The Flash: 5.05 The Icicle Cometh
Cisco’s line early on in this episode summed things up nicely, “this story’s got a lot of holes, and I’m just trying to fill them in”. Unfortunately what he failed to mention was the clunky pacing, poor writing and overcrowded feel. The Flash has been teasing the reveal of Caitlin’s father and the return of Killer Frost for such a long time that the end result was dull, lifeless and full of convenience and predictability. With everything she’s been through (killed fiancé, murderous alter ego, and horrible mother) you can’t help but feel bad for her.
The Icicle Cometh separates itself into four sections; Barry, Cisco and Caitlin on ‘Project Find Daddy’, Ralph and Cecil on ‘Project Who is Cicada’, Iris, Nora and Sherloque on ‘Project Investigate Devoe’s Crashed Satellite’, and finally some more detail on Cicada himself. Not only is this too much, but each element differs in tone significantly, so scene transitions are abrupt, making it difficult to adjust to the ever changing surroundings.
Let’s start with Caitlin’s arc as it takes up the majority of the episode. Everything about it was painfully obvious and, in some cases, irritating. Not only did the team find her father way too easily, but even after they did, in the North Pole might I add, he was perfectly fine and nobody questioned it (not even a Carpenter’s The Thing reference from Cisco). Oh and he may be a cure for a horrible disease, but don’t worry about that. Caitlin’s blind hope and trust that her dad is back for good, and everything is hunky dory, is the exact same problem I had with Felicity this week on Arrow; it belittles her character’s intelligence and experiences over the past four seasons.
Her father becoming a villain, although predictable, wasn’t a horrible twist, but the character was treated so poorly with dialogue, dare I say worse than the infamous puns in Batman and Robin, saying, “oh good, more superheroes to freeze”, when the Flash and crew attempt to stop him… it hurts just writing it. Perhaps most disappointing is this episode saw the return of Killer Frost, a superb character sadly watered down showing, all Caitlin needed to bring her back was to be shocked and her “family” to be in peril. It’s pathetic and was clearly rushed, as was the final sequence of the two talking through Wells’ mind thingamabob.
The side-plot with Iris and Nora getting some quality time, now that Nora thinks her mum is “schway” because she jumped off a building, is largely forgettable. In fact I hope I forget the Sherloque singing scene pretty swiftly. Equally so is the other side adventure with Ralph and Cecil. While its clear attention is trying to drawn away from Joe’s absence, the dynamic between the two felt off, Cecil trying to get her “mojo” back was laughable and considering she is the DA, stupid. Ralph injected some much needed comedy into the mix but even that was poorly handled.
Alongside everything else, Cicada makes a rather impactful appearance, this time divulging more about his character. Learning more about his bolt, his desire to kill other metas (although his motive is still a mystery) and the help he has on the side, has really helped reinvigorate my anticipation for this antagonist and eagerness to discover more. While these scenes may not have fit into the theme of the overall episode, they were easily the most memorable and provided the most interesting story.
Although the supporting cast have long been overdue some much needed character development, The Icicle Cometh failed to capitalise on an exciting character in Caitlin and her alter ego. The nature of the revealed information made it confusing. For example, now that we know Killer Frost’s origin (with Caitlin since a child) does this de-classify her as a Meta? I feel torn to know where she was before the particle accelerator explosion. What’s most disappointing is that Killer Frost isn’t even fully back, so no doubt countless more episodes will be filled with nonsense about it. Let’s hope next week can deliver something more entertaining and better written.