Kevin Smith directed an episode of The Flash this season, and it was very good.
"I'm not sure if The Flash had just been saving its most problematic plot points for Smith to knock out of the park, or if he just volunteered to untie this Gordian knot for them on the spot," our own Charlie Hall wrote in the episode's recap."However it went down, the show is better for it."
According to Smith himself, it's not a job he was offered, and the story of how it all happened is pretty enjoyable. It started with Jason Mewes, Jay to Smith's Silent Bob, being enthusiastic about the show.
Then one night he called me up, second season of Flash, when they were doing a King Shark appearance at the end of the episode. And Mewes never calls my house. Never. I saw his name pop up and I quickly answered, I said, "Hello," and he screams, "Turn on the TV, you got to turn on the TV right now." And the last time he did that was during September 11th, when that was going on, so immediately I’m like, "Are we under attack?" And he’s like, "No, King Shark is on Flash." And I was like, "Jesus Christ dude, f—ing last time you screamed at me like that — I thought ISIS was here or something like that!" And he’s like, "Who’s she?" I said, "Listen dude, I’m not going to watch this." And he goes, "You’ve got to see King Shark though. He’s holding him by the neck, King Shark’s picking up Flash by the neck. It looks amazing." He’s like, "Oh, it’s over. You missed it."
Smith watched the episode, and was impressed by how King Shark was handled. King Shark is, to put it lightly, not a character who seems at home on television.
"No. 1, King Shark looked amazing," Smith wrote. "I mean, if you’re going to do King Shark, holy crap he looked fantastic. No. 2, I just liked the structure of it, man. There’s something really appealing about the show, it actually felt like a Flash comic book that I had read — not the exact issue, but the same tone, feeling, depths of a comic book that I used to read in the late ’80s, early ’90s when I was a big Flash reader. They had gotten the tone down to a science."
This tone is one of the best things about The Flash as a television show. It never seems ashamed of its comic book origins. It never worries about being silly in one scene and then delivering an emotional moment the next. It's a show I often watch with my kids, due to the tone being so warm and welcoming.
Jordan Monsanto, who runs Smith's company SModco and is also married to Mewes, talked to Jordan Cerf, Smith's TV agent, who called whoever is in charge of this stuff on The Flash, and it just kind of happened.
"Girl Jordan called boy Jordan, boy Jordan called The Flash production office and was like, 'Hey, you know Kevin Smith?'" Smith explained. "And they’re like, 'Yeah, Dogma.' And he said, 'He loves the show, would you ever let him direct an episode?' And they said, 'Sure.' And that’s how it happened. It was that f—ing simple, it was crazy."
The rest of the story, as told by Smith, is fun to read and shows the value of going after things you care about. The episode, as we've already said, was wonderful. Smith's ability to appreciate what The Flash does well while working with such a strong script allowed him to turn in an episode that set up the rest of season very well.
Is there anything King Shark can't do?