“Growing Pains” Review of S7E7 of THE FLASH

This episode is in part about change, the kind that comes as we grow together…or apart. Barry and the Speed Force/Nora have a strained relationship. Caitlin and Frost are learning to live as separate people. And while all this is going on, Kristen Kramer is ready to arrest Frost for her previous crimes…and a supposed new crime as well. Is Frost innocent of this new crime? And if so, who is behind it? Wanna know more? Follow us after the jump!

SPOILERS AHEAD – YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED!

NOTE: This review is posting before THE FLASH airs in the Pacific Time Zone USA. If you haven’t seen the show yet, STOP HERE and come back after watching the episode. You’ll be glad you did!

There is a new meta in town, one with ice powers like Frost. At least, that’s what it looks like to Team Flash. To Kristen Kramer, it looks like a meta named Killer Frost has murdered the driver of a delivery van for IVO Laboratories. She will go to any length now to bring Frost in.

There is now a $100,000 reward on Frost’s head, and as she investigates to clear her name, she finds plenty of people at her old hangout who are ready to claim that reward. She fights them off with the help of a handsome bartender who seems to know a lot about her. He gives her a clue as to where this new “meta” may be, and Frost goes to investigate.

There’s nothing there. That is, except a neurogenic scanner (we’ll come back to that later). Meanwhile, Caitlin Snow is being arrested for Frost’s crimes! Frost wants to break her out, but Caitlin and Cecile convince her to wait. 

It’s then that Frost realizes who has been framing her for this latest crime. As Barry has already learned, the new ice powered “meta” is actually a non-meta, regular human. He’s using tech to replicate Frost’s powers. Who could that be?

It’s the bartender, Mark Blaine, aka Chillblaine. He’s a one-time scientist with an evil streak. He invented the chip that allows him to replicate Frost’s powers, and used that neurogenic scanner at the warehouse to complete his devices. He and Frost fight, and Chillblaine eventually gets the upper hand by temporarily blinding Frost. But, Frost wins the battle, impaling herself and Chillblaine at the same time with an ice dagger.

Frost has “ice healing”, and Chillblaine is tended to by a just-arriving Flash. He will survive, and his confession (recorded earlier by Frost) will send him to Iron Heights. But, he won’t be the only one in danger of going there.

Just then, Kristen Kramer has the place surrounded. Frost decides to give herself up. She may be innocent of the latest crime, but she is ready to answer for the things she did earlier. Frost is truly growing as a person, and taking responsibility for her actions is part of it. She walks out and into the hands of Kramer’s task force.

There is a separate story thread that is still important to the season. It’s between Barry and the returning Speed Force avatar. 

  • As the Speed Force/Nora heals, Barry’s speed gets bursts of additional energy. It creates havoc in several places.
  • Barry is frustrated and irritated with Nora/Speed Force, and it nearly tears them apart. But, with some encouragement from Iris, Barry mends that relationship. 
  • The Speed Force is becoming something different, something…more. And, Barry is ready to accept that, and her.
  • The Speed Force is almost completely healed. With that, Barry’s bursts of excess speed appear to be gone. We’ll move forward from here to fight the new forces of Strength, Sage, and Still.

NOTES:

  • Chillblaine does have a history in the comics. There were actually several with that name. They were associated with Golden Glider, and most were “hunks” who may not have been as brilliant as our warped scientist here.
  • Frost and Caitlin being separate entities plays out especially well in this episode. Caitlin is arrested, leaving Frost to continue the search for the person who framed her. And, with Frost turning herself in we see Caitlin still able to function as a part of Team Flash. Where this ends? I don’t know, but this is a great story thread.
  • Frost turning herself in is important here. Yes, she has become a hero – but she still has a history that she has been hiding from for some time. Frost could not remain a hidden part of Team Flash forever, and taking personal responsibility is a good thing here.
  • The fight sequences in this episode were great. I know that some will want more Flash-centric fight scenes, but the Frost/Chillblaine battle was excellent, as was her earlier fight with the others in the bar. Well choreographed, with just the right amount of CGI/Frost to remind us of her meta-abilities.

SUMMARY:

This was a solid episode, one that continues Frost’s development in a positive direction. I’ll give this an 8/10 – of course, that’s just my opinion. What do YOU think? Leave your comments below!

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