1190px × 552px – Peter May ReTales(25)

Love in the Time of King (Shark) on THE FLASH

The Flash’s 15th episode (“King Shark vs. Gorilla Grodd”) was a bit of good fun, from the fun quips, to Sherloque muttering in French, to all the Rampage-like fight scene. I especially liked the issue of consent, specifically when Cisco calls Barry out on his poor behavior with King Shark (truly, a sentence I never thought I’d write).

One thing I enjoyed, though, was Shay (who played him? I couldn’t find his info; he really sold the kindness/redemption angle with a surprising softness) and Tanya (Zibby Allen was lovely – conveying so many emotions with a small look or gesture). This was a nice little deep dive on the nature of love, how the heart often does unexpected things. To wit, Tanya sheepishly lamenting, “I can’t love Shay. He’s my dead husband’s doppleganger.” A wise Sherloque uses his extensive marriages (seriously, Liz Taylor would like her habit back) to gently remind her that the heart is unruly. This leads to her and Shay having a super sweet moment on the balcony, despite him having gone all Shark Hand (not to be confused with The Claw) a scene or so earlier. Love is a funny thing. It often happens with the most inconvenient, logically speaking, person. Obviously, with Shay, the love got complicated real fast, but who hasn’t been there? I mean, sure I’ve never given up my humanity to protect the people I care about, but YMMV. I loved how the show circled back around to Sherloque dropping wisdom: “You’ll figure it out. Both of you. Together. … The heart wants what the heart wants. And so you must be open to that.” It’s good advice, following your heart, even when life pivots. The whole Tanya/King Shark thing was…oddly touching. I did not expect to care about King Shark, y’all. I need a moment.

Speaking of needing a moment, Joe is back! Joe is back! Yay! It was a lovely thing to see Papa West giving out advice and being awesome. The scenes between him and Iris were something that I missed. His wisdom, too, talking about bending—not breaking. Which is also a way to fight, although not as overt as boxing. The interactions between father and daughter always warm my heart, and this was no exception.

I love that the show closed with Barry having a revelation of sorts. No, it’s not that Swedish Fish are the best candy (they are—although, I’m forever bitter they stopped making the grape ones a million years ago. They were my FAVORITE). It’s that Cicada, evil as he is, should also be given a choice. I’m not saying it’s going to go swimmingly. It probably won’t. But I liked that Barry showed both hope and growth, even if Cisco and Caitlin looked askance.

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