KING SHARK – 7.5/10.
The brief appearance of King Shark in “The Fury of Firestorm” has proven to be one of the highlights of Flash’s second season. At the time the producers claimed it was simply a fun cameo as the cost of creating a one tonne, half man/half shark was just too high for them to be able to devote more time to the character. Well either someone found a big old bag of money under their desk or they were telling fibs, because here he is in all his glory, the star of his very own episode entitled ‘King Shark’. As if that wasn’t enough to be excited about, this episode also features a guest appearance from everyone’s favourite member of Team Arrow, Mr John Diggle. As you can tell I was pretty excited going into this week’s episode and it definitely didn’t disappoint.
It seems that Amanda Waller was indeed killed during the attack on A.R.G.U.S, although it still feels like far too small of an ending for such a big character. With Waller gone it falls to Lila Diggle to go about cleaning up the messes she left behind, one such mess is Killer Shark, who manages to escape from his fortified prison while Lila is giving her husband a tour of the facility. Despite the breaches being closed, trapping Zoom on Earth-2, King Shark’s primary objective has not changed; he is still intent on killing The Flash. As it turns out Barry actually welcomes the challenge as he and the rest of Team Flash have been in somewhat of a funk since returning from Earth-2. Jay’s death still sits heavily on his mind along with everything else he saw on the parallel world.
Barry isn’t the only one still reeling from the loss of Jay; Caitlyn has taken his death badly, causing Cisco to worry that this could be the catalyst to turn her into Earth-1’s version of Killer Frost. His fears are only encouraged by her cold and emotionless attitude since Jay’s death. When Dig and Lila show up at Star Labs to warn Barry about King Shark, Team Flash immediately sets about tracking him down. This leads to some nice father/daughter bonding between Wells and Jesse. It will be interesting to see how Jesse develops as a character now that she is stuck on Earth-2. How will she adapt? Will she attend school? Has she even left Star Labs yet? Her presence has certainly allowed Wells to grow as a character and it’s good to see him showing his lighter side.
They eventually find King Shark, but he soon escapes leaving a pile of dead A.R.G.U.S. agents in his wake. While the rest of the team plays Catch the Shark, Barry struggles to bond with Wally West. Despite Barry’s best efforts he still manages to push the young man away. However, Wally’s attempts to storm out are interrupted when King Shark tears a hole in the ceiling having tracked Flash to the house. Barry switches in to his Flash gear and tries to use his speed on Shark, but the giant meta easily swats him away before disappearing in to the night. Feeling totally dejected, Barry finally tells Joe and Iris about his experiences on Earth-2 and of the guilt he feels for Jay and Joe-2’s deaths, as well as the many lives that will be lost at the hands of Zoom.
The team finally manages to lure King Shark out in Central City Bay using a Flash lure to try to reel him in, although he easily escapes the trap forcing Barry to improvise. He races across the water with Shark in hot pursuit. Barry builds up enough Speed Force energy to fire an electric bolt at King Shark that finally neutralises him, allowing Lila and Dig to take him back in to custody. Before he leaves, Dig shares a bit of soldier’s wisdom with Barry, telling him to learn from his guilt rather than let it destroy him. Just as Barry must learn to work through his issues, Cisco must learn to accept that Caitlyn is trying to work through hers. She reassures him that she is only being cold in order to get through this and vows that Killer Frost will never exist on Earth-1.
Back at Star Labs Barry calls a team meeting, he accepts responsibility for Zoom’s actions, linking it all back to his ill-fated decision to travel back in time. He vows to honour Jay by finding a way to get back to Earth-2 and defeat Zoom. But while Barry speaks of honouring Jay, Zoom dumps his body unceremoniously on the floor of his Earth-2 dungeon. The man in the mask watches on in terror as Zoom unmasks, revealing himself to be none other than Jay Garrick! Well he isn’t our Jay Garrick but he is a Jay Garrick, possibly Earth-1’s Hunter Zolomon, and it seems likely that the masked prisoner is a Jay Garrick as well. With the introduction of the Multiverse to the DC/CW universe anything is possible and it will be exciting to see where the story goes from here.
This episode worked incredibly well and although King Shark looked great it was wise of the writers to keep his involvement to a minimum, with him appearing on screen for a total of 6 minutes. This meant that they didn’t have to stretch the budget too far and it also made each appearance feel special. What’s more the episode managed to deliver beyond King Shark, showing the emotional impact of recent events on the entire gang, and in Barry’s case delving back even further to his attempt to save his mother’s life. In fact the only thing that didn’t hit target was Wally’s arc, which really did the character no favours. But without doubt it was the final reveal that was the highlight of the episode, perfectly setting the tone for the third act of the season.
POINTS OF INTEREST
- It’s not surprising that this episode was filled with Jaws references, the best being “we’re going to need a bigger Flash.”
- Is Earth-2 Jay actually dead? I wouldn’t be surprised if he is revealed to be alive in the next episode. Perhaps he and the potential other Jay can team up against Evil Jay.
- The scenes with Tanya Lamden really served no purpose within the context of the story. That time definitely could have been spent elsewhere.
- With Cisco offering to take a look at Diggle’s helmet hopefully we will see a vastly improved look for Spartan on the next episode of Arrow.