The consequences of Barry Allen’s time travel on The Flash have been a major dud. Though season 3 started with a huge event of Barry rewriting history, pretty much everything has settled back to normal outside of a few minor (and superficial) changes. Cisco, after his depressed state in the first few episodes, has bounced back to the funny, quippy, techie best friend we all know and love. Iris and Joe are no longer fighting. The only lasting consequence is after being nothing but a regular boring scientist for three seasons on The Flash, Caitlin Snow is now a metahuman with ice powers, just like her evil “twin” from Earth-2, Killer Frost.
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If taken at face value, the twist, especially after the final scene from “The New Rogues,” seems to suggest that Caitlin could become just evil as Killer Frost. One of Barry’s greatest allies could turn out to be one of his more fearsome villains. Just because Caitlin becoming Killer Frost is the most obvious path, and the one that The Flash wants us to believe it is taking, does not mean it is what should happen.
The Case for Killer Frost 2.0
As mentioned, Caitlin and her newfound “metahumaness” is the only real change that Flashpoint has made on The Flash. Yes, Cisco’s brother Dante is dead, but considering the fact that the actor has moved to be a series regular on Pretty Little Liars, Dante was bound to be written out of the show in some manner. There is no sign that Iris and Joe were ever feuding on The Flash anymore. Outside of a new “speed lab” nothing has really changed on The Flash. While this a mostly a good thing because the Flashpoint universe, overall, seems like a creative misstep for The Flash, by the show’s own rules Barry’s actions should have consequences.
It is a step in the right direction that one of the main villains of the season is Dr. Alchemy. Alchemy is giving regular people in the original timeline their powers from the Flashpoint universe. It is a very clever way for The Flash to set up metahuman villains each week and have a constant reminder for Barry of his irresponsibility for messing with time. The problem is that right now, Alchemy’s evil plan is not very personal for Barry. No one Barry knows personally has been affected by Alchemy’s interventions (yet). We don’t even really know why Alchemy is so dead-set on making Barry pay for his timeline manipulation.
If Caitlin were to slowly turn into Killer Frost, this would a be a very personal struggle, not just for Barry but the entire Team Flash. We learned in season 2 that the Earth-2 version of Killer Frost did not start out as an evil and selfish person. Her powers slowly turned her into the villain she eventually became on that Earth. It stands to reason the same thing might occur with Caitlin. Caitlin fighting against her inner metahuman nature would be a personal conflict for the team that hasn’t really been seen on The Flash since the end of season 1.
It also helps that Danielle Panabaker’s performance as Killer Frost is infinitely more entertaining than her performance as Caitlin Snow. Killer Frost, as briefly as she appeared in The Flash season 2, was a highlight. The quick way that Killer Frost was killed off remains one of the bigger missteps of The Flash in season 2. It wouldn’t be that bad of a trade-off for the relatively boring Caitlin to transform into the campy, but still dynamic, Killer Frost.
The Case Against Killer Frost 2.0
As you can probably pick up from the previous paragraph, Caitlin is not my favorite character on The Flash. It’s no fault of Danielle Panabaker but Caitlin has always been the least interesting character on Team Flash. She’s nice, compassionate and occasionally funny but she is about as bland as they come. The Flash clearly has no idea what to do with Caitlin and as a result they have just shipped her into disastrous romances with doomed endings for two seasons. Caitlin’s character needs fixing but I’m not sure the answer is to turn her into a completely new character.
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The Flash doesn’t need to make Caitlin evil to make her interesting. Maybe giving her powers and having her character have a storyline that isn’t directly tied to the men in her life is enough to pull Caitlin out of the creative tailspin the character is experiencing. In fact, it is arguably more interesting if Caitlin feels the pull to the dark side from her powers and has to battle against it.
While the idea of one Team Flash’s own turning into a villain sounds very emotional, it’s perhaps something that The Flash doesn’t need to deal with right now. The lack of any real consequences from Flashpoint is disappointing. Yet at the same time it did put The Flash on the right track after the disappointing end to season 2. The Flash is not at its best when it is dark, depressing and moody. It’s a tone that works well on sister show Arrow but does not fit The Flash. The Flash is optimistic, colorful and fun.
There are moments of drama and darkness but they are outnumbered by far more sparks of lightheartedness. The reason that the end of The Flash season 2 did not work is because the show tried too hard to be too dramatic and oppressive. The start of season 3 has brought The Flash back to the tone that works the best for them. The show is fun again.
Caitlin transforming into a villain would take the show right back to that creative deep end. They would likely be drowning just as much as they were at the end of season 2. This is not to say that The Flash couldn’t handle Caitlin’s transition from hero to villain well. The show is just on much more shaky ground in season 3 following the dark, depressing and disappointing affair of season 2.
But what do you think? Do you want to see Caitlin transform into Killer Frost? Would you like to see her battle her powers and stay good? Do you want to see her have powers at all? How do you think the story will play out in season 3?
The Flash season 3 airs Tuesdays at 8/7c on The CW. Want more news? Like our Flash Facebook page for the latest updates!
(Images courtesy of The CW)