Team Flash is in full picking up the pieces mode. On the previous episode of The Flash, Barry Allen, Cisco Ramon and Harry Wells were successful in their unlikely rescue mission on Earth-2, but it came at a price, as Zoom got some measure of revenge by seemingly killing Jay Garrick right in front of everyone else.
Of course there’s never time to stop and grieve on this show, not when there are other dangerous villains loose. One with a grudge from earlier is back tonight, so let’s sprint into The Flash Season 2, episode 15, which is ominously titled “King Shark.” Cue that John Williams movie theme! You know the one …
Not-So-Fast Recap: Caitlin Snow is in shock and disbelief, saying what we all say about the writers’ treatment of her: This isn’t happening again. Barry asks Harry to re-open the breach, but he says it’s impossible, an idea that doesn’t sit well with Jesse Wells or Joe West. Barry isn’t trying to hear that it’s over, and he storms out.
Later, Cisco tells Barry that Caitlin isn’t taking Jay’s death well, but Harry seems sure she’ll get past it. He also has a warning, insisting that Barry and Cisco not tell anyone on Earth-1 about their Earth-2 counterparts. In voiceover, Barry explains that they agreed not to talk about it and just went on with their lives. Barry says he didn’t have to wait long for another metahuman threat to distract him from thoughts of Zoom. Speaking of which …
John Diggle and his wife Lyla get an alert about a breach at the aquarium. Yeah, I’d call that a serious breach, as an incredulous Diggle gets a look at King Shark.
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At the West house, Wally shows off his cup-stacking skills, taunting Barry when he won’t take a turn. After he leaves, Joe and Iris ask Barry what’s up, to which he responds that he doesn’t think Wally likes him. Barry begs off for bed, leaving the Wests wondering what’s really bothering him.
Cisco tries to get Caitlin to go home and rest, but she snaps at him and insists she’s fine. She’s been cold, says Cisco, but Barry isn’t worried that she’ll suddenly become Killer Frost. Dig and Lyla stroll in (that S.T.A.R. Labs security, again!) with news that King Shark is on the way.
How do they know about King Shark? Lyla says Amanda Waller had been keeping tabs on metas, and while King Shark was in A.R.G.U.S. custody, all he kept saying was that Zoom wanted to kill Flash. Barry sees him as the one loose end left from Zoom, and Harry knows a bit about him because he’s from Earth-2. Everyone splits up to try to fins King Shark in their own ways, and Cisco tells Diggle he’ll work on improving his Spartan helmet.
Joe asks Barry to help Wally with an engineering project, and he agrees to do so even though he’s got a bit on his plate. Cisco and Caitlin talk to the wife of King Shark’s late Earth-1 counterpart, asking to see her work on sharks. Cisco’s smooth talking helps make up for Caitlin’s direct approach, but she wants to know if he has a problem with her. Nope — at least not one he’s talking about.
Flash sweeps the Central City waterfront but finds nothing, and he gets an update from Diggle on Felicity Smoak. John notes that Barry is “starting to do that thing Oliver does” and carrying the weight of the world on his shoulders. And … we’ve got ourselves a King Shark sighting.
Cute! Diggle and Lyla are wearing matching winter beanies. John still gets freaked out when Barry uses his speed in front of him too.
Wally shows off his project that he hopes will get him into the college engineering program, and he doesn’t seem happy with Barry’s feedback. This is even more awkward than you’d feared.
Things haven’t lightened up at all between Caitlin and Cisco, and the latter slips up and makes a crack about the former’s doppelganger. He comes clean, and she points out that she’s not a metahuman. Caitlin points out that she was just starting to feel normal again when Jay was killed, so she feels like she needs to stay bottled up for the time being. Hard to argue with that.
Jesse finds her dad hard at work trying to track King Shark. She might be able to help. Go Super Wells Brain Team!
Speaking of brains, Wally and Barry have it out, but they’ve got no time for feels before King Shark literally tears the roof off looking for the Flash. Joe’s gunshots have no effect, but Barry’s able to suit up and give the villain the bad news that he’s stuck on Earth-1. King Shark swats Flash around and takes off.
Wally is weirded out that the Wests handled the shark attack so calmly. He crosses a line by accusing Barry of being a coward, causing Joe to yell at him, followed by him leaving. Barry breaks down and tells Joe and Iris about their doppelgangers, meaning that now no one has listened to Harry’s advice. Tears start flowing when he explains that he blames himself for the death of the Earth-2 Joe and the fact that he feels like he left that whole world at Zoom’s mercy.
The question for the science crew now is how to find King Shark. There might be a way, but it’s over my head. Something about electricity. Cisco creates a Flash lure to mimic Barry’s bio-electric field, along with a huge dose of tranquilizers and a supposedly unbreakable cage.
The villain eventually takes the bait, eating the lure. Of course, it doesn’t work, and Lyla and her A.R.G.U.S. troops look panicked as the shark leaps onto the docks. Guess we’re going to see if the Flash really can walk, er, run on water. Speeding in a circle, Flash manages to generate enough electricity to shock King Shark into unconsciousness and leave him helpless to be reeled in.
Lyla promises that she won’t let King Shark get away, but also that he won’t be turned into a weapon. Caitlin suggests hitting up his doppelganger’s wife for help curing him. John tells Barry that he knows what losing brothers feels like, and that he needs to make sure it doesn’t tear him up inside. Finally, Lyla admits that seeing Barry rush off is as freaky as her husband thinks.
At Jitters, Joe gives Wally props for his turbine supercar design before telling Barry’s entire sad backstory and assuring his biological son that he cares about all his kids the same way.
Caitlin messes with Cisco by making her hands cold and speaking like Killer Frost. It’s just a joke, and she promises that Killer Frost will never exist on this Earth.
Barry summons the whole team to apologize for his jaunt back in time last year. He says that Zoom and Jay’s death are on him, and that he’ll lead them all to stop Zoom, even if he doesn’t know how yet. Those breaches aren’t closed forever, and we’re not done with Earth-2, he says.
Speak of the devil. On Earth-2, Zoom carries the dead body of Jay Garrick into his dungeon of doom. As the man in the iron mask freaks out, Zoom unmasks to reveal: Jay Garrick?!? “Well this is a complication,” he says, in what may be the understatement of the century.
OMG Moment of the Week: We’ve now seen at least three men with the face of Jay Garrick. That reveal could have solved part of the Zoom riddle, but instead, in the immortal words of Hermes Conrad, that just raises further questions.
Movie Reference of the Week: Jaws, anyone? Cisco’s crack that “we’re gonna need a bigger Flash” is a classic callback to an iconic film. There’s plenty more discussion of the movie as the episode goes on, too. Nice to know the classics are the same even on a fictional Earth.
#SnowJay Alert Level: Condition Green. And it’s going to stay that way if Jay is actually dead. That’s assuming he’s even Jay in the first place too, which seems less likely than ever right now.
Final Thought: A dynamite final scene doesn’t change the fact that the rest of this episode was largely medicore. King Shark makes for an awesome visual, but he didn’t put up much of a fight once Flash buckled down, and he didn’t even seem to have much of a purpose once he discovered that Zoom wasn’t around. It’s okay for the villains to be plot devices in service of the overall series mythology, but it can’t happen too often without getting tedious. It was good to see Diggle and Lyla though, and Jesse L. Martin slam dunked the emotional scenes like he always does.