We haven’t had an episode with so much information at once. Additionally, there was no time to slow down and gather the team together when Savitar hit them with such strength. Whether it was his intention or not, I’m not sure the bond that makes Team Flash what it is will hold after this.
I don’t agree with what Cisco did the previous episode, forcing Caitlin to come out to the team regarding her developing powers before she was ready. I understand he couldn’t handle the burden, and she was becoming increasingly stronger, but her fear has only grown because of it. When Barry is being brutally beaten by Savitar, there is no choice but to have Cisco and Caitlin jump in to save him. While it is a victory for the team, Caitlin looks completely overwhelmed by it all.
We don’t know what she’s feeling just yet– the immediate concern is Savitar and Wally’s current state. It seems as if he’ll be out for the count this episode as he lays in his cocoon. Joe’s reaction is volatile, coming undone from his usual calm and collective self. While we’ve seen Joe deal with pressure before, this is taken to a new level. He unleashes his pain onto the Savitor supporter they managed to capture. It’s bad cop all the way as he fights to draw the information from him in a desperate attempt to help Wally. However, we never see the conclusion, as Caitlin stops by to give the good news that Wally is up and in good health! He’s called away and slips out of the room in relief, unintentionally allowing Caitlin to slip in and take over.
Caitlin’s worrisome expression we saw previously came with plenty warning of who would start to take charge. If we thought Joe was a bad cop before, Caitlin’s shift into Killer Frost makes him look like a softy. Her harsh interrogation has Savitar’s supporter answering almost immediately. It seems too easy, though, and she’s caught by Julian. Poor guy is kidnapped and roped into helping her create an algorithm to find anyone who has searched up Savitar so she may continue. While Julian is ready to help, even a bit of hesitation has Caitlin lashing out at him. The dread that Julian knows exactly who she is hasn’t quite set in, even when The Flash shows up to confront her. Her true intentions aren’t all that bad– she’s looking for Doctor Alchemy to remove her powers– if he can gift powers can’t he remove them?
I was hoping for a supportive pep talk from Barry, but Killer Frost has her hold over Caitlin and he can’t get through. She lashes out at Barry, as if everything she had held back was erupting right there.
“Let me help you.”
“Like you helped your mother?”
Oh my goodness, where is this coming from?! Even the pain in Barry’s eyes does not stop her. She points out how Dante was alive before Flashpoint, breaking Cisco’s heart the moment he hears this. As if words weren’t enough, Caitlin manages to injure him enough to prevent him from following.
Unable to recover from the thrashing he just received, physically and mentally, Barry has to face Cisco the moment he returns. Cisco is beyond done with Barry, treating him just as coldly as the start of the season. While he can push himself to focus on finding Caitlin, he can’t forgive Barry for pushing them to this point.
“If I find Caitlin, I won’t call you. You’ve done enough.”
A much-needed break comes from H.R. and Joe spending quality time staking out a potential house where Caitlin may stop by. H.R. sees a side to Barry I think we’ve long forgotten since Flash Point: he sees the unwavering optimism even when the future seems nothing but bleak. Joe agrees, but seems more put out no one believed in him when he pointed out this would not turn out good, prompting H.R. to say he’ll put his trust in Joe from now on. Optimism is an odd coat for a Harrison Wells to wear, but it looks good on him.
With Cisco’s luck, he manages to be at the house where Caitlin stops by. She gets a lot out of Savitar’s supporter without so much as pinching him. While he confirms Doctor Alchemy can remove her powers, he still manages to surprise her. Savitar has special plans for her, putting her at the top while Savitar rules.
This is a lot to take in, and I’m still processing it before Cisco and Caitlin find themselves in a fight. While Cisco wants to talk it out, any speech he had ready is thrown out the window when Caitlin comes after him. His saving grace seems to be Barry running in and providing enough of a distraction to bring her down. He’s injured in the process, but Cisco doesn’t seem too concerned. If Savitar’s plan included breaking down the strongest friendship Team Flash has, he’s succeeded.
Barry has to take a moment off to himself; beaten down all day, he’s reminded of his faults and mistakes. Ready to fall into a deep hole of despair, Iris drops in to point out the obvious. Cisco and Caitlin are hurting, they’re acting without thinking, but if they sat down and thought things over they’d realize Dante’s passing and Caitlin’s powers could have occurred without Flashpoint. Iris encourages Barry to be the leader she knows he could be, basically telling him what we’ve been yelling at the screen the whole time!
This episode gives you no time to catch your breath; while events are settling, Joe convinces H.R. to assist him in cutting Wally’s cocoon open. Almost immediately we see why this is a terrible idea. Wally can’t gather himself, and in an instant he’s gone from Star Labs, making it difficult to track him.
Desperate, Barry goes to an imprisoned Caitlin for help. He agrees to let her go, just as long as she kills him herself. While Killer Frost seems to be in charge, Caitlin can’t stand the idea of killing Barry and breaks free. She breaks down and holds onto him for support, giving hope Killer Frost hasn’t taken over the Caitlin we know and love? Her supportive nature drives through the cold exterior and she manages to create an injection to calm Wally’s body down and save him from himself.
The episode seems to wrap up with a happy ending; Caitlin in power dampening cuffs, Wally proving me wrong and showing off his speed with a drive we haven’t seen in a long time, and Team Flash coming back together. That’d be nice, but Cisco can’t give us an answer on that one. His expression tells it all– he may never be able to forgive Barry for Flashpoint.
The reality of what Caitlin did sets in when Julian has to give his statement on being kidnapped by a metahuman. Barry begs him not to turn Caitlin in, and he agrees– if Barry resigns from CCPD. After all, how can he be on the side of justice if he rather protect his friend than do what’s right? It’s heartbreaking to see Barry give up his work, but his friends mean the world to him.
As if we haven’t been through enough, they manage to pack in one more surprise; Doctor Alchemy’s true identity. I think we all knew the answer to this one: Julian has been Doctor Alchemy the whole time, but Savitar’s request doesn’t exactly have Julian jumping for joy. I’m not sure this is as cut and dry as we may think.With Barry out of CCPD, does that mean Julian will have more free reign as Doctor Alchemy? That’s a terrible thought.