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‘The Flash’: talking points from “King Shark and Gorilla Grodd”

The CGI battle of the year - worth the wait?

The Flash season 5 episode 14, “King Shark vs Gorilla Grodd”, aired 7 March 2019.

Hello Flashies, it’s been a while hasn’t it? We had a two week break while the Flash‘s animators brought the show’s two biggest animal villains together.

Love as deep as the ocean

Let’s catch up on our marine monster. In case you forgot (I did forget), King Shark is a man called Shae Lamdon from Earth-2. Last time, ARGUS was taking him away for possible rehabilitation. It seems that has been successful, with the help of Dr Tanya Lamdon, the wife of Shae’s E-1 counterpart.

Using a mental activity “crown”, Tanya has been able to communicate with Shae. She’s also been developing feelings for him, but is conflicted because he is her late husband’s döppelganger. Enter Sherloque, who has married various doöppelgangers of the same woman. He eventually convinces her that “the heart wants what it wants”, and Tanya and Shae accept their mutual connection.

Was this love arc necessary? No, but it was a welcome counterweight to all the brooding elsewhere.

The gift that keeps on giving

Last season of The Flash might have blown hot and cold, but one thing it did was tie everything together and offer a device for extended continuity. The “particle accelerator explosion created metahumans” schtick would have worn out at some point. The Enlightenment, and its fallout, acts as particle accelerator explosion 2.0, while still tying back to the OG event.

In this week’s case, it was the Enlightenment that allowed Grodd to escape, during a temporary outage at ARGUS.

Barry needs a whooping

While this episode was somewhat filler in the long run, it gave Team Flash a chance to test their meta-cure.

In the beginning, Cisco and Caitlin reiterated the need for King Shark to consent to being a test subject. But because Barry is broody and hotheaded, he eventually administers the cure forcefully. Good news: it works. Bad news: Caitlin and Cisco are now mad at him.

I love Barry, but it was satisfying to watch a Grodd-controlled Cisco sock him hard. He deserved that.

Knocked off his pedestal, Barry takes a new stance – what if they offered Cicada the cure? Would Orlin want to be cured? (Probably not right now, since we’ve got a good number of episodes to go. But at the end…?)

King Shark is actually a good guy

And he’s pretty good-looking too, when unmorphed back into human form. It’s a shame the cure is apparently not permanent, and Shae soon starts slowly turning back to shark.

the flash
the CW

Ultimately, his return to being King Shark saves the day – at the cost of himself. While his shark brain is rabid and chaotic, it is also less penetrable by Grodd. With aid from Harry’s old mental activity dampener, King Shark is the perfect candidate to defeat the evil gorilla. Shae chooses to transform back into King Shark to defeat Grodd, knowing it would prevent the cure from working on him in the future. It’s his way of redeeming his animal persona.

Sharks can’t be upside-down

They will become paralyzed. Here’s your one bit of actual fact in a show driven by “fictional science”.

For context, Grodd just about defeated King Shark by flipping him over and hanging from a crane. The Flash and XS had to electrocute him back to life. They also left him with just enough charge to deliver an electrified sucker-punch to Grodd. “Long live the king,” Barry declared.

Joe is back!

the flash joe west jesse l martin iris west candice patton
the CW

And he is back to his wise, fatherly ways. Iris is scared to go to her new office after dying there in an erased timeline three weeks ago. Joe figures it out soon enough.

His solution? Take out all her fear and anger with boxing. I wasn’t expecting that, but we get a scene of Iris, with a cute braid, tank top and boxing gloves, going hard at a punching bag, so I’m not complaining. It also works for Iris, who finally returns to her office before realising she missed out on a lot of megafaunal action.

the flash iris west
flashallens – tumblr

Flashpoints

  • “Takes a village. But every village needs a genius and that’s me.” – Cisco
  • “If I Could Turn Back Time” playing in Jitters.
  • “Don’t you know you’re not supposed to interrupt someone when they’re brooding? Trying to get my Oliver Queen on here.” – Cisco
  • When Cisco and Caitlin recover from Grodd’s mind-control, Cisco remarks “No more strings on us.” You KNOW where that’s from.
  • Tanya tells Sherloque he has “solved life’s greatest mystery”, to which the man replies “Well, that’s what I do.” Ironic, given all his failed marriages. Will E1 Adler be any different?
  • Caitlin: Are you sure you don’t want something a little more grown up?
    Cisco: Uh, you take that back. This snack is a delicacy.
    (They are talking about swedish fish.)

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Ellen Ng

Ellen is a student, writer, professional daydreamer etc. Most likely to be found with green tea, but coffee has been an option as of late. Currently superhero-watching.

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