It’s a clash of titans on The Flash, “King Shark vs. Gorilla Grodd”. Caitlin (Danielle Panabaker) and Cisco (Carlos Valdes) created a possible cure for metahumans. Their number one rule is that the cure will be voluntary. If the cure works, Barry/Flash (Grant Gustin) is hoping to use it on Cicada (Chris Kline). Cicada has given Barry and Iris (Candice Patton) enough grief to last a lifetime. Barry is almost desperate for this to work.
Gorilla Grodd arrived in Central City and that’s where we begin this episode. The Flash and Nora/XS (Jessica Parker Kennedy) are on the ground and they can’t move. Grodd stands over them and sees King Shark. The two titans move toward each other and the battle begins.
12 Hours Ago…
Cisco presents the team with the finished sample of the cure. They discuss possible test subjects, but everyone they know wouldn’t give up their powers so easily. Sherloque (Tom Cavanagh) suggests they use someone outside of Earth-1. There is someone from Earth-2 already here that might be willing to take the cure. King Shark is in ARGUS custody. He is a metahuman, once knowns as Shay Lamden on both Earth-1 and Earth-2
Joe West (Jesse L. Martin) is back from Tibet. He visits with Iris, telling her all about his trip. Joe tries to talk to Iris about Cicada, thinking he has a lot of outside help. Iris doesn’t want to talk about Cicada though and changes the subject. Iris asks if she can work in Joe’s kitchen so they have time to catch up. He asks about her office and Iris makes up an excuse that she has leaky pipes. He gives her the number for a plumber. Iris packs up and leaves like she is going to her office.
The team goes to ARGUS to discuss their idea with Lyla Michaels (Audrey Marie Anderson). Caitlin explains that King Shark has the highest levels of dark matter they’ve ever seen. If they can reverse him, then the cure will work for any metahuman. Lyla tells them that ARGUS has been working with Dr. Tanya Lamden (Zibby Allen) to communicate with King Shark. Tanya created a neuro device that allows her to talk to King Shark, called a telepathic crown.
The team tells Tanya about their cure, so she contacts Shay through her telepathic earbuds. King Shark agrees to meet with them and emerges from the water. He gets some interference on the telepathic crown, causing King Shark to become violent. He throws the crown down and runs away. Tanya says she needs to find a way to make the crown’s telepathic hold stronger. Cisco suggests they link it to his own device at STAR Labs. Barry, on the other hand, is worried about how they are going to capture King Shark.
A Cure for the Itch
At STAR labs, Sherloque watches Tanya brainstorm with Cisco on how to make the crown more powerful. He mentions that she is more relaxed when Tanya talks about Shay. They are interrupted when Cisco announces that he has successfully, and quickly enhanced the telepathic crown. Nora and Barry join them and everyone decides what the next step will be. Barry wants Caitlin to get the cure injector ready, just in case, but Cisco reminds him that they have to ask Shay’s permission first.
The team gets an alert to King Shark’s location. Flash, XS, and Vibe go to the wharf to find him. When King Shark emerges, XS puts the crown on his head. Tanya tries to start talking to him and he calms down. Vibe tries to approach King Shark, but the shark grabs him and tries to eat him. Flash has the cure injector in his hand and without hesitation, injects King Shark with the cure. King Shark falls into the water and emerges as Shay Lamden (Dan Payne).
Test Subject #1
They take Shay back to STAR Labs and explain what happened to him. Caitlin says he still has some dark matter in his brain, but they can make another dose and cure him for good. Shay doesn’t remember much about being the shark. He says he remembers the rage. Caitlin mentions that shark exhibit violence when they feel threatened. Sherloque thinks they may be why he freaked out when he did.
Shay looks to Tanya and talks about her kindness. They reach for each other and Shay’s hand transforms into a King Shark’s hand. He is able to pull it back to normal, but Tanya is freaked out. The dark matter in his system is replicating, causing him to transform back. Tanya is sacred and runs away. Barry says they can’t let Shay leave until this is over.
Barry asks Caitlin and Cisco to call him as soon as another dose is ready. They confront Barry about injecting King Shark without asking his permission. Barry says he was saving Cisco, saying King Shark would have killed him. Caitlin reminds him that they agreed not to use the cure as a weapon. Cisco asks if Barry used the cure in the heat of the moment or was it always his plan to force the cure on Shay.
Joe finds Iris at Jitters, working away. He sits and reveals that he knows about the time loop. Iris doesn’t remember any of the 52 times the loop happened, but she’s scared. Cicada knows where she works and who her family is. It makes her feel powerless. Joe may have a solution for her.
Joe takes Iris to Barry’s CCPD lab where they have a punching bag set up. Iris doesn’t think punching out her frustrations will work. Joe agrees that it’s hard to cure what is ailing her. He went across the world to find that out. Joe went to Tibet to repair his mind and body and restore his soul. It worked. He says Cicada won’t break him or Iris. Iris starts punching the bag and Joe is happy with her progress.
At the lab, Caitlin tells Cisco that Shay doesn’t remember the episode earlier that morning because he experienced a severe brain wave disruption in his frontal lobe. The crown didn’t cause him to JAWS out, so what did?
