Flash Alchemy Is Julian

The Flash Recap: Cold, Hard Truths

This week on The CW’s The Flash… a tremendous amount of stuff happened, so let’s not waste any more time on a clever lede, shall we?

Picking up right where we left off, Barry was being pinned against the subway station ceiling by Savitar, the god of speed, while Wally had been turned into… a tree? (More on that in a bit). Joe wrestles free from Alchemy’s acolytes and fires away at Savitar, even though only Barry can see the creature. Alchemy meanwhile scampers away, while Savitar takes Barry out “for a run.”

And by a “run,” he means whirlwind, breakneck hop around town, stopping here and there only to whale on The Flash mercilessly, ultimately settling down at a waterfront lot for a full-on scuffle. Witnessing the melee, H.R. suggests to the team that “3 versus 1” might be better odds, so Cisco “vibes” open a portal through which he and Caitlin leap to the waterfront. There, Caitlin uses her frost powers to freeze up Savitar, who shortly thereafter breaks free and races off.

Back at S.T.A.R. Labs, Cisco recovers from his “mini-stroke,” while H.R. points out that Savitar shares a name with the Hindu god of motion. As for Wally, Caitlin advises against springing him from his “cocoon,” lest he be mid-metamorphosis or something. Wanting to do something, Joe hauls Alchemy’s captured acolyte into the interrogation room, only to be warned, “When my master rises, the human race will be judged, and you will not fair well.” Joe is interrupted by Caitlin, who claims that Wally is up and around at S.T.A.R. Labs, so the detective runs off. Caitlin though was fibbing, and instead wants to confront the acolyte about how to find Alchemy. When Julian spies Barry’s friend slipping away from the icy room, Caitlin takes the CSI hostage, forcing him to… perform a glorified Google search?

Thanks to H.R.’s idea to rip a page from the Captain Cold playbook, Cisco tracks down Caitlin, and Barry speeds off to stop her from giving Julian anything more than a nasty frostbite. After KO’ing Julian (purely for privacy reasons), Barry offers to help Caitlin. “Just like you helped your mother…? Like you helped Wally, like you helped me?” she taunts. Recounting how his Flashpointing has wreaked so much havoc, she says, “Some things that you break can’t be put back together.” She then recounts how Dante was alive pre-Flashpoint, as a devastated Cisco listens in. When the cops arrive on the scene, Killer Frost jabs an icicle into The Flash’s triceps surae, to keep him from following.

Back at S.T.A.R. Labs, Cisco gives Barry a cold shoulder of his own, in the wake of the Dante bombshell — though they agree to work together for the time being to find and help Caitlin. While Joe and H.R. team up to stake out one possible destination for Killer Frost, Cisco runs into her outside the other one (where she learns she is part of a “glorious” future with Savitar), and they get into an ice vs. vibe fight. The Flash arrives-slash-skids onto the scene, but manages to trip up Caitlin as well. “That was cold, Flash,” she purrs. “But this is colder,” and she lays a bone-chilling kiss on him. Cisco takes Frost out with a vibe, though, before Barry can freeze to death.

Thrown into the Pipeline, Killer Frost proves to be a real piece of work, full off cold piss and iced vinegar. “I’m broken,” she declares, before launching into a list of Barry’s semi-selfish acts, noting how only his “happy ending” seems to ever matter. Emotionally waylaid by the truths, Barry retreats, but Iris follows to offer counsel. “Why didn’t I just follow you inside the house,” instead of racing back in time to save his mom, he laments. “You were hurting,” Iris reminds “And that doesn’t make you a bad person. It makes you human.” Besides, who is to say Caitlin didn’t have latent powers back then, or that Dante wouldn’t have been in a car accident anyway. “Everyone needs The Flash right now,” she says. “So be strong, I like I know you are.”

Just then, alas, an anxious Joe gets the idea to saw his son free, and once the cocoon explodes, Wally speeds off. In need of a biochemist to synch up Wally’s mind and body, Barry frees Caitlin — and then challenges her to kill him, there and in cold blood. When she can’t bring herself to do it, Killer Frost thaws, and regular Caitlin thanks Barry with a warm hug. She then creates a neural compound which Barry injects Wally with over in Keystone, where he was visiting his childhood home.

Later, Wally is doing laps at S.T.A.R. Labs, feeling “awesome” as a legit speedster. Cisco, though, is far from awesome, and admits to Barry that the BFFs might never be back to normal. When they get word that Julian has awoken at the hospital, Barry heads over to ask his boss not to name Caitlin as his attacker, insisting that being a meta isn’t a “binary, good or evil” situation, that Caitlin is a “good person.” Julian agrees to keep mum… but only if Barry resigns from the CCPD. After all, in the wake of the argument Barry just waged, “Your moral compass is broken,” Julian contends. Someone with a sense of “right or wrong as flippant as the weather has no place in law enforcement.”

