The Flash: “King Shark” Season 2 Episode 15 Review

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The Flash managed to retain its momentum after the showstopper Earth-2 two-parter. “King Shark” made great use of the entire DC CW universe with a very fun villain, a justified crossover, worthwhile interpersonal drama, and one hell of a reveal.

Back in the fall, the producers of this show said King Shark was too expensive to show up again. Well, fans went crazy at some truly excellent CGI for TV when the giant shark humanoid popped up the first time. And if there’s on thing any network or studio now knows to do to make money off their superhero properties, it’s to give the fans exactly what they ask for (have you seen Deadpool‘s historic box office success?). With The Flash now seriously competing in the ratings against whatever the networks have up against it, it makes sense for the show’s budget to expand. Despite that, it’s still a bit obvious at points where the producers had to cut corners to save money. King Shark doesn’t do a whole lot of moving around when he attacks the West household and the climax ends up being a little short. But for all of Cisco’s corny Jaws references and Barry coming up with a way to defeat this monster all on his own, this was a very fun and rewarding hero vs. villain in the foreground while characters deal with some heavier stuff in the background. Having A.R.G.U.S. involved was also a great way to sneak in Diggle and Lyla.

The aftermath of Earth-2 and Jay’s death has the S.T.A.R. Labs team feeling all kind of emotions. Barry not only feels guilt for Jay’s death, but Earth-2 Joe’s as well. As Caitlin grieves, Cisco worries she’s taking the first steps to becoming Killer Frost. All these complex emotions were handled well and didn’t feel forced. Barry’s breakdown to Joe and Iris was pretty heartbreaking to hear (and one of Grant Gustin’s better emotional scenes). We also got the nice moment where Diggle pushes Barry to use his losses to be a better hero. I appreciate that when these smaller Arrow/Flash crossovers happen, the writers find a way to make it feel essential to the episode.

As for Caitlin, she seems almost too confident that there will never be a Killer Frost on Earth-1. It also felt like the writers were pointing out all the things preventing it from happening rather than why it will never happen. Seeing her cold persona after Jay’s death at the top of the episode showed that it’s not out of the question. The show doesn’t appear to be ready for that yet, so it did a reasonably good job convincing us Earth-1 Caitlin will never become the ice queen. But I still can’t shake the feeling that she’s just one more tragedy away from a cold snap.

But the biggest water cooler moment from “King Shark” came in the final moments when Zoom finally unmasked himself. After dropping Jay’s body on the floor, he revealed himself to be an alternate version of Jay. Does this make him the Earth-1 doppelganger? Not necessarily, but that would be an interesting route to take. Unfortunately, The Flash is on hiatus for a month, so we won’t know for quite some time. But what a way to whet our appetites after an already great episode with that kicker. After the mid-season lull, this series kicked it back into high gear with three great episodes in a row, topped off with this one. It’s going to be a long month. Grade: A-

By Matt Dougherty

 

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