‘The Flash’ Recap: Team Flash Falls Apart in ‘Killer Frost’

Caitlin lets her powers consume her while Wally finally gets his

Six months ago, Kevin Smith brought the feels hard and heavy with ‘The Runaway Dinosaur’. As we were watching it, we all cried just as much as he did when he was watching the season one finale. (I even called my mother afterwards.) When it was announced that he’d be directing another episode this season, I knew that if 3×07 was anything like 2×21, nothing was going to prepare me for it. Now that the episode’s finished airing, though, I can finally admit that ‘Killer Frost’ lived up to and surpassed all expectations. I bawled my eyes out once again and my heart is literally as shattered as Team Flash was at one point in this episode. As much as I don’t want to relive the painful events that took place tonight again, I’m about to. Let’s talk, guys.

The episode opened exactly where ‘Shade’ left off: Joe (Jesse L. Martin) is being restrained by Alchemy’s acolytes, Wally (Keiynan Lonsdale) is trapped in a cocoon, and Barry (Grant Gustin) is at the hands of Savitar who’s telling him that while Barry may be a servant of the Speed Force, he is the god of it. Joe shoots at the invisible speedster and then turns his fire on Alchemy (Tobin Bell) who’s getting away with the Philospher’s Stone. Savitar takes Barry for a run and, holy cow, do we see just how fast he really is.


First of all, the Speed Force doesn’t even look like the normal Speed Force we’re used to. It looks more like some lightning-infused ocean. Secondly, Cisco (Carlos Valdes) notices that Barry’s suit is saying that he’s all over the city all at once. H.R. (Tom Cavanagh) theorizes that someone else might be going that fast. Unable to leave Barry to his own devices, Iris (Candice Patton) convinces Caitlin (Danielle Panabaker) and Cisco to go help him. In an incredible (and apparently painful) new use of his powers, Cisco opens an intra-dimensional breach and gets himself and Caitlin to the waterfront where Savitar’s about to kill Barry. She freezes him and, after a few seconds, he vibrates the ice off and speeds away.

Joe and Iris have brought Wally (still trapped in the cocoon) to STAR Labs to be kept under medical observation and Caitlin informs Cisco that while he may have a mini-stroke, he should be fine. Barry thanks Caitlin for saving his life and, as she walks away, her eyes flash blue. Barry then tells Cisco and H.R. that Savitar was moving faster than anyone he’s ever met and H.R. recognizes the name as the Hindu god of motion.

In Caitlin’s lab she informs everyone that, despite his vitals being extremely subdued, Wally’s still alive. (She even makes the same butterfly parallel I made last week!) Joe’s anxious about the fact that none of them know what’s happening to Wally and while Barry apologizes, Joe says he needs to follow his gut. Iris tells Barry that whatever’s happening to Wally isn’t his fault but he disagrees.

At CCPD, Joe interrogates one of Alchemy’s acolytes. He isn’t giving away any information except for the ominous fact that “when [Savitar] rises, the human race will be judged.” Joe tries to force answers out of him by squeezing his already broken nose but is interrupted by Caitlin who tells him that Wally’s out of the cocoon and okay. Joe races back to STAR Labs and Caitlin…or should I say Killer Frost…steps into the room, demanding to know where she can find Alchemy. She tells the man that he should be afraid of her and when he starts screaming, two officers attempt to open the locked door. Caitlin uses her freeze breath (extremely reminiscent of Supergirl’s) to fog up the room and allow her to escape. When Julian (Tom Felton) sees her leaving, she kidnaps him.

Joe arrives back at STAR Labs to find out that Caitlin was lying. Barry, fearing the worst, runs to the precinct. He gets there to find Detective Tom Patterson (Greg Grunberg) calling in a SWAT team to rescue Julian. Caitlin froze the security camera so they don’t know who she is but Patterson’s planning on taking her out.

