The Flash recap Ep. 21 – Grodd Lives’ #TheFlash

The Flash - Grodd Lives - Grodd and JoeThe moment we’ve been waiting on all season has finally arrived! And oh yeah, Grodd is here too!

As the initial season of ‘The Flash’ has gone on there haven;t been a lot of rough patches. There was the mystery of the man behind the yellow mask, the question of how shady was Harrison Wells (answer: very), an amazing mentor/father figure in Joe, capable mission control sidekicks to rival Team Arrow in Cisco and Caitlin, and glorious team-ups with ‘Arrow.’  There was just one little problem holding the show back from its full potential — the cliche handling of Iris as the one character too emotionally fragile to handle knowing that her best friend was The Flash.

In a continual theme for the series, I’ve commended the writers for not taking the easy way out and dragging out major subplots to stretch out for countless seasons. Since Iris knowing Barry’s identity was the last big secret left it seemed a given that the writers would keep milking that well for dull and uninspired romantic angst.

The Flash - Plastique - Iris and FlashTo the writers’ credit, they had Iris lay into Barry and Joe for their questionable logic in assuming they were somehow keeping her safe by not telling her Barry is The Flash. Her anger was warranted and it was cathartic having Iris be the audience surrogate levying the same complaints many fans had of the all too often botched handling of Iris storylines. Unlike ‘Gotham,’ which had to resort to drastic measures to handle its problem female, ‘The Flash’ is going to be a lot stronger with this welcome new direction with Iris.

A gold snatching robber is holding up armored trucks and Barry finally has a moment in between searching for Eddie to stop him. The robber uses a bazooka (is that just a theme this week?) and is about to grab the gold when Barry races over. Just as he’s about to put him down, The Flash gets attacked by a psychic blast that leaves him helpless. Team Flash can’t figure it out and are still running tests when Iris drops in. You’d think STAR Labs would have a lock, but also who is footing the bill to keep the lights, let alone locks, operational now that Wells has fled?

The Flash - Grodd Lives - Eiling vs FlashIris’ conversations with Barry and Joe were handled well with each trying to explain, but admitting they handled it poorly — a smart move as keeping Iris in the dark for so long had been the dumbest aspect to the show. In a rematch with the armored heist man, Flash takes him down to reveal Gen. Eiling who we last saw being abducted by Wells following his fight with Flash and Firestorm.

Eiling is nearly comatose and barely responds as he’s placed in the particle cell prison. After Eiling says he’s Grodd, Caitlin and Cisco piece together that Eiling’s attempts to make a telepathic super-powered soldier started with Grodd and the particle accelerator explosion likely enhanced Grodd as well. And now Eiling is a puppet under Grodd’s control. Time for a trip to the sewers to track Grodd down. While Cisco and Caitlin easily could have Googled it, it was a nice gesture to have Iris using her reporter skills to help Barry.

The Flash - Grodd Lives - Eddie and WellsMeanwhile in an undisclosed location, Wells is having a little family bonding time with Eddie. Figuring he’s safe from Wells killing him, Eddie is pretty mouthy about his descendants. Wells goes low saying Eddie is the only Thawne to be nearly forgotten by history as he accomplished little of substance in his life. And just like that we’ve got some fantastic storyline potential for Eddie next season. Wells goes even further by saying Eddie doesn’t event get the girl popping up the newspaper written by Iris West-Allen. With everyone on equal footing with Barry’s identity, now his romantic triangle has finally got interesting.

The Flash - Grodd Lives - Joe, Barry and CiscoArmed with tranquilizers and bananas (oh Cisco), Joe, Barry and Cisco go looking for Grodd. Partly due to budget restrictions and also just because it looked cool to do an ‘Aliens‘ homage, Grodd picks them off one by one before taking Joe back to his lair. Barry is even more determined to stop Grodd, but all of Team Flash is stumped how to stop Grodd from screwing with Barry’s mind yet again. Iris rallies them and Cisco and Caitlin whip up a telepathic blocker for the rematch. Thankfully it doesn’t work perfectly (how could they test it to be sure?). I really liked the callback to the fight with Girder, which doesn’t work this time forcing Barry to get extra creative.

