Every week, Fangirlish writers will be discussing new episodes of The Flash and sharing their thoughts, feelings, and speculation about the hour’s hot topics in a little something we like to call Fangirlish Roundtables.
Today, we’re breaking down episode 15 of The Flash, “King Shark,” where we discuss Diggle and Lyla’s visit to Central City, Barry’s guilt, Caitlin’s grief, and that Zoom reveal.
What were your overall thoughts on “King Shark?”
Heading into this episode I just knew that something big was coming seeing as it’s the final episode before our last hiatus of the season, which we got at the end with the Zoom reveal. But also bringing Arrow’s Diggle and Lyla into the mix made this a really solid hour of The Flash. This episode did well with exploring varying emotions within these characters. For Barry, he was battling the guilt of Jay’s death and subjecting the people of Earth-2 to Zoom’s wrath. For Caitlin, she was struggling with losing yet another person she loved and the anger that came with it. For Wally, he was dealing with jealously over Barry being the ideal son that he had always wanted to be and still doubts he can be. You know me, I’m all about the emotion first and action second. I don’t give a damn about the action if I don’t give a damn about these characters in the midst of it. So kudos to The Flash for always recognizing the importance of character over visuals and action.
It wasn’t a bad episode, but after the Earth-2 episodes, this one felt like a little like a letdown. Not that I’m not happy to be back in the one Earth that actually contains Joe West, but…hey, Earth-2 was a fun change of pace. And they didn’t have Killer Sharks there, or, at least, we didn’t get to see them.
All in all, though, the episode was gloomy and more-Arrow like than Flash episodes tend to be, and while that WORKS for Arrow, it really doesn’t for The Flash. Brooding Oliver is kinda hot, broody Barry is not. Maybe it’s that Oliver has more experience in the brooding department. Maybe it’s just that it’s closer to his actual personality. Either way, brooding Barry is just not my favorite Barry, and since The Flash is all about Barry, his attitude, though understandable, made this episode one of my least favorite of the season.
It was the distraction that we needed after all the wtf moments of awesomeness that we experienced the last two weeks on Earth-2. It grounded Barry but it also grounded us while letting everyone mull over and grieve Jay’s ‘death.’ Plus Diggle and Lyla made an appearance. I never say no to those two swinging by and knocking some sense into Barry.
Barry was feeling an immense amount of guilt following the death of Jay and in leaving Earth-2 subjected to the wrath of Zoom. What were your thoughts on Barry carrying the weight of the world on his shoulders?
This second season of The Flash has shown us a more weathered version of the typically lighter hero. With everything that Barry has endured over the last season coupled with the events of this season, it’s no doubt that we’re seeing him pull an Oliver Queen, as Diggle referenced, with shouldering the weight of the world upon himself. For me, this second season has proven that Barry Allen, while light-years lighter than Oliver Queen, is someone who does struggle with this life sometimes. How difficult it must be to live up to people’s expectations of being a hero and then have moments where you see everything crumble, people that you care about risk their lives and lose in helping you fight this crusade. Obviously all of these things that have happened aren’t Barry’s fault – it’s their life, their choice – but this season especially has proven difficult on Barry when it comes to all of these people that have lost their lives or are in danger because of his involvement in their lives, or so he believes. So Jay’s death and the fates of those on Earth-2 who are now stuck with Zoom is something that Barry places the blame on himself. Because to him, he’s the hero that should’ve been able to protect them, to prevent this from happening. But that’s part of being a hero – it’s the good and the bad. And right now Barry is having difficulty dealing with the bad.
Though understandable, his attitude was just this side of frustrating. Barry carries the weight of the world on his shoulders, and yet his anger hardly ever translates to something constructive. Not everything is on him, and though this is a flaw that many (most) superheroes tend to have, as I said before, the weight of the world thing works better for Oliver, not so much for Barry. Or maybe, it’s just that the attitude works better when you have Diggle around to talk some sense into you. Yes.
It’s part of the heroes journey. Is it stupidly repetitive? Yes. Does every hero go through it? Yes. His pain is warranted (in Barry’s eyes) because he’s The Flash. He started this. His team ended up there because of him. What Barry needs to get through his thick head is that they choose day in and day out to be by your side. (Even John and Lyla chose it and they’ve only known Barry for a little while.) There’s no take backs or forgetting. They choose to back him up because they want to safe guard this city. So he needs to take a step back, breathe, and stop putting all the weight on his shoulders. Let some of your friends carry the weight! As they say in HSM ‘we’re all in this together.’
Arrow’s Diggle and Lyla stopped by to help Team Flash catch a metahuman named King Shark. What did you think of Diggle and Lyla’s crossover? And what did you think about King Shark?
Anytime Diggle and Lyla are on my screen I’m one happy woman. One fo the things that’s so great about these crossovers is that they don’t always have to be a big thing like the crossover event. They’re organic in their nature, like with King Shark being held by ARGUS and Diggle and Lyla having to go assist Barry in taking him down. Diggle and Lyla continue to prove they’re a dynamic duo that really need their own show (but I don’t want them to leave because Arrow would never be the same). There’s also a part of me that absolutely loves that Lyla sometimes calls on Diggle to help witih ARGUS situations. Like a freelancer. It’s so cute. Diggle has always been and always will be a superhero whisperer much like Felicity Smoak always seems to attract heroes and villains alike (just look at her). So it was great to have Diggle step in when Barry was struggling with this guilt that he’s been battling all season and especially this episode. It was brief, but it was exactly what Barry needed to hear.
