Thursday, April 8, 2021

The Flash Season 7, Episode 5: Fear Me

This week on The Flash we get another pretty decent episode. Wow, that's too in a row now! Things continue to look up, now that the awful and interminable Mirrorverse Sage is over.

There's a lot going on in Fear Me, as it's quite the busy episode. As I suspected, it's confirmed this week that the show's adapting the recent Elemental Forces storyline from the comics. We've already met the Strength Force, but this week we get a visit from the Sage Force as well. 

We also get the debut of the Speed Force, which has inexplicably and VERY unexpectedly taken on human form!

The biggest development is the Caitlin/Frost plotline, in which they've become two separate entities. Expect lots of melodrama in this arc, as Caitlin does everything in her power to merge with her "sister," while Frost balks and refuses to give up her new body.

This episode also lays the groundwork for a long overdue "The Trial Of Killer Frost" storyline, in which everyone's favorite ice queen is finally forced to pay for her life of crime.

Cecile gets a rare chance to shine this week as well, as she ends up saving the day. Actress Danielle Nicolet gets to show off her comedic skills in this episode too, which is something I wish the writers would let her do more often.

On the down side, we get yet another of what I'm calling "Pout, Barry, Pout" scenes— in which our favorite speedster suffers a minor defeat and then sulks until the third act. It's not terribly becoming behavior for the ostensible hero of the piece, and they need to stop resorting to it every week. 


The Plot:
At STAR Labs, Barry somehow watches a video of his battle with the Behemoth from the previous episode. He tells Iris he's figured out a way to track the creature. Just then Cisco enters and tells them to get ready for a shock. He brings in Caitlin and Frost, who've somehow become two separate entities.

Meanwhile at the West home, Cecile's staying up late doing paperwork. She hears a voice call to her, saying "it's time to come home." She sees a vision of a woman in a straitjacket, with glowing purple eyes. Cecile doubles over in pain, as all the glass in the house shatters. She's then horrified to see bloody stigmata on her hands.

Just then Joe enters and tells Cecile she's having a nightmare. She looks around and sees her hands and the house are fine.

At STAR, Team Flash wonders how the hell Frost can be her own person. Caitlin figures that during Mirror Monarch's assault, one of her "reflective chip" blasts hit Frost and generated a new body for her. Sure, why not. She says she's working on a way to undo the effect and merge their bodies. Frost looks visibly uncomfortable at this prospect.

Just then they get an alert that the Behemoth— who Cisco's dubbed "Fuerza"— is heading for STAR Labs. Suddenly multicolored lightning blasts from the ceiling of the Lab, and a woman appears in midair. Barry catches her, and is stunned when she turns out to be the Speed Force, which once again has taken on the form of Nora Allen (????).

They place Speed Force Nora in the Medbay, where she falls into a coma. Fortunately Barry's speed doesn't seem to be affected by her current state. Barry figures that Fuerza attacked SF Nora, and says he's not going to let her die again.

The next morning Iris chats with Joe in his office. He mentions there've been numerous reports of people having nightmarish visions around the city. Just then a woman enters and introduces herself as Kristin Kramer, of the Governor's Municipal Logistics Commission. After she leaves, Iris tells Joe she has a gut feeling about Kristen and doesn't trust her.

At STAR, Cisco adapts the old Firestorm Matrix contraption, telling Frost it should be able to merge her with Caitlin. Frost says she kind of likes having her own body, but Cisco says Caitlin really misses her. He begins charging the Matrix and leaves, as Frost takes a long, hard glare at the device.

Cecile arrives and tells Barry she's been having visions. Suddenly she doubles over in pain again, and says she's sensing raw fear. Just then Barry gets an alert of a robbery downtown and speeds off.

Cut to two armored truck guards, who're firing at a large monster. Barry arrives on the scene, but can't see what they're shooting at. The guards run off, just as a purple-masked villain (who Cisco eventually dubs "Psych") appears.

