The long-gestating saga surrounding Caitlin’s father finally came to a head with a few good twists, complete with a boatload of DC Comics easter eggs for keen-eared fans.
Spoilers ahead for “The Icicle Cometh,” the latest episode of The CW’s Flash, which aired Tuesday, Nov. 20, 2018.
Turns out Caitlin’s mysterious, missing father is still alive — and has apparently spent the past 20 years locked up inside a secret lab after experimenting on himself with ice tech to try and stop the spread of his ALS. We also learn that is, presumably, where Caitlin got her own ice powers years before the particle accelerator exploded. Her father experimented on her, as well, to try and prevent her from developing ALS. In doing so, he apparently planted the seeds for Killer Frost.
Speaking of Killer Frost, she’s back! It turns out Caitlin’s father has his own icy alternate personality, and he was never able to reach a happy medium like Caitlin and Killer Frost. Instead, his darker side took over completely, turning him into the Arrowverse version of the DC Comics baddie Icicle. As Icicle is on the verge of freezing Team Flash to death, Killer Frost finally resurfaces to save the day (after being assumed lost at the end of last season). Even better, Cisco has developed a piece of tech to allow them to speak to one another, so look for Killer Frost to be an even bigger part of the action moving forward.
The introduction of Icicle also comes with some super-fun DC Comics easter eggs. He says he kept in touch with other scientists, and name-drops Louise Lincoln (a version of Killer Frost from the comics) and most notably Victor Fries, aka fan-favorite Batman rogue Mr. Freeze. So yes, there is a Fries in the Arrowverse; maybe someday we’ll actually get to meet him.
As Cisco makes abundantly clear, the re-emergence of Caitlin’s father also serves as an interesting parallel to Nora’s appearance in the modern day. That reunion has seemingly worked out (though Nora does seem to still have a secret or two up her sleeve), and Barry wants to see the best in Caitlin’s father, too. It’s earnest and annoying, sure, but is very much true to who Barry Allen is at his core.
The rest of Team Flash spent the episode running down leads to try and learn the identity of Cicada, and actually had one heck of a breakthrough by episode’s end. They recover the satellite that spawned his powered dagger, and figure out he’s likely the father of a young girl injured during the Enlightenment (a hunch that looks to be correct). It serves as a chance for Iris and Nora to bond, as well as the odd couple pairing of Ralph and Cecile. Jesse L. Martin was absent from the episode, taking some time off from the show to recover from a back injury, though Joe is presumably just spending time with his newborn daughter offscreen during the events of the episode.
Caitlin’s evil dad alter ego ends the episode using his ice powers to blast out of STAR Labs and out in the wind. So that plot is far from resolved. It seems Team Flash’s next step will be trying to save him from icicle.
After being at odds most of the season, it really is great to see Iris and Nora bonding. Sure, fighting makes for drama, but a bit of positive payoff on a subplot like that can be a good thing. They all deserve a bit of happiness between all the psycho meta-hunting monsters, right?
They seem to be handling Jesse L. Martin’s absence pretty well, just keeping him referenced but offscreen, though you wonder how long they can keep this up before it starts to be a little obvious. Plus, Martin is awesome, and the show is lacking without him there. He’s hoping for a swift recovery.
Next week: We learn more of Cicada’s story as he seems to get the drop on the Flash.