TV Recap: The Flash, ‘King Shark’

Shark

‘KING SHARK’ PLOT SUMMARY:

When King Shark escapes from an A.R.G.U.S. holding tank, Lyla and Diggle travel to Central City to warn the Flash. King Shark shows up at the West house and attacks Joe, Iris, Wally and Barry.

I think it’s safe to say that this episode was a very good Flash episode. Maybe the best of the season. It had an thoroughly entertaining A Plot filled with fun Jaws references, a surprisingly interesting B Plot where everyone was a jerk to one another, and a post-show stinger that no one could have seen coming except…cough cough…your friendly neighborhood Flash reviewer. Let’s break it down using our three tenants of a great Flash episode: Fun, Fanservice, and Forward.

The Fun 

The Flash -- "King Shark" -- Image FLA215b_0120 -- Pictured (L-R): Grant Gustin as Barry Allen / The Flash, Danielle Panabaker as Caitlin Snow, and David Ramsey as John Diggle -- Photo: Bettina Strauss/The CW -- © 2016 The CW Network, LLC. All rights reserved
The Flash — “King Shark” — Image FLA215b_0120 — Pictured (L-R): Grant Gustin as Barry Allen / The Flash, Danielle Panabaker as Caitlin Snow, and David Ramsey as John Diggle — Photo: Bettina Strauss/The CW — © 2016 The CW Network, LLC. All rights reserved

I think the whole Zoom plot line has taken away from the “freak of the week” formula that worked really well in Season 1. The new metas didn’t have any goofy backstories or fun motives. They all just came from Earth-2 and wanted to kill Barry because Zoom told them to. The end. And that’s not terrible but it does get repetitive, especially when Barry can almost always defeat them using a combination of some sciencey nonsense, friendship, and believing in himself. And also most of them died so there wasn’t a lot to look forward to.

Last week we closed the final portal, and while Zoom can definitely still make it to Earth-1, he will have to change his game plan to something a bit more direct. That means that we can start having fun with the metahumans again. King Shark is a prime example. I mean come on. Those effects were pretty flawless, especially the shot where King Shark jumped out of the water and we got a good look at him. It was really quality stuff.

We also got another taste of some West family drama that isn’t completely pointless. Barry had a tough week, what with his friend dying and his dad dying on another version of Earth. Wally is doing his best to level with Barry and become a family. On any other week, Barry would make it work but on this particular week, he was distant and almost antagonistic. We got a fight where both sides made complete sense. That kind of well written character interaction is a lot of fun. I can do without the whole, “Oh, the danger showed up and you just disappeared Barry. What a coward!” moments but I guess a superhero show needs one every couple of episodes.

The Fanservice

The Flash -- "King Shark" -- Image FLA215b_0084 -- Pictured (L-R): Grant Gustin as Barry Allen / The Flash and David Ramsey as John Diggle -- Photo: Bettina Strauss/The CW -- © 2016 The CW Network, LLC. All rights reserved
The Flash — “King Shark” — Image FLA215b_0084 — Pictured (L-R): Grant Gustin as Barry Allen / The Flash and David Ramsey as John Diggle — Photo: Bettina Strauss/The CW — © 2016 The CW Network, LLC. All rights reserved

I had honestly given up on the crossover episodes after the snoozefest that was Legends of Brand Synergy earlier in the season. The last thing I expected would bring me back into the fold is an episode where Diggle joins Team Flash to shoot at something that you definitely can’t stop by shooting at it. Boy, was I wrong. Diggle was excellent in “King Shark.” The writers realized the opportunity to take the DCCW’s most grounded character and put him in an episode with, by far, it’s most out there villain.

In fact, this week was a great episode for reminding the audience that some of our other main characters can still find these situations a little bizarre. After the Earth-2 roadtrip, it almost felt like the team was desensitized to not only being surprised by the situations they are in on a weekly basis but also having any fun with some of the wackier aspects of a superhero show. Having the team acknowledge the inherent humor in King Shark being a marine biologist was good. All of the Jaws jokes were even better. Giving Wells the line about Quint dying in Jaws was the best. The Sharknado reference was a bit much considering the circumstances but it still worked.

Many fans of Flash and Arrow were bummed when Deadshot and Amanda Waller were killed off along with the entire idea of Task Force X to make room for their big screen counterparts, so this mere allusion to the supervillain team may give the fans some hope that the idea of meta-mercenaries isn’t completely off the table. It also doesn’t hurt that King Shark managed to survive the episode and is an occasional member of the Squad That Shall Not Be Named.