Psych's eyes glow purple, and Barry instantly hallucinates that he's back in STAR Labs, where he's confronted by the Reverse Flash. Barry realizes it's an illusion, prompting Savitar to appear and stab him in the chest. Barry wakes in the real world, looks down and sees he's actually bleeding.

Cut to the Medbay, where Barry's being treated. Caitlin says Barry's fear was so real his body must have psychosomatically caused a stab wound. She says that means if someone's killed in one of these hallucinations, they'll die for real (shades of A Nightmare On Elm Street). 

Team Flash detects isotopes from Psych on Barry's body, and realize they're the same particles found on both Fuerza and SF Nora. Obviously there's a link between the three.

Barry has Cisco dust off the mental dampeners they used against Grodd, figuring they might protect them from Psych's, er, psychic attacks.

At CCPD, Iris gives Joe a background check she ran on Kristen. According to the report, she's a former military officer whose file is almost totally redacted. Joe doesn't think that necessarily proves anything, but agrees to read the rest of her file.

Elsewhere, Cisco & Frost are planning a rapids trip. Caitlin storms in with a smoldering Matrix, and accuses Frost of sabotaging it. Caitlin asks why she did it, but Frost is reluctant to say. Just then they get another alarm, this one at the Clearly Capital Offices.

Inside the offices, we see Psych standing over several financial officers, who're terrified by horrific visions of the stock market crashing! Barry whisks them away somewhere, and then he, Mecha-Vibe and Frost (all wearing mental dampeners) confront Psych. He sees the dampeners and laughs, saying they're useless against him.

To prove his point, Psych effortlessly gives Team Flash waking nightmares. Frost finds herself at CCPD, where Joe arrests her for her crimes after Caitlin ratted her out. Barry sees CCPD strewn with the bodies of his friends and family. Cisco's frozen with fear as well, but we never get to see his vision. Barry manages to throw a bolt of Speed Force lightning at Psych, but the villain easily absorbs it and leaves.

Back at STAR, Team Flash licks their wounds and tries to recover from their mental trauma. Barry says Psych didn't take any money from the financial institution, and apparently just wants to create chaos.

Caitlin finds Frost in the Lab, desperately trying to repair the Matrix. She mentions her nightmare vision, and Caitlin assures her she'd never turn her in. Frost admits she likes being a separate person, and doesn't want to merge. Caitlin says she misses having Frost in her head, but understands. She tells Frost she can move into her apartment with her.

Cecile enters the Lounge, where she finds Barry moping after their defeat. He tells her he saw a vision of Iris & the others dead, and fears he won't be able to stop it from happening for real. Cecile gives him a Patented The CW Pep Talk©, telling him he's strong enough to overcome his fears or some such hooey.

The alarms go off again, and Cisco says he's detected Psych's isotopic signature in Sandoval Heights. Barry remembers a few episodes back when Cecile was able to send her own fear into the mind of the Top. He asks if she could do it again. Before she can answer, Barry shows her that Team Flash still has The Thinker's chair in storage. He says Cecile can use the device to expand her own mental powers and save the city.

Meanwhile, Psych unleashes a huge wave of fear across Central City, causing the citizenry to experience terrifying nightmares. At STAR, Cecile's reluctant to climb into The Thinker's chair. Caitlin reassures her, saying it's probably safe to operate the device. As she straps in and turns on the chair, it begins augmenting her powers. Cecile says she can feel the minds of everyone in town.

Barry zooms off to confront Psych in person, but is repelled by another mental attack. He has the same vision as before, but this time the corpses of his friends reanimate and blame him for their deaths. Barry crumples in fear again.

Cecile senses Barry's distress, and gives him yet another Patented The CW Pep Talk©, saying she can feel his courage. She then counters Psych's mental blast with one of her own. He's hit by the powerful energy wave and seemingly disintegrates, as Cecile's eyes briefly glow green (???). All over the city, people come out of their nightmares and return to normal.

