The Flash again shows why it’s one of the strongest superhero shows on television right now with a mostly solid episode that once again gives fans what they wanted: a return of Gorilla Grodd, one of the most interesting and absurd Flash villains – and that’s saying something. Grodd’s return couldn’t have come at a worse time for Barry because he’s having problems of his own, as after his encounter with Zoom in the previous episode, Barry can no longer feel his legs. He’s forced to watch on, helpless, as Grodd kidnaps Caitlin and generally gets into more trouble, forcing Harrison Wells from Earth-2 to take over the mantle of the Harrison Wells from Earth-1, in order to convince Grodd that letting Caitlin go is a good idea. What could possibly go wrong there?
Gorilla Warfare shows that a lot can obviously go wrong there. We got to see Barry in Wells’ wheelchair which was surprisingly a real highlight of the episode. Yes, superheroes not being able to use their legs after a freak incident may be a Genre Trope (See: Xavier in X-Men: First Class among others) but The Flash handles it pretty well and doesn’t keep Barry out of the game for long. That’s kind of a good thing especially when you consider that the following episode is the first part of the crossover with Arrow. Staying on the same topic of Wells though, it’s great that a good actor like Tom Cavanagh can bring a clear difference to both Wells characters and it’s easy to see why more Cavanagh is always welcome. The Earth-2 Wells being trained by Cisco to act like the Wells of Earth-1 was one of the strongest moments of the episode, which must have been unnerving for Cisco especially given that he was killed by Wells in a Parallel Timeline.
The CGI with Grodd could have caused loads of problems, but it actually looks pretty good here which is no surprise given how promising he was in the earlier episodes. I recently re-watched the Pilot attempting to get family members into the show (it didn’t work unfortunately), but it reminded me of how when I first watched it, I was wondering how they’d ever handle Grodd in the show given his outlandish character. Thankfully, both the writers and the CGI team haven’t disappointed and this level of CGI isn’t found in any other network show. Hell, case in point, Agents of SHIELD doesn’t use the CGI as well as The Flash does here, even if Grodd was reduced to a simple storyline which involved his abduction of Caitlin. However, speaking of that end teaser, holy frakk. It looks like the writers aren’t done with him yet and there’s plenty of potential for him to return with a whole army at his back this time, after being roundhouse-kicked into another world, and lead a Dawn of the Planet of the Apes style takeover of Central City. It seems that the stakes are being upped in every Grodd episode, so it’ll be interesting to see where this goes especially with the prospect of Gorilla City being featured heavily further down the line.
John Wesley Shipp stopped by to take up the role as Barry’s father again and he played it pretty well indeed. It was nice to see the two characters reuniting, but I’m still really not a big fan of his dad’s decision to leave Barry so soon after spending several years apart. There’s some obvious theories that are coming through about the identity of Professor Zoom on Earth-2 as well; could it be a Parallel Barry or a Parallel Henry under that mask? Time will tell, but it’s a fairly safe to say that the two are linked.
With this being a CW show you can expect romance which came in two helpings, Cisco and Kendra, who made her entrance this week just time for the upcoming Arrow crossover as the woman who was vibed by Cisco and revealed to be Hawkgirl, and it’ll be interesting to see how the mythology that comes with that character is tackled, particularly the elements of reincarnation. The show is continuing to lay its groundwork, much like Arrow is doing, for Legends of Tomorrow, so regardless, this should be pretty interesting to watch unfold. And the Barry & Patty subplot was thrown into the mix as well, but I’m still getting reminders of the whole Barry and Iris debacle from Season 1 which was one of the weakest parts of that storyline. Let her know that Barry’s The Flash, dammit! Just tell her. I thought The Flash was good at fixing mistakes that Arrow made, namely in the whole keeping secrets department? Hell, given the amount of people who do know Barry’s identity by now, isn’t it way past time that Patty was let in as well?
Apart from a couple of minor problems this was a very solid episode of The Flash. Be sure to stick around for my coverage of this week’s episode of Arrow for those of you who are watching that show as well as future crossover related drama! Let me know what you thought of this episode in the comments below.