Flash: The People VS Killer Frost

Danielle Panabaker talks to herself

The newest big threat to come out of nowhere for Team Flash is the governor’s special envoy, Kristen Kramer, doing her best to turn Central City against Frost. Due to her influence, Frost has been arrested and is now on trial in an episode that shows the CW writers, collectively, have not only never researched anything at all about the Criminal Justice system, they’ve probably never even seen an episode of Law and Order. While there were factual errors a-plenty in this one, they did work in a few surprises I didn’t see coming. It’s a mixed bag for “The People Vs. Killer Frost.”

The episode opens with the driven Kramer going to ARGUS for a mysterious and ominous meeting with Cooper, who we’ve seen before. While she’s up to no good, the team meets at STAR to discuss Frost’s sentencing, because trials happen instantly in this world. We get the weak explanation that Frost pled guilty and skipped her trial as Cecile frets and the rest of the team worries. The general air of tension and worry is interrupted by alarms going off, and Barry, Iris, and Nora leave to take care of that, which is pretty much the cast division for the rest of the show. With Iris on coms, Nora and Barry arrive at the scene of the supposed issue and find nothing amiss and an unexpected setting for the lack-of-trouble.

In court, Cecile makes a good plea on Frost’s behalf, with the rest of the team there for support. The prosecutor, utterly unmoved by Frost’s reformation and heroism, glances at Kramer before speaking, which isn’t a good sign. The DA is vicious in tearing apart Frost on her past, and suddenly changes up the long prison term they had discussed for Frost being forced to take the “meta-human cure.” There are so many things wrong with this I’m not sure where to start. No court in the US at the very least can force someone to take any drug. If Cecile agreed to a guilty plea with no agreement on sentencing, she’s rankly incompetent, and if there was an agreement that the DA is now changing, Cecile should be raising that objection. And, way back when Cisco started working on this “cure,” one of the first things I said was, “It’s going to get used against the heroes.” I didn’t envision this exact scenario, but I was in the ballpark. Cisco really should have retained some kind of intellectual control over his invention.

Rocked by this development, the team meets to discuss what’s going to happen. The prosecution, apparently, is making the argument that this is akin to taking a gun away from a convicted felon. It isn’t, because, among other things, this is making a change in a person, not taking a possession, and also, disarming felons is settled case law. This is new. There is discussion about what to do next, and Frost insists that she doesn’t want to do anything shady on this, just go ahead by the book. While she’s ok with this, others aren’t, and Caitlin, Cisco, and Allegra immediately start scheming. The interesting point is also raised that Kramer seems very committed to going after Frost, and no one is sure why.

Barry and Nora wander the area they find themselves in, and try and figure out what they should do. Barry seems very unsure about what to next, and Nora is very focused on tracking down the other Forces that are out there. As Barry reflects on how little they know about what’s going on, Nora is a lot less philosophical. If anything, she seems traumatized about the attack on her at the start of the season. Iris chimes in over coms, also not sure about what they’re looking for, but guiding them in as the sensors refine the target. Iris points out some of the things that don’t make sense, such as what Cisco and Chester learned on their time travel trip. Which reminds me, where is Chester in all this? Just randomly gone, as seems to keep happening with various characters. Eventually, Iris guides them to an area where there’s only one person, but she has no idea what Barry and Nora are talking about. Barry tries to reason with her, but Nora comes on very strong and alienates the woman.

At CCPD, Mission: Impetuous kicks off. Caitlin offers a distraction so Allegra can sneak inside while Cisco plays Oracle from the STAR van outside. I suppose you can make the argument Cisco should have some say in how his creation is used, but this is still a bad plan. Before Allegra can plant the gizmo to trash the CCPD supply of meta-cure, she runs into Kramer. I think this is the first scene where Allegra has really come into her own. Without help, without doing what someone else told her to do, she distracts Kramer, covers her own presence there, uses her powers to help further the mission, and gets the gizmo to Caitlin. Really, nice job Allegra. They pull off their task and it’s all good, right? Sure. Alexa, the woman Nora and Barry have met, offers a decent reason to not want to go to STAR before essentially throwing them out, and then Barry and Nora have a difference of opinion about what they should be doing. Iris stands up for Barry, and makes some good arguments that Nora just isn’t quite getting.