Agreeing to the terms, Barry goes to pack up his office, while Iris and Joe protest. But if the past months have shown Barry anything, he says, “It’s that I’d up everything to keep you all safe,” Caitlin, Wally and Cisco included.

Then, in the episode-ending tag, Julian is awoken in his hospital bed (really, two overnights for a concussion?).. by Savitar’s voice. “Only together can we bring about my return,” the speed god says, as Julian returns to his lab and opens a drawer containing a certain robe and mask. “Become my servant once more. Become Alchemy.”

What did you think of the episode “Killer Frost”?

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70 Comments
  1. jj says:

    Julian as Alchemy was too predictable. I was hoping the writers would throw in an unexpected twist.

    • Agent 86 says:

      I agree! We’ve seen the friend who is secretly a masked foe trope too many times on The Flash. It’s time for the powers that be to shake things up a bit when it comes to villains (including a moratorium on any more speed-based villains after Savitar).

      • Anonymous says:

        Technically he isn’t a friend of anyone’s! So I am going to agree to disagree with your argument. However what bothered me was him making Barry resign because of his lack of “moral fiber” being Alchemy he doesn’t have a moral fiber either

    • Kate says:

      I think we all caught it but to me he seemed reluctant and was running from it. Could explain why he thinks all metas are evil because, like Caitlyn, he can’t control it. That’s kind of the reason I liked tonight’s episode, showing how (if my theory holds true) some people are given powers that they can’t control and it turns against them. Julian doesn’t give me that creepy, something’s up with him vibe that Jay/Hunter gave me last year. He gives me the reluctant hero/villain vibe.
      This story has potential if they do it right. And after last season’s disappointment with Zoom, they need to.

    • ndixit says:

      I think it was clear that Julian is not a completely willing participant. So Alchemy might not be a full out and out villain.

    • lordofluck says:

      It was such an obvious twist it ruined some of the episode for me.

    • Jim says:

      This is probably the first time I’ve ever been faked out because something was TOO predictable I thought they’d NEVER do it. Haha.

    • GregJ. says:

      I agree! I saw this coming last week.

    • Muffy says:

      Please Google *Dr. Alchemy* He was DR from day one. Nothing shocking.

    • Abd says:

      Absolutely agree!

  2. Jerry says:

    Yeah. Everyone had already guessed who Alchemy was/is. How about Savitar? I am saying this new police officer forgot his name. I was mad with Barry but damn Iris your words to Barry broke me. She is good. Wally is now a speedster yes. Now it gets interesting

    • Agent 86 says:

      I personally hope that Savitar is just Savitar – with no Scooby Doo-esque removal of the mask to reveal a known friend / confidant of Team Flash.

    • Butch says:

      I think Savitar is going to turn out to be Dante. Not dead after all. There is no way Cisco is ever going to be all right with Barry being responsible for Dante’s death so he he has to be alive. If he is not Savitar he will still end up being alive somehow (without Barry changing the past again.)

    • Brian Bauer says:

      Any comic fan would have pegged Julian Albert as Alchemy early on. In the comics, Alchemy’s real name is Albert Desmond.

  3. Ian says:

    Kinda hated this episode. Minus the kinda. And the crossover bores me to even more death.
    Time to take another break from The Flash.

  4. DAMN says:

    The twist will be Julian is both Alchemy AND Savitar

  5. Diggory says:

    We don’t have any other new characters in the show. Julian had to be Alchemy

    • michelle says:

      YA but they could have chosen anyone really even someone really close to them because of flash point so ya it’s kinda disappointing but whatever I just tom Felton stays as a regular next season 2 because I just love him so much.

  6. Lynne says:

    So I admit defeat. You all were right with Julian. I am not happy. Not because I was wrong and you all were right, but because this now means that Tom will be gone by the end of the season unless they pull a multi earth reincarnation of Julian. My Felton loving heart is broken. Kudos to all of you that saw the obvious signs that I refused to believe.

    Best part of this episode was definitely Frost. I just love her! I’ve always preferred villians so I will take Frost as long as they want to give her to us.

  7. Speedfreak says:

    I think savitar is an alternative or future version of Barry himself due to Flashpoint
    I know and I can’t explain it yet but when savitar said to Barry I’m the future flash (with or without the comma) it got me thinking and before you say he might erase himself don’t forget time remnants
    Power does corrupt we’ve seen it both in fiction and real life so I don’t know but I’m getting a vibe that it’s Barry somehow

  8. Chris says:

    Legit pissed avout Julian being Alchemy. Wells is Reverse Flash, Jay is Zoom, did you really think we’d fall for this a third time?

    • Matt Webb Mitovich says:

      How are you equating Julian (irritable non-friend) with Wells (friend and Team Flash member) and Jay (friend and Team Flash cohort)?

