Danielle Panabaker Interview: ‘The Flash’ Season 5 and Delving Into Killer Frost’s Backstory

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Season five of The CW’s The Flash will feature Barry and Iris’ now grown speedster daughter, Nora. The upcoming season will also find Team Flash member Caitlin Snow (Danielle Panabaker) attempting to learn more about Killer Frost and how the two came to be connected when she was just a child.

During the San Diego Comic Con, Panabaker sat down for roundtable interviews to discuss the new season (without giving away any spoilers). Panabaker will be adding The Flash director to her résumé this season, and she also briefly talked about taking the helm of a season five episode.

The Flash season five premieres on October 9, 2018 at 8pm ET/PT on The CW.

Congratulations on directing an episode this season.

Danielle Panabaker: “I am. I’m excited to do it. I mean, I couldn’t do it without the support of my Flash family, in particular Tom Cavanagh and Todd Helbing. It wouldn’t be possible without them.”

Do you know which episode you’re going to be directing?

Danielle Panabaker: “Episode 18.”

Season four episode 22 had a huge reveal about Caitlin and Killer Frost, and the fact Killer Frost has been inside her for years. Are we going to get more of that backstory?

Danielle Panabaker: “I hope we’re finally going to get to the origin story. I think that was part of my frustration with last year was I didn’t think we asked enough ‘why’ questions. We didn’t understand her motivation and those sorts of things. When we slow down and go back and try and understand how she came to be, I think that will continue in an investigation that we’ll learn more about her.”


Who will help her get to the truth?

Danielle Panabaker: “I think she learned her lesson from trying to go off on her own previously and fix things by herself which she tried to do in season three. So, I think she will be going to the rest of Team Flash for help and support with this.”

Will that be a driving force for Caitlin this year?

Danielle Panabaker: “I think that’s going to be her mission is to understand how Killer Frost came to be. It is a big curveball and it’s a revelation to know that it wasn’t from the particle accelerator explosion. I think we’re going to go from there to learn more.”

And her meta-schizophrenia is going to be a huge part of the show now?

Danielle Panabaker: (Laughing) “I don’t know about meta-schizophrenia. You know, it was always described to me as a bit like the Hulk. But I would still like to understand why they call her Killer Frost because as far as I’ve seen, she hasn’t been particularly killer-y.”

What’s it been like as an actress to explore that side of the character?

Danielle Panabaker: “It’s really fun. I feel like one of the benefits of being on a superhero show is you get to really play the extremes.”

The Flash star Danielle Panabaker

Danielle Panabaker as Caitlin Snow in ‘The Flash’ season 4 episode 21 (Photo: Shane Harvey © 2018 The CW Network)

Caitlin was actually thrown into the action more last season, especially in episode 22 when she told Barry that it’s not a burden if they handle things together. Will she be coming out of the lab more this season?

Danielle Panabaker: “I hope so. I don’t know. I do personally like seeing her out of S.T.A.R. Labs. That’s a totally selfish thing but I like it when she gets out and puts boots to the ground.”

And it would give you less medical jargon to learn.

Danielle Panabaker: “For sure. I’m really ready for Tom to come back so he can take some of the heavy lifting off.”

Will there be more development in the relationship with Caitlin’s mother in regards to Killer Frost?

Danielle Panabaker: “What I will say about that is we’ve gotten this big reveal of Killer Frost being a part of Caitlin since she was a child. And when you have questions about your childhood, aren’t your parents the first place you go?”

We’ve heard they’re going to be shooting less of the whole team together and more of a couple of characters off doing separate things. Are there any of the characters that you would really look forward to spending more one-on-one time with instead of in a big group?

Danielle Panabaker: “I’m excited to have more time with Carlos. […] But, you know, everybody to be honest. I feel like those cortex scenes can sometimes do a bit of a disservice. I mean, obviously Tom Cavanagh is spectacular. We got coffee together once and I think there’s so much more we can do and play. Obviously, all the new characters, we get to know them and spend more quality time with them.”

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Kevin Finnerty

Kevin Finnerty

Professional film critic since 2003 and a member of the San Diego Film Critics Society. Host of “The Movie Guys” radio film review show from 2007 through 2013. Film and television critic for Showbizjunkies.com and a movie buff since 1973.
Kevin Finnerty
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