The Flash: 2.15 King Shark
After all the fun of seeing the regular cast in alternate worlds in last week's Escape From Earth-2, The Flash needed to keep up the pace and thankfully it did it rather wonderfully with the return of the Metahuman King Shark. A great OTT villain, a fun crossover with Arrow and some strong character drama as the characters adjusted to the death of Jay Garrick at the hands of Zoom and the events that took place in Earth 2; it was a great little epilogue to the alternate worlds saga.
Not that this is the last we are sure to have seen of Earth 2, especially not given that ending. So Zoom is Jay, a Jay who killed one Jay and imprisoned another. It was certainly a great little mystery to propel the season forward and suggests that there are many more alternate worlds to come (the Supergirl crossover anyone?). I just hope it doesn't make the events on Earth 1 seem any less dull as we wait for this story to develop.
The arrival of Diggle and Lyla, the latter now the head of Argus following the death of Amanda Waller in Arrow's A.W.O.L., was a great way to remind audiences that there is a rich and varied universe to play with and it is always fun to see characters from both shows crossover. I particularly liked seeing the non-nonsense Diggle and Lyla react to OTT threats like King Shark and getting particularly impressed with Barry's speed. The fact that these characters can drop in and out of both The Flash and Arrow is what helps make both shows fun to watch.
King Shark, was the legacy of Zoom, a metahuman brought to Earth 1 to take out the Flash. He could easily have been ludicrous but somehow the walking, talking great White Shark with legs (just where did he find trousers that fit?) worked. He was a worthy physical menace and a frightening one too; aside from Zoom and Grodd the majority of villains are average looking people with spectacular powers. King Shark ripping off the roof of the West house and the final showdown over the waters was thrilling to watch.
Somewhat less thrilling was the 'bonding' session between Barry and Wally West. While there is a lot more planned for Joe's surprise son it didn't feel as if this story was particularly dynamic to watch. What was engaging though were the performances of Grant Gustin and Keiynan Lonsdale that prevented it from becoming completely dull and boring.
What could have been dull and contrived but was nicely played was how Earth 2 had affected Barry and Cisco. Early on Diggle noticed Barry was doing an 'Oliver' and carrying the weight of the world on his shoulders. This was a weary Barry, finally having closed the gateways that were caused as a result of his actions - travelling back to save his mother, confront the Reverse Flash and almost destroying the world with a black hole. But it was also nice to see him work through that and was empowered by the episode's end and ready to find a way to get Harrison Wells and his daughter home - and defeat Zoom. And sure the whole 'we can't tell anyone what happened in Earth 2' was a bit contrived but it allowed Cisco and Caitlin to reconnect over the death of Jay and for him to reconcile confronting her evil Killer Frost self from Earth 2.
King Shark wasn't spectacular but it was what the show needed. A chance to rebuild Barry Allen as a hero, progress the overall story and deliver a bloody great killer shark man in the most fun way possible. And having some supporting characters from Arrow certainly helped too. I'm interested to see where the show goes next...