Grodd Friended Me felt like a nice mini course correction as The Flash actually focused an episode on The Flash. Not that I thought actually giving the supporting cast subplots was a terrible idea, but it seemed like they were taking over the spotlight at the expense of the titular character.
A lot happened this episode and all but one subplot got some time tonight. Barry was doing his tribute to Bruce Wayne as he went to a street with flowers. Turns out with all the changes brought about from Crisis, the location of his parents’ grave sites was one of them. Like any good DC crossover, I’m getting amazingly confused why Spectre Oliver did some things like bring back Diggle and Lyla’s daughter and do weird things like move the Allen’s graves.
That’s not the only change Barry has to get used to tonight as Kamilla and Chester are holding things down at STAR Labs. It’s kinda like Team Flash: The New Generation. Flash tangles with Pied Piper, who’s back to being a villain. Again, why would Spectre Oliver think that was a good idea? Of course maybe this through some convoluted manner will allow The Flash to actually have a Captain Cold who’s his major villain and not an anti-hero? If that’s the case change whatever you need to Spectre Oliver!
Besides adjusting to a new team on comms, Barry can’t stop Piper with his adjusted powers either. I like the idea of a Rogue in the wind that Barry can’t stop right away. That’s actually all we get from Piper tonight as Barry spends the rest of the episode dealing with another of his classic Rogues — Gorilla Grodd.
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Grodd brings Flash to the Mindscape where he tries to sell Barry that he’s changed and wants to be a peaceful part of this new post-Crisis world. But he needs Flash’s help escaping the Mindscape and its gatekeeper, Solivar. Seems like a basic rule of thumb for The Flash is when gorillas are around and active in fights it’s gonna be a pretty fun episode. That’s the case here as Flash knocks out Grodd with one punch (!) — I feel like One Punch Man has spoiled the significance of that line in the DC Universe — but he can’t stop a motivated Solivar.
Turns out Chester’s attempt to help Barry backfired as his modification on equipment led to Grodd bringing Flash to the Mindscape. Frost offers some welcome tough love — I’m warming up (ha!) to Frost’s new outlook on life courtesy of her life coach Ralph Dibney’s handy instructional guide.
It’s going to take a combination of Chester fixing the device and Barry and Grodd working together for them to escape before they’re trapped in the Mindscape forever. And while we’re at it, let’s go ahead and have another Solivar vs. Grodd fight complete with Grodd getting a red lightning bolt on his chest to show off his merging with The Flash. This is the kind of outrageous craziness that makes The Flash so much fun.
Chester is a little geeky, but that’s consistent with his comic book portrayal. The real trick with him will be to not make him come off like Cisco-lite.
Onto the subplots, Nash’s visions aren’t just restricted to Harry. Now he’s seeing Sherloque and in maybe the most alarming encounter, Sherloque threatens Nash that he is watching and starts getting the Reverse Flash eye deal. I’m not as interested in Nash’s subplot with Allegra based off the weak interaction he apparently had with her doppelgänger unless she was his sidekick/partner on their Earth.
Mirror Iris snaps at Joe when he tries to withhold some information from her, but she manages to steal it from his office later. And it turns out that Eva hasn’t exactly been transparent with Iris about everything either as she’s working with Mirror Iris. It did kinda feel like Eva was acting a bit too suspicious, didn’t it?
There’s a lot to unpack here, but the most important was The Flash had arguably its strongest comic book feel yet with so many subplots going on, the return of two classic Rogues and the major threat of Reverse Flash returning. And next week Kid Flash comes back!
Rating: 9 out of 10
Photo Credit: The CW