Barry returns to STAR, where Cisco says he can't find any trace of Psych or Fuerza. Suddenly Barry grimaces in pain, and Caitlin says he's suffering from the same effect that injured SF Nora. He activates his cryopod and enters it so he can heal.

At CCPD, Joe meets with Kristen and says he read her file and knows she's really from Gotham. He tells her to drop the act and level with him. She admits she's there on the Governor's orders to apprehend the fugitive metahuman Killer Frost and bring her to justice. GASP!

Back at STAR, Caitlin monitors Barry and says he's stabilized for now, but she can't tell if he's fully healed. SF Nora wakes up and states that Barry was injured because she wasn't fast enough. She believes that Psych and Fuerza are just like her— elemental forces in human form!

• Tom Cavanagh still doesn't appear in this week's opening credits. Man, the producers are really doubling down on their attempt to convince us he's left the show. Spoiler Alert: He hasn't. I'm not exactly sure when he'll be back, but I guarantee you he WILL return.

• We begin with Barry analyzing a play-by-play video of his battle with the Behemoth in the previous episode.

Here's a shot from the Behemoth's attack last week...

And here's the footage Barry watches on his tablet.

Note that every single scene he watches is identical to what we saw in Central City Strong. Same camera angles, same coverage, same shot composition— everything. 

Funny how that worked out, eh? Why, if I didn't know better, I'd think the producers just took the footage from the previous episode and spliced it into this scene! Or maybe Barry used The CW app and downloaded last week's episode of his life.

• When Barry & Iris see that Caitlin & Frost have become separate entities, their jaws drop open in disbelief. 

To illustrate their visible confusion, they actually play the "Needle Scratching Across A Record" sound effect on the soundtrack. Wow, I don't think I've heard that since the 1990s! 

Unfortunately they completely botched the joke here as the record scratch has a weird warbling effect to it.

• I commented on the Caitlin/Frost split in last week's review, saying:

Fortunately the writers spared us the scene in which Caitlin divides in two like an amoeba. They also wisely declined to explain where she acquired the extra mass to create a perfect physical duplicate of herself. Don't worry though, as I'm sure we'll get a perfectly logical bullsh*t comic book science explanation for it next week.

Welp, It's next week and my prediction came all too true! And as expected, it's complete bullsh*t! 
When Team Flash asks how the hell Caitlin & Frost split, the two helpfully explain:

Frost: "So, you remember when Mirror Monarch blasted me with her gun?"
Barry: "Mm-hmm."
Frost: "Well, ever since that blast, we’ve had these crazy headaches. Last night, everything gets fuzzy, Caity passes out, a
nd then we wake up totally fine... but there’s two of us!"
Caitlin: "Uh, Eva’s mirror gauntlet contained a reflective mirror chip. I think it forced Frost’s cryogenes to rapidly replicate and create a whole new form so that she could survive."
Frost: "Crazy, right?"

I'll say! Eva's infamous "reflective mirror chip" strikes again, basically creating a brand new life form! A real one this time, and not a mirror clone. That means Eva's basically God now!

So Frost gets her own body courtesy of Eva's mirror tech shenanigans. Which is odd, because all the other effects caused by Eva— like Iris' powers— disappeared when she went back to the Mirrorverse. Yet luckily for Frost, her new body inexplicably lingers on.

• Caitlin assures the others she's going to reverse the twinning situation, saying, "But don’t worry, I’m gonna figure out a way to get us back together as quickly as possible, because I’m afraid the longer we wait, the harder it’ll be."

Wait a minute... how does Caitlin plan on incorporating an entire adult body back into hers? Wouldn't she have twice as much mass then? Or will she just somehow absorb Frost's mind? That'd be the messier option, as it would then leave a corpse that Team Flash would have to dispose of!

• One last thing about Caitlin and Frost. A couple seasons back we found out that Catilin's father Thomas Snow was suffering from ALS (aka Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis). When he discovered Caitlin carried the ALS gene as well, he performed experimental cryogenic experiments on her to freeze the progression of the disease. This somehow caused her to develop an alternate cryogenically powered personality, who eventually became Killer Frost.

