The Flash Recap: Cold, Hard Truths

Flash Alchemy Is Julian

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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