Season five episode 15 titled “King Shark vs Gorilla Grodd” begins as Gorilla Grodd growls, puffing out his chest in the middle of Central City and hurdles himself at King Shark as The Flash (Grant Gustin) and XS (Jennifer Parker Kennedy) lie on the ground not moving. Next, the episode goes back in time 12 hours with Cisco telling Team Flash they have the meta-cure. Caitlin (Danielle Panabaker) says they need a volunteer to test it on since they all agreed never to force the cure on any unwilling meta. Sherloque (Tom Cavanagh) reminds everyone with all the metas hiding to avoid Cicada it’s not likely they’ll find a willing meta. Barry comes up with the idea to test it on King Shark who’s secure at A.R.G.U.S. Everyone figures the human side of King Shark would be willing.
Joe (Jesse L. Martin) is back and spending some quality time with Cecille (Danielle Nicolet) and Iris (Candice Patton). As they catch up, Joe mentions to Iris he thinks Cicada must have help from someone in order to always avoid getting captured. Iris quickly changes the subject.
At A.R.G.U.S., Barry, Caitlin, Cisco, and Nora meet up and talk to Lyla Michaels (Audrey Marie Anderson) about the possibility of speaking with King Shark about trying the metahuman cure on him. She agrees and takes the team to see Dr. Tanya Lamden (Haley Beauchamp) who’s been working with King Shark. She came up with a new tech device called the telepathic crown which allows her to communicate with King Shark who’s been much more relaxed lately.
King Shark jumps on the dock and Barry asks if he would want to take the meta-cure. King Shark wants to know if they believe it could help him, and Barry says yes. Suddenly, King Shark growls loudly, knocks off the crown, and swims away.
Team Flash take Dr. Lamden back to S.T.A.R. Labs to try to boost the crown’s reach and to track King Shark. While Cisco works to expand the crown’s power Sherloque talks to Dr. Lamden and tells her he believes from her body posture and inflection in her voice there’s more than just a doctor–patient relationship between her and King Shark (aka Shay Lamden). Before the conversation can go any further Team Flash get a lock on King Shark’s location.
Vibe breaches The Flash and XS to the dock as King Shark jumps up onto the dock. XS speeds around him to distract him and places the crown back on his head. Barry tries to talk to King Shark but he grabs Vibe and prepares to take a bite out of him. Barry speeds up and injects King Shark with the meta-cure. King Shark drops Vibe, stumbles backward, and falls into the water. “What’s going on?” asks a concerned Caitlin back at S.T.A.R. Labs listening on the coms.
A very human Shay Lamden (Dan Payne) pulls himself up onto the dock and passes out.
Shay wakes up at S.T.A.R. Labs and Barry brings him up to speed about what happened to him. Caitlin tells him he still has some Dark Matter in a part of his brain so they need to find a way to alter the cure to remove that as well or else he could become King Shark again. Sherloque asks Shay if it’s the man who controls King Shark or the shark. Shay says if he’s asking if he should be held accountable for what he did as King Shark the answer’s yes. Barry whispers to Caitlin to let him know right away when she’s ready to give Shay the altered cure.
Caitlin follows Barry out of the room, asking if he means to ask Shay if he wants to take the cure. Cisco joins them and Cisco and Caitlin both give Barry major grief over him injecting King Shark without his permission. Barry stands his ground saying he did it to save Cisco. Things get heated between the three best friends with Cisco finally asking if Barry thought of doing it on the dock or thought about doing it even earlier. Cisco and Caitlin walk away leaving Barry alone to think about what he did.
Joe and Iris have coffee at Jitters and she tells her dad about her fight with Cicada and how since then she doesn’t feel as though she can go to her office. Joe tells her to come with him. Joe takes Iris to Barry’s CSI office and gives her a boxing lesson, coaching her through her fear of Cicada.
At S.T.A.R. Labs, Cisco’s brooding when Caitlin comes in and reveals she did more tests on Shay and discovered he experienced a severe brain wave disruption in his frontal lobe. That must be the reason he snapped at Team Flash. Caitlin knows it wasn’t the crown that caused the problem. “What caused King Shark to go berserk?” wonders Caitlin. Barry arrives and starts to apologize to both Caitlin and Cisco. Cisco punches Barry and hits him with a Vibe blast as Caitlin walks away holding the crown. Barry speeds Cisco into a pipeline cell and speeds back, looking for Caitlin who he finds standing next to Gorilla Grodd and giving him the crown. “Hello, Flash,” says Grodd through Caitlin who then hits Barry with a cold blast as Grodd escapes.
The next scene is Barry asking Lyla how an 800-pound gorilla happened to get out of A.R.G.U.S. Lyla tells Team Flash it happened during The Enlightenment. For a split second they lost power and that was all Grodd needed to place a psychic command in a guard’s mind to release him when the time’s right.