Now that Frost is a completely separate entity, does that mean Caitlin's in danger of developing ALS again?

I have a feeling we're not supposed to remember that particular little detail of her life.

• At one point we cut to Cecile, who's at home burning the midnight oil. Literally! I know whenever I'm staying up late writing a report, I always work by candlelight.

• Psych causes Cecile to have a waking nightmare, in which she hears an eerie voice tell her, "It's time to come home." Was that just part of the overall spookiness of her vision, or setup for some future storyline? Is Cecile gonna turn out to be from another Earth or planet or something?

• Joe comes home and finds Cecile freaking the hell out during her nightmare. When she tells him she saw a creepy figure in the house, Joe says, "We're the only ones here." 

Really Joe? According to the clock on the mantle it's 11 pm. Why the hell isn't your baby home too? You know, Jenna? The child you had with Cecile several seasons back? Is Jenna really not in the house for some reason, or did he forget he has an infant again?

Shortly before Joe entered we saw this brief shot featuring a photo of him and Cecile, who appears to be holding Baby Jenna. This is the closest thing that kid's made to an appearance on the show in at least three years now!

• This week Cisco dubs the Behemoth "Fuerza." When the others look at him quizzically, he says, "Fuerza... Spanish for 'strength.' Look, She-Hulk was taken, OK?" Cisco does seem to love his Marvel references.

• Team Flash thinks they're being attacked by Fuerza, but it turns out it's the Speed Force manifesting itself in an actual human body— which of course looks exactly like Barry's late mother Nora. 

Man, I feel like the writers reeeeeeeally glossed over this entire issue.

The Speed Force first took the form of Barry's mom way back in Season 2's The Runaway Dinosaur, and has done so many other times over the years. In each of those cases though his mother's image was just an illusion— an avatar created so that Barry could more easily relate to the Force.

This is completely different though. The Speed Force has now somehow taken physical human form! It literally just became a human being! And yet neither Barry nor anyone else on Team Flash seems the least bit astounded by this! What the hell?

Think of it this way— it's like the freakin' Sun turned into a person, put on some clothes and wandered into STAR Labs. Team Flash looks up from their phones momentarily and sees it, says, "Yeah, that's cool I guess" and then all go back to texting. 

You'd think at least Barry would be a bit more affected by this, as there's now a god who looks like his late Mother parading around STAR!

I get that they've all seen some serious sh*t over the years, but it just felt like this development warranted a much bigger reaction than it got.

• I've mentioned this before, but it's worth a repeat. Actress Michelle Harrison first played Nora Allen way back in Season 1's Pilot— and was killed in that very same episode. I wonder if after that Harrison ever imagined she'd still be playing the same character seven years later.

Agent: "Michelle, baby, I got a gig for you!"
Michelle Harrison: "Great, what is it?"
Agent: "They want you to play the Flash's Mom next week."
Michelle Harrison: "But... didn't she die in the first episode? I don't understand anything that's happening on this show."
Agent: "What's to understand? A job is a job!"

• Welcome to Social Distancing: The Series! 

The cast isn't wearing masks of course, but man are they doing their best to spread themselves out and stay as far away from one another as possible. As silly as it looks, I can't fault them for this though, as The CW's currently enforcing some pretty strict Covid restrictions on all its shows.

• When Kristen first enters Joe's office, we see a framed newspaper article featuring his granddaughter Nora West-Allen in the background. Once again I'm not even gonna begin to try and figure out how this is even possible, considering she was erased from the timeline a couple seasons ago, and as such was never born!

• At one point Psych causes a couple of security guards to hallucinate a giant kaiju attacking them. Remember that he has the power to make people see their greatest fear— which in the case of these two guards is apparently a giant monster (?).

