The Flash, S3 Ep 06 – Shade

While “Shade” proves to be yet another satisfying episode of this season of The Flash, and provides an interesting twist, it still has its issues, mainly regarding how Caitlyn Snow and her newfound powers are handled. In addition to further developing the evolution of Killer Frost, “Shade” continues to try and justify Earth-19 Harrison Wells’ existence, focus on Wally’s desire to become a speedster, and introduces us to a new meta-human referred to as Shade.


Seeing The Shining in the park

As Caitlyn’s powers continue to evolve, the character is becoming increasingly afraid she will turn out like her Earth-2 counterpart, Killer Frost. In “Shade” she opens up to Cisco about her new abilities and Cisco even “vibes” with her to see a possible future where the two of them eventually fight.

While seeing Vibe go up against Killer Frost certainly made for a cool flash forward, there is still no justification for Caitlyn to turn evil in the first place. Caitlyn’s so worried about turning evil, but can’t she just choose to not turn evil? We all know she’s a good character at heart and nothing about her new powers suggest they will change her emotionally, so why would she turn into Killer Frost?

While I doubt things would turn out this way, I think a more satisfying twist would be that Cisco turns bad. I know there’s no justification for that either, but if the two of them are fighting in the future it would be more surprising if it were Caitlyn that was defending herself from a Cisco gone bad rather than the other way around. I have to reiterate, I know this will not happen this way, and judging from the trailer for next week’s episode it seems like there’s a lot more going on in Caitlyn’s head that this episode does not go into. Right now it just feels like the show is forcing Caitlyn to turn evil because that’s just how she is in the comics.

The Caitlyn Snow aspects of the this episode continue to seem off, but everything else in this episode worked very well. Shade is an interesting meta-human with a very unique power set. While he is defeated fairly easily by The Flash, during a failed screening of The Shining in the park, it was fun seeing what he can do. Even though the episode is literally named after this new meta, the meat of the story focuses on Wally West.

As the episode begins we see Wally in full on Kid Flash mode. As it turns out he’s having dreams of his Flashpoint counterpart, thanks to Dr. Alchemy. It’s easy to feel sorry for Wally in this episode as he feels he’s meant to do greater things and now has evidence that he was once a superhero in an alternate timeline. By the end of the episode you really can’t blame him for picking up Dr. Alchemy’s stone in attempt to retrieve his Flashpoint abilities.

Savitar, the God of Speed

Savitar, the God of Speed

Using Wally as bait in finding Dr. Alchemy was very smart and it could’ve worked out, but as the episode concluded we find out that Dr. Alchemy is not the main threat this season. Enter Savitar, a dark speedster who refers to himself as the God of Speed. Even though Savitar looks amazing and definitely feels more threatening than any other speedster before him, strengthened by the fact that only Barry can see him, he’s still just another speedster. I hope his backstory is more compelling than Zoom’s, because I honestly thought Zoom was a weak villain, especially in comparison to season one’s Reverse-Flash.

Overall, “Shade” was still a very good episode despite its mishandling of Caitlyn Snow. That being said, it’s still early in Caitlyn’s story-arc, and there’s still a lot more that can happen that can lead her to becoming an evil Killer Frost. Joe had some very compelling scenes as we see him cope with what his son is going through and remains nervous and distrusting of the unnatural way his son may gain his abilities. “Shade” also featured several humorous moments involving Earth-19 Harrison Wells and his face changing device. Cisco’s “did you just neuralize us?” was a definite laugh-out-loud moment.

Next week’s episode, appropriately titled “Killer Frost”, will go deeper into what’s happening with Caitlyn. Will this be the episode where she turns it all around and becomes just like her Earth-2 counterpart? Check out the trailer for “Killer Frost” below and feel free to let us know what you thought of “Shade” in the comments.