The Flash's Danielle Panabaker talks about her identity crisis as Killer Frost

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Mar 27, 2021, 1:00 AM EDT (Updated)

A cold spell has fallen on Team Flash lately.

After Barry Allen's Flashpoint stunt, warm and friendly Caitlin Snow began developing icy metahuman abilities. Afraid she would turn out like her evil Earth-2 counterpart, Killer Frost, Caitlin struggled with keeping those powers at bay – to no avail. Her worst fears came true. She eventually transformed into the villainous Killer Frost. Caitlin even sided with the speedster Savitar, but ultimately betrayed him to save her friends.

These days, Caitlin and Killer Frost exist as two separate identities, similar to Bruce Banner and the Hulk. Frost may still be a little chilly, but she fights with the good guys. However, Frost's own extra-curricular activities have led to a few enemies of her own. Last month, Danielle Panabaker spoke to a contingent of journalists, including SYFY WIRE, about Caitlin's identity crisis and the deadly Amunet on The CW's The Flash.

Is Killer Frost an asset to Team Flash like Vibe?

That was my question, too. You know, there's a moment at the end of episode five, where you see her transform and I think what becomes very clear is that Caitlin doesn't have complete control over when Killer Frost takes over and vice versa. Killer Frost doesn't have control over when Caitlin takes over, either. So, they are both inside of Caitlin and battling to sort of see who can come to the surface. Killer Frost obviously wishes she could be in charge, and Caitlin likes being in charge, too.

We've talked about how the show has a much lighter tone this year. Do you feel that's affecting Caitlin's storyline?

I don't know that they've exactly found a place for Caitlin with this lighter storyline this year. I think there are definitely moments of it. You know, Caitlin was given a heavier storyline, particularly in the beginning of the season with the threat of Amunet, which doesn't go away. So, yes, there is certainly an opportunity for comedy and a little bit more levity. I think Felicity brings a ton of that. Having her guest star in episode five really helped. Caitlin is still struggling with this person, Amunet, who we see would kill her. She has no qualms about beating her up in Episode 5, so, hopefully, there is opportunity for Caitlin in S.T.A.R. Labs to start bringing that levity, as well.


You mentioned that Amunet is going to continue to be a threat for Killer Frost. Can you tease what that's going to look like?

Well, Amunet wants to kill her. That might be a little dramatic. Amunet would kill Caitlin/Killer Frost if it came to that; she's not afraid of that. Obviously, in Episode 5, while it didn't exactly show us, it did tell us a bit of what's been going on with Caitlin over the summer and the fact that she's been working for Amunet. It's not a very reciprocal relationship she has with Amunet. Amunet is more of a taker than a giver. So, Amunet is not used to being told no, which I think is why we see them have some conflict. Amunet still has plans for Killer Frost. I think Killer Frost is pretty valuable, could be used as a pretty valuable weapon, and I think Amunet would be interested in taking advantage of that. And it's not the last time we see Amunet try and use Killer Frost/Caitlin Snow to her advantage.

A lot of times when people get their powers, they're the same person. But, with Killer Frost, it's like suddenly powers made her evil. Has the reason why ever been explained to you?

I wish I could count the number of times I've asked this question because, you know, we read the scripts and obviously it's up to us to interpret them to the best of our abilities. I have asked that question many times. The best analogy I've gotten is, again, the one we saw in Episode 5, that Jekyll and Hyde. I would still like to see a Killer Frost origin story. I would still like to know why this version of Killer Frost, who lives inside Caitlin, is so evil. Obviously, again, hopefully, we are seeing some evolution of her character, but I want to know why, right out the gate, she was ready to join forces with Savitar and kill Iris. I don't know that that's been explained on the show and it certainly hasn't been explained to me, either.

Caitlin turned to her mother last season. Will viewers learn more about Caitlin's background?

So far in Season 4, we've just been focusing on her struggles, Killer Frost versus Caitlin, and how one or the other can stay in control. I think everyone's a little bit skeptical of Killer Frost, but I think seeing that there must still be some human parts in her as well — the fact that she helped save the girls from Amunet. I don't know that Killer Frost will always be on the same side as Team Flash, but it's not the last time we've seen her fight with Team Flash.