The Flash: “Killer Frost”

flashseason3

Kyle’s Thoughts

For everyone in the United States, Happy Thanksgiving. For everyone else, happy Thursday. I figured I’d write a quick review on this week’s Flash before I carbo-load and slip into a food coma.

With an episode name like “Killer Frost” Flash had to focus on the sometimes villain and it’s what we’d expect. Unfortunately, everything about this episode was what we’d come to expect. Remember two months ago, when I projected who Alchemy was? Yep, I called it. (To avoid spoilers in this review I’ve added a link to the previous review with Alchemy’s identity; check it out here.) The reveal was anticlimactic.

And that’s been the problem with Flash this season. It hasn’t been bad—it’s been mostly watchable, unlike Arrow last season—but it plays everything safe. The show hasn’t risked or changed anything: the big bad villain is a speedster (Savitar), a different flavor of Harrison Wells aids the group, each year adds a sidekick speedster, and Barry must go back in time and change the past. It’s not bad. Okay, time-traveling is old and lazy writing, but it’s not horrible; it’s just yawn-inducing.

While I like the nod to Barry’s true power being hope (when Barry turns Lantern in the comics, he’s part of the Blue Lantern Corps fueled by hope), Killer Frost’s arc was rushed. She turns evil in a jiff and jumps back just as fast because Barry hopes the person she was is still inside. I’m not sure if we’ve seen this sequence of events before, but we’ve seen Barry put his faith in people and have it work out. This is keeping with his character but I’m not sure Killer Frost would’ve turned back to “good” so quickly, especially since she’s been wearing power dampening handcuffs for weeks, because she feared she’ll lose control. It’s very convenient.

Ultimately, it doesn’t matter. Barry will go back in time and erase this story thread from existence. Jim and I have mentioned time-travel as Flash’s reset or easy button, but the problem with hitting this button is that you can’t build characters. How will we know which parts of this timeline should make it to the new timeline or which parts of previous timelines should carry over? Will it make sense that Wally still has powers and Killer Frost doesn’t? Flash can justify anything by its time-travel effect without having to put much thought into a cohesive narrative. Like Jim and I have said, it’s lazy.

Flash continues to be watchable, but I’d like to see it make more progress with its characters by dumping Barry’s time warps. I believe Flash will increase the dangers of time-travel, so things could get interesting after the break.

Thanks for reading.

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