Since it’s return from winter break, The Flash has finally gotten back on track. King Shark vs. Gorilla Grodd was another fun episode recalling some of the show’s willingness to fully test the boundaries of its corner of the Arrowverse.
The episode immediately opens with Flash and XS beaten down and under Grodd’s influence just as King Shark arrives. If this were a Netflix show, we might have gotten a crazy soundtrack choice like Meth vs. Chef, which would have had me hyped and millennials confused.
Let’s rewind 12 hours ago. Cisco and Caitlin have completed their meta human cure. All they need now is a willing volunteer to test. Maybe they don’t need a guinea pig at all, but rather a King Shark. The writers try and explain King Shark is the best viable choice since he’s far on the dark matter spectrum that if it worked for him, it would definitely work on other, less powerful metas. But still, why not track down someone less likely to bite heads off?
Time for a trip to ARGUS. Lyla doesn’t hysterically laugh in their faces at this request, reminding everyone once her daughter became a boy (in the non-Dreamer way) anything can happen.
Lyla’s got some tech help who can help in Dr. Tanya Lamden, who was married to the man who would become King Shark on another Earth. She’s been communicating with this King Shark thanks to a telepathic crown she’s created. Apparently, King Shark doesn’t want to be cured and runs off, but not before ditching the crown. Yeah, this was a great idea Team Flash.
As a rule, I can’t complain about any soft CGI for the next few weeks as the work on King Shark looks amazing. Like actual movie-quality good. Take a bow Flash special effects team.
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King Shark returns to the pier and Flash and Vibe try to talk to him again. Just as King Shark goes to take a bite out of Cisco, Barry injects him with the cure. And it works! King Shark is a man again. Much like Alicia in the Fantastic Four, she doesn’t seem that thrilled her monster is a regular dude however. Cisco and Caitlin get on Barry for using the cure on King Shark without asking permission. While they’ve got a point, King Shark was about to eat Cisco!! Morals don’t need to be so strict guys, geesh.
But before this can get too Civil War-ish, Cisco punches Barry, who for a change actually reacts quickly in assessing the situation. He zooms Cisco to a holding cell (without asking permission naturally) and finds Caitlin handing the improved telepathic crown to Gorilla Grodd. That reminds me, where has Ralph been all episode? Team Flash is way too big right now, but that doesn’t mean I’m ready for Cisco to be written out at the end of this season.
With the enhanced crown, Grodd can now attain his goal of controlling everyone in Central City. The writers have really nailed Grodd’s desire for control down, but they haven’t quite captured his savage nature fully. Flash and XS are no match for Grodd, which means Shay has to turn back to Killer Shark. Only catch is there’s little chance he’ll be able to be cured again.
For once the show doesn’t cheap out on a colossal Grodd fight as we get a nice, hard-hitting throw down between the two monsters of Central City. King Shark wins this round and Grodd is going to an ultra secure (wink wink) ARGUS facility this time. As for King Shark? He’s playing the PG-version of The Shape of Water with Tanya.
Yay, Joe is back!! This was a nice dramatic return for by far the most missed member of the ensemble. Cecile is glad he’s back, Iris is glad he’s back, heck we’re all glad he’s back. Joe doesn’t waste any time dispatching the Papa Joe logic and sage advice helping Iris to get over her fear of going back to her office in case Cicada is waiting to kill her. I’m glad that wasn’t ignored and it adds some weight to the whole ‘it’s too dangerous for hero A to get his friends involved’ subplot.
Barry isn’t done with nutty ideas though and after King Shark’s heroics, he thinks everyone will take a turn for the better. That’s right, he wants to offer the cure to Cicada? Barry, what?
King Shark vs. Gorilla Grodd was nutty in a good way and did some solid building on the overall season arc with Cicada.
Rating: 9 out of 10
Photo Credit: The CW