Note that the guards are driving a "Crows Security" truck— that's a Batwoman reference. Over on that show, Crows Security was founded by Jacob Kane, to protect the citizens of Gotham after Batman disappeared. The company's funded by Hamilton Dynamics, and they generally hire ex Navy SEALS and Green Berets.

• Many fans are claiming that the imaginary kaiju is a Dominator— from the alien race first scene in the Invasion! crossover a few years back. Eh, I don't see it myself. Its head and freaky arms are completely different. Plus Dominators weren't fifty feet tall.

• Barry confronts Psych, who wears a garish purple and black mask over his face. It's actually pretty cool looking! 

That said, I can't wait to hear the SJW crowd shriek that Psych is culturally appropriating Maori tribal masks here. You know it's gonna happen!

In the comics, Psych was a man named Bashir, who was from Zandia— a crime-ridden European nation where all supervillains received immunity from prosecution. He became a conduit of the Sage Force, which gave him various mental powers.

Psych made a living by reading the minds of other supervillains, finding out their secrets and and then blackmailing them. Eventually he ran afoul of the Black Flash, who ultimately killed him.

Obviously they've altered the TV Psych quite a bit, as his look and backstory are completely different from the comic version.

• Cisco gives this week's meta the name "Psych," saying, "He’s a psychic psychopath, causing psychosomatic symptoms, I mean, the guy practically named himself."

• At the end of Mother (the all-time worst episode of the entire series), Iris shot a blast of Speed Force energy out of her body, which she'd somehow been storing for years. This somehow jumpstarted the Speed Force and brought it back to life. Then for reasons I don't pretend to understand, the blast split into four different colored beams and spread out over the city.

At the time I said it looked like the show was adapting a recent comic book storyline in which we find out there are other Forces in the universe. There's the Speed Force of course. Then there's the Strength Force, whose effect is self-evident. There's also the Still Force, which controls time. And the Sage Force, that enhances the minds of those who wield it and is seen prominently in this episode.

I said it looked like the four beams would likely zap several unsuspecting Central City citizens and give them corresponding powers.

All that was pretty much confirmed in this episode, as Psych is indeed either a user of or conduit for the Sage Force! Yay for me & my prediction!

• Psych mentally attacks Barry, causing him to hallucinate an encounter with the Reverse Flash. So what do you do if you're a producer and you don't want to bring in Tom Cavanagh or Matt Letscher to play the Thawne for five seconds? Why, just have the character rapidly vibrate his body so the audience can't see his face, that's what! Pret-tee sneaky, sis!

The CW must have cleaned out their storage closet for this episode. Not only did they dig out the Reverse Flash costume and the Savitar suit, they even pulled The Thinker's floating chair out of mothballs!

• Barry realizes that Reverse Flash isn't real and says, "I'm not afraid of you anymore. This is just A hallucination!"

OK, Barry, I realize you're scared and under a lot of stress here, but it's "AN hallucination." Not "A." Unless this is some Vancouver variation of the phrase?

• Psych pops up at Cleary Capital, where he mentally attacks the financial officers there. So what was the greatest fear of these brokers? Watching their loved ones die? Falling from a great height? Seeing a giant kaiju?

Nope! Their worst fear in all the world was the stock market crashing! One broker even wails, "$5.3 trillion gone. It's all gone! Oh, God, I'm ruined!" Haw!

Another broker rocks back and forth, hugging himself as he cries, "Hey, I... it’ll bounce back. The Dow only dropped 789 points. It’ll bounce back. It has to."

Note that while a drop of 789 points is most definitely not a good thing, it's far from a record. In March of 2020, the pandemic caused the Dow to plummet a whopping 2,997 points— the biggest drop ever recorded in a single day.

If this hapless broker's really seeing the worst fear imaginable, you'd think he'd conjure up a vision in which it dropped more than a measly 789 points!

• We've actually seen Cleary Capital before. It first popped up last season in So Long And Goodnight, when Sue Dearbon tried to deposit stolen assets there. Ralph (back when he was allowed on the show) eventually talked her out of it. 