Yes, it’s a TV CGI Gorilla and won’t look like they spent millions on it, but for me, I was geeked out as The Flash was fighting Gorilla Grodd on my TV screen. After the blocker gets damaged, Barry is about to get railroaded by an oncoming train when Iris helps him snap out of Grodd’s sway. Thankfully the writers didn’t go hokey on us and have Iris profess her love for Barry at that moment. Barry still can’t beat Grodd, but tricks him into getting rocketed along by another train.

The Flash - Grodd Lives - Grodd vs FlashBack at STAR Labs, Barry releases Eiling, who tells Barry he already knew he was the Flash, but hopes they can work together in the future as they have a common enemy in Wells. But for now, ‘excuse me I have a gorilla to hunt.’ I love comic book TV shows.

Joe and Barry take turns apologizing to Iris. This was two very well acted scenes and it feels like now the secret identity thing is done, we can move on to some more complex stories for Iris. And just in case we weren’t sure, Grodd scales a building before leaping off ready to terrorize Central City at a date to be determined.

The Flash - Grodd Lives - Wells and EddiePost-credit stinger, Wells gloats to Eddie that he has it, revealing a vial of blue liquid (Speed Force Gatorade?) and places it in a chamber triggering a massive runway. Time to go home.

The show has fixed its one biggest weakness, which would have been cause enough for celebration, but the much-anticipated Grodd/Flash showdown delivered. ‘The Flash’ is on a nice hot streak right now as it builds to the major battle of The Reverse Flash taking on The Flash with a little help from his friends.


  • Nicole

    I’ll start out by saying that I LOVED this episode, but that’s no surprise. I always wonder if I’m enjoying an episode hard-core comic book fans hate, so it’s good to get the validation I’m not alone. I’m sure I won’t be as blind to the show’s weaknesses as time goes on, but I’m currently of the mindset that this show can do no wrong.

    A few thoughts/questions:
    1) I take it Grodd is a big deal for comic book fans? He’s now a big deal to me just because the episode was awesome, but I’m not sure I truly understand why fans were so excited about his appearance on the show. (Also on Grodd: I thought the CGI was fantastic, but I never watch shows or movies that rely on it so maybe I just don’t know the potential.)
    2) The acting on this show is top-notch. When I’m invested in character development on a show that could probably lean heavily on action instead, I’m impressed. Kudos to the writers for the same reason.
    3) It’ll be interesting to see how they keep the love triangle tension going — or maybe they don’t? — with more and more people becoming privy to Barry and Iris’ inevitable path to marriage. I suppose I shouldn’t use words like “inevitable” when talking about a show that will always have time travel as a plot device.
    4) Is Tom Cavanagh a series regular? There’s no chance he’s just not around next season, right? I mean, I want The Flash to win and all, but not at the expense of the show losing Cavanagh.

  • Heya Nicole!

    Flash has such a great assortment of villains that he doesn’t just have one main villain — he’s got a legitimate three (Reverse Flash, Capt. Cold and Grodd). I’m not just super biased — he was the only hero besides Superman and Batman to have more than one of their villains in Challenge of the SuperFriends’ Legion of Doom. 😉

    I’m probably the most excited I’ve been about this romance triangle now. Eddie knows his destiny is to be a loser and could become super reckless to prove his worth, Iris is going to try and remain loyal to Eddie who was always honest with her and Barry is going to have to learn to confide in Iris without going into ‘I love you sooooo much’ territory.

    Cavanaugh is a season 1 regular. I’m not sure how they’ll work him in for season 2. There’s so many Rogues they can have Flash deal with though that they don’t have to overload Wells (who I love BTW). It’s the one drawback to the quick pace of the story, but I admire the writers’ boldness in moving things along.