‘The Flash’ Season 3 Episode 6 Recap and Review: Shade

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The Flash Season 3 Episode 6

Jesse L. Martin, Danielle Nicolet, Tom Cavanagh and Carlos Valdes in ‘The Flash’ (Photo: Katie Yu © 2016 The CW Network)

“You have no idea what’s about to begin,” says Dr. Alchemy (voiced by Tobin Bell) to The Flash (Grant Gustin) as the speedster believes he, Joe (Jesse L. Martin) and a SWAT team have captured the mysterious figure who’s been giving powers to humans and turning some of them evil in The CW’s The Flash season three episode six.

As the episode begins, Wally (Keiynan Lonsdale) is telling his dad about the dreams he’s been having where he’s known as Kid Flash, speeding around the city saving people just like Barry. Joe goes from being concerned to full-on worried, realizing Wally is experiencing exactly what Magenta did. Wally’s disappointed that Joe’s not excited for him because he’s hoping this means he’ll get powers like Jesse and Barry.

At the CCPD, Barry offers his help on one of Julian’s (Tom Felton) cases, but the smug CSI lets Barry know that just because they worked on a case together and had a drink doesn’t mean that they’re now “mates.” Joe comes in just as assistant D.A. Cecil has informed Barry he’s back to working metahuman cases because of all the attacks lately. Joe and Cecil flirt and she tells him she’s looking forward to their movie night. After she leaves, Barry wants details about how and when Joe asked her out but Joe is there to talk about Wally and his dreams. Barry realizes that Alchemy is targeting Wally and this again is part of the ripple effect of Flashpoint. He tells Joe that he’ll tell Wally about it and try to discourage him from pursuing getting powers.

Later at the West home, Barry talks to Wally and Iris (Candice Patton) about Flashpoint and how he was Kid Flash. Barry tells him he was badly injured, but Wally says it’s because he didn’t have a team, just Iris backing him. Wally doesn’t want to hear it and reveals that he thinks that Joe doesn’t trust him and favors Barry. (Is this kid ever going to do anything other than whine?!) He asks Joe point blank if he trusts him and Joe stumbles for an answer which makes Wally believe he’s right and leaves.

At S.T.A.R. Labs, Cisco (Carlos Valdes) and Caitlin (Danielle Panabaker) are working when H.R. (Tom Cavanaugh) arrives with an idea about turning S.T.A.R. Labs into a museum where he can be a semi-celebrity as a cover for them actually working with The Flash. This is when they tell him that on this Earth Dr. Wells, his Doppelganger, admitted to killing Nora Allen so he really can’t show his face outside of S.T.A.R. Labs. Disappointed, he goes off to try to come up with something else.

Later that day, Cisco is looking for H.R. thinking he took his special handcuffs that have a power-dampening effect on metahumans. Cisco accuses him of taking them, but H.R. says he doesn’t know anything about them. Meanwhile, Caitlin’s at her desk looking guilty, but the two men don’t notice. Barry pages them to come to the cortex and brings them up to speed about a murder he and Julian caught where a person was strangled to death but no fingerprints or marks were left on the body. Cisco brings up the camera footage from where the killing took place and the gang watch as a large shadowy figure murders an innocent businessman. “Shade,” says H.R. and then proceeds to tell Barry and the gang about a similar metahuman killer on his Earth. Barry asks Cisco to work on setting a trap for this Shade character so they can focus on Alchemy who’s targeting Wally. Cisco asks if anyone else is going to get powers because of Flashpoint, and Barry shakes his head no. Of course Caitlin’s looking uneasy about this whole conversation.

Killer Frost in The Flash

Danielle Panabaker as Killer Frost (© 2016 The CW Network)

Not being able to keep him in the dark any longer, Caitlin approaches Cisco as he works on a trap for Shade and tells him she took his special handcuffs. “Why?” he asks. “Because I need them,” answers Caitlin. Cisco starts to ask what she’s talking about and Caitlin picks up his glass of water and freezes it solid. “Surprise,” says Caitlin, looking scared as Cisco is shocked by the revelation that she has the same powers that Killer Frost had on Earth-2. Caitlin asks Cisco for a favor and tells him she wants him to vibe her and see if she turns into Killer Frost in the future. Cisco tries to tell her that just because she has those powers doesn’t mean she’s going to become evil, but Caitlin fears that it does. Cisco takes her hand and vibes, seeing a vision of himself in a different outfit wearing his special power goggles fighting Caitlin, who has changed into Killer Frost. When he lets go of her, a terrified Caitlin asks him what he saw. Seeing how desperate she is and not having the heart to tell her the truth, Cisco lies and says he didn’t see anything. Relieved and happy for the first time in months, Caitlin gives Cisco a big hug and thanks him. She asks him not to tell anyone yet about her powers and he agrees to keep it a secret.

At the CCPD, Wally meets up with Joe who has been looking for him since he left in a huff. Father and son have a heart-to-heart talk, with Joe making Wally understand his fears of what Alchemy is doing to him and assuring him it doesn’t have anything to do with trusting him. They start to head to S.T.A.R. Labs and Wally falls to the ground in pain. He hears Alchemy’s voice telling him to find him so he can restore what was taken from him.

At S.T.A.R. Labs, Caitlin checks Wally out and doesn’t find anything wrong with him. H.R. suggests to keep Wally safe they put him in the pipeline until they can figure out a way to bring down Alchemy. Joe doesn’t like the idea but Wally thinks it might be for the best until they can stop Alchemy. Joe wants to call off his movie date but Wally and Iris insist he go, with Barry telling him he and Iris will watch over Wally. Joe doesn’t want to go alone saying it was supposed to be a group thing. Cisco, wanting to distance himself from Caitlin, says he’s up for movie night and agrees to go even though it’s The Shining which Barry reminds him freaks him out. Caitlin picks up on Cisco’s behavior and invites herself along, too, saying she wants to spend time with him. This causes H.R. to tag along, something he’s able to do thanks to a new device of his that transforms his physical appearance to look like his partner back on Earth-19.


