The Flash's Danielle Panabaker Details Why Her New Character Reminds Her of This Past Role

After introducing her newest character to The Flash, Danielle Panabaker told E! News all about The CW show's final season—including welcoming back Arrow fan-favorites like Stephen Amell.

By Leanne Aguilera Feb 16, 2023 2:00 AMTags
Watch: The Flash Sneak Peek: Barry Meets the 3rd Snow Sister

The cold front is over and a new character is thawing on The Flash—well, kind of.

Danielle Panabaker is known for portraying Dr. Caitlin Snow and the classic DC Comics character Killer Frost on The CW series, but in the Feb. 15 episode "Hear No Evil," she said hello to one final alter ego

"Khione was this idea that Caitlin and Frost's dad had," the actress exclusively told E! News. "This was a seed that was planted way back in season four."

And speaking of seeds, Panabaker is keenly aware that her new nature-loving alter ego feels reminiscent of another one of her fan-favorite characters: Sky High's Layla Williams.

"I did think that at the beginning," she said with a laugh, "I was like, 'All right guys, where are we going with this?' Because they're definitely getting Layla vibes."

And viewers will see just how similar Khione and Layla really are as the story unfolds. Panabaker added, "She definitely is connected to nature in a variety of different ways."

And in addition to playing a third Snow sister in the final season, Panabaker is also returning as director for one of the most anticipated episodes of the final season featuring the return of Arrowverse alums Stephen Amell, David Ramsey and Keiynan Lonsdale.

2023 TV Premiere Dates

"It's a great one so I'm really excited," Panabaker said of her fifth foray behind the camera. "I was definitely flattered that they trusted me with such a big episode—not only is the cast huge, but it's an ambitious episode for a variety of reasons."

Keep reading for more secrets about The Flash's final season.

Dean Buscher/The CW

E! News: She's not Caitlin Snow. She's not Killer Frost. When did you find out you were playing Khione?
Danielle Panabaker: This concept that Caitlin was willing to do absolutely everything to get her sister back was something I had known all throughout season eight. Once we found out we were going to do a season nine, [showrunner Eric Wallace] started pitching the idea of a new character to me. But I didn't know exactly how that was going to shake out.

E!: How did her signature blue highlights come to be?
DP: Selfishly I was like, "I can't wear a wig anymore after however many years of that Frost wig." I was like, "I need a break, my skin needs a break." [Eric] wanted this new character to look really different from Caitlin and Frost, so that's why we ended up dying my hair dark and putting these blue streaks in.

E!: What can you tease about Khione and Caitlin this season?
DP: I mean, I'm pretty sure Caitlin is dead, so that's not a great way to endear yourself to Team Flash. So I think season nine is going be about Khione and her journey to discover herself and why she has come to Team Flash.

E!: What were your goals for bringing her to life?
DP: Caitlin was a very buttoned-up, prim and proper character and Frost was the other extreme with not a lot of boundaries, so I wanted it to be something a little bit different.

Dean Buscher/The CW

E!: What has been the most fun part filming this last chapter?
DP: Seeing all these different guest stars come back and in particular, directing episode nine was such an incredible task.

E!: What was your reaction when you discovered that you would be directing the episode with Stephen Amell's return as Green Arrow?
DP: I was surprised because I had been initially assigned episode nine at the beginning of the season over the summer. I think I got lucky that the timing worked out that that was the one for me. I was definitely flattered that they trusted me with such a big episode.

E!: How was it seeing Stephen and Grant Gustin back together as Oliver and Barry?
DP: There's a reason people fell in love with those two characters from the beginning. And the chemistry they have, you don't even have to script it at times. Just getting to see some classic Barry and Oliver moments is so fun. I know not all Arrow fans were Flash fans, and not all Flash fans are Arrow fans, but I hope, in particular, any Arrow fans that watched that episode really enjoy it.

Katie Yu/The CW

E!: We're just a handful of episodes until the series finale of The Flash. Do you know how the show ends?
DP: I've heard rumors. To be honest, the series finale script has come to my inbox, but I haven't read it yet. I need to be able to sit with it and give it its proper attention.

New episodes of The Flash air Wednesdays at 8 p.m. ET/PT on The CW.

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