In this week’s episode of The Flash, we get back to focusing in on one main storyline–haha, kidding, there are always two. Barry, Cisco, Harrison Wells, and Jesse are back from Earth-2 and, for now, the breaches between the worlds are closed. At the very beginning, we briefly flash back to the alternate Earth episodes, recapping what happened before, and indicating that time here on our Earth has passed as the team struggles to deal with everything that has occurred. At the same time, at an A.R.G.U.S. facility near Central City, Diggle and Lilah (of the Arrow crew) are dealing with the escape of King Shark right as Lilah takes over as head of the organization. (Yay, not-so-major crossover episode. Although, it is always nice to see Diggle get more screen time.)
In the more meaningful of the two storylines, our four escapees from Earth-2 are all dealing with their loss and grief in different ways. Barry has taken on an Oliver Queen-esque trait (as pointed out by Diggle) in that he blames himself for everything that has happened–the breaches opening, Zoom’s multiple dastardly deeds, as well as the death of Jay Garrick. At the same time, Barry is also attempting to get to know Wally, who is insanely jealous of the perfect-boy image that Joe and Iris give of Barry. Cisco is dealing with Caitlin’s grief, as well as his own harrowing experiences, by becoming increasingly nervous that Caitlin is turning into her Killer Frost counterpart. Harrison Wells and Jesse do not have nearly as much screen time, but they do share a scene in which Jesse breaks through her father’s gruff demeanor and the two have a bonding moment. Despite having a few light-hearted moments, this part of the plot was fairly heavy, but is admittedly a nice change of pace for this show. Seeing characters deal with the consequences of their actions, or reacting to things that they had little control over, was a breath of fresh air. As good as The Flash is at times, it’s nice to see this show take an extra step to further humanize their characters beyond their standard roles and quirks.
So, on to the King Shark part of the episode! Long story short, this part of the plot was largely to give Barry and company the win they needed at the proverbial and literal end of the day. King Shark escapes from the secure A.R.G.U.S. facility right as Diggle and Lilah arrive. He proceeds to rampage back towards Central City intent on killing the Flash, unaware that Zoom, for now, has no way back to Earth-1 and thus cannot get him home. King Shark attacks the West family home, and defeats Barry, who only escapes being devoured thanks to some timely intervention by A.R.G.U.S. agents. Eventually, the S.T.A.R. Labs team comes up with a way to track King Shark, and Barry, with fresh resolve, handily defeats the giant shark despite their initial plan failing spectacularly. The one point that I appreciated about this plotline was how the visual presence of King Shark was used. Now, I fully suspect that this was due to CGI budget constraints, however, the way they used King Shark was smart and felt very much like an old Godzilla movie. They would show flashes of him to get their point across, but he was used fairly sparingly until the very end of the show.
The final scene shows Zoom carrying Jay Garrick’s body into his lair. And while we did not discover the identity of the man in the metal mask, we did discover that Zoom himself is none other than Jay Garrick!
This episode was very well done, and it’s nice to see them begin to flesh out characters, not just rely on gimmicks, quirks, and the strength of the actors themselves. It also fairly neatly wrapped up a lot of the lingering questions from the Earth-2 episodes, and got the cast of characters, as well as the audience, focused on what comes next!