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Recap / The Flash (2014) S3E7 "Killer Frost"

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Caitlin uses her powers to save Barry but as her mother predicted, the effort unleashes her inner Killer Frost. Killer Frost goes on a rampage looking for Dr. Alchemy, kidnapping Julian and battling both The Flash and Vibe. Meanwhile, Joe and H.R. have a heart to heart talk.

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  • Action Prologue: The prologue resolves the cliffhanger from last time—Joe defeats the acolytes, Dr. Alchemy escapes, and Savitar engages in an epic battle with Barry throughout Central City, which ends when Caitlin and Cisco (on H.R.'s suggestion) use their powers to save him.
  • Antagonist Title: The episode title directly refers to Caitlin's Super-Powered Evil Side.
  • Arc Words: The word 'God' seems to be constantly appearing in this season, with Jay telling Barry that they're speedsters, not gods in the second episode, with Iris reaffirming that in this episode, while Savitar is proclaimed to be the god of motion. It is also a callback to Clyde Mardon's response to discovering his powers — "I am God" — which could suggest that Savitar is or was a metahuman.
  • Ascended Fanboy: Wally is ecstatic when he talks about the super speed he now has.
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  • Badass Boast: Savitar to Flash in the opening.
    Savitar: You may serve the Speed Force, but I rule it. You are only a man, but I am a god. Your god.
  • Badass Bookworm: Caitlin freezes the camera in the precinct's interrogation room so that the police wouldn't be able to ID her. She also stabs Barry in a certain spot in his leg so that even with his Healing Factor, it will take him some time to recover. She also causes the Flash to trip and fall by freezing the ground he is currently running on.
  • Big Bad: Savitar is revealed as the true main villain of the season, with Alchemy merely being his chief acolyte.
  • Big Damn Heroes: Cisco vibes himself and Caitlin to Savitar and Barry's location and Caitlin drives Savitar into retreating by freezing him.
  • Bittersweet Ending: Though Wally is freed from the cocoon and Caitlin avoids becoming Killer Frost, Barry and Cisco's friendship has become strained thanks to the revelation of Flashpoint causing Dante's death and Barry is forced to quit his job so Julian will stay quiet about Caitlin.
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  • Blackmail: Julian forces Barry to quit his work at the CCPD, or he will reveal the truth about Caitlin.
  • Blatant Lies: After being imprisoned, Killer Frost promises not to hurt anybody if she is released. Obviously, nobody falls for it.
    • Ironically enough, even though it was intended as a lie it ends up being true. Barry releases her on the condition that she just has to kill him. She can't do it, which prompts her to realize that deep down she's still Caitlin and go back to (mostly) being herself. So she gets released and doesn't in fact hurt anybody.
  • Broken Bird: Caitlin, who even calls herself broken.
  • Call-Back: The device used to locate Leonard Snart way back in Season 1 was used to locate Caitlin during her rampage.
    • Cisco confronting Killer Frost, who mocks his equipment as toys is similar to him confronting Earth-2 Killer Frost in Season 2, who does the same.
    • The way Killer Frost is imprisoned inside the pipeline and receives glares full of pity and sadness is reminiscent of Barry being imprisoned in the last episode of Season 2.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: Given that Savitar is so fast that even at Super Speed Barry is slow by comparison, he doesn't stand a chance against him.
  • Darkest Hour: As Iris puts it, Team Flash is not at their best this episode.
  • Deadly Doctor: Caitlin uses her anatomical knowledge to disable Barry by severing one of his leg muscles.
  • Didn't Think This Through: If not for Caitlin, violently cutting Wally out of his cocoon could have possible resulted in his death. Joe immediately realizes his mistake.
  • Double Subversion: At the start of the final scene, it initially seems like the popular fan theory about Julian being Dr. Alchemy is not true, as we hear Dr. Alchemy's voice coming to Julian in a vision, implying that Julian will be his next victim. In fact, the voice belongs to Savitar (as they're both voiced by Tobin Bell), and Julian really is Dr. Alchemy after all.
  • The Dragon: Alchemy is revealed to be but an acolyte of Savitar, the true Big Bad.
  • Dramatic Irony: Caitlin kidnaps Julian in order to get him to help her find Alchemy. The Stinger reveals Julian is Alchemy.
  • Failure Hero: The episode once again focuses on Barry's rash actions taking a toll on the people he's closest to.
    • Also in terms of fight scenes, Barry loses all of them. He has to get rescued from Savitar by Cisco/Caitlin, then he gets stabbed in the leg by Caitlin and incapacitated when he tries to stop her, then when he tries again later he gets a Kiss of Death and has to be saved by Cisco (again). This episode isn't exactly Barry's best showing.
  • Fantastic Racism: Detective Patterson tells Barry that metahumans are "all crazy".
  • Fighting Your Friend: The episode's main plot.
  • Foreshadowing: Julian's reaction to Caitlin saying Savitar's name was a subtle way of showing he knows more than he lets on about that name.
  • Glamour Failure: Cisco and Caitlin were only able to see Savitar when the latter freezes him. Even then, they can't see him, but rather his outline formed by the ice.
