“Maybe it’s time you started fearing me,” says Caitlin (Danielle Panabaker) to one of Alchemy’s followers as her powers bring out more of her dangerous, darker side and she begins her transformation into Killer Frost in The CW’s comic-book inspired fantasy action series, The Flash.
Season three episode seven begins right where episode six left off, with The Flash (Grant Gustin) caught in the clutches of Savitar and pinned against the subway wall as the huge evil speedster tells the hero that he is a god. Joe (Jesse L. Martin) wrestles free of two of Alchemy’s followers and although he can’t see what’s holding Barry, he fires blindly in the general direction. Even though he hits Savitar, the bullets seem to have little to no effect. Savitar tells Flash he’s going to take him on a run and races all over the city so fast it’s even a blur to Barry.
Back at S.T.A.R. Labs, Team Flash is trying to monitor Barry’s movements but are confused by the speed. Savitar stops at the waterfront and begins to beat Barry who it seems is no match for the giant silver monster. H.R. (Tom Cavanagh) suggests that Cisco (Carlos Valdes) and Caitlin use their powers and help Barry fight whatever it is he’s being beaten up by. Iris (Candice Patton) asks Cisco to use his powers to open a portal to the waterfront. Caitlin starts to say it’s too dangerous, but Iris pleads for her to help Barry.
Back at the waterfront, Savitar is getting ready to finish The Flash off when Cisco and Caitlin arrive, and Caitlin uses her powers to freeze Savitar making him finally visible and stopping him. He lets go of The Flash and after a few moments breaks free of the ice and speeds off. Cisco checks on Barry and Barry’s just cold after being exposed to the ice.
Back at S.T.A.R. Labs, Caitlin is taking care of both her patients. She tells Cisco he shouldn’t try to travel via portal anytime soon because his brain is reacting the same as if it had a mini-stroke. He should just take a couple of aspirin and he’ll be fine. Barry thanks Caitlin for saving his life and she reminds him he’s saved her many times. Caitlin checks on Wally (Keiynan Lonsdale) who’s still in the cocoon after touching the stone, and as she walks out of the room her eyes flash crystal blue for a few seconds.
Joe wants to cut Wally out, but Caitlin shoots that idea down by saying it might be too dangerous to Wally. Joe heads out, upset and resentful that this is happening to Wally and goes to interrogate the captured follower of Alchemy. “When my master rises, the human race will be judged and you will not fare well,” says the loyal follower just before Joe starts squeezing his already busted nose. Joe’s interrupted by Caitlin who tells him that Wally is out of the cocoon, doing okay, and he should talk to his son.
As Joe exits, Caitlin slips into the interrogation room. Avoiding the security camera, Caitlin uses her powers to freeze and destroy it. She asks the follower how she can find Alchemy. Not getting the answers she wants, Caitlin uses her powers to torment the acolyte who screams out in pain, causing the detectives to start banging on the door. Realizing she needs to leave unseen, Caitlin uses her powers to make a thick frosty mist in the room so that when the detectives enter they don’t see her slip out. She seals the door shut with them inside. She’s almost out when Julian (Tom Felton) sees her in the hallway and asks her to stop. He notices the frozen door and turns back to see Caitlin with now crystal blue eyes, white locks mixed in with her brunette hair, and her hands steaming from cold ice. “You need to come with me,” says Caitlin in a cold and threatening voice.
Joe returns to S.T.A.R Labs to see that Caitlin lied to him about Wally who’s still in the cocoon. Barry races to the CCPD and finds out from a detective that Julian was kidnapped by a female meta but they don’t know her identity and are searching for her. Barry goes back to S.T.A.R. Labs and H.R. gets Cisco to remember how they tracked Captain Cold using the satellite to track temperature drops. They do the same thing and find Caitlin at a cold food storage facility. The Flash races over while Cisco and the gang monitor from base.
Caitlin makes Julian do a trace on the internet to find any of Alchemy’s followers, and he finds two with the clues Cait gives him. As she starts to think about what she’s doing, Cait’s eyes go back to being their original lovely brown and she says out loud to herself, “What am I doing?” Julian decides to use his computer to send a message to the CCPD asking for help and giving his location. Cait realizes what he’s up to and destroys the computer. She’s about to use her powers on Julian when The Flash speeds in and stands in front of Julian. He tells her to stop and she warns him to leave. Julian tells him to stop her, but The Flash knocks Julian out instead. Now that it’s just the two of them, Barry asks Caitlin what she’s doing and pleads for her to let him help her. She tells Barry she needs to find Alchemy so he can take her powers away.
Team Flash is listening in back at base and feels bad for Caitlin. “I don’t think it works like that,” says Barry. “You don’t know that it doesn’t,” answers back a desperate Caitlin. “You and I have been through too much together to let each other down now. Please let me help you,” pleads Barry. “Just like you helped your mother?” she replies coldly with her eyes returning to crystal blue. Caitlin reminds Barry he keeps messing with everyone’s lives and they’re left to pick up the pieces because of his mistakes. She then tells Cisco, who’s listening back at S.T.A.R. Labs, how all of this is happening because of Barry creating Flashpoint and that’s the reason his brother, Dante, is dead. Barry is both hurt and taken aback by her behavior but knows it’s her powers messing with her mind. This is when CCPD and SWAT show up and start to fire upon Caitlin. The Flash speeds out of the room with Caitlin, and Caitlin creates a large icicle and stabs Barry in the triceps telling him even with his fast healing it will be a few hours before he will be up to full speed again. She leaves, telling him not to follow her.