Oddly enough, this is what the Cleary Capital building looked like in its first appearance.

Annnnd here's what it looked like this week. Wow, that's quite a difference! Not to mention a definite step down!

I guess it's possible the company might have more than one location in Central City. Or they may have moved at some point in the last year. Given the fact that the town's attacked by evil metas on a weekly basis, their original building may have even been destroyed!

• Barry, Mecha-Vibe and Frost rush to Cleary Capital, where they confront Psych. Unfortunately he hits them with a psychic assault, causing them all to have horrible waking nightmares.

We get a good look at both Barry & Frost's visions, but for some reason we never see Cisco's. He just looks stricken and says, "No... this can't be how it ends!"

The fact that his is the only vision we don't see is significant, and means it's going to become important later. I have a theory about this scene...

Last week's episode hinted that we'd be seeing the Future Flash Saga at some point this season. In the comics, Kid Flash (who wouldn't really be a kid anymore) is killed twenty years from now. This prompts the older, world-weary Barry to blame himself for Wally's demise. He then begins killing all his old enemies, which somehow gives him the strength to travel back in time and prevent Wally's death.

Obviously they're not gonna use Wally when they adapt this storyline, as his character was Poochied a couple seasons back. So they'll have to kill off someone else to cause Barry's mental breakdown.

What if Cisco saw his own death (again!) in his vision, HE'S the one who dies twenty years from now? That would then prompt Barry to become the Future Flash and prevent Cisco from dying? Works for me!

The only minor problem with this theory is that when Frost asks Cisco about his vision, he mentions he saw Kamilla in danger. Eh, I think he was lying here for some reason. His "This can't be how it ends" line doesn't fit that well with Kamilla's death, but does work perfectly for his own.

• When Barry sees a vision of Zombie Iris, she says, "When you let me die you killed our children too."

This may be a reference to the comics, where Barry & Iris have twins named Don & Dawn. They're both speedsters like their dad, and are known as the Tornado Twins. Also, they live in the future of 2968 for reasons. I honestly don't see this ever happening on the show.

• After Barry's defeated a second time by Psych, he goes off to the Lounge to sulk. Fortunately Cecile's there to give him a Patented The CW Pep Talk© to cheer him up again.

We've had one of these ferkakte moping scenes every week now since Season 7 began. I need to start a "Pout, Barry, Pout" counter, to keep track of just how many times the writers resort to this already tired trope. 

I get that they want to bring Barry to his lowest point before his eventual triumph— that's Screenwriting 101. But there's gotta be a better way to go about it than to have him pitch a hissy fit like a six year old.

• During the third act, Team Flash tries to come up with a way to defeat Psych. Barry suddenly remembers a few episodes back when Cecile was somehow able to send a wave of her own fear into the mind of the Top. He wonders if she could do the same to Psych.

Thing is, Barry wasn't anywhere near Cecile when she did that. She either told him about it later when we weren't looking, or once again he watched his own show.

• Barry's idea involves dusting off The Thinker's hoverchair and having her use it to augment her mental powers. Naturally, Cecile's a bit reluctant to sit in the thing. And for good reason!

Just to refresh everyone's memories (including my own!), back in Season 4 Clifford DeVoe built a "thinking cap" to amplify his brain power. It worked, but caused his body to begin deteriorating. His wife Marlize built the hoverchair in order to slow his physical decline. 

DeVoe began using the chair to siphon the powers of other metas into his own body. After a time he began using it to transfer his mind into others. Eventually he found a way to do this without the chair, and became The Thinker. 

The Thinker then concocted a plan he called The Enlightenment, in which he'd use his powers to diminish the intelligence of everyone on Earth so he could reeducate them to his own specifications.

Marlize realized her husband was going too far, so she used the hoverchair in conjunction with Cecile's powers to defeat The Thinker.

So quite rightly, Cecile's a bit leery of this contraption! Especially since it once contained a copy of his entire mind in its hard drive!

