The Flash season 7 sees the continuation of the Force arc with episode 7, “Growing Pains.” In last week’s episode, Chester (Brandon McKnight) and Cisco (Carlos Valdes) find themselves stuck in the 1990s after trying to come up with a plan to save Barry (Grant Gustin) from his coma.
In this episode, Frost (Danielle Panabaker) finds herself in hot water as she is being blamed for a robbery and murder by. Kristen Kramer (Carmen Moore) plans to bring her in to pay for the crime she’s accused of. Rather than involving the entire team, Frost decides to investigate this on her own. Meanwhile, Barry and Iris (Candice Patton) welcome the Speed Force (Michelle Harrison) into their home, but Barry quickly becomes uncomfortable with the plan.
Fans of Frost will be delighted that she plays a big role in “Growing Pains.” She hasn’t had much to do since being split from Caitlin earlier this season. It was a great call to have her and Caitlin split since they have essentially been written as two different people. It’s been incredible to see Panabaker take on two separate roles within the show for so many years.
Both Frost and Caitlin could have remained the same character since that dynamic was introduced but this offers them something new to deal with. It’s great to see just how much they care for one other this season, especially since their relationship didn’t start off so great during season 3.
The side story in “Growing Pains” focused on Barry and his feelings towards having the Speed Force, who has taken the form of his mother, stay with him and Iris in their home. Iris seems much more welcoming to having the Speed Force as a guest and has even started calling it Nora. Barry remains much more reserved but can’t bring himself to say anything. That struggle between having an all-powerful force of the universe take the form of his mother and how it makes him feel is an interesting direction to take Barry’s character. He’s come to terms with the death of his mother but it also seems difficult for him to see his mother’s face at his home. This sets up the potential for many storylines with Barry and the Speed Force, especially with the relationship they already have.
Part of Frost’s story in “Growing Pains” is connected with both Joe (Jesse L. Martin) and Kramer. Joe has always been a man of the law, even after Barry got his powers and became The Flash. However, fans are starting to see him question whether the law gets in the way of keeping his friends and family safe. Kramer is starting to place these doubts for Joe to have in regards to what’s happening with Frost and what makes someone innocent or guilty under the law.
It has the potential to have such a bigger impact due to the current position that Joe has within the Central City Police Department. It begs the question as to how far Joe will continue to question the law and whether there are hidden intentions that Kramer has for going after Frost.
Ultimately, “Growing Pains” offered a bigger story for Frost while also putting the spotlight on other members of Team Flash. Given that there hasn’t been an arc that’s focused on Frost in some time, her current dilemma gives her potential for character growth. Barry’s uneasiness with having the Speed Force stay with him and Iris in their home is a necessary storyline for him to go through, especially since it covers the relationship he had with his mother. Joe beginning to question the law is a unique arc for his character because of the position of power that he holds. This episode is a major improvement from last week’s and has the potential to set up great moments for the next episode.
The Flash is currently on break but will air new episodes starting May 4th, 2021.
The Flash Season 7 Episode 7 – "Growing Pains"
- Rating - 9/109/10
Ultimately, “Growing Pains” offered a bigger story for Frost while also putting the spotlight on other members of Team Flash. Given that there hasn’t been an arc that’s focused on Frost in some time, her current dilemma gives her potential for character growth.