Caitlin takes Julian to…wait for it…Ledded Goh Frozen Foods (*ba dum tss*) where he recognizes her as Barry’s friend. She asks him to find out the addresses of anyone who’s searched the word “alchemy” on the Internet in the last six months. Julian informs her that the word’s too common so she asks him to search “Savitar” instead. Seeing as he’s hesitant to do so, she begins to freeze his arm. He starts searching.

In the cortex, Barry tells everyone that they need to find Caitlin. Cisco says that she’s becoming Killer Frost, just like in his vibe, and that saving Barry must’ve been the final straw. H.R. suggests that they track her the same way they tracked Captain Cold (Wentworth Miller)–using UV cold signatures. When they find them, Cisco isolates the security feed so no one else can see them and Barry heads over to the plant.

Julian finds two addresses and asks Caitlin what she’s going to do to them. She says she doesn’t know and even switches back to her regular self for a moment to question what she’s doing. However, when Julian gives Patterson their location, she freezes his laptop. She’s even about to kill him when Barry comes in and tries to talk some sense into her. When Julian asks The Flash to take Caitlin out, he speed-punches him instead. Caitlin tells Barry she wants to find Alchemy, not to put him away, but to have him take away her powers. Barry doesn’t know that that’s possible but Caitlin doesn’t care. She’s willing to try anything as she’s sick of being a victim of Barry’s mistakes. Barry says he can help her but Caitlin doesn’t think so. In a fit of rage, knowing that Cisco’s watching via security cameras, she tells him that Dante (Nicholas Gonzalez) was alive before Barry created Flashpoint. (Cue the waterworks!!!!) Suddenly, Patterson and the SWAT team arrive and Barry speeds him and Caitlin away. She stabs an icicle into a part of his leg that will take four hours to heal and orders him not to follow her.

In the med bay, Iris is wrapping Barry’s leg and Joe informs them that Julian was taken to the hospital and is still out cold. Barry then goes to talk to Cisco who asks if Caitlin was lying. He says she wasn’t and begins to apologize when Cisco straight-up blames Barry for murdering his brother. (He even gets physical and pushes him. This is where my heart broke into a million pieces. I knew this moment was coming but I was nowhere near prepared for it.) However–just like I theorized in the fic I wrote this weekend–Cisco prioritizes finding Caitlin. He hacked into Julian’s computer and found the addresses of the acolytes. Cisco tells Barry to stay at STAR Labs due his injured leg and says that he’ll take one of the houses. H.R. suggests taking the other but when Joe says he needs to keep an eye on Wally, Iris tells him that her and Barry will do that and asks him to go with H.R. Barry’s about to ask Cisco to let him know if he finds Caitlin but Cisco refuses. He tells Barry that he’s done enough. (Is it possible to die from heartbreak? Because this hurt so much.)

During their stakeout, Joe tells H.R. that, as he’s not a parent, he can’t understand how he’s feeling. H.R. tells Joe that Barry admires him and that his real superpower is hope. Joe says that, despite Barry’s hopefulness, his gut is telling him that something’s wrong. H.R. promises to trust Joe’s gut.

While Barry and Iris are watching Wally, an alarm goes off, signaling that Caitlin’s at the house Cisco’s watching. The couple who owns the house are sleeping when the wife tells the husband, Craig, to raise the thermostat. He gets out of bed to find Caitlin in his kitchen. She tells him that she’s always been obsessed with the Hippocratic oath and that the phrase “Do no harm” was written into her DNA. She then says her DNA isn’t what it used to be and forms an icicle on her finger, threatening Craig and his family if he doesn’t answer her questions. (Sorry, Alex! Caitlin’s got you beat!) First, she asks who Alchemy is and he says he’s never seen him without the mask. Then, she asks if he can take powers away and he tells her that he can but you can’t make him do anything as he’s only an acolyte of Savitar’s. He says that he showed them a future where Caitlin, or rather Killer Frost, is “glorious and powerful”…and that Savitar has plans for her.

