It’s the return of Grodd! But we’re mainly dealing with the aftermath of Zoom. Not all of the destruction was physical; Barry’s spine has basically healed but the shame of losing has not yet scarred over. Well, hopefully he “gets back on his feet” soon because superhero legends need him! Let’s just think of Grodd as the big bad boss of this video game level.
I almost didn’t change the title “Gorilla Warfare,” the original was just too good.
In case you didn’t know who or what Grodd is, here’s a quick briefing from Detective Joe West:
Barry’s trying to rework his magic legs as the entire team watches uncomfortably. Six whole steps. I wonder how the hell he’s going to fight a gorilla with a walking stick. Caitlin Snow, personal superhero doctor, informs Barry/the audience that in one week, Barry’s spine has almost completely healed… so now all we have to do is wait. Barry stares at his suit like it’s the Mirror of Erised.
An alarm from Cisco’s computer goes off for the entire lab to hear, and Cisco not-so-slyly mentions that it’s just an alert for his date with Kendra Saunders. As if Cisco didn’t set the least-intrusive and conspicuous reminder ever so the whole lab would have to ask him about his date.
Caitlin corners Harry Wells in a bar and tries to convince him to stay on Prime Earth with them and work as a team. Harry is desperate to get back to his daughter and still butt-hurt that his plan to help Barry failed so spectacularly. Remember that plan? The one that ended with Zoom paralyzing Barry and dragging him around town like a ragdoll? Yeah, it’s no wonder that Harry is hesitant to come up with another plan. But he does after a heart-to-heart(ish) with Caitlin: close all the breaches except the one at S.T.A.R. Labs and set a trap. I don’t think it’s gonna work, but at least I got to see some SnowWells development.
On the VibeHawk date, Cisco vibes for the first time in a week: he envisions Kendra in armor and wings… and no it’s not a sexual fantasy type of thing. He ditches her, but by the end of the episode he pulls a Say Anything (complete with Peter Gabriel soundtrack). They kiss and make up, but locking lips allows Cisco to see Kendra’s masked face more clearly.
Barry begins running again… at 1mph. Poor bb. As he jogs the treadmill, he flashbacks to his battle with Zoom. It freaks him out and he flies off the treadmill. Iris tries to talk to him, but Barry shuts her out and Iris leaves with a hurt look on her face. Poor bb. Barry opens up to Papa Joe, and it’s very clear that Barry has Post-Traumatic Zoom Disorder (PTZD).
“Zoom destroyed me. He showed everyone in Central City what he could do and that I’m powerless to stop him. They gave me the key to the city, Joe. I’m supposed to be their hero. I’m supposed to be the guy who can protect them from something as evil as that, and I failed. In front of all of them! When they see The Flash, all they see now is someone not strong enough to protect them.”
Meta of the Week
Lab techs are getting their heads smashed all over Central City. The dead scientists are all linked with stealing intelligence-enhancing drugs as well as being covered in stray gorilla hairs. Oh, it’s bad. The next scientist to be Grodd’s telepathic victim: Caitlin.
The Team Flash men pow-wow over finding Caitlin and Grodd. Hmm… Seems like Harry’s pretty interested in helping out the team now. I can hear the SnowWells shippers singing. Barry wallows in Eobard Thawne’s borrowed wheelchair, and Joe encourages him to use his brain instead of his legs. Sad Barry is sad.
Joe is the best dad on television. You know who comes close? Henry Allen even though I think that he is Zoom. Oh, and now he’s here! Thanks to the glory of WestAllen! There’s always a golden light surrounding him that makes me feel like I’m hallucinating. And he says these Amazing Dad one-liners like, “chin up, slugger” and “sometimes you just have to slow down,” so I start to doubt whether or not he is actually real. Dr. Allen tells his son that he’s technically fully healed and attempts to heal the mental paralysis that Barry is going through. (Cisco interrupts the lovely moment because they “FOUND GRODD FOUND HIM FOUND HIM!”)
The plan to extract Caitlin is to trick Grodd using Harry Wells… pretending to be Reverse Flash Wells. He even changed his hair! It’s not the best reveal because Barry flips and pins Harry-dressed-in-a-yellow-suit against the lab wall. For geniuses, they didn’t think about Barry’s reaction.
Cisco and Harry practice playing Reverse Flash. It’s seriously so effed up. Once Harry ups the creep factor and channels into his need to murder a person he cares about, he delivers a perfect RF-Thawne impression. Poor Cisco.
Wells confronts Grodd in his Primate Penthouse and asks to let Caitlin go. He even winks at her to let her in on the charade and murder my multi-shipping heart. The polite request was a mistake, however, because Grodd’s “Father” never asked.
Harry goes into full-on Reverse Flash mode and it freaks everyone out. Grodd actually gets a look of pain on his face because he misses his “father” — you can even read on the walls that he’s carved phrases like “FATHER DEAD” and “GRODD SAD.” Like a less crazy, more emotional Morgan from The Walking Dead.
Barry tells Harry to use the stolen drugs to halt Grodd so that he, Caitlin, and Cisco (with anti-mind control ear buds) can escape; Harry distracts him with a speech that sounds way too accurate to be improvised: “I have bigger plans for you, remember?”
The three S.T.A.R. employees haul ass out of there so that Caitlin can patch up Harry Wells and his impressive six-pack, even though he’s, like, 50 years old. Whatever, I’m cool with it. Fine as hell knows no age ceiling.
Team Flash wants to kill Grodd, and Caitlin protests. It’s not quite Stockholm Syndrome, but there’s definitely guilt scattered in her arguments. Harry Wells suggests sending Grodd to Earth-2’s Gorilla City, you know, to appease Caitlin. (Not really, but that is what I like to think.) They use Caitlin and Grodd’s love for her as bait. Grodd hella loves her — he literally jumps out of his penthouse window she says his name.
As Barry fights Grodd to send the gorilla through the speed cannon breach, he gets hit with another panic attack of PTZD.
Through the comms, Daddy Flash Allen delivers his Amazing Dad One-Liners (three in a row!) that inspires Barry to sonic punch Grodd through the breach all the way.
It’s teamwork at its best. God, I love them. Even Harry Wells… I think. Harry even volunteers to hijack the Reverse Flash ring to make it work for Barry’s red suit because he “knows a thing or two about micro-technology.” Dammit, Harry, don’t be sketch.
Barry and Henry leave to the bus station with baby Barry pictures for Daddy Flash’s next fishing trip in the Middle of Wherever Peak, and Joe watches them sadly. Our sweet Papa Joe wonders what it would be like to have his own son, and I scream at the TV.
Post-credits Tag: Gorilla City
- I tried not to go for the obvious King Kong jokes because it was too damn easy. Twas beauty that
sent the beast through the breachkilled the beast.
- Of course, Cisco would woo a girl using something he saw in a movie. And of course Cisco loves Princess Bride.
- I get occasionally distracted by how hot this cast is. Okay, more than occasionally. But that opening scene with Iris just chilling in S.T.A.R. Labs:
- I very much enjoyed Daddy Flash Henry Allen’s line: “Like father, like son.” The writers do have their fun.
- This bromantic moment when Barry gets out of his slump.
- I’m just going to leave this last SnowBarry moment here because I’m starting to convert to SnowWells:
I’ll be livetweeting the Flash-side of the Flarrow two-night crossover from @thenerdofcolor twitter using #DatFlash and #Flarrow! I’ve been waiting for this episode for a year… and apparently Barry and Oliver spoon. So there’s that.