Zoom hasn’t been the most murderous of villains on The Flash season 2. Though Hunter Zolomon is actually a serial killer, Zoom hasn’t killed many people. He’s directly (and indirectly) responsible for a lot of terrible things but he rarely uses those claws on his suit to stab people to death.
When he wants to though Zoom can be quite vicious and that certainly was the case in “Back to Normal.” Zoom sunk his claws into Killer Frost, murdering the Earth-2 villain. The death makes sense (from a certain point of view) and is certainly within both characters. It is also a pretty big mistake.
Not Another Earth-2 Death
The idea of Earth-2 is really interesting on The Flash. The episode in which the team traveled to the alternate Earth introduced a world that is deep and developed as the main world. In Earth-2 The Flash has been able to introduce doppelgangers of our main characters which sometimes add perspective to the original characters. By and large though these doppelgangers have been killed off almost indiscriminately. (Not to mention the early episodes of The Flash season 2 when Barry and the gang just kind of murdered the villains who crossed over and tried to attack him.)
There has been the odd survivor here and there. Harry is the most obvious (and important) one but there are others. Earth-2 Iris and Barry are still alive, married and happy. Dr. Light survived her encounter with Team Flash and also escaped Zoom’s wrath. By these examples are the exceptions more than they are the rule. The Flash has seen Cisco, Joe and, now, Caitlin’s doppelgangers all die.
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Again it does make sense why The Flash is killing off the doppelgangers. It’s a cool idea to have multiple versions of a character running around but it is also very complicated. The Flash has done a fantastic job of presenting Earth-2 in an easily digestible way but alternate Earths is still a big Sci-Fi idea. It’s important to keep it simple for the audience and the best way to streamline it is to have as little versions of the same character alive at one time. However, the more The Flash kills off doppelgangers the less it seems like the show is actually interested in Earth-2 as a concept. It’s becomes expected on The Flash that as soon as a doppelganger is introduced, they are going to be killed off.
Caitlin, Any Caitlin, Needs a Story
Caitlin Snow has not always been The Flash‘s most valuable character. Caitlin is good for the science explanation or the occasional friendly chat. Caitlin ranks somewhere in the lower tier of importance on Team Flash. It’s not a huge problem because The Flash is a show with a rather large ensemble and not every character can be serviced at all times. That being said, season 2 of The Flash has really underutilized Caitlin to the point that it’s becoming real noticeable and real annoying.
Caitlin’s main story in season 2 of The Flash has been to fall in love with, and get betrayed by, the villainous Zoom. It’s not an inherently awful idea to make Caitlin’s story be a romance, albeit a sick and twisted one. The problem is more that Caitlin and her love affair with Jay Garrick/Hunter Zolomon has sort of been in the background of the season. Caitlin is being a very passive character in season 2.
In “Back to Normal” it seemed like Caitlin was going to start to take a more active role in things. Assisted by her doppelganger, Killer Frost, Caitlin was going to escape Zoom’s lair. The two Caitlin Snow’s were getting ready for some big Thelma and Louise type adventure where they escaped Earth-2 and the clutches of Zoom. Then Killer Frost (and The Flash) had to go and ruin it by trying to kill Caitlin and Killer Frost was murdered by Zoom in response.
When Caitlin met Killer Frost it felt like the most important time we have spent with Caitlin all season. It was a series of very short scenes but the audience learned so much about Dr. Snow and her metahuman med-school dropout counterpart. It’s no easy feat to act against yourself but Danielle Panabaker did the job to near perfection playing both Killer Frost and Caitlin.
Fans have wanted to see Caitlin interact with her evil “twin” since Killer Frost was introduced and the whole ordeal lasted a couple of scenes. It is a huge waste of what could have been a fascinating relationship and even more compelling storyline for Caitlin and Killer Frost.
Killer Frost Was Such a Great Character
Speaking of Killer Frost, she is probably the greatest tragedy of the whole twist. Killer Frost from the first moment she appeared in “Welcome to Earth-2” was a fantastic character. Killer Frost was ridiculously over-the-top at times but Danielle Panabaker did (another) wonderful job in making it believable that the campiness of Killer Frost came from a real human. Killer Frost was the type of villain who is so much fun to watch. Killer Frost is a villain who enjoys everything she is doing, she relishes in her morally ambiguous to downright evil actions. She’s loud, she’s proud and she’s hell of a lot fun to watch on screen.
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In a very short time The Flash was able to present Killer Frost as an unrepentant villain but still someone who had an actual pathology. Killer Frost was not a monster. She was a human being, a human being who loved hurting/killing people but The Flash made you understand why she enjoyed being evil. Since Captain Cold has been shipped off to Legends of Tomorrow (and is busy on that show being fantastic) The Flash has not had a good character who is a mixture of a villain and hero.
There is something very interesting about a character whose ideology causes them to be both against the heroes at times and willing to work with them at others. Killer Frost, like Captain Cold, was that type of complicated character.
Now Killer Frost is dead and any hope fans might have had of seeing Killer Frost team up with Team Flash again is also in the ground. No one can really argue that Killer Frost trying to kill Caitlin, and thereby causing her own death, wasn’t in character. It just shouldn’t have been the direction that The Flash decided to go with Killer Frost. There could have been so much more and the show went the easy and obvious route.
But what do you think? Do you agree? Did The Flash need to kill of Killer Frost? Was it the right or wrong move? How do you feel about the death?
The Flash season 2 airs Tuesdays at 8pm on The CW.
(Images courtesy of The CW)