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The Flash: Death Falls

"I told you. I was born for this."

Given Barry’s origin story, it shouldn’t be a surprise that grief and pain are recurring themes in this show. Having a supervillain that feeds on grief provides yet another vantage point from which to explore it.

Deathstorm may have existed since the dawn of time, but it wasn’t until Ronnie’s consciousness entered the singularity that he understood the concepts of grief and loneliness. The first he learned to covet, but he couldn’t bear the second any more than Ronnie. His answer was to remake Ronnie’s love in his own image.

This requires filling Caitlin with not only her grief but that of those around her, namely Team Flash. Deathstorm may have chosen their loved ones as his avatars, but their methods of wringing the pain and grief needed to awaken his bride took many forms. That Team Flash’s deaths were the most likely outcome was just a bonus.

Allegra and Chester’s pain had more to do with each other than themselves. Allegra may have accepted Esperanza’s death, but as her imitation said, Chester was Allegra’s future. Like Allegra, Chester had made his peace with his father’s passing. For him, it was more about his faith in science. He believed that science was an answer to all life’s problems. Yet, he was forced to admit that he couldn’t science a solution to save Allegra. The woman he still hasn’t admitted he loves.

Eddie was the epitome of goodness. He stepped aside when he realized Iris loved Barry, and he unsuccessfully sacrificed himself to save the world from Eobard’s madness. Equating his pointless death with Iris’ illness awakens her worst fear. That the son and daughter she’d grown to love would never exist, Barry would be alone, and it would be for nothing.

Previously, Barry’s grief drove him to bend the laws of nature to save and or protect his family. After all, what was the point of having this power if he couldn’t make things better? He learned the hard way that some things were meant to be. Unfortunately, bad things happen. Grief is a part of life. And if Deathstorm is to be believed, it’s what makes us human.

In a way, that’s what makes this episode so devastating. Frost spent most of her life as either Caity’s bodyguard with no autonomy or her evil split personality. It’s only in the last year that she’s been able to live her own life and make her own choices. While she still chose to protect Caitlin, it was finally her call to make.

But Frost was incomplete. Deathstorm believed it was because she was a twisted copy of Caitlin and not a fully formed individual. Her emotions, a mere echo of the original. What he didn’t understand, and most of us failed to realize, is that, for all practical purposes, Frost was only a few years old. She had yet to suffer the kind of loss the rest of us have learned to accept. The possibility of losing Caitlyn allowed Frost to fully embrace her humanity in all its forms, including the painful ones.

And now, Frost, a beloved member of Team Flash, at peace with her sister, reconnected with her mother, in a committed relationship, and content with her life, is gone.

Yet, if we had to lose Frost, at least she went out on her terms. She saved her sister, not to mention the rest of the world. More importantly, she knew, in her bones knew, she was her own person and as capable of living, loving, and losing as anyone.

Despite everything I just said, for me, this episode did not have its intended impact. After weeks of witnessing Deathstorm’s invulnerability, his demise felt anti-climactic, and Frost’s death predictable. But the latter might be because I’d already seen the title for the next episode. Regardless, I’m curious to see what comes next.

Cisco’s belief that someone must lose in order for Team Flash to win has never felt truer. Frost’s death touches every member of Team Flash. However, Caitlin is crushed. Frost was so much more than just her sister. And Mark is adrift. He was morally gray at the best of times. Who knows what Frost’s death might push him to?

With Deathstorm’s defeat, only the mystery of Iris’ temporal illness remains. It leads me to believe this may not be an illness at all. What if there’s an unidentified enemy of Team Flash who caused it? Normally, my money would be on the Reverse-Flash, but they’ve already played that card this season.

Personal opinions aside, this was a solid episode in a solid season. What’s more, for the first time in years, I have no idea where the show is going as we head into the final episodes of the season. What a refreshing change.

3.5 out of 5 Cryo-circuits

Parting Thoughts:

Just in case you’ve forgotten, Joe was calling for his old partner Chyre. who died in the pilot.

Will Allegra and Chuck just kiss already?!?

Does anyone doubt Mark was about to tell Frost he loved her?


Sue: “Iris, why is there an attractive blond man in your kitchen?”

Frost: “I’m not letting that Skeletor put another bony finger on my sister.”

Chester: “Oh, frak me.”

Deathstorm: “I am decline. I am entropy. I am the master of death and all its inhabitants.”

Mark: “Man, you kids on Team Flash do some crazy stuff.”

Nora: “The truth is your legacy isn’t heroism, it’s heartbreak.”

Barry: “Love is a strength, not a liability.”

Eddie: “Where is your precious Barry now? Nowhere to be found, as usual, while you’re laid up in here waiting to die.”

Mark: “This is nerve-racking as hell.”
Allegra: “Welcome to superheroing 101.”

Frost: “Let’s party.”

Caitlin: “Frost died.”

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

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