It’s going to be a long break until the next “Flash” episode after the CW series revealed Zoom’s identity in the Tuesday, Feb. 23 episode, “King Shark.” But that came on Earth-2, which, for now, is sealed off to everyone. On Earth-1, in the meantime, they had their own mega (and meta) problem to deal with: the half-man, half-shark, King Shark, escapes from A.R.G.U.S.’ aquarium (because of course they have an aquarium) and is gunning for Barry.
That brings Diggle and Lyla to Central City for a mini-crossover, and Diggle’s reaction to Barry’s speed – and now King Shark – remains a highlight, especially now that it’s coupled with Lyla’s “He’s fast, John. Get over it.” (Also, since Lyla is now the new director of A.R.G.U.S., a fact that was given more recognition on “The Flash” than on “Arrow,” can she please be around more?) Cisco, of course, uses this opportunity to insert “Jaws” references at every chance he gets. So who was King Shark before he became a half-shark? He was a marine biologist, Harry fills them in, and here on Earth-1, he’s dead, but his widow studies sharks. Though she’s reluctant to help STAR Labs, she does eventually email them her research.
While Harry is reluctant at first to have his daughter help him try to find a way to track down the meta, he does agree (and she even seems to catch a mistake of his). King Shark kills more A.R.G.U.S. soldiers and destroys the West house (how does one fill out an insurance claim for “home ripped apart by a half-man, half-shark metahuman?) before they figure out that they can basically reverse the process of a shark tracking its prey to make the meta the prey and find it. And with a Flash lure set up in the water, they do just that, working with A.R.G.U.S. That lure may be filled with tranquilizers so they can then reel in King Shark, but it doesn’t slow him down and neither do guns. Instead, what stops him is Barry speeding out over the water in circles around the meta, electrifying the water. And in her new position as director, Lyla plans to change the plans from weaponizing him like Waller wanted to finding out how he came to be and curing him.
Elsewhere, Cisco’s a bit haunted by his experience on Earth-2 with Killer Frost, and when Caitlin distances herself and begins acting cold following Jay’s death, refusing to get some rest, he worries that this is her origin story. Though Harry advises Cisco and Barry to keep what happened on the other Earth from the others, Cisco breaks pretty easily once Caitlin full names him and spills about her evil doppelganger. She admits that she’s worried that if she lets herself feel and let out the pain and anger of losing Jay just as she was beginning to love again, it won’t stop. But that doesn’t mean she can’t have a little fun with Cisco in making him think she’s going all Killer Frost, cold hands, hating the name Caitlin and all. Killer Frost will never exist on this Earth, she promises him, reminding Cisco that she doesn’t have the metahuman gene.
Meanwhile, in the aftermath of losing Jay, everyone’s trying to go on with their lives, and for Barry, that means hoping for a distraction in the form of a metahuman. While he does get that with King Shark, he’s not fooling anyone with his behavior. Diggle notices that he’s doing what Oliver does and putting the weight of the world on his shoulders, and he offers him some advice. When he was in Afghanistan, he lost a lot of friends, and he knows what it fees like to question yourself and blame yourself for their deaths. But Barry has to get control of that guilt or it will rip him up inside. Instead, he should use it to guide him so it doesn’t happen again.
Joe and Iris’ attempt to get Barry and Wally to bond doesn’t go over so well. Barry’s too distracted by everything else in his life the first time around, and then when Joe arranges for Barry to look at Wally’s engineering project, Wally takes offense to Barry’s suggestions and notices he’s trying to hurry through it. It doesn’t help that in their attempt to help them get along, Joe and Iris have apparently made it sound like Barry’s perfect and he’s in all the photos around the house. Maybe it’s a good thing King Shark attacks when he does because that conversation was never going to end well.
But that does make it worse since Barry has to speed out to deal with the meta as the Flash and then return to the house in the aftermath without Wally knowing where he’s been, making him look like a coward. In the end, Joe meets Wally for coffee and fills him in on why they took Barry in and why he and Iris are so proud of him. Things could’ve gone differently, he explains, but he’s not perfect and he’s not favored. He’s just Joe’s son, just like Wally is.
At this point, Joe has had enough, and once Wally leaves, he turns to Barry to find out exactly what happened over on Earth-2. Barry confesses everything – being married to Iris, Joe hating him and Joe dying. He knows it wasn’t him, wasn’t his life, but it was still real. He blames himself for what happened – for Zoom, King Shark, Jay’s death – and says he left an entire world at Zoom’s mercy. Poor Barry. (Someone give him a hug.)
In the final Earth-1 scene of the episode, Barry gathers everyone to apologize. Last year, he made a choice to go back in time and save his mother and that had consequences that haunt them all. They may have been the ones who opened the door to Earth-2 and brought Zoom there, but they’re also going to be the ones to stop him. And Jay’s death won’t be in vain. Next time he meets Zoom, he will beat him.
As for Zoom, the final moments of the episode see him returning to his lair and the masked man still trapped in the cell there. Zoom unmasks himself, revealing he’s actually Jay. And let the questions begin.
For one last note on the episode, Barry asks Diggle how Felicity is doing and then mentions she’s not returning his calls. Diggle says she has a lot going on right now, but is there more to it than that?
“The Flash” season 2 airs Tuesdays at 8 p.m. on the CW. What did you think of episode 15 “King Shark”?