      • NotAnselAdams says:

        His example is not exactly right when you include Wells. However:
        NEW GUY OF SEASON TWO: Jay. (Is evil incarnate)
        NEW GUY OF SEASON THREE: Julian. (Is evil incarnate)
        WHOEVER NEW GUY OF SEASON FOUR WILL BE: No matter what, (Is evil incarnate)

        This is not an interesting pattern.

      • jj says:

        Wells, “Jay”, Julian….all three were hiding right under Barry’s nose, all three were “helping” to defeat the enemy who they turned out to be.

      • Chris says:

        NotAnselAdams put it better then I could but basically new person enters Barry’s life at the same time new villain does. Barry bonds/grows to trust them on some level (Him and Julian were starting to get along) and thens it’s revealed that X is Y.

  9. James D says:

    Was Julian being Alchemy supposed to be a surprise, if so, the writers missed the mark by a mile. Good episode though. Wally West being faster than Berry Allen is a bit of a stretch but why split hairs over it, right?

  10. Called that Julian was Alchemy for a while now. I think this ‘future’ Cisco vibed earlier wasn’t Killer Frost vs Vibe but really Killer Frost (good so maybe just plain Frost)/vs Reverb. I think Cisco is the one going to go bad instead. So far the signs are pointing to Cisco going AWOL on the team not Caitlin.

    • Stacey says:

      I agree with you. I have a feeling Cisco is going to go the Reverb route too. Glad Barry was able to get through to Caitlin and Iris was able to help Barry.

      • Boss222R says:

        I really hope that it is Killer Frost who is the evil one. I love Caitlin and all, but her character is evil in the comics, not Vibe. And I know these shows do not follow the comics, but deviating that much in my opinion just seems wrong to me. They already killed Black Canary on Arrow and completely went off track with their original promise of making Laurel the end game of for Oliver, which really pissed me off. Making Cisco go the route he feared he’d go when he first knew he had powers is a dumb idea in my eyes. I really hope that if that vibe even comes to pass, that Caitlin has a relapse and reverts to her Killer Frost persona again and Cisco is fighting to stop her and also save her from evil side. I don’t necessarily want Caitlin to stay evil. I just hope it’s a plot that can be revisited across multiple future story lines for the Flash, including ones in future seasons.

    • That is a really interesting storyline you’ve spun there … kinda hope you’re right.

    • Dj says:

      i thought the future he saw was him and her fighting in the episode.

    • Isabella says:

      I think you’re right. Cisco’s vibing causing a mini-stroke could be thing that changes his personality and become more like Reverb.

      But boy I loved this episode. Kevin Smith said that kiss gave him Batman-Catwoman feels and I so agree. Danielle was amazing in every scene. I really want to see where her storyline will take her because at this point, Cisco and Caitlin are the most interesting characters of The Flash.

  11. Deandre says:

    I pegged Julian as Alchemy for certain in the last episode but as others have said I don’t think he is a willing participant. I think it’s kind of like when the Acolyte said Savitar showed them the future and how Killer Frost was glorious. I think Savitar saw Alchemy in the future and is basically speeding things up to make Julian him now instead of waiting for him to become him later.

  12. Sharon says:

    Liked almost everything but the reveal. Picked Julian from day 1. Also would like to see more Flash villians that aren’t speedsters. Yes some of the comic book villians are silly, but Flash is best light. Also Earth 16 Wells is OVER. Better with occasional Earth 2 Wells

  13. Diana says:

    They pulled the good to evil back to good switch way too quickly. Her being angry doesn’t excuse her trying to kill people. And if it’s her powers making her evil…scratching my head over that decision. Highlight for me was the scene with Barry and Iris, and Wally finally getting his speed. I’m sure we haven’t seen the end of that storyline. Is he now officially Kid Flash? I wonder when he’ll get the suit.

  14. Boss222R says:

    Matt you forgot to mention almost a whole part of the episode. The part about Joe freeing Wally from his cocoon (accompanied by a decent sized explosion) and Wally running off due to his cells not being fully adapted to his new powers, or however that worked. Followed by Barry going to try and get Caitlin’s help and freeing her from her Killer Frost persona (for now anyways). Then Caitlin synthesizes a cure and Joe and Barry find Wally and Barry injects the cure into Wally, which stabilizes him. Not trying to be an ass or anything, just thought I’d mention that in case you forgot. Considering that not mentioning any of that does not allow any readers who didn’t watch the episode to know on how Wally got out of his cocoon and if Caitlin remained evil and in the pipeline or not.