King Shark was literally the craziest metahuman that I’ve seen on this show yet, and that includes Grodd. It’s funny because when we first saw him earlier in the season he appeared as like he was just one of those pesky metahumans you could off easily. But in this episode we saw what real opposition he proved to be to Barry and Team Flash.
Everyone has more fun in Central City! Well, except the people who actually get to live in Central City. Arrow, characters, though? They come to Central City to have a blast. And that’s exactly what Lyla and Diggle have. A BLAST. Mostly because Diggle continues to marvel at all things metahuman and Lyla is just the perfect combination between amused at her husband and bad-ass. If nothing else, this episode proves that we need more Lyla in our lives, and that every opportunity these two shows have to move characters around is a real treat for fans.
It was Arrow everywhere I looked this week and I loved it. I think it enriches their world when crossovers like this happen. They don’t ignore each other like you would expect. Diggle and Lyla were a grounding couple who represented us, the people who haven’t really experienced the extraordinary. They fought together and showed Barry that work and a romantic life can happen with hard work and letting your partner carry some of that weight.
As for King Shark, HORRIFYING! When I see him on screen I just want to run for the hills because he’s scary! He looks so real and like he belongs in a Syfy movie along with Sharknado/Sharktopus/Ghost Shark. Honestly part of me doesn’t want to see him because he’s creepy and doesn’t have the common courtesy to knock on someone’s front door. The other half of me wants to explore what it means to have him stuck in our world with a woman that is essentially his wife nearby. I’ve got a feeling this won’t be the last time he comes around in some way, shape, or form.
Poor Caitlin has undergone more tragedy than should be allowed – especially for a sweet cupcake like herself. How much do you think she can take until she eventually breaks completely? And do you think she could take the Killer Frost route in this universe?
One of the things about superhero shows is that heroes aren’t always costumed they’re normal people like you and me who prove their heroism through their actions. Caitlin Snow is one of those heroes. She’s someone who is intelligent, kind, caring, and brave who has helped Team Flash on countless occasions. She’s also someone who has suffered immeasurable loss in such a short time. She’s lost Ronnie the first time, Ronnie a second time, and now Jay all in the span of a season and a half. That’s a lot of emotion and loss for one person to handle. And yet she’s kept on moving, kept on fighting, and has always found her way back. Caitlin has already proven that she can take whatever life throws her way, but that doesn’t mean she’s not going to react, as we’ve seen in the way she’s sometimes closed herself so as to not break completely.
While I don’t believe that Caitlin will take on the persona of Killer Frost in this world, I do believe that the producers want you to think she could. Shows like this are all about planting Easter eggs that cause hype in the fandom. And considering all of the tragedy that Caitlin has undergone and how that kind of anger can overtake someone and perhaps change them to the extent of a Killer Frost, that’s what Cisco was worried about and it’s what the producers want you to keep in the back of your head moving forward.
I don’t know HOW, considering they’ve taken great pains to prove that she’s not a metahuman, but this is The Flash. They could go that way if they wanted to. Thing is, for all that I love Caitlin and I really do feel for her, I never really felt her connection to Jay as something deep. He was just there. He wasn’t the great of her life, or even her next great romance. To me he was just replacement Ronnie, and though it sucks that both the original and the replacement got killed, what I think Caitlin needs is some time by herself. Maybe, with a break and some space, she can keep from going the Killer Frost route in Earth-1.
My cupcake Caitlin! I just want to wrap her up in a blanket and ward off all the bad guys and tragedy coming her way. She deserves unicorns and rainbows. That’s it!
Now onto the question. I don’t think Caitlin has given up yet. She’s hardened for sure. Things like this leave scars that will never go away. But I don’t think she’s reached the point where all love is banned and she’s on the road to becoming Killer Frost. It’ll take her a little longer to get out there again but there is hope. She knows what it feels like to drown in misery and she knows what it is to love. She’ll be even more careful when giving someone access to her heart. The only way I see her becoming Killer Frost is if it was forced upon her. A tragic violation like that would be one of the last straws, tearing her away from who she is to get revenge on the people that hurt her (or those nearest to her.) Let’s hope it doesn’t come to that for a while because there will be no going back once that happens.
We saw Wally’s jealousy over Barry emerge in this episode. What are your thoughts on Wally? And do you think he and Barry can work things out?
To be honest I’ve been disappointed in the way Wally West has been utilized thus far. While I love the West family dynamic and him working his way into their family, what I haven’t loved is the way the character is being portrayed. I wanted to like him. I wanted to love him. But most of the time I find him selfish. Perhaps that’s just part of his character’s development, but I really would like to see some improvement in his character’s storyline to give me some confidence moving forward. We’ve seen how certain comic characters we love can suffer at the hands of poor writing.
