The Flash: Season 3 Episode 7 review – Killer Frost

By ·November 23, 2016 9:26 pm

Any Kevin Smith-helmed episode of The Flash is a big deal for us and for all Smith fans. ‘Killer Frost’ marks Smith’s second directorial episode on The Flash and his second foray into the Berlantiverse (his third will be within Supergirl). The pertinent question, then, is does Smith’s episode stand out as something special amidst what is quite a lacklustre season of the show? The answer, sadly, is no – it feels for the most part like just another run of the mill Season 3 outing, but we enjoyed it nonetheless. Below you’ll find our spoiler-heavy review of this week’s episode.

Before we delve in, it’s worth noting that any Kevin Smith outing is best enjoyed and comprehended alongside his podcasts, on which he talks about the experience of directing The Flash at length. This means mostly Fatman on Batman, but also Hollywood Babble On if you want to cover the core bases for speedster tidbits from Smith. At the time of writing, no podcast episodes feature post-episode discussion yet, but we’re positive that they’re coming and we urge you to check them out when they arrive.

Smith often states that he feels blessed and lucky with the scripts that he ends up being handed to direct on this show. With ‘The Runaway Dinosaur’ we could see why, but with this episode we feel quite the opposite. Although Smith gets to play with Killer Frost (a privilege), he also gets lumbered with Savitar and Dr. Alchemy, both of whom fall far short of great villains so far. Both are still fringe characters at this point (which is surprising, given how long Alchemy has been around), which means that Smith doesn’t get to handle them fully; only to touch upon them in the trimmings of the episode.

Caitlin Snow embracing her Killer Frost side while talking to Barry.

Caitlin Snow embracing her Killer Frost side while talking to Barry.

When Savitar tells Julian “only together can we bring about my return”, we’re not sure if he’s talking about his return to a physical body (which would be preferable to his Transformer form) or simply his return to power. The character suffered too from some rather shoddy CGI work in the detail of the speed tunnel that he choose to drag Barry through. All of this marking him out as a terrible villain so far.

Meanwhile the show went ahead and executed the massive reveal that Julian has been Dr. Alchemy all along, when Savitar tells him to “become my servant once more; become Alchemy”. Although this choice for Alchemy’s identity seems apparent on the face of it, it’s a move that we didn’t see coming and it certainly gives Julian a deeper texture (especially if he does know that Barry is the The Flash and has been playing us all along). Though we can see the argument of those who might bemoan the fact that the show always chooses people close to Barry for the villain reveals (Julian isn’t close in the emotional sense but is in the literal, working together sense).

The most fun that we had from the episode (and probably where Smith had the most fun too) was getting to see Caitlin play out villainous tendencies and cast her morals aside. Where she’s usually a kind and timid addition to the team, it was fun to see her break all the rules and not care an ounce for people’s feelings (telling Joe that Wally was awake and OK seemed particularly harsh). We’ve seen this before – true – but not with it being at the core of an entire episode.

Julian holding the Alchemy mask, during the show's closing reveal.

Julian holding the Alchemy mask, during the show’s closing reveal.

One of the biggest mistakes that the show might make is not having her go full Killer Frost 100% of the time. She works better as a hero lost to the bad side than she does as the meek Doctor. Just look at the tears in Cisco’s eyes when Caitlin is talking in full Killer Frost mode and you can see the sort of emotional impact that the show can extract from those scenarios. So as much as we like Caitlin on the team, we’d rather have Killer Frost reigning ice blizzards and breaking hearts any day. Savitar apparently has great things planned for her in the future and we want to see those play out and hold some longevity.

If there are any little Smith Easter Eggs hidden within this episode (there probably are – he’s previously put Jason Mews in The Flash and is soon to put Harley Quinn Smith in Supergirl) we didn’t spot them and we’re sure that the podcasts with reveal their locations. In all honesty we enjoyed ‘The Runaway Dinosaur’ far more than we did this episode, but that’s because this episode sits within a deteriorating season, which is no fault of Smith’s. We’re really looking forward to his Supergirl episode the most, which we’ll cover when it happens.

Don’t forget that next week’s episode of The Flash will be the first to focus on the ‘Heroes Vs Aliens 4 night crossover event’, which begins on Supergirl episode 8 first, before being quickly followed by The Flash the following night. A friendly reminder from us and from The CW to try to catch up on all of The CW superhero shows before that crossover event happens.

Image credits: The CW

More: The CW The Flash

Written by Christopher Hart

Co-Editor in Chief / Film, TV and Literature Writer

Christopher holds an MA in Publishing and a BA in Comparative Literature, and currently works as an analyst for a major Bank in London.

Christopher self-publishes his own Science Fiction and Fantasy stories. His completed series of short stories is titled 'Altered Stone' and can be found on Amazon.

His specialist subjects include LOST, Preacher, Supergirl, A Song of Ice and Fire, Kevin Smith, Bioshock and Fallout.

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