The Flash is known for setting the bar high for superhero television, and this episode was a good example of how the show still knows how to pull off quality entertainment. In both visual and emotional terms, “King Shark” was very enjoyable. And since the episode was so focused on sharks, it tied in nicely with the idea of acting cold (like cold-blooded sharks) to cope with difficult emotional distress. So let’s look at the episode in detail, starting with . . .
Caitlin and Cisco
Acting cold and emotionless as a coping mechanism was showcased most in Caitlin, who just lost another man she deeply cared about. In the aftermath of last week’s episode, Jay is assumed dead and there’s nothing Team Flash can do about it because the breaches are all closed. Caitlin was just beginning to love Jay, and seeing him speared by Zoom was just as traumatic for her as losing Ronnie. So she grows cold, closed off from the people around her.Cisco notices this more than anyone because he met Killer Frost, her cold and evil doppelganger. The subplot between these two was compelling and a little bittersweet. Cisco didn’t want to treat her differently, but too many warning signs were telling him that she might become Killer Frost (meta-human or not). These two have such great history working together, and it was wonderful to watch their friendship grow in a new way. And Cisco’s Jaws references were out in full force, and even though he’s not on Earth-2 anymore, he sure spent a lot of time thinking about the experience and worrying about Caitlin.
Lyla and John Diggle were involved thanks to ARGUS, and it was a lot of fun to have them guest star. They even got to mention Oliver and Felicity a couple of times. This episode also did a good job tying in some fascinating shark-related science to “go fishing” for King Shark. The final fight between Barry and the Earth-2 meta was thrilling to watch as Barry showed off his speed in an impressive “sharknado” that effectively incapacitated King Shark.John and Barry also had a really nice heart-to-heart talk about losing Jay and the power of guilt. Barry was still very torn up about Earth-2 Joe and Iris, which left him cold and troubled during this episode. He has the look of a man carrying the weight of a world on his shoulders, something that Diggle recognizes right away. Barry had to deal with heavy emotional material, and Grant Gustin was able to perform that with great skill (as usual).
Barry, Wally, and Zoom
The subplot between Barry and Wally was also compelling to watch unfold. It’s no surprise that Wally feels a bit threatened by Barry, the seemingly golden son. They’re encouraged to bond over Wally’s school project, a bio-diesel based rocket fuel vehicle (which sounds really cool all on its own). The two start their brotherhood on the wrong foot, though, especially in the wake of Barry’s tough Earth-2 experience. He’s doing his best to be welcoming to the new West, but Wally in an instigator and, let’s face it, a bit of a hot head punk.The two of them have more in common than they think. And they’ll only gain more in common if Wally eventually becomes a speedster, as I suspect. Thankfully we have Joe, ever the good father, to help set things right between his sons.That conversation between him and Wally, explaining the family history with Barry, was incredible. All of the West family drama was entertaining to watch, encouraging to complicated families everywhere, and I look forward to see how they continues to develop into a stronger group. Someday soon, Wally will learn Barry’s secret, and that will no doubt open a huge can of worms.
King Shark and Zoom
Speaking of a huge can of worms, we finally learned Zoom’s identity. It’s Jay! Or at least looks like him. We don’t know for sure yet, just that Zoom dragged Jay’s into his lair, where the iron mask man is, pulled off his hood, and Jay’s face lurked beneath it. It seems he’s been playing Team Flash this whole time!
Let’s face it, you can’t go fishing without a good can of worms, so let’s segue over to King Shark. He looked very realistic and scary, made all the more impressive by his deep voice and agile swimming. The CGI work for this episode was great, especially when it came to Barry’s use of his speed skills. That final battle had just the right amount of action, suspense, and superhero moves.The Verdict
I give this episode 10 out of 10. King Shark is a cool villain who doesn’t have a complicated backstory, but this episode tied it to the Earth-2 drama nicely. It was super fun to have one of the Star City power couples show up to be part of the fun, and we finally got to see Zoom under the mask. This episode marks another great addition to Season 2 and I can’t wait to see how it sets in motion the episodes going forward. My biggest question at this point it: just how many Jay Garricks/Hunter Zolomons are there?
What did you think of the episode? Share your thoughts in the comments and enjoy some quotes from “King Shark.”
Lyla: “He’s fast, John, get over it.”
Wally: “Jaws busts through your house like the Kool-Aid Man, The Flash shows up, and y’all just act like it’s no big deal.”
Iris: “Yeah, well, we’ve had a lot of weird things happen in Central City over the past two years.”
Wally: “Weirder than a talking shark wearing pants?”
Harry: “I would not say anything to her [Caitlin] about her counterpart on my earth, that goes for Joe and Iris, too.”
Harry: “They’re not your people. Their lives are not your lives. Never were. Never will be.”
Barry: “You [Joe] actually blamed me for Iris becoming a cop – said that she only became one to help her selfish husband’s career.”
Iris: “Wait, we were married?”
Caitlin: “I just watched Jay get killed right in front of my eyes. Just when I was starting to feel normal again. Just when I was beginning to love. So if I let myself feel, if I let all of that pain and anger out, it’s never gonna stop.”
Jay/Zoom: “Well, this is a complication.”
Caitlin: “Caitlin. I’ve always hated that name.”
Cisco: “Oh no, no, no. It’s starting. You are starting to become . . .”
Caitlin: “Killer Frost?”
Cisco: “That ain’t right. That ain’t right. That’s just rude. Who put you up to this? Barry put you up to this, didn’t he?”
Harry: “You programmed the satellite, though, right?”
Cisco: “Yes, Harry.”
Harry: “Did you punch in the correct parameters?”
Cisco: “You’re insulting my intelligence.”
Harry: “They’ve been waiting for hours, did you–”
Cisco: “I know they’ve been out there for hours, but you’re insulting my intelligence with this, okay? I know.”
Jesse: “Hey, you set the right distortion scope, right?”
Cisco: “Oh, for real? Okay, you know what…?”
Joe to Wally: “He’s [Barry] my son. Just like you are.”
Diggle to Barry: “When I was in Afghanistan, I lost a lot of friends, brothers. So losing Jay, I know what it feels like. You question yourself. Blame yourself for his death. And that guilt, it can tear you apart. You gotta get control of it or it’ll rip you up inside.”