Over the course of The Flash‘s six seasons to date, few characters have been on as complicated a narrative journey as team scientist Caitlin Snow (Danielle Panabaker) and her icy, occasionally deadly alter ego Killer Frost (also Panabaker). Originally introduced as a dark doppelgänger from a parallel Earth, Killer Frost slowly evolved from a dangerous villain into an unstable asset and finally to a hero in her own right, complete with her own snazzy super suit and a firm place on Team Flash.
Her road to this point certainly hasn’t been an easy one, and The Flash has made some fairly significant missteps with both her and Caitlin’s characters. While she’s been a part of Team Flash since the series began in 2014, Caitlin often found herself with little to do beyond spout science jargon at STAR Labs and fall in love with men who either died tragically (Ronnie Raymond, in multiple realities) or turned out to be evil (Julian Albert was secretly Alchemy; the false Jay Garrick who was really Zoom). Meanwhile, the erratic explanations for Killer Frost’s origins often made it difficult to really get to know the character — was she meant to be an extension of Caitlin’s psyche? Her own person? Or something in between?
As we head into the show’s seventh season, The Flash finally seems to have settled into a groove with these two women, and the future for both characters feels wide open. Yes, it’s true that no one seems to be able to tell us precisely what happens to Caitlin when Frost is in control of their shared body, and someone should really get to explaining that in Season 7. But the story of these two women discovering their own identities — and embracing the power they share — is more compelling now than it has ever been before.
The Flash has stopped trying to force dreadful love interests on Caitlin, and Frost, having dropped the “Killer” sobriquet from her name, is now positioned as a key member of Barry Allen’s team of superfriends. Both women are consciously exploring their past together, and Frost is finally able to take an active role in determining her own future, rather than just showing up whenever Team Flash needs some extra superpowered muscle.
Season 6 worked hard to establish Frost as her own person outside of Caitlin’s shadow, dedicating significant screen time to building her own relationships with the members of Team Flash. While Frost’s original connection to Ralph may have been played for laughs — he volunteered to be her “life coach” — the two did develop a genuine friendship based on their troubled pasts and occasional feelings of isolation. And her charming bond with Allegra has helped both newcomers to feel more accepted in Team Flash. Best of all, these budding friendships manage to feel both meaningful and earned on their own terms, and not simply extensions of existing relationships with her other half.
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