The Flash star Danielle Panabaker has been waiting for this storyline for quite some time.
When the speedy superhero drama returns tomorrow, Caitlin’s (Panabaker) chilly sister, Frost, is going on trial for the crimes she committed in season 3 when she was known as Killer Frost. Even though the show never had Frost face the consequences once season 4 arrived, Panabaker always hoped they would revisit those sins.
“Obviously, [Frost has] been trying to do the right thing and save the day in many ways since her bad days, but I do think it is important that she is held accountable for what she did,” Panabaker tells EW. “It’s certainly something, I think, I was a little bit more vocal about back in season 4, because it felt like season 4 was a bit of a shift from where season 3 and I did want to see her held accountable. Just me morally, I think it’s an important story to tell so it was something I’d asked about. I didn’t realize they were going to do it this season.”
With Frost facing punishment for her transgressions, this episode ends up bringing out a new side of Caitlin, who goes to great lengths to save her other half.
“It’s really interesting historically, especially in the last season or two, what we’ve really seen is Frost be the more emotional one,” says Panabaker. “And Caitlin tends to typically be the more composed person and in episode 8, we’re going to see Caitlin be a little bit more irrational. She is scared on a deeper level than I think she’s willing to admit about losing Frost, so she acts out in a little bit irrational [way] at times, which is a nice change. I think it’s nice to see characters’ flawed and make mistakes and learn from them.”
Panabaker continues: “Episode 8 was important. I think there [are] some underlying themes about how we treat people who are different than us, whether it’s they look different or are different and that element of storytelling was very important to me and there’s a lot of weight to it. So it was important to me that I bring my best to this, absolutely.”
Viewers should definitely brace themselves for the episode’s conclusion. “I don’t think this episode is going to have the happy ending that some people want, so it’s going to be incredibly impactful for both of them. There are consequences for Frost, and Caitlin could lose this person who is incredibly important to her,” says Panabaker.
Looking ahead at the rest of season 7, the star also opened up about directing the Allegra-centric episode 14.
“This episode in particular is a really big one for Kayla [Compton] and to be able to collaborate with her and support her and empower her in this moment was something really special woman to woman,” she says. “And as someone who has walked in her shoes — playing a character with super powers and you’re doing things that sometimes feel a little crazy — to be able to reassure her that I’ve got her back in this way was great. But it is challenging in a pandemic. There’s an intimacy to a relationship between a director and an actor when they come over and give you a note and discuss things. That’s a conversation that should be had person to person and not shouted across a stage and now you can’t come within six feet of someone, so you have to stand back. So there is a necessary change to everything about making a TV show.”
Panabaker is also excited for fans to see The Flash’s 150th episode, which begins production Monday and will feature Jordan Fisher as Bart Allen, Barry (Grant Gustin) and Iris’ (Candice Patton) son from the future. “We’ve a really fantastic director named Eric Dean Seaton returning, and the story is great, the script is awesome. There will be some returning favorites and hopefully some new fan favorites in this episode,” she teases. “Seven years ago when we came up here to Vancouver to film the pilot of The Flash, I never imagined that we would be making 150 episodes of the show and how many different stories we would have told and the fact that I would’ve gotten a step behind the camera several times. I am aware of how lucky and fortunate we are.”
The Flash airs Tuesdays at 8 p.m. on the CW.