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[TV Review] ‘The Flash’ Episode 2.15 – “King Shark”

Apologies on not reviewing last week’s episode, “Escape from Earth-2”.  It was a hectic week and I fell behind when it came to a handful of television reviews, also including “Arrow” and “Legends of Tomorrow“.  Regardless, I enjoyed “Escape from Earth-2” very much and I’m back to reviewing this week.  Now, let’s tackle this manshark episode!

Boy, that was a bit of a downer?  Not that there’s anything at all wrong with that, but it kind of blindsided me.  After all, one does not typically enter an episode of a usually upbeat show that happens to have a manimal guesting this week and expect it to be depressing.  Balance is key, however, and King Shark manages to lighten the mood whenever he arrives.  It turns out that he didn’t bite the big one in his earlier appearance this season and has instead been mercilessly experimented on by ARGUS in secret since.  Manshark or not, a mix of Guantanamo tactics and animal abuse is still a mood killer.  Still…MANSHARK!

Whenever King Shark appears, the FX are almost always great, which puts to shame a lot of recent theatrical project I have seen over the past few years.  He’s nowhere near as wonky as Grodd has been (albeit charmingly so), although I attribute that to a lack of fur more than anything.  As a massive (seriously, he’s almost as tall as a single-story house) CG effect, he looks pretty damn great.

Back to our usual characters, everyone is in a funk after the events of last week’s episode.  Jay is dead, Caitlin is rightfully depressed after seeing a second lover die in front of her, and Barry blames himself for all of it.  On top of it all, Wally and Barry finally meet and there’s not much love between them.  Wally is his usual combative self and given all that has happened to him recently, Barry isn’t in the mood to take it in stride.  As a result, Joe and Iris are left scratching their heads as to what to do about it all.

Back on the Caitlin front, Cisco is worried that her current depressive state might lead her to go darkside and become Killer Frost, like her Earth-2 counterpart.  It’s a silly worry that naturally turns out to be unfounded, but it does give us a few tense (and also hilarious) moments between to two characters. Sorry folks, but it looks like the Killer Frost of Earth-2 is the only Killer Frost we will be getting on this series.

Harry buries himself in work, as he is want to do, trying to come up with a way to track King Shark.  Speaking of the titular aquatic metahuman, since he is an ARGUS escapee, we get the pleasure of having “Arrow” characters John Diggle (David Ramsey) and Lyla Michaels (Audrey Marie Anderson), now Waller’s successor as head of ARGUS, pop over to Central City to help Team Flash with taking down the malevolent manimal.

“Cleaning up Waller’s messes” is uttered a few more times than I’d like, but their baffled reactions to metahumans in general makes up for it.  Plus Diggle gets to give Barry a few nice pep talks that don’t turn into screaming matches, unlike similar scenes on “Arrow”.  Diggle is also promised a new helmet, so here’s hoping that will appear on tonight’s episode of “Arrow”.  Lord knows as Green Arrow’s sidekick, he doesn’t need to be running around looking like a bad Magneto cosplayer anymore.

The big “to-do” this week was, of course, the final reveal.  The episode ends with Zoom revealing his true identity after dumping the lifeless body of Jay Garrick on the floor of his lair.  His mysterious Man in the Iron Mask-style prisoner looks on in horror as the diabolical Zoom reveals himself to be…Jay Garrick?!  So who is the dead Jay?  And which Jay is Zoom?  Is he Hunter Zolomon, Earth-1’s Jay doppelganger?  Is he a clone of Jay?  Was the “good Jay” a clone of him?  Was “good Jay” in on everything all along?  Perhaps he was a shapeshifter?

Questions, questions, question.  There was a theory that a friend of mine came up last week that holds water now more than ever: perhaps Zoom is the real Jay and he’s been cloning himself and stealing the speed of the clones? It’s certainly possible and plenty comic-booky for this series, but for now, it’s just too early to tell.  Unfortunately, we have quite awhile to wait for an answer.  The series will be on hiatus until late next month, so that gives us plenty of time to wonder who all three characters at the end of this episode really are.

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