Shane Harvey/The CW
Natalie Abrams
April 23, 2018 at 08:11 PM EDT

Ralph wasn’t the only casualty of Team Flash’s run-in with DeVoe last week.

After siphoning Ralph’s powers, DeVoe used Melting Point’s ability to swap people’s DNA to effectively steal Caitlin’s (Danielle Panabaker) own ability on The Flash — in other words, Killer Frost is no more.

“It affects her a lot,” Panabaker tells EW. “Emotionally, it affects her, but also logically. There is the scientist doctor inside of her who needs answers, so we’re going to see her try various different techniques to try and get Killer Frost to come out, and that does lead her to delve a little bit deeper into who Killer Frost is.”

The loss of Killer Frost couldn’t come at a more difficult time for Caitlin, who had really started to cement their bond through notes they’d leave for each other while the other was unconscious. “I feel like this year we have barely scratched the surface of Killer Frost vs. Caitlin and what those two dynamics look like,” Panabaker says. “I feel like there’s still so much to learn about Killer Frost and Caitlin, and just as we’re starting to scratch the surface, Killer Frost gets taken away from her.”

Hence, DeVoe’s dastardly act makes Caitlin more determined than ever in the ultimate fight to take him down. “It gives Caitlin a personal connection to the Thinker and to why she, as well, is so committed to stopping him.”

But now that Caitlin is powerless, she’s also at a disadvantage, and therefore relegated to helping the team from afar. “It does frustrate her, for sure,” Panabaker says of Caitlin not being in the field. “There’s a moment in one of the episodes where Flash looks to Cisco and Caitlin and says, ‘Okay, suit up,’ and then he looks at Caitlin and he says, ‘Oh.’ It’s a sad moment where the team doesn’t have Killer Frost to rely on anymore.

“It does affect the team to not have Killer Frost’s ability in the field,” Panabaker continues. “But we’ve also seen some growth in Caitlin, and I think she wants to step up as well and still be able to get out there and help in whatever way she can.” And she will. When EW was on set earlier this month, Caitlin was definitely on a mission as herself.

When her quest to find Killer Frost fails scientifically, Caitlin will find help in some surprising places, particularly off a tip from Joe. “Drawing on his own police experience, he is trying to guide Caitlin and he says sometimes you have to look in a different direction, which prompts Caitlin to look in a different direction not only for herself in trying to find answers to Killer Frost — why she went away, and if she can get her back — but also in the larger context of Team Flash and getting the help they need.”

The Flash airs Tuesdays at 8 p.m. ET on the CW.

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