Before the movie begins in the park, Caitlin confronts Cisco saying he’s been on edge ever since he vibed her and wants to know why. He tries to lie but Caitlin tells him to stop it because she can always tell when he’s lying to her. Cisco comes clean and tells her the truth about what he saw. Caitlin, terribly saddened and scared again, asks if he has ever vibed something that didn’t come true. He says he saw Earth-2’s destruction which didn’t come true, but he reminds her that it could still happen in the future. Cisco tells Caitlin to tell Team Flash and they will figure it out together. But Caitlin doesn’t want to, deciding she must leave and never come back. She thinks that’s the only safe solution.

Shade shows up as the movie is just beginning and starts attacking the crowd. Cisco turns on the alert app on his phone and Barry and Iris get the alert back at S.T.A.R. Labs. Barry races out to the park to take on Shade. This is when Alchemy attacks Wally while he’s in the pipeline. Screaming and rolling around in pain, Iris decides this is a good time to open the door and go in to check on him. (Since when did Iris become a clueless teenager in a horror movie?!) Wally gets up and tells her not to get in his way. He tries to leave but Iris decks him and knocks him out.

Back at the park, Cisco, Caitlin, and H.R. are in the S.T.A.R. Labs van talking to Barry via radio. Cisco hacks into all the parked cars, turning on their headlights to blind and momentarily take away Shade’s ability. It works, and Caitlin takes off the power-weakening cuffs and tosses them to Barry to use on Shade who’s now in human form.

Crisis over, Team Flash returns to S.T.A.R. Labs to discuss what happened. H.R. points out that it’s not a coincidence that Shade attacked at the same time Alchemy went after Wally. Wally wants to use himself as bait to trap Alchemy, but Barry doesn’t like the idea. Cisco says they can’t ignore problems; they need to deal with them. He’s looking at Caitlin the entire time, while a wide-eyed Caitlin tries to shake her head no to get Cisco to stop but he won’t. He tells her she needs to tell them her secret, and everyone looks at poor Caitlin as she finally breaks down and admits that she has powers. She holds up her hands, showing the icy frost coming off of them. She yells at Cisco saying it wasn’t his secret to tell, angry that she’s the one turning evil and has to leave soon. She walks off and Barry goes after her to try to comfort her. She tells him that she’s known for about three months and she’s run all the tests but there is no way to stop what is happening to her. Instead of being there for her and making her feel better or telling her he and Team Flash will figure it out, Barry makes it about him and admits to Caitlin all of this is because of Flashpoint. Caitlin looks hurt and little resentful at Barry, realizing that his selfish act might have doomed her to being evil Killer Frost forever. Before they can continue, Iris barges in saying Wally is awake. Wally, Joe, and the rest of the team decide to set a trap for Alchemy by using Wally’s images to get his location.

Joe, Barry and Wally take a SWAT team with them to Alchemy’s lair. Wally enters acting as though he wants to get his powers back and stop the pain.

Caitlin apologizes to Cisco, telling him she’s sorry for how she yelled at him and is actually glad he told them. She admits she has trouble asking for help and that she gets that from her mother. Cisco tells Caitlin she’s better than her mother and even though her mother told her stopping her powers would be impossible, Cisco reminds Caitlin that doing “the impossible” is their specialty and gives her a hug.

Back at Alchemy’s lair, the trap is going as planned with Wally catching Alchemy off guard. Instead of asking for his powers, he says he wishes for Alchemy and his followers to be gone. The SWAT team rushes in and Alchemy seems to be captured until Barry notices a very fast white light racing around and realizes it’s another evil speedster. He tells Joe and Wally to get out as the white blur takes out the SWAT team, and Alchemy disappears leaving a glowing stone on the floor. Wally hears Alchemy’s voice and goes to pick it up while both Joe and The Flash yell at him to stop. He picks it up and gets wrapped into a weird-looking black cocoon. This is when the white blur grabs The Flash and reveals himself as the God of Speed, Savitar.

The Flash Season 3 Episode 6 Review:

Uneven in tone but full of action and emotion, episode 6 titled “Shade” feels like a long set-up for the highly anticipated episode seven titled “Killer Frost.” Injecting too much silliness and forced humor with Tom Cavanagh’s H.R. from Earth-19, this episode seems to struggle to bring some light moments to what is becoming a dark and tragic storyline for a favorite main character.

There are two stand-out performances in this episode. Danielle Panabaker is outstanding once again as a frightened Caitlin Snow who finally breaks down and confesses to her closest friend about her powers and asks him to see if she will turn evil. Every scene featuring Panabaker and Carlos Valdes is emotionally wrenching. She conveys so perfectly the dread, fear, and hopelessness Caitlin feels.

The second stand-out is Carlos Valdes as Cisco who at first lies to Caitlin because he’s unwilling to break her heart and tell her the truth. He eventually tells her about the scary vision of them fighting and finally gives her the words of support and comfort she desperately needs. These two have solid chemistry together and it’s really their performances that make season three such a powerful, suspenseful, and emotional one. It just might surpass season one as the best season of the series.

With Savitar’s arrival, Wally wrapped up in a cocoon, and Caitlin about to be taken over by her powers, here’s hoping that Cisco and Barry will find a way to help Caitlin fight off the transformation to Killer Frost so the threesome can save Wally and stop Alchemy and Savitar.

GRADE: B-

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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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