The following contains spoilers from the Feb. 15 episode of The CW’s The Flash.
Team Flash this Wednesday said hello to a new friend, yet in doing so most unexpectedly said a sad goodbye to a longtime ally.
The person who emerged from the schmience-y glass chamber that Caitlin and Mark had constructed to “reactivate Frost’s mind in Caitlin’s body” arrived at S.T.A.R. Labs at the end of the Season 9 premiere to introduce herself to Barry & Co. At first going by the name “Snow,” this blue-and-brown haired entity is neither Caitlin (who had gone into the chamber in last season’s finale) nor Frost (whom Caitlin and Mark were trying to “resurrect”), but a “blank slate” with no memories of her own, she explained.
So… um… what about Caitlin?!
The OG Team Flash member is dead, Mark sadly reported.
That bombshell launched a debate about who — Caitlin, or Frost? — they should aim to bring back if Snow is put back into the glass chamber and Chester rewires this that and the other thing. But ultimately, “Snow” decided to pull a Kelly Taylor and vote for keeping herself around, and go by Khione (as in the name that Dr. Thomas Snow, Caitlin’s father, years ago gave Killer Frost.)
For good measure, visiting guest star Hartley Rathaway used his meta powers to destroy the glass conversion chamber.
Speaking with TVLine about Caitlin’s sudden death, Danielle Panabaker shared, “I will say that it was surprising for me, especially so fresh on the heels of losing Frost.”
Adding salt to that fresh wound: Because The Flash‘s farewell run is just 13 episodes, there won’t be much time for proper grieving, either. “Due to the fact that all of a sudden, our episode order got reduced and we had such a shorter season, I do think everyone’s sort of forced to grieve Caitlin quickly,” Panabaker says, whereas “they had a little bit more time with Frost.”
Then again, this is a superhero show, so maybe Caitlin might somehow return in time for the grand series finale…? “I do like to joke, ‘Nobody’s ever really dead on these shows!'” says Panabaker.
One burning question coming out of Cailtin’s death is — as Hartley Rathaway’s scrambling for some med bay TLC pointed out — “Who will play doctor for Team Flash moving forward?”
“I mean, I like to think that at this point Barry has really got his Flash powers under control, and his speed healing is really kicking into high gear these days, and he doesn’t need Caitlin monitoring his vitals as often,” Panabaker posits. “Or maybe she had already left all the infrastructure inside the computer with Cisco and Chester over the years?”
There’s also the none-too-small fact that because Frost’s resurrection appears to be permanently derailed, with the chamber destroyed, Mark aka Chillblaine now has a bone to pick with Team Flash, having lost the love of his life.
“It’s going to be an interesting ride with him this season…,” Panabaker warns. “He’s not happy. And I don’t think Team Flash is particularly happy with him, either.”
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