The writers aren’t done proving they don’t know how court works as the trial continues. Joe West testifies as a character witness, and is very persuasive. However, still following Kramer’s lead, the DA brings up the earlier incident where the cure was made useless. Since there is absolutely no evidence linking that to Frost (in fact, we know she didn’t do it), it shouldn’t be relevant to the case at all, but Cecile once again fails to object. Did she really go to law school? There’s a lot of argument, a confession, an accusation of lying, and the judge decides she’s had enough and goes back to chambers. Frost is clearly displeased about all this, Kramer delivers a disturbing line, and Caitlin is maybe starting to realize what she did. Regrouping, the team tries to figure out what to do next, and Frost insists on a conversation alone with Caitlin. Frost, rarely for her, is the rational one, and points out the flaws in what Caitlin is doing and why.

Since Nora pretty much destroyed any chance at a regular discussion with Alexa, Barry decides on a charm offensive and goes to talk to her as his costumed alter ego. Alexa is impressed about the Flash coming to see her, and shares some of her concerns about what the testing might show, as well as her troubled past. Flash is patient, understanding, and hears her out. Flash is very much the kind hero here, and it’s a role not everyone could pull off. Oliver, for most of his career, certainly couldn’t have. Frost manages to get a meeting with Kramer, and we finally learn what her deal is. While it is a tragic event for her, I think the bigger picture here gets missed. According to Kramer, the US government, or at least the military, has metas working for them. That’s really, really not good, and makes me wonder if there’s some version of the Suicide Squad back in the Arrowverse. Then Frost and Caitlin have a tearful discussion on one of the balconies at STAR, and a desperate plan comes out of it.

Things start building to several surprises as the episode races to a few different climaxes. Alexa finally comes to STAR and gets an apology as she agrees to the tests. In court, Frost makes a last-minute statement that is very impassioned and raises some excellent points about metas, the law, and prejudice. Kramer is really pissed off at the outcome, but I have to say, it’s not at all what I was expecting and I really wonder how they’re going to handle this on the show in the future. We do, at least, get to see the judge telling Kramer off. There are a few small aftermath scenes with Kramer and Joe West, and then a very sad scene of someone going home.

As if all that wasn’t bad enough, things take a turn at STAR. Their tests reveal something about Alexa, and it’s a surprise to at least some of them. The truth revealed, there’s a really big twist as some unilateral, pre-emptive action comes into play. It’s an ugly scene and shows how little both sides involved really understand each other. The rest of the team isn’t going to be happy when they hear about this.

What I liked: Frost got a great speech. Barry’s concern for Alexa shows why he’s such an inspirational hero. I’m intrigued by what Kramer revealed about metas in service to the government, even if that’s not going to get followed up on. Allegra impressed me, and there was a nice, if brief, appearance by one of Frost’s few friends outside STAR Labs. The two endings were both big surprises.

What I didn’t: There was a lot wrong with this episode. The writers are utterly ignorant about how courts work. Some might say that’s not their job, and I somewhat understand that, but they also screwed up their own world. It was established early on that Frost isn’t a meta, at least not in terms of the “STAR’s accident created her and dark matter fuels her” sense. So why was she wearing a power damper, which shouldn’t work on her, and why was the cure such a big deal, since it shouldn’t have worked either? Where’s Chester? They couldn’t at least have spared a line to acknowledge his absence? I disagree with Joe’s final scene with Kramer.

This was a weird ending to subplot they’ve been working on for a while, and it didn’t come off all that well. I’m giving this a 2.5 out of 5, and that might be kind. I hope the rest of the season gets better.