There have been a lot of villains that I’ve wanted to see brought to the small screen in The Flash, and most of the main character’s rogues gallery has been done pretty well. We’ve had Captain Cold and Heat Wave already, along with the likes of the Reverse Flash & The Trickster, but Gorilla Grodd was probably my most anticipated out of the lot, because I was very excited to see how the show would handle it, and having already received a few hints and teasers (with the special effects used to bring Grodd to life in a way that was virtually the same as the animals that Clarke and Lexa encountered in the Survival of the Fittest episode on the CW’s excellent show The 100), but seeing him in full form was fantastic. The special effects could have been poor, but it’s great to see how well they were handled, and it’s good to see that the Grodd-centric episode of the season didn’t disappoint.
Even though this was a Grodd-centric episode and we got a big battle between him and The Flash, we didn’t quite get as much of the monster in the episode as you might have expected from all the anticipation leading up to it, which was good because there is always the risk of over-exposure of the character. It also gives him plenty of room to show up in future seasons with there being so much that we don’t know about, because he’s clearly not going to be a one-and done villain given his status in the comics as one of The Flash’s most iconic Rogues. However, it looks like that Grodd is the sort of villain that doesn’t need that much exposure anyway, lest he fall into the same category as Doctor Who’s The Weeping Angels, who were great on their first appearance which ended up still being one of the best-ever episodes of Doctor Who’s rebooted series, but then they ended up becoming less and less scary each time they showed up. Hopefully that won’t be the case here if the show looks at the character again.
Grodd wasn’t the only villain who got his shine in the spotlight as well, and we got some great scenes between Tom Cavanagh’s Dr. Wells and the kidnapped Eddie Thawne. It was great to watch Cavanagh going full-out with the villainous approach, as he ripped into Eddie when he revealed that not only was he the only Thawne for generations who would not be remembered as somebody who had actually done anything, but also, he wouldn’t even get Iris, as explained via the newspaper which again brought up Iris’ surname as being Iris West-Allen. Now that Eddie’s another present-day person with knowledge of the future there’s no doubt going to be ramifications on the timeline particularly in Season 2. Will Eddie pursue Iris anyway even though ‘history’ tells a different story? Assuming that is, Eddie even makes it out of Season 1 alive, as we’re more than likely going to see a death before the end of the season given Arrow’s track record of killing off people unexpectedly. At this rate the most likely death seems to be pointed in Joe’s direction, which would be a real shame because Jesse L Martin has been excellent.
Keeping with the West family, we got the expected fallout from last week’s episode when Iris found out Barry was The Flash, which finally, finally gets the only character who wasn’t already in the know in the know, and it’ll be very interesting to watch these developments as the series progresses. Hopefully this will go towards improving someone who has arguably been the show’s weakest character up to this point.
I think it’s safe to say then, that Grodd Lives was another really strong entry into the show. It rocked, and there were a lot of developments here that made this episode really enjoyable. It’s a credit to how awesome this show has been that there hasn’t actually been a disappointing episode of The Flash so far, especially when you consider how weak the first seasons of both Arrow and Agents of SHIELD (up until the HYDRA reveal, anyway) were, and it’s great to see that one of the best comic book shows on TV is only getting better and better as we edge towards the finale.