  • A God Am I: Savitar and his followers refer to him as the "speed god".
  • Gory Discretion Shot: Caitlin's "interrogation" of an acolyte culminates in her freezing him. We hear him cry out, but we never see the actual results.
  • Heart Is an Awesome Power: Despite still getting on everyones nerves H.R. keeps delivering great suggestions which move the plot forward.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Non-lethal variant, Julian forces Barry to quit his job in exchange for not saying anything about Caitlin.
  • Hidden Depths: Although the others try to ignore him because he doesn't bring scientific expertise to the table as he originally made them believe, HR demonstrates his mental agility by assimilating the information in the team's records and quickly suggesting how to find Caitlin by using the same method they used previously to locate Captain Cold, and by pointing out Cisco could use vibe an intra-dimensional jump to carry himself and Caitlin to save Barry from Savitar. He also shows that he is very knowledgeable (apparently, a trivia champion on two Earths) just not necessarily in the scientific fields.
  • Hypocrite: Julian tells Barry that his moral compass is off as he himself is committing blackmail/extortion. All his rhetoric about being by-the-book wears thin after that.
  • I Am the Noun: Savitar refers himself as the future.
  • If You're So Evil, Eat This Kitten: A rare heroic inversion: Barry challenges Caitlin to murder him, in order to prove she's really Killer Frost and not Caitlin Snow at heart. She ends up breaking down, unable to do it.
  • I Just Want to Be Normal: Caitlin tries going after Alchemy in the hopes that he can remove her powers.
  • "I Know You're in There Somewhere" Fight: To get Caitlin to reject her Killer Frost persona, Barry says she is free to go, she just has to kill him, and he won't try to stop her. She doesn't go through with it.
  • Internal Reveal: Cisco finds out that Dante died because Barry reset the timeline and he's not happy about it.
  • Irony: In the comics, Savitar's primary goal was to join with the Speed Force. Here, it's implied that he's already done so and is trying to escape it.
  • Invisible to Normals: Savitar is invisible to non-speedsters (except Julian) even when it appears that Savitar is not using his Super Speed. The only time anyone else sees him, it's by proxy due to Caitlin freezing his entire body, making him into essentially an ice sculpture momentarily.
  • Jerkass Has a Point: While blackmailing Barry to quit his job is pretty awful and hypocritical, Julian is right in that Barry simply cannot ask a victim to be quiet about their assault because he happens to be friends with them, and that it is actually unjust to ask Julian to do so. It rings especially true in the current political climate where police are distrusted more than ever after numerous accusations of brutality.
  • Kill Me Now, or Forever Stay Your Hand: How Barry saves Caitlin. Killer Frost can go free if she kills him.
  • Kiss of Death: Caitlin gives one to Barry, which causes his skin to freeze.
  • Know When to Fold 'Em: Savitar only steps out of the picture when he saw that he's about to be outnumbered 3:1.
  • Laser-Guided Karma: All the consequences of "Flashpoint" hit Barry very close to home: Caitlin is in constant danger of turning into Killer Frost unless she wears Cisco's bracelets, his friendship with Cisco is severely strained, and there's nothing he can really do about it.
    Cisco: It's like Caitlin said: sometimes when things get broken, they can't be fixed.
  • Logical Weakness: Like all speedsters in the Arrowverse so far, Savitar seems to be vulnerable towards cold. However, he can quickly break out of it.
  • The Man Behind the Man: It's clarified that Alchemy serves Savitar. And it doesn't appear to be willingly.
  • Mythology Gag:
    • Wally being faster than Barry was when he first became the Flash is a reference to Wally in the comics being the fastest Flash for most of the Post-Crisis era.
    • There is also another 52 reference, as Caitlin's cell number.
    • Dr. Alchemy being Driven to Villainy by an evil speedster. Here, it's Savitar; in the comics, it was Eobard Thawne.
    • H. R. says that Barry's real superpower is hope. During Blackest Night, Barry became a provisional Blue Lantern, channeling the power of, yes, hope.
    • The Reveal that Julian is Doctor Alchemy makes his surname (Albert) one, as the first Alchemy in the comics was named Albert Desmond.
    • H. R. referring to his working with Joe as an "All-Star Team Up" serves as both a reference to the various uses of "All-Star" in DC Comics titles, as well as a Call-Back to the title of a First Season episode.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!:
    • Iris urging Cisco and Caitlin to use their powers to save Barry from Savitar directly leads to Cisco having a minor stroke and, more to the point, Caitlin almost being permanently consumed by her Killer Frost persona.
    • Joe cuts Wally out of his cocoon which means his body hasn't properly adjusted to his powers, with his brain in a fugue state due to being unable to keep up with his body.
  • No Good Deed Goes Unpunished:
    • Caitlin saving Flash from Savitar is the trigger that allows her to be corrupted by Killer Frost.
    • Barry saves Caitlin from being gunned down by the police and she proceeds to stab him in the leg with an icicle.