The Flash -- "King Shark" -- Image FLA215a_0111 -- Pictured (L-R): Grant Gustin as Barry Allen / The Flash and Keiynan Lonsdale as Wally West -- Photo: Cate Cameron/The CW -- © 2016 The CW Network, LLC. All rights reserved
The Flash — “King Shark” — Image FLA215a_0111 — Pictured (L-R): Grant Gustin as Barry Allen / The Flash and Keiynan Lonsdale as Wally West — Photo: Cate Cameron/The CW — © 2016 The CW Network, LLC. All rights reserved

Also the introduction of Wally’s supersonic car was a likely vehicle to connect Wally to the speedforce but could even be a nod to a future Flash supervillain. In the Flash comics, a test pilot for a supersonic jet is struck by lighting WHILE flying the jet and gets a connection with the Speed Force that grants him roughly the same powers as the Flash. He handles the opportunity slightly differently than Barry and instead of protecting his favorite city, the villain known a Savitar begins a Speed Force cult.

Maybe Wally builds but doesn’t test the car and Savitar does. Maybe they both test it and both end up with Speed Force powers. Could be a fun villain for Wally to tangle with in the future. I’m just saying.

The Forward

The Flash -- "Enter Zoom" -- Image FLA206A_0322b.jpg -- Pictured: Zoom -- Photo: Dean Buscher/The CW -- © 2015 The CW Network, LLC. All rights reserved.
The Flash — “Enter Zoom” — Image FLA206A_0322b.jpg — Pictured: Zoom — Photo: Dean Buscher/The CW — © 2015 The CW Network, LLC. All rights reserved.

Sooooooooo…I kinda nailed this whole Zoom thing. To be fair, I am certainly not the first or only person to theorize that Zoom was secretly Jay Garrick, but I think I got very close with what I posted last week. It looks like the Jay Garrick of Earth-2 was always the Flash and Earth-1 Jay Garrick (aka Hunter Zolomon) was always Zoom. It also seems like the two were working together based on some interviews with Andrew Kreisberg that point to the Jay that worked with the S.T.A.R. Labs team being an untrustworthy figure this whole time. That doesn’t completely confirm that he was a mole but it does fit very nicely into my explanation of the Man in the Iron Mask, which is the new Flash mystery.

Many think that the Man in the Iron Mask is another Jay possibly as the result of some Superman 3-esque soul splitting. Others think a third Jay is the result of more time travel shenanigans. I like a much simpler answer.

The Flash -- "Escape From Earth-2" -- Image FLA214a_0171b -- Pictured: Man in the Iron Mask -- Photo: Diyah Pera/The CW -- © 2016 The CW Network, LLC. All rights reserved.
The Flash — “Escape From Earth-2” — Image FLA214a_0171b — Pictured: Man in the Iron Mask — Photo: Diyah Pera/The CW — © 2016 The CW Network, LLC. All rights reserved.

The Man in the Iron Mask is Jay’s father and I have a feeling his name will be Max Garrick. Now we haven’t met Jay’s father yet or heard much about him besides the fact that he fought in the war of the Americas, but the relationship makes a ton of sense. If Zoom wanted Jay to work for him, Jay’s captured father would be the perfect leverage to make sure it all goes smoothly. Hunter Zolomon would also seemingly know the face of his father since his mother died in childbirth and his father wasn’t able to keep him out of foster homes, which would explain why he keeps him covered up. Zolomon hates Max Garrick but needs him near at all times.

That begs the question, why is the Man in the Iron Mask in a special cell seemingly created to hold speedsters? Perhaps Jay and Hunter’s biological father already had a connection to the Speed Force that allowed them to tap into it as children. The comics have shown that the Speed Force is something that can be passed down. If the show were going to introduce a new character, why not have him be an important comics figure who the gang can rescue and hang out with in the future? Perhaps the winged helmet that belonged to Jay and his father got them a certain nickname.

What if Jay’s father Max Garrick was actually nicknamed Max Mercury?

max-murcury
Max Mercury from DC Comics

Known in the comics as the Zen Master of the speedforce, Max would be a fitting character to introduce along with Jessie Quick that would add to the growing roster of Speed Force heroes in Season 3. And the helmet totally makes sense. It was Jay’s dad’s and it just happens to be the helmet of the god Mercury. Why not use that connection to create a relationship between the characters. If there is one thing we know about Season 2 of The Flash it is that it is obsessed with two things: doppelgangers and fathers. This would be the perfect way to close out both.

Rating: 9/10


Matthew Nando Kelly is an incredibly cool and handsome staff writer for Pop-Break who was allowed to write his own bio. Besides weekly Flash recaps, he focuses on film, television, music, and video games. Matthew also has a podcast called Mad Bracket Status where he discusses pop culture related brackets with fellow Pop-Break writer DJ Chapman. He has an unshakable love for U2, cats, and the New Orleans Saints. His twitter handle is @NationofNando. Did we mention how handsome he was?

Matthew Nando Kelly is a cool and tough Senior Staff Writer for Pop-Break who was allowed to write his own bio. Besides weekly Flash recaps, he has a podcast called Mad Bracket Status where he makes pop culture brackets with fellow writer DJ Chapman.