Baggage | The Flash “King Shark” Review
In the latest episode, “King Shark,” we get to see how the team deals with the emotional baggage they brought back from Earth-2. In Caitlin’s case, she has to deal with losing another person she came to love. Oh, and a villain named King Shark is on the loose; you know, typical fanfare for Central City. I was honestly afraid that they would quickly breeze over the consequences of the last couple episodes and have an “onto the next one” attitude, but i’m glad that they are wrestling the demons of Earth-2.
In Barry’s narration opener, we hear him discuss how they attempt to move on and just tackle the next big baddie that comes their way. We learn, however, that as much as they want to move on, they must clear the air with everyone about what went down on Earth-2. There are some great scenes where Diggle compares Barry’s feelings to what he has seen from Oliver. The way he holds the world on his shoulders is almost exactly like his Star city counterpart. The King Shark fight really pulls the rest of the crew back together.
King Shark had a cameo a handful of episodes ago, and like it was with Grodd, he seemingly was gone for a while, with little to no mention. I do like that in the episode they explained that he was contained by Waller, and ARGUS was doing tests on him when he escaped. That little bit of backstory is nice to explain the time in between when they were dealing with Zoom and Earth-2.
As for the way King Shark looks, it’s some of the best visual effects on the show to date. The show continues to raise the bar on what’s possible on television. The sheer size and appearance of King Shark is a site to behold, but the way he moves and interacts with the rest of the characters is spectacular. There’s a scene where the Wests and Barry are hanging out in their house, and King Shark rips off the roof. It seriously looks like the quality of a movie. The part where The Flash runs atop the water creating an electrified whirlpool, and King Shark tumbling through the water is another segment that I thought would be impossible on TV.
The battle of luring King Shark in was quite comical. Jaws references were thrown out left and right, and I loved how they wrote Diggle and Lyla into the episode by King Shark being held by Argus. But while the action was spot on and the comedy was right there with it, the emotions running rampant are what made this episode so powerful.
Of all people, Caitlin is seriously put in the worst predicament of all. First her fiancé (Ronnie) dies tragically, and then the person she just starts to truly love is ripped through worlds by Zoom. She is short and fierce when talking with Cisco and especially with Tanya Lamden, who turns out to be the wife of the late Shay Lamden, the doppleganger of King Shark. Cisco mentions many times that Caitlin’s eyes are icy and cold, letting the promise amongst Barry and Wells not to mention Earth-2 seep out. Cisco blurts it all out, and Caitlin is almost taken aback by the accusation that she could ever turn that cold. Caitlin explains that that’s her defense mechanism to keep somewhat sane and it’s extremely sad and heartfelt. When she pretends that she is becoming Killer Frost, with some help from Barry, it certainly eases the tension as the episode draws to a close.
Although Caitlin has it rough, no one has it as bad as Barry. In every scene until he spilt the beans to Joe and Iris, he was unnerving. Sitting there watching the show, it made me feel uncomfortable. When Wally was just trying to get to know Barry a bit more through help with his project, Barry criticized all his work like it was going out of style. They eventually did work things out once Barry told Joe and Iris what happened over on Earth-2, but the journey getting there certainly tugged at the heart strings.
The rest of the characters were pretty decent; although, we didn’t get to see much of Wells and Jesse. There was a nice short scene, though where Wells is all frustrated when coming up with a device to track King Shark, and Jesse lends him a hand. Wally’s character was also interesting here. The way Barry brushed him aside brought out his old self when he was a street racer. Wally calls Barry a coward, since he thinks Barry hid upstairs during the first King Shark incident. It was a pretty big moment, assuming Wally does come into contact with the Speed Force at one time or another. He is much more hot headed than the even-keeled Barry. It will certainly be an interesting dynamic with how volatile his personality is.
As for the monumental final scene, we finally know who Zoom actually is! It’s none other than Jay Garrick, yep. While we get one reveal, it has spawned a near infinite number of questions. Are they a set of twins? Who is the man behind the iron mask? If they aren’t twins, did the newly revealed Jay steal the real Jay’s identity similar to how Eobard Thawne stole Harrison Wells’ identity? There are few shows that have this much pull episode to episode, but I guess that is exactly what keeps us coming back every week.