  • Nothing Is the Same Anymore: This episode drives the consequences of Flashpoint even further, which culminates in Barry having to quit his job, the same job he had since his introduction.
  • Pet the Dog: Played with in Julian's case, as he doesn't snitch on Caitlin, but also forces Barry to quit his post in return.
  • Police Brutality: After Wally is trapped in a cocoon, Joe undergoes a mental breakdown and pulls a violent interrogation against an acolyte to find out where Alchemy is.
  • Power Dyes Your Hair: Parts of Caitlin's hair turn white when she uses her powers.
  • Power Incontinence: Wally suffers from this after getting out of the cocoon and only gets over it thanks to Caitlin's expertise.
  • Reality Ensues: The revelation about Dante being dead due to the timeline resets leads to Cisco's friendship with Barry taking a turn for the worse.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Julian gives Barry a rather scathing one, saying that Barry is unfit to work as a cop and that his moral compass is not right, and should resign. Not only is it harsh considering that the audience knows how Barry really is, but it is downright hypocrisy.
  • Restraining Bolt: To keep Killer Frost from taking over again, Caitlin has to wear Cisco's anti-metahuman bracelets full time.
  • The Reveal: Julian Albert is Dr. Alchemy, but it turns out it's only due to Savitar's corruption.
  • Secondary Character Title: The episode title directly refers to Caitlin.
  • Self-Fulfilling Prophecy: Caitlin's main motivation for her villianous acts is finding Dr. Alchemy, so he can take away her powers...which she doesn't want because she's terrified of becoming a supervillain.
  • Shout-Out:
  • Slippery Skid: Caitlin freezes the wet ground to make Barry slip.
  • Smoke Out: Caitlin uses this trick to escape the cops trying to barge into the interrogation room.
  • Split-Personality Takeover: Killer Frost takes control of Caitlin. Fortunately, Barry is ultimately able to snap her out of it.
  • The Stinger: Savitar visits Julian, forcing him to continue being his servant, Alchemy.
  • Super Speed: Savitar is so fast that he doesn't so much run from place to place as move and instantly be transported. Given the special effects around his running, it seems he is constantly entering and exiting the Speed Force itself.
  • There Are No Coincidences: Was Caitlin getting her Killer Frost powers a random side effect of "Flashpoint"? No, turns out it's something that Savitar and his acolytes were all well aware of, and Savitar has "special" plans for Killer Frost.
  • The Unfettered: Caitlin becomes hellbent on finding Alchemy so he can cure her of her powers, so much that she actually goes into supervillain territory and violently assaults people with her powers, including her friends.
  • The Un-Twist: The heavy-handed foreshadowing of the previous episode regarding Julian being uncharacteristically absent when Joe and the SWAT team gear up to face Alchemy makes The Reveal he is Alchemy not hugely surprising.
  • Villain Has a Point: Caitlin blames Barry for his changing of the timeline for her becoming Killer Frost and Dante being dead because both events did not happen until Barry created Flashpoint. Barry himself even agrees with her, until...
  • Was Too Hard on Him: Iris points out to Barry that he doesn't know if Caitlin hadn't been effected the same way by the particle accelerator explosion before the Flashpoint time change and that her powers eventually manifesting would have happened anyway. Car accidents are literally random events, so it's even more tenuous to connect Dante's death to reverting Flashpoint. Iris concludes Barry isn't a God and cannot be held responsible for everything that happens.
  • We Used to Be Friends: Cisco and Barry's friendship is strained due to the revelation about Dante, with Cisco unsure if they'll ever be friends again, but they will continue to work together.
  • Wham Line:
    • When Caitlin is interrogating the acolyte about if Alchemy can revert her powers, we get this line suggesting the random changes as a result of "Flashpoint" may not have been so random after all.
    Acolyte: You can't make Alchemy do anything. He's just an acolyte, like me. We both serve the speed god, Savitar. He's shown us the future. I saw you there. You were glorious and powerful. My lord has special plans for you, Caitlin Snow. Or should I say...Killer Frost?
    • In exchange for keeping quiet about Caitlin, what does Julian ask in return?
      Julian: Quit.
    • Of course, this may wind up becoming moot as The Stinger shows, when Savitar meets Julian at the hospital...and this is dropped on us:
      Savitar: Become my servant once more. Become...Alchemy.
  • Wham Shot: Julian opening a cabinet in the Forensic's Lab...and pulling out Alchemy's costume.
  • What the Hell, Hero?:
    • Caitlin blames Barry for constantly messing up people's lives by having changed the timeline and causing her to gain powers, even going so far as to insinuate that he doesn't care what happens to others as long as he and Iris are an item.
    • Cisco lets Barry have it when he finds out the true circumstances behind Dante's death.
  • What You Are in the Dark: Barry gets rid of Killer Frost by simply letting her almost kill him, which allows Caitlin to regain control.
  • You Are Better Than You Think You Are: Barry's argument against Caitlin, having complete trust that she will NOT become Killer Frost.
  • You Killed My Father: While Cisco is able to put his issues aside for now, he is obviously very distraught over the fact that Barry indirectly caused the death of his brother.
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