Cisco then calls Caitlin outside and she sees that he’s brought his gauntlets and goggles. Hoping he won’t have to hurt her, he says that he’s come to help her. She says that Alchemy’s the only person who can…and that her name is Killer Frost. She begins throwing icicles at Cisco. Reluctantly, he throws a blast at her and she ducks away. Barry then comes running in and she freezes the street, making him slip and fall. He punches her down…and she plants a fatal, frozen kiss on him. Cisco blasts her onto a car and tells Barry to vibrate to warm himself up.

Caitlin wakes up in the pipeline and unsuccessfully tries to convince everyone that she won’t hurt them. She then tells Cisco that his blasts hurt and Cisco says he didn’t want to hurt her. She calls him pathetic. Barry promises her that they can help her and she reminds him of Eddie (Rick Cosnett) and Ronnie (Robbie Amell)…and how he let them die. Barry tells her that it’s her powers talking and when he says that she’s sick, she tells him she’s broken. She also lets him know that, because he has Iris, he’s the only one who got a happy ending. She proposes that they let her go and she’ll let them get back to their “sad and miserable lives”. Barry says that they’re not going to abandon her and, as he closes the pipeline door, she screams that he did this to her. Barry asks Cisco if he knows of any way to save her and he echoes what Caitlin told Barry: “Sometimes when things get broken, they can’t be fixed.” (Do the feels ever end?!?!?!?)

Joe tells H.R. that he’s not going to leave Wally in the cocoon any longer and H.R. says that it’s best to leave this to the people who know what they’re doing. Joe reminds him that that person is currently possessed and locked up in the pipeline.

Iris finds Barry in the speed lab. He wonders why he didn’t just go back inside the house the night he went back in time. Iris tells him it’s because he was hurting and was willing to do whatever it took to take the pain away. She also tells him that it doesn’t make him a bad person, it just makes him human. Barry says to try telling that to his best friends–one of whom is locked up and the other of whom hates him. Iris tells Barry not to blame himself because he doesn’t know that Caitlin didn’t already have powers or that Dante wouldn’t have died in the original timeline. She lets him know that everyone needs The Flash right now. He reminds her that he can’t do this without her and she says that he’ll never have to. Suddenly, the building’s power starts spazzing out.

They find Cisco in the hallway who tells them that there’s an energy surge coming from the cortex. They go in there to find Joe cutting Wally out of the cocoon. Barry speeds Joe and H.R. away before the thing explodes…leaving a vibrating Wally in its place…who speeds out of the cortex. (Kid Flash is finally, officially here, ladies and gentlemen!!!!!!!!) Cisco tries to locate him via satellite and while Iris tells everyone that they need to find him, Barry’s worried about the fugue state he seems to be in. Joe regrets cutting Wally out. Barry says that they need a biochemist and Joe tells him to talk to Caitlin.

Barry opens the door and tells Caitlin that Wally’s out, AWOL, and needs her help. He opens her cell and lets her go…on the condition that she kills him. She forms an icicle and holds it up to Barry’s chest…but hesitates. Barry tells her to live up to her name, Killer Frost, and that if she wants to be a villain, she needs to prove it by killing one of her friends. He sees that she can’t do it because Caitlin Snow is still there. All of a sudden, her eyes turn back to brown and she drops the icicle, crying and embracing Barry.

Back to normal, Caitlin synthesizes a neural compound that she hopes will get Wally’s mind and muscles running at the same speed. H.R. asks Joe to listen to his gut to find out where Wally is and he realizes that Wally’s at his old house in Keystone–somewhere he went when he missed Francine (Vanessa A. Williams). Joe finds Wally and Barry injects the compound into his neck. He stops vibrating and collapses into Joe’s arms.

