If you thought this was going to be a “filler” episode, bringing back a fan-favorite character for an encore but not doing much of substance…surprise! Episode 2.15 of THE FLASH is in many ways one of the best episodes of the season, with exceptional CG, great cameos, and significant plot points that will leave your jaw hitting the floor! Want to know more? Just follow after the jump!
SPOILERS AHEAD – YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED!
The Earth-2 adventure may be over for now, but there are a lot of tragedies that echo throughout this episode. Keep in mind that the Joe West of Earth-2 died at the hands of a villainous version of Caitlin, that Zoom has now defeated Barry on two worlds, and that Jay appears to have died at the hands of Zoom just as they were closing off the last breach. Now, Jesse and Harry are stuck on Earth-1, and Zoom has free reign on Earth-2. It’s not a happy time…and to make things worse…
King Shark is alive…and he escapes!
Before we go further, let’s talk just a bit about King Shark’s appearance in this episode. The CG quality was exceptional – this King Shark looked truly fearsome, actually more intimidating than in any comics appearance I’ve seen. The special effects folks outdid themselves in this episode. Bravo!
Okay, now back to the plot…
King Shark was a marine biologist named Dr. Lamden on Earth-2, who mutated into King Shark as a result of that world’s particle accelerator accident. The Dr. Lamden of Earth-1? Not so lucky – he died as a result of the Earth-1 particle accelerator accident. However, his wife, also a marine biologist specializing in (wait for it) sharks, agrees to help STAR track down King Shark. No, she doesn’t know who King Shark really is…but her research does help later in the episode. As for King Shark himself, didn’t he supposedly die in that last appearance in the series? Not quite…
ARGUS had been holding him secretly after his supposed “death” in his last appearance. As he escaped, King Shark took the lives of several ARGUS agents. Bullets don’t seem to have an impact, and this King Shark is not only strong but fast. Lyla (now in charge of ARGUS) and Diggle come to Central City to warn Barry that King Shark is coming for him. All that King Shark could say during his captivity was “Zoom wants the Flash dead.”
Barry decides not to wait…he’s going after King Shark!
They try to track King Shark down, losing two more ARGUS agents in the meantime.
Barry takes a break to meet Wally at the West home, but King Shark tracks them down! It’s time for another battle, which doesn’t end well. King Shark gets away…for now…and Wally’s meeting with Barry doesn’t go much better. He wanted Barry’s help on a proposal to Central City University, but the meeting is about as awkward as you could guess and Wally leaves feeling that Barry is the “favored son”.
Yes, we eventually have the big battle with King Shark…and it is an amazing sequence that you will have to see for yourself. Again, the CG was fantastic this episode..and that’s saying something for a series that regularly has very good CG in every episode. But, let’s go to some of the side story threads (they make a difference here)…
- Barry has been carrying a lot of guilt. Some of it is survivor’s guilt, just being alive when others aren’t. Some of it is more intense than even that – he knows what his choice to go back in time to try to save his mother did. It opened up all the problems with Earth-2, bringing in Zoom, and a lot of people on both worlds have died since. He’s learning to deal with that guilt, and this show carries that thread forward well.
- Joe and Wally finally connect as a father and son in a positive way in this episode. I’m glad this wasn’t and instant “let’s be family” thread – the time it has taken to get to this point has been worth the wait, and has made this a more realistic relationship.
- Caitlin is dealing with losing Jay by shutting down, and Cisco fears that means she may turn into Killer Frost the way her doppelganger on Earth-2 did. This show seems to shut that possibility down, with some pretty funny moments along the way.
- Jesse is already fitting in with the S.T.A.R. Lab crew, getting Harry to soften up a little bit and showing she can work well with the team.
- And then there’s that epilogue…
OKAY – BIG SPOILER COMING
You really want to know?
Yes, I’m stalling here so you don’t have to scroll all the way down…
Unless you really, REALLY want to…
Okay, NOW is the last chance!
- In the epilogue, Zoom carries Jay’s body back to his lair. The man in the iron mask is extremely disturbed to see this. And then, Zoom takes off his mask….
- And the face is…
THEORY TIME: We know that Jay’s Earth-1 doppelganger is Hunter Zolomon. Now, we have THREE people with Jay’s face. Could Zoom be the Earth-2 Hunter Zolomon? If so, who is “Jay”? Is he a clone of Hunter? Is he an Earth-3 Zolomon? And what about the man in the Iron Mask? Could HE be the REAL Jay Garrick? Only time will tell – but we DO know that Barry is determined to find a way to go back to Earth-2…and my one theory that I believe is real is this – the key to returning to Earth-2 lies in those shades Cisco brought back from Earth-2, the ones that belonged to the Earth-2 Cicso.
SUMMARY: This was so much more than a “filler” episode. And, it was FAR more than a “gimmick” episode to show off some cool CG. King Shark’s appearance was fantastic, and more than worth the time to watch this episode. The guest appearances from Diggle and Lyla were a bonus, and Wally’s relationship with the rest of the West family is developing very well. Wally’s character in particular is fitting in better with the show, not just the West family. And, the SHOCKER at the end should keep us talking all the way to March 22nd…and that’s a good thing since that’s how long we will have to wait for another episode.
So, what are YOUR theories? Please add them (and your comments) below!