The Flash season 5, episode 15 review: King Shark vs. Gorilla Grodd


“How long before everyone’s under Grodd’s mind control?” Spoilers for The Flash season 5, episode 15.

With the metahuman cure complete, Team Flash needs to do one final thing for it. They need to test it, hopefully with their first volunteer, King Shark.

Before Team Flash can inject him though, he freaks out, fleeing the scene, but not before he’s corrupted by Gorilla Grodd.

When the shark met the gorilla

This episode was billed (and titled) around a massive fight between King Shark and Gorilla Grodd, but for the most part of the episode, the two don’t even interact very much. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing though, because the episode is entirely focused around the two, whether it be Team Flash attempting to cure King Shark or Gorilla Grodd affecting the minds of almost everyone in the episode. This episode is about them, even if they aren’t together a lot, which really helps with the build-up to the final fight between them.

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This episode does surprisingly well with its ability to make King Shark a much more empathetic character. By focusing on the human part of him instead of the shark part of him, it makes the character better than most of the versions that have existed in both the comics and other adaptations. You care about him as a character almost immediately, so it makes his turn as an antihero much more believable.

Grodd doesn’t fare as well in this episode, because he’s essentially doing what he’s done in the past — trying to control everyone. He’s still an imposing figure, but his plan is something that doesn’t feel all that inventive or interesting in the long run.

As for the fight at the end of the episode, it’s suitably epic and very fun to watch. The CGI is surprisingly good for the budget of the show, and it’s really gotten better as the seasons have gone on. It’s kind of incredible that there can be a fight between King Shark and Gorilla Grodd in the first place, and its even cooler that the show is able and willing to do it.

The cure exists

Now that the cure exists, there comes the moral dilemma of how to use it. Team Flash is able to revert metahumans back into their regular human-selves, but, as scientists, no one on the team wants to use it as a weapon. So when Barry decides to use it as a weapon, even though it works, it makes the team feel very irresponsible and almost hypocritical.

Thankfully, the show actually goes into the ethical dilemma of the matter. It’s not a completely black and white situation, and, even if it wasn’t heavily focused on, it’s good that the show is actually willing to dive into the darker ethical dilemmas.

Joe returns

It’s great to see Joe West back in the picture after being absent for several episodes due to Jesse L. Martin’s real-life injury. It was sad to not see him on the show for a while, but it’s good that he was able to heal. But now that he’s back, it’s like he never left.

Joe has always been the best advice-giver throughout the entirety of the run on The Flash, and this episode makes it apparent why. How he helps Iris along through her fear of Cicada is great, and it really why this show needs Joe West in it.

Next. The Flash season 5, episode 14 review. dark

The Flash returns from hiatus with a fun, yet serious episode that embraces the wacky sci-fi nature of the show in several great ways.