Only The Flash could have a “come down” episode featuring Gorilla Grodd, the debut of Gorilla City and the return of Reverse Flash?!?
While it may not have been the jam-packed action spectacle of Flash’s first confrontation with Zoom, this was yet another entertaining outing for the most consistent superhero show on TV.
After not just being whipped by Zoom, but getting paraded around like a chump, Barry’s road to recovery is just as much mental as it is physical. Thanks to his powers, Barry’s paralysis is only temporary, but he’s having much more difficulty shaking off the memory of his battle with Zoom.
Still, seeing Barry in a wheelchair and delicately using a cane was a nice touch to illustrate the consequences of facing a major threat.
But craziness in Central City won’t wait for Barry to get his mojo back as Gorilla Grodd returns using his telepathy to force scientists to hand over valued serums before killing them.
The increase to the show budget has been apparent all year with better speed effects, the quickie cameo by King Shark and Zoom, but Grodd being prominently featured without the use of trick camera angles and dark backdrops made apparent the show can handle any Flash villain straight up.
Again I wonder what, if anything, The Flash movie is going to be able to accomplish that the show hasn’t already done besides adding a little more polish at the expense of better character development and family dynamic. To help Barry get out of his head, Iris calls in his father Henry. It was weird for Henry to immediately get out of town after getting released from prison, but I’m glad John Wesley Shipp isn’t so tied up he can’t return for an occasional cameo.
Grodd mentally locked into Caitlin, recalling she was kind to him, to get her help in making more gorillas like himself — a frequent Grodd scheme in the comics. With Barry still shelved, Wells agrees to suit up as Grodd’s only other human connection — Wells in his Reverse Flash outfit.
I wasn’t quite sure I liked Grodd still having some trace of kindness toward Caitlin and Wells, but I was definitely glad by episode’s end, Grodd was definitely on a full-on humankind hatred kick. It was a nice touch having Grodd sniff out Wells’ deception after he said “please,” something his father would never do.
Wells suggests Team Flash send Grodd to Earth 2 where they have a gorilla sanctuary. With Flash finally shaking off his remaining doubts thanks to Henry’s encouragement, Grodd gets pushed through a portal. I like that the writers have kept Grodd away from Flash enough to be a threat, but not quite advanced enough to be the top tier Flash Rogue he will become.
This is no ordinary sanctuary though as it’s a full city complete with gorilla statues. Yep, this is definitely not going to backfire on Team Flash. Since Grodd is on Earth 2 in Gorilla City, I’m wondering/desperately fanboy hoping that it’s not King Solivar in charge, but the Ultra Humanite — Earth 2’s evil gorilla.
Cisco’s subplot with Kendra started and stopped this week somewhat annoyingly. Just as they arrive at the movies for their first date — I need to find the theater that’s playing The Princess Bride — Kendra touches Cisco’s hand and he vibes an image of a person with wings. Bizarrely, Cisco freaks out and bails on the date.
That’d be OK if Cisco focuses on the meaning of his vision throughout the episode, but beyond questioning Caitlin if there have been reports of a winged man flying around, he doesn’t pursue it further. At the episode’s end, Kendra kisses Cisco and he vibes Kendra is the winged warrior. Thankfully, this time he sticks with the date.
It was an awkward let’s further the DC’s Legends of Tomorrow agenda moment that thankfully didn’t dominate the episode, but I’ll really be happy when the show starts so Arrow and Flash don’t have to spend any more time advancing subplots and characters not relevant to the second half of their seasons.
Although typically I’m an advocate for secret identities, given the nature of the series and how many people already know Barry is The Flash, I don’t see the point of Barry withholding that from Patty.
By my count, 18 people already know Barry’s not-so secret identity, including his father, best friend and surrogate father — normally the folks who would be kept in the dark about that kind of thing — so Patty being left out is a rare case where the show is sticking to a superhero tradition it’s long since outrun.
As Henry says goodbye — is he really gonna miss Thanksgiving with Team Flash? — Joe confesses to Iris he’s always looked at Barry as his son, but is reminded when Henry comes around that he actually doesn’t have a son of his own. But Iris knows differently. When will she spill the beans?
Rating: 8 out of 10
Barry can’t immediately get his rematch with Zoom, but Grodd was certainly no chump opponent providing a fun challenge for our favorite speedster.
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