Holy crap. Congratulations, Flash Special Effects Team.
“King Shark” was a solid entry in the Flash portfolio, but I just can’t get over how freaking good King Shark actually looked. Fans of the show have been clamoring for more since King Shark first appeared back in October. That showing had only been a quick scene, but it had forever given their audience hope of something bigger. Now, we’re gifted with a full episode of King Shark action, and it did not disappoint.
Last week, Barry, Cisco, and Wells rescued Jessie from Zoom and returned from Earth-2, but not before Zoom stabbed Jay through the heart and pulled him back into Earth-2. Pretty climactic stuff. “King Shark” picks up right where last week left off, with Caitlyn in shock and Barry determined to find a way to get back to Earth-2. However, the breaches have all been closed, which causes a problem. As such, we’re given a montage of Barry running through Central City, searching for a metahuman to take his mind off of things. Diggle (David Ramsey) and Lila (Audrey Marie Anderson) head over from The Arrow and warn Barry of the return of King Shark.
Barry has been struggling emotionally since he returned from Earth-2, and this takes front-and-center this week as The Flash redirects to its final destination: a showdown with The Flash on the offensive against Zoom. This led to a nice scene between Barry, Iris, and Joe, and built to a welcome final monologue from Barry. The final member of that family, Wally, didn’t fair as well this week. The plot exploring the relationship between Barry and Wally didn’t quite succeed at the same level as the others, but we can only hope that this is building the foundation for Wally’s character to grow (into a superhero, perhaps?).
As I mentioned last week, Danielle Panabaker’s Caitlyn simply cannot seem to catch a break with her love life and, thankfully, the creative team didn’t shy away from this here. Caitlyn struggled throughout the episode with her remorse, and her interactions with Cisco were fun and engaging as he feared she might turn into Killer Frost from Earth-2. This, of course, isn’t the case, but I can’t help but wonder what is next for Caitlyn. Her character is in desperate need of more than just being the broken-hearted love interest.
Returning to the trophy of the week, King Shark was a fantastic treat. His immense size and strength was never in question. The first fight scene was a bit anticlimactic, as King Shark could probably have crushed the Flash in the time it took for the cars to arrive, but the second battle more than made up for it with fantastic effects and intense action. King Shark will most likely have little effect on the major story arc of Season 2, but it was a wonderful love letter to dedicated fans of the show.
Here’s my problem with Diggle and Lila appearing in this episode, and almost all of the crossovers so far on The Flash: it probably didn’t really need to happen. Diggle is a fun character, but their presence wasn’t really that necessary. The entire episode could’ve conducted itself just fine without them. Some of the battles with the Arrow have been fun, and I wasn’t vehemently opposed to the Legends of Tomorrow build-up, but it seems like we run the risk of crossovers becoming too commonplace. Part of the magic behind crossovers is keeping them special and important. Hopefully the pending Supergirl crossover will find this level of reverence and respect for the shows.
Let’s discuss that post-credit scene: So Jay (most likely a different Jay than the one we knew on Earth-1) is Zoom. My initial reaction is one of annoyance. I’ve mentioned in previous reviews that Teddy Sears is a likable and endearing actor, so it’s a shame that he was saddled with some of the more sub-par plots each week. This isn’t necessarily the solution I had in mind. That being said, I’m open to exploring where this goes. The writers behind The Flash seem to enjoy playing around with both the expected and the unexpected, so I’m not convinced this is something of concern yet.
I’m more interested in The Man with the Iron Mask. He sure looked concerned when Jay dropped Jay’s dead body on the ground. What a unique show.
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Catch new episodes of The Flash, Tuesdays at 8/7c on The CW