“King Shark” picks up moments after “Escape from Earth 2″ ends. Caitlin, mute, in shock, stares at the Speed Cannon where Zoom just grabbed (and probably killed) Jay as the others stand around, horrified. Barry wants to go back and help, but Wells says they can’t. All the Breaches have been closed, so there’s no way back. Mind you, Wells tends to be the pessimist of the group, but, for the moment, he’s apparently right.
Caitlin eventually goes to sleep in the lab, refusing to go home. Cisco, in between fiddling with his counterpart’s goggles, talks with Barry about them both being worried about her. Wells advises them not to talk about Earth 2. They don’t want to influence the people they know, and now, with no way back, what’s the point?
In voiceover mode again, Barry speeds through the city, saying that’s what they did: not talk about their trip. It’s apparent some time passes, but how much isn’t specified. This week’s threat shows up when Diggle and Lyla guest star from Arrow. They are touring various ARGUS bases in the wake of Amanda Waller’s death on their show, and get to one just in time for King Shark to escape. The whole time he was in captivity, King Shark kept saying, “Zoom wants Flash dead,” so it’s no great leap to figure out he’s going back to Central City.
At the West house, there’s some sort of family game night going on with Joe, Iris, Barry, and Wally. Wally wins, and Barry just sort of sits there moping. Wally leaves, and Barry thinks Wally might not like him. Well, gee, Barry, you’re being so social and outgoing, why wouldn’t he? Barry goes to bed, largely to give Joe and Iris time to wonder what happened on Earth 2.
Back at STAR, Cailin is throwing herself into her work, and Cisco is increasingly worried. He thinks she’s becoming more and more like Killer Frost, a subject he and Barry argue over. This debate is interrupted when Lyla and Diggle show up to warn them about King Shark. After some debate, the STAR crew and ARGUS are going to grudgingly work together. There’s also a small exchange between Diggle and Cisco about Diggle’s Spartan helmet, so that’s likely going to get some upgrades soon.
In the midst of a hunt for a crazed killer metahuman, Joe calls to ask Barry to help Wally with some engineering project. Barry lets himself get guilted into doing it. Caitlin and Cisco go visit their Earth’s doppleganger of King Shark’s wife. It doesn’t go well, largely because Caitlin is acting, well, cold. Cisco gets more nervous from this.
ARGUS loses two more agents to King Shark while Barry talks to Diggle about Felicity. He’s worried about her after the injuries she sustained over on Arrow. It’s a nice bit of world building. There’s also the running joke of Diggle not being able to adjust to Flash’s speed.
The meeting at the West house goes about as well as expected. Barry tries to help Wally, but is mostly either pointing out flaws or jumping ahead of Wally’s work. It’s not a good scene. Things aren’t much better at STAR, where Cisco’s resolve crumbles and he tells Caitlin about Killer Frost. In another part of the lab, Wells and his daughter work together to find King Shark.
Just when you thought things couldn’t get worse at the West house… Wally is clearly getting annoyed at Barry, and things are going downhill. How to make a tense family scene even worse? Drop in a crazed metahuman monster. King Shark shows up, tearing through part of the house, demanding to know where Flash is. Barry slips away to change and does the stupidest thing I’ve ever seen him do in a fight. He just runs around King Shark in circles until King Shark swats him and leaves. ARGUS shows up too late to be of any use, and Wally decides Barry is a coward since Wally didn’t see him during the fight.
Barry mopes about after Wally storms out, and, like Cisco, tells the Wests about what happened on Earth 2. Barry is also blaming himself for King Shark, Zoom, and Jay’s death (although I’m not convinced he’s dead. Speedster healing anyone?). Finally, everyone contributes to an elaborate trap and there’s a huge battle between Flash and King Shark that is kind of silly but fun to watch. Diggle, after warning Barry to not be like Oliver (Guilt Arrow), leaves.
Joe is really impressed with Wally’s designs. In one of his first likable moments, Wally admits Barry did help him a lot. The two have some heart to heart bonding over what the West family is like, Barry included.
There’s a nice STAR meeting at the end. Barry says they are going to move forward and find a way to get back to Earth 2. He has a little display case for Jay’s helmet, which clearly moves Caitlin. I wonder if they’ll work towards either the Cosmic Treadmill or Flash using his own powers to travel between worlds. Caitlin also gets in a great prank on Cisco.
Speaking of Earth 2, Zoom shows up to torment his prisoner. We still don’t know who the masked man is, although I have some theories. I also had some theories about who Zoom was, and I was proven completely wrong. He unmasks, and leaves more questions than answers. It’s a hell of a reveal right before the show goes on hiatus for a few weeks for reasons as yet unrevealed, although Arrow and iZombie are doing the same.
What I liked: The fight near the end was fun to watch. It was silly, but nice action. Cisco’s concern for Caitlin was nice, and hopefully has been addressed before it becomes an ongoing subplot. Joe’s talk with Wally near the end was handled well. I loved Caitlin’s prank. It was good to see Diggle, and I’m curious about what Cisco’s going to do to his helmet. The unmasking was a big surprise. I wonder if Jay’s helmet display is the start of the eventual Flash museum from the comics. Barry’s concern for Felicity made a lot of sense.
What I didn’t: Why did Barry think running circles around him was going to do anything? What was King Shark’s drive to kill Flash coming from? Barry told him he couldn’t get home. Zoom can’t get back to punish him. Why keep going with the fight? Also, what happened to whatever gadget Wells used to drop King Shark so easily the first time they both showed up?
I’ll go 3 out of 5 for this. It wasn’t great, but it had some fun moments.