Greetings, fellow multi-verse hoppers! Barry (Grant Gustin) and the others are back safely in Central City after their sojourn to Earth-2, and the rifts are all closed, but there is still some unfinished business to deal with. Let’s take a look at my Top 5 favorite episodes from The Flash 2.15, “King Shark”:
#5: Caitlyn Gives Cisco the Heebie-Jeebies
Meeting Caitlyn Snow’s (Danielle Panabaker) Earth-2 doppelganger, Killer Frost, really messed with Cisco’s (Carlos Valdes) head. Now, as he watches Caitlyn deal with her grief over Jay’s (Teddy Sears) apparent death, he sees similar personality traits emerge: detachment, brusqueness, and a generally cold demeanor. Eventually, he breaks down and tells her about her double, despite assuring Barry and Harry (Tom Cavanagh) that he wouldn’t. This all culminates in Caitlyn directly quoting something Killer Frost said to Cisco, causing a look of sheer terror on his face. Of course, that was a practical joke she cooked up with Barry, and well worth it. She promises Cisco she won’t become Killer Frost. But then again, you know how promises can go…
#4: Oh, ARGUS…
So, it turns out ARGUS has been keeping King Shark ever since he was brought down back in episode 2.05, to try to weaponize his powers (because of course they are, because Amanda Waller was a sociopath). Naturally, he escapes (because of course he does), and makes his way to Central City to fulfill his original mission to kill The Flash. Arrow‘s John Diggle (David Ramsey) and his wife Lyla (Audrey Marie Anderson), the new director of ARGUS, come to Central City in person to warn Barry and help capture the villain again. But the question that goes unanswered is, how many other metas does ARGUS have in their custody? Something tells me the answer is more than one.
#3: Sibling Rivalry in the West Family
No, not between Wally (Keiynan Lonsdale) and Iris (Candice Patton), between Wally and Barry. Wally is jealous of Barry’s status as the son Joe (Jesse L. Martin) “adopted” instead of raising him. (Not that Joe knew Wally existed, but that’s not the point.) As a consequence, their relationship has been very strained, and it only gets worse when Barry tries to tell Wally how to do his engineering project. When Barry goes missing during King Shark’s attack on the West house (because he changes into The Flash and fights him), Wally then becomes convinced that he’s a coward, too. Joe tries to smooth Wally’s ruffled feathers, but something tells me the tension is going to continue to simmer.
#2: A Touching Tribute
In an attempt to put his grief over the death of Jay, and of Joe-2, behind him, Barry gives a touching speech to the team, and unveils a display case enclosing Jay’s winged helmet. It’s a nice gesture, and seems to console the team somewhat. He also declares that they aren’t done with Earth-2, and that they need to find a way back. Which is fitting…
#1: How Many Universes are We Going to See?
I both love and hate how this show always saves its big twists for the last 30 seconds. On the one hand, when it’s connected to the plot of the episode, it can be great. But often, it is completely unconnected to the rest of the episode, and it’s annoying. In this case, it’s kind of in-between. Barry’s speech about going back to Earth-2 gives an obvious segue, but it’s still a little unnatural.
At any rate, we see Zoom carrying Jay’s limp (lifeless?) body, back to his lair, and we see the Man in the Iron Mask horror-struck (or at least, that’s the best I can gather with no facial expression). Zoom dumps Jay on the floor, and says, removing his mask, “This creates a problem,” revealing the face of…
So it turns out Zoom is another version of Jay Garrick (or, more probably, Hunter Zolomon) from, presumably, yet another universe beyond Earth-1 and Earth-2. He might be the Hunter Zolomon from Earth-1, but since Jay had that version of himself under surveillance, and Zoom was launching all his attacks from Earth-2, it seems unlikely. I think it’s also probable to assume, at this point, that the Man in the Mask is another alternate Jay/Hunter. So what does this tell us? One, it means that Zoom must have some connection to his alternate selves that drives his power, otherwise he would kill them. Two, it means that there is likely at least one more version of Barry Allen out there among the multi-verse that has the identity of The Flash, thus inspiring Zoom’s costume (that one’s been bothering me since the first time we saw Zoom). Three, it means that The Flash‘s upcoming crossover with Supergirl will probably be on yet another alternate Earth (perhaps one that he journeys to in his attempts to get back to Earth-2).
That last one’s important. It’s a brilliant way to get a crossover episode without having to synchronize the continuity of all four shows; The Flash, Arrow, and Legends of Tomorrow already share a continuity, but all air on the same network (The CW) while Supergirl lives on CBS. It also keeps us from continuing to wonder why, if Barry and Oliver live in a world with Superman and Supergirl, do they never call on them for help?
But turning our attention back to The Flash, we now have to wonder from which of these alternate universes does Zoom hail, and how many more alternate Earths will Barry visit this season? Another fun thing to note is that you can tell the show’s creators had the multi-verse concept baked into the show from day 1. Remember the headline Wells/Thawne keeps looking at throughout the first season?
That’s a reference to a famous story called “The Crisis on Infinite Earths,” and it was the first universe-destroying continuity reboot DC ever did. It’s also famous as the story where Barry Allen died to save the multi-verse.
I don’t know about you, Speedsters, but I’m eager to unravel the mystery of Zoom’s identity in the coming weeks! And is Earth-2 Jay dead, or not? Keep checking in here after each episode airs!
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