Caitlin assures Barry she and Cisco are no longer under the control of Grodd and that Killer Frost says she’s sorry for the ice blast. It only happened because Grodd was controlling her. Barry waves it off, accepting the apology. Team Flash realizes with the power for the telepathic crown Grodd could control everyone in Central City.
The team locate Grodd up on a tower and Barry instructs Nora to suit up. He wants her to speed around Grodd as a distraction while he supersonic speed punches him.
Sherloque talks to Tanya and gets her to admit she has fallen for the doppelganger of her dead husband, Shay Lamden. She visits she and they kiss, confirming Sherloque’s assessment.
The Flash and XS take on Grodd and it works out, but not long enough. Just as The Flash is about to take off the crown, Grodd comes to and uses his psychic powers to pin The Flash and Nora to the ground.
Back at S.T.A.R. Labs, the team’s monitoring what’s going on and Shay volunteers to go back to being King Shark to fight Grodd. Caitlin informs him if he does that, he most likely will never be able to be human again. Sherloque and Cisco theorize that a blast from Vibe should be enough to turn Shay back to King Shark. Cisco blasts Shay and yes, it works.
King Shark comes out of a breach, thanks to Cisco, and tells Grodd to leave. And now we’re back to where the episode started. Grodd charges King Shark and the two meta-monsters fight in what has to be some of the best special effects the series has ever done. At one point Grodd puts King Shark on his back and Team Flash realizes that sharks become paralyzed when placed on their backs. A lighting jolt from a speedster should be enough to bring King Shark out of it. The Flash and XS, who are now free from Grodd’s control since he started fighting King Shark, speed up and hit both Grodd and King shark with two lightning bolts. Grodd is uneasy and King Shark knocks him out with a big punch. King Shark puts on the crown and Barry says, “Long live the King.”
Grodd is returned to A.R.G.U.S. and with Caitlin’s help is asleep in a medically-induced coma.
Sherloque talks to Tanya and reminds her love knows no bounds. She can find a way to make it work with King Shark. Tanya thanks Sherloque and hopes he finds what he’s looking for one day.
King Shark returns to his underwater tank at A.R.G.U.S. and talks to Tanya using the crown. He tells her he loves her.
Iris heads back to her office feeling empowered and able to shake the fear she was feeling. She gets a text and exclaims, “King Shark and Gorilla Grodd! I can’t believe I missed that.”
Barry apologizes again to Caitlin and Cisco for what happened earlier, promising not to give the cure to a metahuman without permission. He then suggests they offer the cure to Cicada to take instead of tricking him or forcing him. Both Cisco and Caitlin are surprised by Barry’s suggestion.
The Flash Season 5 Episode 15 Review:
Suspenseful, action-packed, and surprising, season five episode 15 titled “King Shark vs. Gorilla Grodd” brings a much-missed cast member back from medical leave and has some of the best CGI special effects the series has ever achieved. Jesse L. Martin’s return to the show as Joe West is a welcome sight. His presence has been greatly missed. His scenes with Candice as Iris trying to get over her fears of Cicada bring back the heartfelt moments that used to be in almost every episode of The Flash.
The exciting fight scene between King Shark and Gorilla Grodd is truly spectacular. It’s obvious the CGI department has been tweaking and altering the look and sound of both creatures since their debut in seasons one and two, and both have never looked better. The show deserves an Emmy for the groundbreaking work it’s done with special effects.
With Barry willing to try to offer the meta-cure to Cicada instead of taking him down with it in a fight, this most likely will not go the way Barry’s hoping. It seems Barry is just a bit too naïve for his own good.
More on The Flash Season 5:
- Interview with Grant Gustin
- Danielle Panabaker Interview
- Jessica Parker Kennedy Interview
- Tom Cavanagh Interview
- Candice Patton Interview
- Hartley Sawyer Interview
- Supergirl “Elseworlds, Part 3” Recap
- The Flash Season 5 Episode 1 Recap
- The Flash Season 5 Episode 2 Recap
- The Flash Season 5 Episode 3 Recap
- The Flash Season 5 Episode 4 Recap
- The Flash Season 5 Episode 5 Recap
- The Flash Season 5 Episode 6 Recap
- The Flash Season 5 Episode 7 Recap
- The Flash Season 5 Episode 8 Recap
- The Flash Season 5 Episode 9 Recap
- The Flash Season 5 Episode 10 Recap
- The Flash Season 5 Episode 11 Recap
- The Flash Season 5 Episode 12 Recap
- The Flash Season 5 Episode 13 Recap
- The Flash Season 5 Episode 14 Recap
- The Flash Season 5 Episode 16 Recap
- The Flash Season 5 Episode 17 Recap
- The Flash Season 5 Episode 20 Recap