Just when you thought it was safe to go back to Earth-1… King Shark returns. Also, I learned that there’s no such thing as a “filler episode” for The Flash. I’ll admit that I was wrong and incorrectly assumed that bringing back King Shark after the heavy Earth-2 plotline was a gimmick, but this episode (aka Jaws 2) really sunk its teeth into developing character growth of the members of Team Flash.

It’s been literal seconds since the twisted ending of the Earth-2 mission; everyone is still pretty much mid-scream. Caitlin babbles in shock, and you can hear her say something along the lines of, “No no no no no not again.” Ouch.  Barry wants to re-open the breach and go after Zoom, but Wells tells him the breach is permanently closed because of science-y quark matter reasons. Basically, it is now impossible to travel between Earths.

Me too, Caitlin. Me too.

Cisco and Barry discuss how Caitlin might react: Cisco fears that this may be a turning point for Caitlin becoming cold like Caitlin-2, but Barry is confident that she’ll heal in time. Harry Wells suggests that they not tell Caitlin, Joe, and Iris about their Earth-2 counterparts so that they don’t influence their realities in potentially negative, Hamlet-y ways. What happens on Earth-2, stays on Earth-2.

But to Snowbarisco, forgetting is a lot easier said than done: the trio throw themselves into anti-metahuman work as a distraction from the loss of Jay Garrick and the helplessness of Zoom’s terror on another world.

ENTER DISTRACTION IN THE FORM OF A HALF-GIANT, HALF-SHARK.

King Shark escapes from the A.R.G.U.S. aquarium, so John and Lyla Diggle pay a visit to Central City where they think the meta-shark is heading to target The Flash. Perfect! Barry could really use a Diggle Pep Talk because he’s reaching Oliver Queen levels of burden and moodiness. Barry also asks about Felicity because she hasn’t been returning his calls, and the Barricity shipper in me emerges out of my body like a holy ghost. Now Barry really sounds like Oliver.

Oh, Digg is still not over Barry’s speed:

In an attempt to bond with Wally West(!!!), Barry tries to help Wally with his project application to get into Central City University’s engineering program. Wally is proposing creating a supercar with turbines like jet engines because, you know, FAST. Damn, Wally. You go, kid.

I’m not freaking out. You are. just Flash and Kid Flash. No big deal.

When Barry makes suggestions and points out some of the project’s flaws, Wally does not respond well. Barry’s instinct that Wally doesn’t like him seems to be on the nose. Barry uselessly tries to backtrack while Iris and Joe exchange awkward glances. Everyone wants this relationship to work out… especially me! The initial rockiness and power struggle between Barry and Wally sets up how their mentorship will be when Wally inevitably gets his speedforce powers. I like it.

BARRY: Do you have a problem with me?

WALLY: Who could have a problem with you? You’re Barry, right? You’re perfect.

At the lab, Cisco calls Caitlin out for being a frosty, well, bitch. He accidentally lets it slip that he met Caitlin’s doppelganger, and she ice-glares Cisco into admitting everything he knows about Killer Frost. Caitlin assures him that she will not become a cold-hearted meta-villain and that her emotional freeze is her temporary way of healing and dealing. Let’s be real, Cisco is thinking about his own asshole doppelganger and fears that he has the propensity to become a meta-villain, too.

In the under-lab/the new residence of the Wells father-daughter duo, Daddy wells is frantically working to help locate King Shark. Hmmm… another clue that Harry feels guilty for anything Earth-2 related. Jesse Wells wants to help. She’s a pair of fresh eyes, both as an addition to Team Flash and as a character to the TV show.

Wally West is thrown into his first real Central City meta-human experience when King Shark rips the roof off the West house screaming, “WHERE’S FLASH ME WANT TO EAT FLASH ME HUNGRY FOR FLASHY FOOD?” Wally just stares in half-horror, half-WTF. That poor kid is not used to Central City.

Barry makes a sneaky quick-change and tells King Shark that there’s no way to get back to Earth-2 because all of the breaches have been sealed. In his tone, you can hear that Barry Allen is OVER IT. He’s done with all things Earth-2 and just wants to move the hell on.

Barry’s not-so-mysterious disappearance does not go unnoticed by Wally. The future-speedster calls Barry a coward and Barry, Iris, and Joe say nothing to dispute it to keep his identity a secret. When Wally storms out, Barry tells Iris and Joe about his experiences on Earth-2. Barry feels guilty about the fates of the doppelgangers because that’s who Barry is.

Luckily, Team Flash has come up with a plan to locate and bait King Shark… and it involves a Flash lure dummy that they attach to a buoy. It works: Team Flash has made the predator become the prey. Barry realizes that Earth-2 is NOT Vegas, and he has to deal with his problems and use them as lessons.

The results are beautiful. Seriously, seriously beautiful.

Except King Shark. He’s still ugly and scary.

Nothing raises team morale like defeating a yoked up great white shark-monster. Caitlin and Cisco make up. Papa Joe gives Wally one of his Daddy speeches. Barry gathers everyone up in the lab and apologizes for his lack of leadership. He is my favorite person ever.

End tag: The Unmasking of Zoom

I don’t even want to get into this. HOW MANY JAYS ARE THERE?

Super-quick Things:

  • A.R.G.U.S. has been monitoring meta-human activity for potential weaponization. Reminds me of Project CADMUS on Supergirl.
  • Next time we see Diggle, he’s gonna have a helmet upgrade.
  • Not over how casually Barry tells Iris that they were married on Earth-2. I hope that they’ll subvert the original crush, and now Iris will be the one pining!
  • I spy with my little eye a Snowbarry moment.
  • The KillerVibe practical joke when Cait pretends to hate her name is perfect and total fanservice. Now do you have faith she’s a good guy, Cisco?
  • Is Digg the one to die on Arrow? Is that why they’re setting up this relationship between him and Barry? Maybe it’s Lyla who dies?
  • If Everyman-2 was the one who died, then he would’ve morphed back into his true form. Are there more body snatchers? Is it a time travel/earth-travel crossover? How many factors are in play?
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