At S.T.A.R. Labs, Cisco is upset but wants to focus on finding Caitlin. He hacks Julian’s computer and finds the two names and address of Alchemy followers that Caitlin is sure to visit. Cisco tells Barry to stay put because he’s wounded, saying he’s done enough and he will stake out one of the locations while H.R. and Joe stake out the other.
While Joe and H.R. are sitting in Joe’s car watching for Caitlin, H.R. starts talking and realizes Joe is worried about Wally being in the cocoon and possibly coming out with powers but evil. H.R. tells Joe how much Barry respects and looks up to him, which leads to Joe saying Barry needs to listen to him more. This causes H.R. to tell Joe that Barry’s real superpower is not his speed but his hope; the hope he inspires and how he always seems to believe they will be able to work everything out okay in the end.
Caitlin shows up at the house Cisco is staking out and Barry and Iris get an alert from the satellite back at base. Caitlin confronts the Alchemy follower telling him if he doesn’t answer her questions, she will hurt him and his family. He tells her that he doesn’t know who Alchemy is but reveals it’s really Savitar who’s the master. He tells Caitlin that Savitar showed him the future and she was there so glorious and powerful and that his master has big plans for her. This partly scares and intrigues Caitlin who’s losing her inner struggle to keep Killer Frost under control. She hears Cisco call to her from outside and goes out to face him. “I see you brought your toys,” says Caitlin, looking and sounding more like Killer Frost than herself now. Cisco tells her he doesn’t want to fight and just wants to help her. She warns him she’s Killer Frost now, and he says she’s Caitlin Snow to which she beings to hurl deadly icicles at him. (It appears she’s not really aiming at him but just near him.) Cisco takes cover behind a tree and tries to use his energy vibe to knock her down but misses. The Flash arrives with a bit of a limp and draws her fire. Killer Frost ices the street so he loses control and ends up falling right in front of her. “How’s the leg?” she asks with a smirk on her face. The Flash knocks her down using his injured leg and lying on the street next to each other, Killer Frost says “That was cold, Flash, but not as cold as this!” She gets up onto Barry, straddles him, and delivers a deadly icy kiss which begins to freeze him. Cisco runs up and vibes another shot at her, this time hitting her and knocking her off Barry. Cisco tells Barry to vibrate because it will warm him up and it works.
Back at S.T.A.R. Labs, Caitlin wakes up in a cell. She tries to act like she’s herself again but her voice, crystal blue eyes, and white locks give away she’s still Kiler Frost. She then becomes verbally vicious, especially toward Barry saying how for a hero he sure does let a lot of people close to him die, bringing up Eddie and her beloved Ronnie. Barry says it’s her powers affecting her mind and she’s sick. She replies, “I’m broken,” which causes Cisco to tear up and Barry to look away, feeling guilt. She asks for them to let her go and she’ll let them get back to their miserable lives. Barry tells her they’re not abandoning her, and she yells at him that he did this to her as he closes the door and locks her in.
Barry goes off to sulk but Iris won’t let him, telling him that none of this might actually be his fault. Caitlin might have developed these powers without Flashpoint. She also tells him that even though he doesn’t feel like it, they need him to lead. That’s when an alarm goes off and Cisco, Barry, and Iris rush into the room where the cocoon holding Wally is to see Joe and H.R. trying to cut him out of it. Barry yells for Joe to stop but he doesn’t and Barry, realizing the cocoon is about to explode, speeds everyone away just in time. After the smoke clears, Wally is standing there vibrating at different speeds and looking lost. He then speeds out and is gone.
Barry knows Wally is going to need a biochemist and Caitlin is the only one who can help. He tells Caitlin/Frost what happened to Wally and that he’s going to need Caitlin Snow MD to help him. “So, you came here to try to talk some sense into me?” asks Frost with an eerie smile. “No, I came to let you go,” replies Barry. He unlocks the cell door and Frost, uneasy and distrustful, steps out. “For a smart guy, that was an awfully dumb move,” says Frost. “Like I said, you’re free to go,” answers back Barry. “What’s the catch?” asks Frost. “You have to kill me,” replies Barry. This alarms Iris but Cisco tells her he thinks it’s going to be okay. Frost asks if The Flash wants to fight her and he tells her no, he’s not going to fight her but if she wants to leave this room, she is going to have to kill him. “Don’t think I won’t,” snarls Frost. “Then do it,” answers Barry.
