A warning for those who haven’t seen the episode yet that this review contains spoilers!
I’m not going to lie. I totally expected “King Shark” to be a filler episode and for it to probably take place a couple of weeks or so after the events of last week’s “Escape from Earth-2.” Nope, not on “The Flash.” Things are picking up and slowing down, and for an episode that has a CGI man-shark running around, I was also surprised by how many emotional conversations this episode had.
Right after Jay is swept up into the speed cannon after being stabbed by Zoom, the breach is finally closed and the team has no way of reopening it in hopes of getting Jay back. Caitlin is devastated (it’s like she has a man-curse or something, poor woman), everyone is shocked, and Barry is angry that he can’t do anything about it. Obviously, the team needs a distraction so they’re not swept into the waves of emotion they’re all feeling after Earth-2. Namely, Caitlin.
Harry, ever the downer, tells Barry and Cisco to keep all information about everyone’s doppelgangers a secret. But, of course, when do they ever listen to Harry’s advice? Cisco caves first, worried that Caitlin’s “cold” and distant demeanor means she’s headed down the path to becoming Killer Frost, like her Earth-2 doppelganger.It’s nice to know that Barry is no longer keeping secrets from his family and tells Joe and Iris that he met their doppelgangers. What’s troubling him more than Jay’s death is the fact that his interference caused Earth-2 Joe’s death and while it wasn’t really his life on Earth-2, Earth-1 Barry felt like it was. Grant Gustin really killed it in that emotional scene. I think laying it all out and getting these feelings off his chest helped immensely. Diggle’s advice doesn’t hurt, of course.
Barry and Wally actually interact for the first time, and there was a lot of tension. Both of them are a bit jealous of each other, guarded, and distant. Iris and Joe want them to try and get along, but Wally especially is defensive and Barry tries for the sake of Iris and Joe. Wally is jealous because Barry lived the life he didn’t, with love from Iris and Joe showering him when he never got that.
Their tension sucks the life out of the West house, but at least Joe’s conversation with Wally at the end seems to have the desired effect and will probably have the younger man changing his tune. “The Flash” has been good thus far in hitting its emotional beats pretty well and it’s nice to know that the character tensions and interactions are just as important to the show as The Flash is to Central City. Even Wells and his daughter weren’t neglected and got their moment.
Elsewhere in the episode, Diggle and Lyla (who has taken over ARGUS as Amanda Waller’s replacement, RIP) have a problem: King Shark has escaped an ARGUS facility and is headed to Central City to complete his mission to kill The Flash, per Zoom’s instructions months ago.
With all the emotional turmoil happening, King Shark was a good distraction for Team Flash. Barry’s vow to go back to Earth-2 to defeat Zoom once and for all sets the stage for what the remainder of the season will be. But before we can all get excited about all the good stuff this episode provided, Zoom is seen throwing Jay Garrick’s lifeless body to the ground in front of the caged Man in the Iron Mask. In the privacy of his cave, Zoom unmasks himself to reveal… Jay Garrick? His doppelganger Hunter Zolomon? Another Jay? His reveal is fantastic, but leaves us with even more questions.
“This… is a complication,” declares Zoom/Jay. You can say that again! Ultimately, “King Shark” dealt with everyone’s emotions post-Earth-2 and wasn’t just a filler episode that forgot to take into account the show’s recent events. King Shark was pretty fun as a meta of the week, but thankfully doesn’t detract from the characters’ interactions.
“The Flash” is back with new episodes March 22. That is far too long a wait!
- Cisco and Caitlin’s interactions are wonderful in this episode. More of this, please.
- Wells finally saved Jesse from Zoom, but glad that Jesse called him out on ignoring her. They’re both smart, so it’s nice to know she’ll be of some help with the team.
- They will revisit Earth-2. I am extremely excited about this!
- If Jay is Zoom, then who was the Jay we got to know? Are there three Jays? Four Jays? 52? The Jay headache continues.
- The Man in the Iron Mask mystery is still up in the air. Is he old Jay? Earth-1 Eddie Thawne, perhaps? There will be a 100 theories before March 22, I’m sure!
- Love that the seeds for Caitlin’s eventual turn as Killer Frost was really teased in this episode.
- Wally: Jaws busts through your house like the Kool-Aid Man, The Flash shows up, and you all act like it’s no big deal.
Iris: Well, we’ve had a lot of weird things happen in Central City over the last two years.
Wally: Weirder than a talking shark wearing pants?
Joe: Man, you’d be surprised.
- Fun fact: Teddy Sears wasn’t listed as a guest star until the very end to conceal his appearance in that final scene. Well played, show!
- The special effects really upped their game for King Shark. He looked fantastic!
- Joe West is one of the best dads on TV right now.
"King Shark" dealt with everyone's emotions post-Earth-2 and wasn't just a filler episode that forgot to take into account the show's recent events. King Shark was pretty fun as a meta of the week, but thankfully doesn't detract from the characters' interactions.