Barry enters the lab to apologize for their spat. Cisco blasts him with his vibe powers. Caitlin leaves the room with the crown. When Barry gets up, he sees something different in Cisco’s eyes. He grabs Cisco and puts him in the pipeline. Something or someone has control over him and they could go after Caitlin next. Barry finds Caitlin in the lounge with Gorilla Grodd. She hands the crown to Grodd and Killer Frost blasts Barry, allowing Grodd to escape.
Lyla returns from ARGUS with video footage of the night of the Enlightenment. The power at ARGUS went down for a second, but that was long enough for Grodd to gain control of a security guard and begin his escape. It was Grodd who caused King Shark’s meltdown. He was trying to control the King, but couldn’t get through the animal part of King’s brain.
The Enlightenment was a year ago. Grodd has been biding his time because he knew about the telepathic crown. He was waiting for Tanya to complete her work on it. Now it’s enhanced with STAR labs technology, making it more powerful. The crown will give Grodd the ability to control the minds of the entire city.
Love is Love
Sherloque checks on Tanya in the lounge. He talks her into seeing that she’s in love with Shay. Tanya doesn’t think it’s really love because he is a doppelganger of her dead husband. Sherloque admits to marrying the same woman from five different earths. They may all look the same, but there is someone unique about each one. That one thing is what Tanya fell in love with, not the face. Tanya approaches Shay on the balcony. Shay tells her that his world was dark and gray until he met her. He asks if she’s disappointed in him. She says no and kisses him.
They get an alert that Grodd is at a tower in the middle of the city. He plans to use the crown and control everyone in Central City. Grodd climbs the tower and telepathically tells the people of Central City that he is in control now. The team discusses how to best approach Grodd. Caitlin volunteers since Grodd has a soft spot for her, but Killer Frost vetoes that decision. The team has a couple of anti-mind control devices that Barry and Nora can use. Barry has a plan.
Flash and XS run to meet Grodd. While XS runs circles around him, Flash uses a super punch to knock out Grodd. He attempts to get the crown, but Grodd wakes up. The mental blockers are working, but Grodd is too strong. He can break through them at any minute and kill the speedsters.
Shay comes in and volunteers to turn back into King Shark to stop Grodd. Caitlin says they can accelerate the cell cycle to change him back to a shark. The only downside is that Shay will never be human again. Shay is okay with it as long as it means that Tanya is safe.
King Shark vs. Gorilla Grodd
Grodd carries Flash and XS to the top of a parking garage. Cisco uses the vibration blast and accelerates Shay’s dark matter, turning him back into King Shark. Grodd tells the city that he truly rules the city now that the Flash will be out of the way. King Shark arrives to let him know that he wants Grodd gone. The battle begins!
They start to fight, but Grodd runs away. King Shark chases him around a warehouse, destroying everything in sight. Grodd quickly makes it to the top of the warehouse. When King Shark catches up, Grodd hits him with a metal scaffold, knocking him out. Grodd drags King to a construction crane and ties the shark’s feet to the crane, hanging him upside down.
Flash and XS report to command central that King Shark isn’t moving. Caitlin shows just has smart she is, mentioning that sharks have electroreceptor organs. If they can get enough electricity to his body, it will wake him up and put him back on his feet. Flash and XS run together and throw two lightning bolts towards Grodd that electrocutes him, making him fall to the ground. The current goes into King Shark, burning the wire that was holding the shark, and he falls to the ground as well. King Shark is powered up enough to punch Grodd, putting him down for the count. King Shark retrieves the telepathic crown and saves Central City.
All Well that Ends Well
Lyla tells Team Flash that they are putting Grodd in a medically induced coma. Caitlin explains that Grodd’s telepathic abilities are still growing. If his brain is inactive, he can’t access his telepathic powers. Barry asks how they convinced Shay to turn back into King Shark. They admit that he volunteered and can never be human again.
Sherloque visits Tanya one last time. She is confused about how her relationship with Shay will be affected by his decision. Sherloque says they will figure it out. The heart wants what the heart wants. She has to be open minded. Tanya thanks him for his help and wishes the best for him. He leaves Tanya with King Shark. They can still communicate. He knows she is sad, but says he would do it all over again for her.
Iris returns to her office. She gets a message from the team talking about the fight between King Shark and Gorilla Grodd.
Caitlin and Cisco sit in the lounge eating snacks. Barry comes in to make sure they are all okay again. He says he deserved the Vibe blast and the Killer Frost blast. He never should have used the cure as a weapon. They accept his apology.
One good thing that happened is they know the meta cure works. Now they can help metahumans in Central City and beyond. Barry suggests they should start with Cicada. Everyone deserves a choice to be who they want to be, including their enemies. Barry wants to offer the cure to Cicada.
Wow! That was an amazing fight! Definitely worth the wait since we first met King Shark and Gorilla Grodd. I doubt it will ever happen again though.
I am impressed with how much knowledge the writers give to Caitlin. She’s like, a human computer. It’s been a while since we’ve had a Caitlin centric episode displaying her human side, though.
I was surprised by Barry’s eagerness to use the cure. He has never shown such poor judgment of character. I know he did what needed to be done with Goldface, but nothing about that mission compromised his morals. Does this mean Barry will be expressing his dark side more often?