Killer Frost creates an icicle and points it threateningly at Barry’s heart. Barry asks her what she’s waiting for, and Killer Frost begins to look unsure and uncomfortable. “C’mon, live up to your name Killer Frost. I want to see some killing,” taunts Barry to a Frost who is now looking worried and weak. Barry says if she insists on being villain, then she has to kill her friends because nothing matters anymore. “C’mon, kill me, Caitlin,” continues Barry as he grabs her arm and pulls the icicle closer to his heart. Caitlin tries to pull it a little and her face shows her starting to look sad. “You can’t do it. You can’t. Because underneath all that cold, you’re still you,” says Barry as Caitlin’s eyes change from crystal blue back to brown. Caitlin drops the icicle and bursts into tears, collapsing into Barry’s arms and saying his name. He tells her, “It’s okay. I’ve got you.”
Caitlin changes back into doctor mode and creates a neural compound for Barry to inject into Wally which will get his mind and body linked up correctly. With a little help from Joe who figured out Wally is at his old home, it works.
The next day, Wally speeds around the training area of S.T.A.R. Labs happy he’s now a speedster and anxious to go out with Barry to help fight crime. Joe and Iris tell him to slow down and that first Caitlin needs to run tests on him to make sure he’s okay. Joe asks if she’s up for it and she answers, “Being a doctor? Always.” Joe gets a buzz that Julian is awake at the hospital. Caitlin, wide-eyed, says he knows she kidnapped him. Barry tells her it will be all right, that he’ll talk to Julian and convince him not to inform on her. “It’s going to be okay. I promise,” says Barry, smiling at his friend. Shhe smiles back, trusting Barry to protect her. On his way out, Barry visits Cisco and asks if he wants to talk but Cisco says no. Barry tells him he’s his best friend and asks if they’re going to be okay. Cisco answers honestly and tells him he doesn’t know.
Barry visits Julian at the hospital, telling him he’ll do anything if he doesn’t tell the detective Caitlin kidnapped him. He implores Julian to do him this favor, saying she’s a good person and one of the best he knows. Barry tries to convince Julian that Caitlin doesn’t deserve to be punished. Julian says he thinks he got knocked out harder than he thought and really doesn’t remember much. It turns out, however, that his silence does come with a price. He demands Barry quit his job as a CSI, saying he has no business being in law enforcement since he’s choosing his friends over justice. Barry agrees to the deal and lingers in earshot to make sure Julian keeps his end of the bargain when the detective interviews him.
Back at the CCPD, Barry is packing up his stuff when Iris and Joe come in asking what happened and why he resigned. Barry tells them about the deal he struck with Julian. Iris and Joe are upset but Barry calms them down by telling them there isn’t anything he wouldn’t do or give up to keep them, Wally, Caitlin and Cisco safe. They leave to get dinner and as Barry carries his personal items out of his lab, lightning strikes outside.
The last scene of the episode has Julian, still in the hospital, hearing a voice. He starts running, trying to get away from the voice. He heads outside and sees Savitar who tells him he needs him to be his prophet, Doctor Alchemy, again.
The Flash season 3 episode 7 review:
Emotional, powerful, and action-packed, episode seven titled “Killer Frost” is hands-down the best episode of the season thus far and one of the best episodes of The Flash series, period. It has everything one could hope for in a superhero fantasy action show. The fight scenes between Barry and Caitlin aka Killer Frost are well choreographed and the deadly icy kiss scene is a very cute and effective homage to Batman Returns where Catwoman (played by Michelle Pfeiffer) licks and kisses Batman (played by Michael Keaton). The special effects are stunning, with Caitlin’s icicles and freezing abilities looking great.
There are three stand-out performances in the “Killer Frost” episode. The first mention goes to Danielle Panabaker for her heartbreaking and scary performance as Caitlin Snow/Killer Frost. She gives an award-worthy performance as the desperate and terrified Caitlin looking for anything to stop her from becoming the deadly Frost, and she’s equally chilling (pun intended) as Frost who’s up for hurting people to get what she wants and to keep them out of her way but not actually killing. Panabaker also shows brilliantly the inner struggle between the good and caring Caitlin and the cold and unfeeling Frost. This critic was rooting for Caitlin all the way.
The second stand-out performance of the episode was given by Grant Gustin as Barry who carries the guilt he feels for what’s happening to Caitlin and refuses to lose one of the people he loves the most to evil. The scenes between Gustin and Panabaker are the best in the episode and some of the best work they’ve done on the show. They have incredible chemistry together; the scene in the pipeline where Barry tells Caitlin to kill him and she finally comes back to being herself and collapses in his arms sobbing is full of suspense and emotion.
Carlos Valdes also delivered a terrific performance, displaying so many emotions that his character’s going through from being scared of losing Caitlin to Killer Frost to the horrible truth that Barry could be the one who is responsible for his brother’s death by creating Flashpoint. His scenes are more subtle but ring true every time.
With Team Flash on the mend, Wally now a speedster, and hopefully Caitlin being able to master her powers and stay in control, here’s looking forward to the special crossover episode next week and Team Flash working together to stop Savitar and Doctor Alchemy.
Additional The Flash Season 3 Recaps:
- Episode 1 – Flashpoint
- Episode 2 – Paradox
- Episode 3 – Magenta
- Episode 4 – The New Rogues
- Episode 5 – Monster
- Episode 6 – Shade