg Grunberg, who I have loved since Felicity. (Yes, I’m old. Be quiet. And get off my lawn.) Next week is the epic crossover, so it promises to be one hell of a race. Er, ride. I am looking forward to Cisco’s reaction to Supergirl, because YES. That’ll be more than worth the price of admission.
Good night, Westley. Good work. I’ll most likely kill you in the morning. Until next week, darlings. XO