Alright let’s get the big one out of the way real quick: I was kind of right on the whole “Jay is Zoom” thing but we’re still not quite sure in what way. The masked man’s frightened reaction to seeing Jay’s body fall on the ground implies that perhaps the Jay we knew wasn’t necessarily a bad man, but the Jay we see in the gimp suit is. My current running theory is that The Flash’s current speedster antagonist is either A) Jay from the future, who was driven mad by his addiction to Velocity 9 and thus can’t kill his past self lest he completely disappear, or B) Hunter Zolomon from Earth-1. That one’s actually rather straightforward, and makes me inclined to lean away from that, though it does seem that Zolomon is connected to whatever the true twist is with Zoom.
On the topic of Zoom, lest they crack interdimensional travel through some device or another Singularity appears over the damn city, then why is Zoom even an issue at this point? Barry seems convinced that the breaches will “re-open” or some shtick, but why? If they were truly closed, then why can’t they put all of that in the past and forget about Earth-2 entirely? Some vague mutterings of “unfinished business” and “running at the danger” don’t quite solve the fact that their world has no reason to be in danger again. Sure, Barry feels guilty for trapping Zoom on Earth-2 and has become emotionally invested in that world, fine, but given that there are technically infinite Earths, what makes the lives on that one any more significant than Earth’s 3 through 300? The logic is slightly lacking.
A smart decision on the writers’ part was to make The Flash’s trek to Earth-2 hold more meaning than just a fun little excursion to doppelganger-land; it had meaning. It weighed on the cast, and they felt the need to protect Caitlin, Joe, and Iris from knowing what the other worlds were like. This created yet another “I’m going to lie to you to protect you” situation, which got resolved within the episode it became an issue. This is a mixed bag, in that it gave the entire conflict a feeling of pointlessness considering how little actually came from it, but relief in that holy shit what’s the point of lying and keeping secrets to people at this point?
Wally still struggles to find a place in the show, and giving him the jealousy over Barry’s reverence within the West family was actually an interesting way to do it. If situations were normal, it would have been a non-issue; Barry would have loved to have helped Wally out and not acted like so much of a dick, but the Earth-2 hijinks gave him extra angst, which made him out to seem like he had a superiority complex over Wally. Wally’s frustration with Barry’s spot in the family is understandable from an emotional perspective, but considering what a short amount of time Wally has been a part of this family and how long Barry has been, it doesn’t make a whole lot of sense. Also with how nonchalantly Barry will reveal his identity as The Flash, I found it a bit odd he didn’t do so when King Shark literally tore the roof off of the West household. Speaking of which, that’s not the kind of thing you just sweep away. Where are they all going to live now?
Finally: King Shark was really, really cool. His brief appearance earlier on in the season thankfully turned out to not be just that; and we got the true payoff for it here! Just like the teases to Grodd all throughout Season One. Similar to Grodd, The Flash isn’t new to the idea of a fully CG villain, and also similar to Grodd, the effects in bringing King Shark to life were exceptional for a network TV show. Yes, the shots of him were relatively short, but this was played to a Jaws-esque effect where the real terror was in that he was unseen so often. Although as to how a gigantic 15-foot tall Shark-man can sneak around all stealthily is completely beyond me. Tying his return to Central City with A.R.G.U.S., Diggle, and Lyla was just icing on the cake. Seeing these smaller scale crossovers, like with Felicity and Ray last season, is sometimes more rewarding than the larger ones in that it reinforces the idea that the Arrowverse is truly a living, breathing world. It’s also especially interesting seeing Lyla taking her role as Head of A.R.G.U.S. as payoff for Amanda Waller’s death in Arrow several weeks back.
For my review of last week’s episode, “Escape from Earth-2,” click here.