This week's episode of The Flash finally gives viewers the grudge match they've been waiting for - King Shark versus Gorilla Grodd. The idea's been teased for years, but has been delayed due to budgetary concerns. At last, with season 5, The Flash has pulled it off; the recent string of lower-budget episodes have allowed the show to create a CGI brawl between two of its most brutal villains.
Given the premise, it would have been easy to focus on the kaiju-esque battle, but instead The Flash went to great effort to humanize the conflict. It did this by adding an intriguing romance subplot featuring King Shark, one that added a level of heroism to him that's never been seen before. Meanwhile, although the threat of Cicada didn't exactly seem to be a looming one in this episode, the season's arc progresses with the Meta Cure now finished. Cicada has been something of a slow-burn threat, but hopefully the Meta Cure will mean things move at a faster pace.
So let's run through the top questions from The Flash season 5 episode, 15, "King Shark versus Gorilla Grodd."
- This Page: Flash Questions About The King Shark vs. Gorilla Grodd Fight
- Page 2: Flash Questions About Season 5's Story & The Cure
9. Who Won - King Shark or Gorilla Grodd?
The title fight was thrilling and well-executed, with a lot of twists and turns in the story. At first Gorilla Grodd seems to be a clear winner; he tricks King Shark into pursuing him, then knocks him aside and hangs him upside-down. This leaves King Shark in a sort of trance state, allowing Grodd to continue his plans unchallenged. Fortunately, King Shark isn't alone; Flash and XS generate a lightning blast that knocks Grodd off his latest perch, and also jolts King Shark awake. With his enemy mostly defeated for him, King Shark knocks Grodd out and tears the telepathic crown from Grodd's head.
All in all, it's a smart approach. While all attention was on the battle between the two beasts, the reality is that this is still an episode of The Flash, so it makes sense for the speedsters to be the deciding factor. In truth, King Shark won this round because he wasn't alone. The curious question is whether or not Grodd will seek a rematch when he inevitably awakens from his medically-induced coma.
8. How Powerful Will Grodd Be Next Time He Breaks Out Of A.R.G.U.S.?
A Gorilla Grodd episode has become something of an annual tradition for The Flash, and "King Shark vs. Gorilla Grodd" actually sets up the next one. Exposure to the telepathic crown has enhanced Grodd's natural powers, meaning he's becoming more powerful than ever before. A.R.G.U.S. is forced to put Grodd in a medically-induced coma in order to keep him prisoner, clearly fearing that even power-dampening technology may not be effective against him. No doubt that means The Flash season 6's Gorilla Grodd episode will feature a version of the villain who's more powerful than ever before - and who perhaps doesn't need advanced technology to give him the ability to control an entire city. That said, don't expect The Flash to pivot and make Gorilla Grodd the season 6 Big Bad. Budgetary constraints will always restrict him to, at most, a two-episode plot. At this stage, it seems more likely that the villain of The Flash season 6 will be the Red Death, an evil Batman from another reality.
7. Are Sharks Really Colorblind?
"King Shark vs. Gorilla Grodd" was written by Eric Wallace and Lauren Certo, and the two really seem to have done their homework. In one line of dialogue, the humanized King Shark reveals that he has no sense of color when in shark form. In actual fact, back in 2011 a study by Australian researchers suggested that sharks are probably color-blind. Although the eyes of sharks function over a wide range of light levels, they only have a single long-wavelength-sensitive cone type in the retina.
6. Do Sharks Really Enter A Trance State If They Are Turned Upside-Down?
Gorilla Grodd's method of subduing Killer Shark in The Flash is also accurate to real life; some sharks do indeed go into a trance-like state - called "tonic immobility" - when they're upside-down that can last for up to 15 minutes. Once sharks "snap out of it," they revert to their normal positions, and then promptly resume their typical activities. Interestingly, just like Grodd some real-world predators actually use tonic immobility to give them an advantage against sharks in a confrontation pinning a shark upside-down and suffocating them. Marine researchers often use tonic immobility to safely subdue a shark.
5. How Vulnerable Are Sharks To Electricity?
Flash and XS use lightning to jolt King Shark back into action, with Team Flash's scientists suggesting that sharks are uniquely vulnerable to electricity. Surprisingly, again The Flash is being fairly scientifically accurate; sharks are tremendously sensitive to electrical currents; when in the water, they have an additional sense called "electroreception" that allows them to detect the small currents generated when another creature moves a muscle. Presumably, King Shark has this sense; it wouldn't work in the open air, as air doesn't carry a charge in the same way as salt water, but it certainly would make him feel the impact of a lightning blast even more than a normal human.