The Flash: Killer Frost Review
The CW’s The Flash: Season 3, Episode 7: ‘Killer Frost’ has made some great progress in increasing the stakes for Team Flash as the show continues to make use of some heavily driven character drama. However, the third season still hasn’t measured up to the greatness of the first two seasons. For instance, Savitar has become more of a mediocre villain compared to the likes of Reverse-Flash and Zoom. It makes us question whether The Flash can go back to the way it used to be during its first season.
Despite that, this week’s episode wasn’t all that bad. ‘Killer Frost’ immediately came off from last week’s cliffhanger as Wally (Keiynan Lonsdale) gets trapped inside a cocoon that’s concocted by Alchemy. We get a much better look at Savitar during the opening scene as Barry Allen (Grant Gustin) tries to stop him but gets ensnared by his immense speed. It all sounds eerily familiar since Barry has had the same scenario where he faced an evil speedster and tries to make himself more faster in order to defeat him. What is taking place between Savitar and Barry is basically a rehash of his encounters with Reverse-Flash and Zoom in the last two seasons.
The only thing that is different is that Savitar displays himself as a god of speed. It’s still a mystery of who Savitar really is, but it remains to be seen if he can measure up to the other two speedsters that Barry faced. Savitar doesn’t come out as a compelling villain, but perhaps when we find out who is under all that armor, we may get something interesting out of him. Savitar’s design happens to be pretty bad as well. He often comes out looking more like an over-the-top version Megatron from Transformers. The way Savitar dragged Barry across Central City seemed like something out of an outdated video game. There were also times where Savitar didn’t look like he blended in with a scene with the other characters when he was invisible to everyone except Barry.
Fortunately, most of the focus in this episode was on Caitlin Snow (Danielle Panabaker) as she slowly transformed into Killer Frost. Rather than Savitar, it would’ve been better if Snow was the main villain for the third season. If Snow was the villain, the show could’ve used her emotional connection to both Barry and Team Flash, which is something that Savitar doesn’t have to make him a good villain. The only thing going for Savitar is the big plans he has for Snow to bring forth his return. We don’t know if Snow eventually becomes evil, but we do know that she will soon become an important piece to Savitar’s plans.
Danielle Panabaker put in a lot of depth into her character during this episode. She seemed to have played a much better Killer Frost here than she did in season two. Her Earth-2 version came off as a bit campy, but this one became much more pleasing because of Panabaker’s heartbreaking performance. She doesn’t come off as evil but more confused and afraid as she struggles to release her inner Killer Frost. Panabaker manages to show off both sides of Snow where she can pour her emotions out and also release her dark side when it comes down to it. Even her supervillain voice can come off as creepy at times.
The episode also marks Kevin Smith’s return to The Flash as a director after helming last season’s episode ‘The Runaway Dinosaur’. We got a bit more action on this episode, which became more of a challenge for Kevin who focuses more on dialogue than fight scenes. Smith’s work behind the camera leaves much to be desired. He may not be at fault with the CGI-heavy battle with Barry and Savitar, but it wasn’t one of his best works. There were times were the action sequences would go back and forth rather than just centering on the two actors in a single frame.
Despite not being on par with the action, Smith did deliver some powerful performances from the cast. This episode was very vital in regards to the dynamic between Barry, Caitlin, and Cisco (Carlos Valdes) as their friendship was put to the test. Caitlin really let her emotions out when she blamed Barry for losing the people in her life and messing things up. The gut-wrenching realization that Barry got out of her accusation was that she wasn’t entirely mistaken. Barry created the Flashpoint timeline in order to bring his parents back. Despite trying to undo what he did, Barry ended up making everyone else’s lives much worse. Rather than Alchemy or Savitar, Barry may turn out to be the true villain of Season 3 after all he has done. Barry did bring them into this new timeline and now everyone is paying the price for his mistakes.
This friendship plays heavily into the episode, giving us some amazing scenes of Barry interacting with Caitlin and Cisco. Seeing the fallout between Barry and Cisco was a heartbreaking scene as their friendship starts to fall apart. It was painful to watch, but it gave some great drama. Even though Flashpoint didn’t affect the show as much as we hoped, seeing Barry and Cisco’s friendship change into one of regret and hatred was a great indicator of how things have changed sine the second season.
Another highlight from the episode was the face-off between Barry and Caitlin, with Barry forcing Caitlin to kill him. It was a powerful scene that really tested Caitlin’s moral state of mind. She was able to control herself and bury her inner Killer Frost, however, it’s only a matter of time before she resurfaces. Barry was willing to sacrifice his life to save Caitlin and knew she would make the right decision in the end. Despite Barry and Cisco being able to bring Caitlin back to herself, they’ve only delayed the inevitable to happen. Besides, we still haven’t seen Cisco’s vision from last week come to fruition yet.
The episode ended on a powerful note, with Barry making a difficult choice after visiting Julian (Tom Felton) at the hospital. Watching that scene gave us a chance to see that even when Barry was partially responsible for his city’s new problems, he still is willing to give up everything to protect the ones he loves. It’s surprising that Julian would be willing to keep his mouth shut, even if it only cost Barry his job.
Speaking of Julian, it was a little predictable that he turned out to be Alchemy in that final scene. Everyone pretty much had a wild guess that he would be the one after Barry. It was such an obvious reveal since he is the only new character on the show appearing just as we get a new villain. He could’ve just been treated as a regular character instead of a villain. However, it does give us more of an idea of Alchemy being this crazy villain. Seeing Julian conspire with Savitar shows us how afraid he is with his godly partner. We can even question his sanity about whether he remembers anything that goes on with him as Alchemy. We hope to see more of a strong partnership between these two as we head into the mid-season finale.
Overall, ‘Killer Frost’ didn’t come out as a well-balanced episode with Savitar’s introduction. Savitar still doesn’t come off as a truly convincing villain. Despite his shortcomings, the episode did focus more on Caitlin Snow and her conflict with her two friends. It was hard seeing Team Flash begin to fall apart. The team dynamic seems to be the only thing that is saving this show after getting some poorly executed villains this season.
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