Last week The Flash ended with a shocker and this week’s episode starts right where they left it. The only portal to Earth-2 closed after Zoom’s arm went through Jay’s torso and they both disappeared into the bridge.
After everything that happened in the last two episodes, now Team Flash need to deal with the consequences. Except we don’t get to see much of it at first. Instead, the show seems to go back to its villain-of-the-week formula and to ignoring the running mystery we’ve all been dying to find out: Zoom’s real identity. Not so fast.
To start, Caitlyn isn’t in a great emotional state, so they try to show more of her not-so-sweet side, toward a complete stranger and also toward Cisco, who fears she’ll become evil like her doppelgänger from Earth-2. The only problem here is that Danielle Panabaker wasn’t exactly convincing as a meta-human killer, and she’s also not that strong at acting rude. An extreme change of character for Caitlyn wouldn’t have made sense, but the whole pissed-off-at-the-world attitude didn’t feel great either from her. She’s probably the weakest character in the show, but Panabaker is lucky to have Carlos Valdes as a partner in most scenes.
The title King Shark gave us a hint as to what – or rather, who – we’d see again this episode. Turns out, we also got a very nice treat with Arrow’s Lyla and Diggle showing up in Central City to warn Barry and the others about King Shark. In the process, we learn Lyla has become the new director of A.R.G.U.S. after the incident in their headquarters in episode 11 of this season’s Arrow. These kind of little connections between shows always help elevate them, and DC execs know it. Diggle is one of the most loved characters on Arrow, and he doesn’t get to see the type of meta-humans they’re used to seeing in Central City, so having him experience it in person makes his perspective much more interesting for the viewers.
During this episode, the show also acknowledges the fact that while Wally has finally become a part of the West family, he hasn’t had a chance to get to know Barry since the beginning of the season. Of course, it wouldn’t be a CW show without the drama, because as likeable and sociable as Barry can be, he doesn’t appear to be keen on the idea of becoming friends with Wally. The obvious awkwardness between these characters shows a wider range for the actors, and especially Grant Gustin. He’s really grown into playing Barry Allen, so over time he’s being able to prove how he can express the character’s depth in interactions with other people he’s not familiar with and make it believable. Wally’s animosity toward Barry feels like a breath of fresh air, as opposed to every other non-villain character who Barry gets on with.
Later on, the fight between The Flash and King Shark is one of the most impressive scenes we’ve seen this season. The quality of the visual effects is one of the strongest points of the show. Grodd was a phenomenal CGI character on the first season. Now King Shark, although he didn’t feel as menacing, was integrated in a fairly grounded way despite him technically being “a talking shark wearing pants” without a solid back story to connect with.
In the end, something we’d been dying to know was finally revealed, only to the audience: the person behind the Zoom mask. Every week there’s a new wave of speculations all over the Internet about the character, and while this was the right time to show who he really is, there’s still one more thing missing for us to care about this villain – the same thing King Shark lacked, which was a motive. We need some kind of emotional connection to be established other than the fact that Zoom is just a bad guy seeking more power. Last week the mystery was more around the person behind the iron mask.
This second season is shaping up well, but there are still some tie-in issues to be improved. What did you think of this episode?