Review: The Flash, “King Shark”

Progressive/nerd/parent review

Ceiling Shark is watching you.
Ceiling Shark is watching you.

The Flash Season 2, Episode 15 “King Shark” (spoilers)

Bechdel-Wallace Score: 1/3 – More than one woman in this episode of course, but I really don’t remember them ever speaking to each other. It really is staggering, week after week, to assess shows on this (and other) measurements of representation. Men talk to each other a lot, even when women are in the room. But the women just talk to the men, even when other women are in the room. It is all the more frustrating with this episode because one of my favorite Arrow characters, Lyla, was in town with Diggle and she could have had some good dialogue with Caitlin or Jesse about dealing with whacked-out meta-human drama, or grieving the death of a teammate, or whatever.

Shukla Score: 3/3 – The West family, along with Cisco and even Diggle in this episode, continues to provide the show with multiple 3-point scenes. Yay for representation. I’m really hoping, both for anti-racism and storytelling reasons, that the Wests continue to be central to the show in season 3.

Russo Score: 0/3 – There is no LGBTQ representation in this episode. 😡👎 Reminder that the show has an established gay good guy (Captain of CCPD) and bad guy (what’s his name, with the sound waves and the snark, that guy) and it would be easy enough for the show to go 3/3 each week if they would just try.

Kittehs: 😺😺😺😺/5 – Good drama, good character development (yay they gave Caitlin something to do!), and great action. And it was just funny! I mean there was a gigantic man/shark creature on the loose. Dude is like 1.5 stories tall and always yelling, but they couldn’t find him! They spent the whole episode looking for a creature that you can see or hear a mile away. Follow the 911 calls, folks. Anyway, it was a fun and engaging episode so I think it would have taken four kittehs to pull me away.

Low points: Well without spoiling too much, let me say this: If Tony Todd is doing the voice for your character when you have a mask on, you are inevitably going to sound lame when you take your mask off and talk in your own voice. From Zoom to Meh in one single line. Kinda rough. Also that moment, the big reveal at the end… …just doesn’t make any sense yet. However they will make sense of it, we don’t have the information needed to even guess at it, and that (to me) is not a fun kind of anticipation. Sad!

Highlights: At first I thought I would be putting the Barry/Wally interactions in the low points, but over the course of the episode I came to appreciate how they developed that relationship. I also really enjoyed what the show has done with the post-Earth-2-adventure fall out for a few characters, especially Barry. The build up to his heart to heart with Iris and Joe was well done and woven together nicely with the aforementioned Barry/Wally developments. Another highlight was Barry getting some of his mojo back (for the first time since Zoom wailed on him earlier in the season) and using it to have a kickass final fight with King Shark, the hilariously and wonderfully over-the-top villain of the week.

Dad edits: My kid and I watched this episode for the first time together, so there was not much of an option for editing. Luckily Diggle and Lyla didn’t bring too many guns from Star City, so for the most part it was fine. King Shark had one moment that was a bit rough early on, but my son seemed to be okay with it and just said “Daddy, sharks are bad because they kill police and baby seals.”

The Flash airs on Tuesdays at 8/7c on The CW

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