The one thing I love about The CW shows is that, for the most part, you really can’t trust parents. Most of the time they’re the bad guys or come very close to being them. The Flash, however, has mostly avoided that trend during its run. Well, at least it did up until tonight’s episode. As the title suggests, “The Icicle Cometh” introduced Caitlin’s father and SPOILER ALERT, he’s objectively the worst.
Last week, Caitlin decided she wanted to take a beat before continuing her search for her father, Dr. Thomas Snow (Veronica Mars’ Kyle Secor); however, when Barry and Cisco reveal that they used S.T.A.R. Labs’ new satellite hook-up to find him, she immediately jumps on the opportunity to be reunited with him, which feels very real (even though how much she missed her dad only became a thing toward the end of last season/this season). So while Iris, Nora, Sherloque, Ralph, and Cecile continue to investigate Cicada, Caitlin, Cisco, and Barry — a.k.a. Original Team Flash, a.k.a. OTF? (Oh god, I don’t want to start The Flash’s version of Arrow season 6 with that joke) — throw on some heavy coats, open a breach, and head up north to Thomas’s location.
Something about Caitlin’s reunion with her father left me pretty cold (pun very much intended). Part of it was probably because I spent the entire episode waiting for the other shoe to drop, which was a direct result of Cisco being incredibly suspicious of Thomas from the moment he meets him. Thomas reveals that he decided to quarantine himself in the Tannhauser black site after the cryotherapy he used to cure his ALS had unintended side effects. What were those side effects? Well, he developed a cryo-malignancy that’s threatening to crystallize his skin and overwrite his DNA, and that acts up whenever his emotions spike. Hm, who does that sounds like?
If your answer was Caitlin, then you’re correct. It turns out — and this isn’t surprising in the slightest given what we saw last week — Thomas discovered that Caitlin had the genetic markers for ALS and gave her the same cure, which created the Killer Frost persona. Thomas claims that he didn’t develop another personality, which must be why he’s suffering from this disease. Even though Thomas treated her as a lab experiment, Caitlin’s still willing to help him and decides to make a serum from her blood that should stop the cryo-disease. The one problem is that the only way it would work is if they lower Thomas’ body to absolute zero, which would require them to break into the DoD, because of course it would!
Barry, who’s letting his recent experience with Nora cloud his judgment, is all for helping them cure Thomas, but Cisco thinks something fishy is going on. While Caitlin and Barry get to work on the plan, he makes a return trip to the North Pole, has several painful vibes in Thomas’ lab, and discovers skin-grafts, which clue him into the fact that Thomas may not be who he says he is. He brings the evidence back to Central City, but Thomas says that he was simply using the grafts to cover up the parts of his body that have turned to ice. Caitlin, who has been missing her father for so long, believes his story and turns on Cisco. The show just introduced how much of a void Caitlin has felt in her life without her father, so I’m not 100 percent convinced that she would treat Cisco like this, but I’ll allow it because Danielle Panabaker sells the material.
Next: The Icicle Departeth
Even though Caitlin rejected him, Cisco doesn’t give up and convinces Barry to look at the situation as a CSI instead as Nora’s father. Barry realizes Cisco has a point and tries talking to Caitlin himself, which works, but only because Caitlin realizes that the serum she created has two potential uses: it can be used to cure her father’s cryo-disease, but if he’s actually a cryo-metahuman (take a shot each time I or the show uses the word “cryo”), it could erase what’s left of his human side. She assembles OTF to confront her father, who realizes the jig is up and confesses that yes he’s actually Icicle, Thomas’ version of Killer Frost. He uses his icy powers to incapacitate the team and escapes with the serum.
With Icicle on the loose, everyone on Team Flash assembles at the Cortex and heads to the DoD to stop him from lowering his body temperature to absolute zero and injecting the serum. Unfortunately, this special DoD room that’s too silly for me to even remember what it’s actually called is too cold for anyone on the team to be of any use, except for Caitlin. The pressure of the moment helps Caitlin reconnect with Killer Frost and she uses her own powers to stop her father. Well, almost. She destroys the serum before he can take it, but Icicle manages to escape. I’m glad that the Icicle story wasn’t wrapped up in a neat bow here because if there’s one thing The Flash has lacked for several seasons, it’s dependable and recurring episodic villains, so I’m looking forward to Kyle Secor popping in and out of the show.
Killer Frost’s return in the heat of battle with Icicle helps Barry and Cisco realize something: DeVoe didn’t actually rewrite Caitlin’s DNA to remove Killer Frost. Instead, he used his telepathy powers to create a mental block between Caitlin and Killer Frost. So all Caitlin has to do is tear that block down, and to help her do that, Cisco gives her H.R.’s old mental activity dampener, which will allow her to have a chat with Killer Frost.
However, that wasn’t the only major development in the episode. The rest of Team Flash actually made some significant headway in identifying Cicada, too. Cecile and Ralph teamed up to bully a corrupt FEMA official into sharing files that will lead them to Cicada’s daughter, and Nora, Iris, and Sherloque found the satellite core, which is where the piece of shrapnel that is Cicada’s dagger came from. The Iris-Nora portion of this subplot was my favorite part of the episode because it was truly heartwarming to see how enthusiastic Nora was about working with her mother after watching her dive off the roof last week, and I loved how Iris used her experience as a speedster last season to help Nora dredge up the core. More Nora-Iris bonding time, please!
Wall of Weird:
- Thomas Snow revealed that he stayed in contact with Harrison Wells and Victor Fries (a.k.a. Mr. Freeze) when he first got up there. We’ll meet Victor’s wife Nora in this year’s crossover. #TooManyNoras.
- They explained away Jesse L. Martin’s absence in this episode by saying that Joe was out on a walk with baby Jenna — all day!
- Ralph helped Cecile get her intimidating DA mojo back, which was also fun to watch.
- Cicada spent the entire episode trying to tend to injuries he sustained fighting a meta at the beginning of the episode. At the end of the hour, the doctor that’s caring for his daughter, and who also hates metahumans, shows up at his home to help fix him up.
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