Back in the speed lab, Wally’s running around the track. Cisco notes that he’s going faster than Barry was at the beginning. Caitlin then comes in, hair monochromatic and power-dampening cuffs around her wrists, and Cisco pulls her into a giant hug. He says that she scared him. Wally comes out of the track and feels like he can conquer the world. He assures his dad that he’s never felt better. Him and Barry bond over being speedsters. (Am I the only one who’s really excited for Wally to tell Jesse about this?!?!?!?) Wally asks what the next step is and Joe says that Caitlin’s going to run an inordinate amount of tests on him. Caitlin says she’ll be glad to and embraces Joe. Wally clarifies by asking when he gets to start fighting crime with Barry and Iris and H.R. tell him to slow down. Joe then gets a text saying that Julian’s awake and Caitlin’s worried because he knows it was her. Barry promises Caitlin that he’ll talk to him.

Before he goes, though, Barry finds Cisco in his workshop. He asks him if they’re going to be okay. Cisco says, truthfully, he doesn’t know. (Really, this crossover cannot come any sooner!!!!!)

Barry goes to the hospital and finds Patterson outside Julian’s room. He asks to go in to talk to him. He tells him to make it quick. Julian tells Barry that he has a concussion and frostbite but he’ll be fine. He then gets right down to business and tells him he knows his friend’s a meta-human, or rather, “a bloody menace”. Barry tells Julian that getting powers doesn’t automatically make you good or evil and that Caitlin’s a good person; she’s just sick. He begs him not to turn her in and Julian agrees…on the condition that Barry resigns from the CCPD. He refuses to work with someone who thinks that “friendship is more important than justice”. He says that Barry’s “unfit to be a CSI” and has “no place in law enforcement”. Barry reluctantly agrees. As he’s walking out, he sees Julian uphold his end of the bargain and tell Patterson that he doesn’t remember who kidnapped him.

Joe and Iris arrive at the crime lab to find Barry packing up his stuff. Singh (Patrick Sabongui) told them that he quit and Joe realizes that Julian blackmailed him. Barry says that maybe Julian’s right and Iris tells him that no one cares more about seeing justice done than him–even before he was The Flash. She says that the crime lab is his life but Barry tells her that she and everyone else in his life is his life. He realizes that he would give up everything to keep them all safe–“no regrets.” Joe and Iris head out and Barry follows…but not before looking up at the skylight and seeing a bolt of lighting strike just outside. (Barry Allen has officially left the place where he became The Flash and I am not okay!!!!!!!)

In the post-credits scene, Julian starts hearing a voice in his head in the hospital. He runs out of his room and tells the man to stay away. The voice says there’s nowhere he can hide. He goes outside to find Savitar…telling him that “only together, can they bring [his] return.” The scene cuts to Julian in the crime lab unlocking a file cabinet. Savitar continues speaking to him, telling him “Become my servant once more. Become Alchemy.” Julian opens the cabinet to find Alchemy’s robe and mask.

Okay, before we start jumping to conclusions, let’s go over what bits of information we know. Executive producer Greg Berlanti revealed that we’ll be finding out Alchemy’s identity in the midseason finale…which is two weeks away. Also, when Entertainment Weekly asked Berlanti if Felton was Alchemy, he answered “Hopefully, if we ever did anything everybody suspected for a while, there’d still be a twist.” As someone who constantly follows this show and its fandom on social media, believe me when I say that everybody suspected this. Another way the ending scene could be read, however, is that Julian was Alchemy at one point and Savitar wants him to be again…or even that he offered once and Julian refused and now he’s asking again. What we saw doesn’t necessarily mean that Julian is the man who made Wally a speedster. Only time will tell what’s really going on.

…And that it’s until the crossover begins on Monday, November 28th. (Funny how last week’s episode of Legends of Tomorrow ended with a cliffhanger for the crossover and tonight’s episode didn’t.) Wishing everyone a happy and healthy Thanksgiving and sweet dreams of Kid Flash!

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