How The Flash Channeled An Infamous Star Trek Episode To Kill Off A Character
This was absolutely wild.
Warning! The following contains spoilers for The Flash's Season 9 episode "Hear No Evil." Read at your own risk!
The Flash Season 9 ended its premiere with the reveal that Caitlin Snow was no longer the Caitlin Snow that fans knew. "Hear No Evil" revealed this new person is called "Snow," a third entity who is neither Caitlin nor Killer Frost. According to Frost's boyfriend, Chillblaine, this was all according to plan, and Caitlin apparently knew this would happen when they did the experiment. The plan was to use a device on Snow to bring both Caitlin and Killer Frost back to life, which caused my jaw to drop. As an avid fan of Star Trek: Voyager, I couldn't believe I was witnessing what I'm now calling "Tuvix 2.0."
For the uninitiated, "Tuvix" is one of the most infamous episodes of Star Trek: Voyager, and maybe even Star Trek overall. Fans have debated the moral quandary presented by the episode for decades and wrestled with the ethics of Captain Janeway's decision that The Flash was also tasked with in "Hear No Evil." Let's break down both episodes and determine if The Flash made the right call in its situation with Snow or not.
What Happened In Star Trek: Voyager's "Tuvix"
The crew of Star Trek: Voyager was blindsided by an impossible situation when a transporter malfunction accidentally transformed Lt. Tuvok and Neelix into one person. This new entity, called Tuvix, existed as a member of the crew for a month while the crew worked in the background to find a solution. Once Tuvix learned it was now possible for him to be separated, he begged the crew not to do it and that he had rights as an individual to exist.
Captain Janeway ultimately forced Tuvix's separation to go through, and Tuvok and Neelix returned to their separate bodies. Fans have debated whether or not that was the right call, and Janeway's decision to force the separation is occasionally used as a means to scrutinize her overall capabilities as a Captain.
What Happened In The Flash's "Hear No Evil"
When Chillblaine tried to use the device to transform Snow back into Caitlin and Killer Frost, Barry stopped the procedure when he realized that Snow wanted out. Snow told Chillblaine she wasn't aware the process would hurt and wasn't ready to go through with it. Chillblaine said that was unacceptable and against Caitlin's wishes when she first started the procedure that made Snow. Barry defended Snow's right to delay the procedure, but Team Flash wrestled with what to do throughout the episode.
In the end, Chillblaine surprisingly had the votes of a majority of Team Flash to use the device to turn Snow back into two separate entities. Barry said that didn't matter because Snow had told him and others she wanted to live her life as a separate individual. The device was then destroyed, seemingly erasing any hope of Caitlin or Killer Frost ever returning.
Did The Flash Make The Right Call?
A number of Star Trek: Voyager fans who talk about "Tuvix" agree that it was the passage of time that made the character's separation back to Tuvok and Neelix so inhumane. Conversely, The Flash played out this scenario over the course of what felt like maybe a couple of days, and ultimately, Snow got to live. Barry also pulled rank as Janeway did, though it's unclear if he knew Hartley Rathaway (Pied Piper) would show up and destroy the device right after he and Snow made her wishes known. All we know is that Rathaway mentioned he did it out of a bond he formed with Snow during his stay at S.T.A.R. Labs earlier, which he formed in a matter of hours.
The possible conclusions we can draw from this episode are numerous. Unfortunately, I think every conclusion I've drawn from The Flash doing an alternate take on "Tuvix" has complicated all previous thoughts I had about the Star Trek: Voyager episode. The only thing I can definitively say is the show really did Caitlin Snow dirty by killing her off so unceremoniously, and with only 13 episodes total this final season, it's unlikely we'll get a fitting sendoff for her as we have with other major characters. Who would've thought doing this type of episode again would be just as divisive?
The Flash airs on The CW on Wednesdays at 8:00 p.m. ET. It, along with many other shows on the 2023 TV schedule, are tasked with keeping folks entertained for the next few months, so be sure to take a look and tune into whatever seems interesting!
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Mick likes good television, but also reality television. He grew up on Star Wars, DC, Marvel, and pro wrestling and loves to discuss and dissect most of it. He’s been writing online for over a decade and never dreamed he’d be in the position he is today.