As for this episode, I understood where Wally was coming from and felt his jealously immensely, but at the same time I didn’t like how he was coming after Barry for trying to help him. Obviously he was acting this way because he didn’t believe he could live up to the almighty son in Barry, but I also thought it was as if Wally believed that Barry had lived and was living the life that was supposed to be his if his mother had stayed with Joe and Iris. It was nice to see Joe address the situation at the end of the episode when he, at the request of Barry, told Wally that Barry isn’t perfect, but he is his son. As is Wally. I’m hoping that’s the first step in Barry and Wally mending fences.
Dear God, finally. I’ve been waiting for this since Wally first appeared. They’ve taken great pains to have Wally and Barry exist as two separate entities, both spending time with Joe and Iris without spending time together, but fact is, Joe, Iris and Barry are a family, and if Wally is to be part of that family, he has to understand Barry’s place in it. He has to accept it. Period. There’s no other way this is going to work.
I think the writers have made Wally a hard character to like so far, but I like the potential in this storyline. Both Wally and Barry have had really bad things happen to them, and they have more in common than they’ve let themselves admit. They are family, even if it doesn’t feel like that right now. You don’t get to choose your family. But you do get to choose how you relate to them, and that’s why I’m so interested in what’s coming for these two.
Wally needs to get over himself and stop playing the blame game. He blames Joe for not being in his life. He blames Iris for wanting to be the big sister and get all up in his business. And he blames Barry for being what he’s always wanted to be, the son that is loved and adored by his family. Well guess what Wally? You can’t blame them for this. It isn’t their fault. If we’re really going to be playing the blame game it should go back to his mother. She’s the one who decided to leave and robbed Wally of a family. But since she’s not there he’s only got Joe, Iris and Barry to blame. It’s a jerk move that he needs to correct immediately. These people that he never knew are trying. Don’t make it any harder on them by making yourself the victim over and over Wally. They were also robbed of getting to know the smart and wonderful boy inside (even Barry was robbed of getting to grow up with you.) His attitude towards Barry is just setting everyone on edge. When Wally finally realizes this they’ll fall into an easier pace where they can get to know each other without regrets or jealousy. Only then will Barry give up his secret as The Flash and solidify their bond forever.
What were your thoughts on Zoom’s identity reveal?
I was surprised that we learned Zoom’s identity already, but it kind of felt anticlimactic to me. It would’ve held more weight had it been a more public reveal to Barry. But with that said, I understand why it wasn’t. Obviously with Zoom being Jay Garrick of Earth-2 – whether it’s a copy-cat or the real version – is going to factor into the remainder of the season. You just know that Zoom is going to find a way back to Earth-1 – or Team Flash is going to go searching for him – and Zoom is going to impersonate the Jay Garrick that Team Flash got to know and operate from the inside. But I can’t help but wonder if the audience remaining clueless in the reveal wouldn’t have been better than knowing. It would’ve generated a bigger shock than just the casual reveal at the end because we’d be in that moment with Barry and feel that betrayal. But that’s just me.
Part of me wants to go: I KNEW IT, and yet another part of me just wants to understand. I figured this was a possibility since we met the Earth-1 Jay Garrick, since Zoom in the comics IS Hunter Zolomon, but that still doesn’t make much sense to me. If Jay IS Zoom, then did Earth-1 Hunter Zolomon ever exist? Or does Zoom have a twin we don’t know about? And who is the man in the Iron Mask in Earth-2’s prison? The reveal was all fine and good, but in truth, it’s just brought up more questions than answers. Which, I’m sure, is exactly what they wanted.
All in all, though, I’m happy with this. Good-Jay was boring as hell. Jay-who-might-be-Zoom? Now, that guy can be interesting. That guy can up the stakes. Because, at this point, in the gut-wrenching category, Arrow has The Flash beat. And before, it didn’t look like The Flash could catch up. Now, who knows? It stills looks like a longshot, but there’s a chance. There’s a chance.
It was one of those moments were you kind of expected it but you’re still really really surprised. I thought it might be Jay because I follow Dwight Schrutes teachings. It’s not who you most expect or who you least expect. It’s who expect partially somewhere in the middle expect. Lol. But back to Zoom. Why did he act surprised when he caught Jay? Doesn’t he know that’s what Jay looks like? Has he not taken off the mask for so long that he forgot what he looked like? It’s got to be something else. Maybe he felt the power coming off of Jay and was instantly intrigued.
My working theory is that Zoom has been jumping through universes collecting as much power as he can, even from versions of himself. For some reason he can’t kill himself. (Maybe because because they have his boy next door good looks.) Sure he can beat them up and drag them around like a rag doll but he won’t kill himself. My working theory is that the masked man in the cage is probably another version of Jay and Barry ends up in Supergirls universe when he’s trying to get back to Zoom. This is Flash we’re talking about so it seems pretty plausible to me.
What are your thoughts on “King Shark?” Sound off in the comments to keep the discussion going!
Join us for another The Flash roundtable when the show returns March 22.
The Flash airs Tuesdays at 8/7c on The CW.