    Good review otherwise. I was really excited and had high hopes for this episode, considering it was directed by Kevin Smith and I thought he hit this one right out of the park. I thought Danielle Panabaker did a great job once again portraying all the aspects of both Caitlin Snow and Killer Frost. She was definitely the highlight of the episode for me. I hope her Killer Frost persona will continue to be revisited throughout not only this season, but all the rest as well. It dose not have to be a constant thing, but I hope they don’t end it on this episode or by the end of this season. It’s too good a thing to let it go to waste after just one episode or just one season.

    It is a bit disappointing that Julian is Alchemy, but like pretty much everyone else I saw it coming. I’m just hoping he is a reluctant participant in Savitar’s plan considering how tried to run away. I’ll be really disappointed on Arrow if Prometheus is revealed to be Detective Billy Malone, and a little less, but still pretty disappointed, if it is Adrian Chase, considering he is already Vigilante, who is pretty violent already if you ask me.

  15. Mark says:

    I’m with everyone else, Julian as Alchemy? Saw it coming a mile away. Really, can’t they do something different?

    However, I really enjoyed the rest of the episode. I love it when they play with the characters, and I felt we got lots of great character moments here.

    Can’t wait for the crossover next week!

  16. Sarath says:

    If the Legends are correcting the time aberrations, why can’t they correct Flashpoint ???

  17. tom says:

    savitar is the new DA that Joe fell in love with. Plot twist is she’s from Pakistan/India and pick up that god of motion name, and he sneak up on Joe to dig around the police investigations and CSI about the metas. Calling it.

  18. Angel says:

    Whale s/b Wail

    and talk about the bad CGI

  19. cool says:

    Once again a speedster is the big bad this season, season one we had a speedster from the future, season 2 we had a speedster from another earth.

  20. It was kind of obvious Julian was Alchmey but what i wasn’t expecting was the new speedster to be pulling the tricks and now he forced Barry to quit

  21. BadPenny says:

    Flash is really painting itself into a corner as far as the type of show it is. Every season needs to have the friend-becomes-enemy theme and every season needs to have a faster speedster as the main foe; because run faster, Barry is apparently the only thing the show can do. Couple this with the fact that everyone on the show is going to have super-powers eventually – you know Iris and Joe are not far behind on getting theirs – and you have a series that just keeps writing the same story cycles over and over, just changing the names each Season.
    .
    I understand it is one of the CW’s most highest-watched shows but eventually people are going to get burned out just watching the same thing over and over.

  22. Dj says:

    Just not feeling this season it feels to predictable and much like arrow they are starting to overload the team with heroes. But that seems like a theme on the CW. Every character (yeah i know its not every character) doesnt need powers or have to go out and help the hero fight. Is Iris the only one who doesnt run out to fight the bad guys now.

  23. Rick Katze says:

    “Become my servant once more” can be read to say that Julian is NOT currently his servant which means that there could be more than one Alchemy. Think the jury is still out on this one and I agree with those who have said that this result was too predictable. We shall see.

  24. Jeff says:

    Why did the show make a savitar look like ultron… a robot … its he suppose to look like a jacked speedster w/ – mask ??? I personally like to see more villain like grod or maybe grundy !

  25. dancmh says:

    Joe was forced to carry the idiot stick last night. Poor guy. Oh well, someone has to do it.

  26. Luis Roman says:

    Here’s what I don’t get. In Episode 2, Barry goes to Julian in the crime lab to ask to see the file on Edward Claris. Julian gives it to him, and Barry finds the information about the abandoned mill. He speeds off directly to the mill, where he finds the Rival AND Alchemy!
    What gives?

  27. Darrell Glithero says:

    I hope Costco and berry make things right between them

  28. Eyal Amir says:

    Savitar said to Julian “Become Alchemy” so….he isn’t Alchemy yet….
    and – Julian changed his clothes from hospital clothes to regular clothes? and when Killer Frost metioned Alchemy his face showed nothing.
    So – Julian Wasn’t Alchemy that Joe and Barry met, and It is his twin brother or something.
    or – Julian doesnt know that he is Alchemy. He have a dissociative identity disorder. One personality is Julian, the other is Alchemy.

  29. Stephanie says:

    Guys! GUYS!! I think we are all missing the big picture here. Alchemy’s magic rock… It’s legit called the Philosopher’s Stone in the comic books. It’s DRACO MALFOY AND THE PHILOSOPHER’S STONE!!! That’s 100% worth the predictability.

  30. Although I figured Julian was Alchemy, this was still a great episode. Loved all the Barry/Caitlin scenes. She is definitely one of my favorite characters on the show.

  31. Lisa says:

    What’s this?? A speedster villain? And he’s faster than Barry? Wow! How do they come up with all these new and creative villains?

  32. Zeus says:

    Savitar is megatron welcome transformers to the dc universe. Cisco and barry fighting again boohoo get over guess writer can’t think of new things.. but over killer frost sexy and great actress but truth be told this show is was to repetitive and the need something fresh. This is the FLASH