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The Flash: The People V. Killer Frost

“I am not a monster.”

What just happened?

Despite an explicit title, I had no idea what this episode was going to be about when I sat down to watch. After all, Frost had pleaded guilty and since Danielle Panabaker has no plans to leave the show, The Powers That Be would find some way to return Frost to the bosom of S.T.A.R. Labs where she rightfully belongs. Wow, was I wrong.

Instead, we had a sobering exploration of identity and self-determination. In some ways it was far better than it had a right to be. But then its CW underpinnings would show, leaving me more disappointed than I should have been.

Frost threw herself on the mercy of the court in the hope of leniency for, I don’t know, saving the city a half dozen times and the world at least once. Instead, the DA asks to remove Frost’s powers permanently. At first, there was a concern this could be a death sentence. Yet no one thought to make that argument to the court.

I understand why. Frost’s potential demise was the impetus, and let’s be honest, justification, for Caitlin and Company to go against Frost’s wishes and destroy CCPDs supply of the meta-human cure. However, with a former DA, a police captain, and two proven geniuses, you’d think someone would have at brought up the option.

The other reason for not going down that avenue was to spend time on the argument TPTB wanted to make. Are meta-human abilities tools to be wielded or an intrinsic part of who they are? And does the government or anyone else have the right to take that away? I believe Frost articulated the show’s position when she stated the decision to remove someone’s powers is to claim they were born a mistake.

If any non-meta should understand, it should be Caitlin. She’s lived her life around meta-humans since the S.T.A.R. labs accident and discovered she’d shared a body with one since childhood. This was her problem. Caitlin had no objectivity. She made all her decisions for fear of losing Frost instead of honoring Frost’s right to make her own decisions. At least Caitlin got there in the end.

And maybe Kramer did, too. We finally learned the reasons for her animosity towards Frost. And like Caitlin, it was borne of fear. A meta betrayed her trust, which led to the deaths of 20 soldiers under her command. She was determined that no one should ever again wield that much power to the detriment of society. Kramer may not hate all metas, but her version of justice rides that line pretty closely. I hope she takes Joe’s advice.

In a surprising turn of events, Judge Tanaka grants Frost’s request for life without parole rather than having her powers taken away. This removes another Team Flash member from the board, unless there’s some way she can prove her worth from a prison cell. But never say never.

Our other storyline had an even more shocking ending. When the Strength Force pops up on Team Flash’s radar, Barry and Nora investigate. Instead of finding a giant rage monster, they discover the supervisor of a non-profit that helps the needy. A woman who overcame addiction to spend her life helping others. Not exactly a supervillain.

You wouldn’t know that from Nora’s actions. This left me wondering if Nora too was suffering from fear. The Speed Force can’t be used to feeling weak. Is her fear of the other Forces or her desire not to be vulnerable again driving her actions? Is her inability to see the moral implications of those actions due to her lack of humanity? Or did the Speed Force just come back wrong?

My spidey-sense was in overdrive by the sheer number of times the words “trust” and “promise” were bandied about. Yet I never expected Alexa to die. That’s just not done on The Flash. Arrow maybe, but not here.

Now we are left with a multitude of questions. There is no way Barry would ever agree to murder. It’s not in his DNA. Yet, how can he go up against the source of his own abilities? Even if he could defeat Nora, it would leave him powerless once more. I can’t see him willingly leave his city defenseless ever again. What’s a hero to do?

As I stated above, there was a lot to like about this episode. Weighty, character-driven issues are my jam and there was plenty to be had. Unfortunately, the gaping plot holes left a potentially great episode settling for good.

3.5 out of 5 neutralized meta-human cures

Parting Thoughts:

I don’t like the new director of A.R.G.U.S. I’m going to take a stand and say he’s not good.

Having a translator for the hearing impaired in the court was a nice touch.

My last nit to pick was the DA claiming, without any proof, that Frost neutralized the meta-human cure. Especially after Caitlin confessed and could be identified at the scene of the crime. Not that I want the police to investigate that little transgression.

I agree with Iris that kidnapping and testing people is wrong. However, she did box Barry in a corner by stating that doing so requires giving up what makes him hero before telling him it was his choice.

Was Norvock there as a representative of the potential metas saved by Frost's sacrifice, or will he play a part in the next chapter of Frost’s story?

What will they do with Alexa's body? And does this make Iris and Barry accomplices?

Quotes:

Cecile “You would be surprised what can become legal when you’ve got the full force of the American justice system behind you.”

Frost: “I didn’t just turn myself in so that I could turn around and break the law again. We’re doing this by the book or not at all.”

Nora: “We can’t let ourselves be fooled by the human facades these forces hide behind.”

Cisco: “Just turn right. Your other right.”

Caitlin: “Why would you give up two decades of your life when there is a perfectly safe solution?”
Frost: “Changing who I am is not a solution.”

Caitlin: “I’m terrified of living a life that you’re not in.”

Kramer: “This isn’t about what you’ve done. This is about what people like you do.”

Tanaka: “In order for justice to be blind, sometimes she must open her eyes to ugly truths.”

Nora: “Time to choose a side, Barry.”


Shari loves sci-fi, fantasy, supernatural, and anything with a cape.

3 comments:

Billie Doux said...

Totally agree. This was a surprising episode because I kept going, what on earth are they doing? I couldn't believe how they ended it. Life without parole as a sentence made no sense in relation to her crimes.

Patrick said...

This show has been losing steam for me since last year, and with some major cast departures coming at the end of the current season, I don't see how next year won't be the last one for this show.

Shari said...

To me it felt like they wrote themselves into knots just so the could pose the ethical questions they wanted to. As for Frost, her story arc has been sloppy but deliberate. However, I haven't the foggiest idea what they're trying to say with it.