• During the battle with Psych, Cecile uses her augmented powers to send out a massive wave of mental energy. As she does so, her eyes briefly glow green.

So what's up with her glowing eyes? Did Cecile tap into the Sage Force like Psych did? I assume that's supposed to be what's happening here, but the green eyes would suggest otherwise. Whenever Psych used his powers his eyes glowed purple! The psychic energy he manifested was the same color as well.

In the comics, the four Forces have specific colors assigned to their energies. Speed Force energy is yellow, Strength Force is red, Sage Force is blue and Still Force energy (which we've not yet seen) is green.

Additionally, when Cecile generates a mental blast of her own, it's yellow instead of purple, so it seems unlikely she's channeling the Sage Force. So I have no idea what her green eyes meant, or what the hell's going on here.

Of course it's entirely possible that the show isn't following the comic book, and is using completely different colors for the Forces. It may also be that something else is going on with Cecile here, and she tapped into some other form of energy we've haven't seen yet.

• When Cecile's energy wave hits Psych, he's instantly vaporized. Well that was easy! 

This begs the question: Just what is Psych? Is he really a manifestation of the Sage Force? Or is he just a human who somehow found a way to harness it? The fact that he was so easily defeated would suggest the latter. 

On the other hand, earlier in the episode Barry hit Psych with a massive jolt of Speed Force lightning, and he easily absorbed it. Plus in the final seconds of the episode, Speed Force Nora strongly implies that Psych and Fuerza are both Universal Forces in human form like her.

So take your pick! At this point it's unclear which is true.

• When Cecile uses her powers to save the day, her comical and exuberant reaction is absolutely adorable. Cecile's usually pretty straight-laced and serious, so it's easy to forget that actress Danielle Nicolet is actually pretty funny. Too bad she rarely gets to stretch her comedic chops on the show.

• Last week Caitlin mentioned that Frost was still wanted by the law. I thought that was odd, as this revelation came completely out of the blue and Frost has been a "Good Girl" for several seasons now. She and Barry even worked side by side with CCPD officers last year without incident. 

I said this was most likely meant as a "reminder scene," to refresh the audience's memory in prep for an upcoming storyline.

Sure enough, that's exactly what it was! This week we're introduced to government investigator Kristen Kramer, who shows up to arrest and prosecute Killer Frost! 
I've definitely been watching this show too long— I'm starting to spot the writers' tricks.

The episode desperately wants us to hate Kristen, as it very clearly paints her as a big meanie who wants to throw Frost in jail for her past crimes. The thing is... she's not wrong! 

Frost has broken the law on numerous occasions! In Season 3 she kidnapped Julian Albert, joined forces with Savitar, held Cecile hostage and tried to kill Team Flash several times. She also worked as an enforcer for Amunet Black, torturing and maiming her enemies by freezing off their fingers & toes (!).

Sure, she eventually reformed and is now a valued member of Team Flash, but it doesn't change the fact that she's still a criminal. She SHOULD be punished for what she did in the past. That's kind of how the law works. Kristen's not the enemy here— she's simply doing her job.

This has been an issue on the show for years now. Characters aren't required to pay for their crimes as long as they feel bad about them later and pledge to do better. Even murder doesn't seem to be a crime in the Arrowverse!

Also note that Caitlin and Frost JUST HAPPENED to split into separate entities right as Kristen arrived to prosecute Frost. Now Team Flash can't use the defense that jailing Frost would unfairly incarcerate Caitlin.

Technically Caitlin should probably be prosecuted along with Frost. She's known about her "sister's" crimes for years now, which would likely make her an accomplice.

• At the end of the episode, Barry has some sort of painful attack. He zooms into his cryopod, which will put him into a coma and allow his speed-healing to cure him. Hmm...

Presumably a cryopod works by freezing its occupant, or putting them in a state of suspended animation. If that's the case, then how would Barry's healing work when he's in stasis? Whoops!

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