TV REVIEW: The Flash “Grodd Lives”
By Justin Carter
Since its first episode, The Flash has teased Gorilla Grodd. You could make the argument that with the exception of the Rogues and Reverse-Flash, he’s the Scarlet Speedster’s most iconic enemy, with people my age remembering him from the excellent Justice League cartoon a little over a decade ago. He was seen briefly before Firestorm’s departure earlier this year, and now here he is, in his full form. I’ve been waiting for Grodd to show up for a long time. And now, having watched the episode, I’m still sort of waiting for Grodd to show up.
Turns out that Grodd is nothing more than a distraction set up by Wells so he can grab some thing that will help him return to his own time. The psychic simian is basically doing his dear old dad a solid and using his powers over General Eiling to draw their attention, then later, by kidnapping Joe.
It’s not a bad setup for an episode overall, particularly because it brings Clancy Brown’s Eiling back into the show. Seeing him disheveled and speaking in a drone is all sorts of creepy. The CGI is excellent; Grodd certainly looks terrifying in ways that haven’t been seen since Dawn of the Planet of the Apes had a horde of apes with machine guns riding horseback. But part of what made him so awesome in Justice League is that he looked intimidating physically while having a brain that made him even deadlier. While I’m glad he’s still out and about by the end of the season, I feel like some time should have been taken from Iris’ storyline to flesh out our titular villain more.
Yes, Iris is finally aware that Barry is the Flash, and yes, she’s appropriately pissed. Well done to the writers for having a scene where she straight up shoots down every one of Joe’s arguments for keeping her in the dark. So that was great. But what wasn’t great was Barry having to be Barry and, while she’s calling him out for lying to him, he calls her out for not being sure of her feelings for him. It comes at just the worst time and completely undermined my desire to see these two to get together by season’s end. And of course, not one to just stop there, Wells tells Eddie that Iris will be marrying Barry at some point in the future, and Barry tries to ask Iris if they can be together once everything has settled down.
Still, those issues aside, this is a pretty fun episode of The Flash. It’s clearly marking time before the big Flash v. Reverse Flash showdown, and in that regards, it does its job very well. I mean let’s face it, when the protagonist of your superhero show has a recurring enemy that’s a telepathic gorilla, you pretty much have to include him at some point. It’s a law.
“Grodd. Hate. Banana.” I know it’s supposed to be scary, but that ended up being really funny.
Also funny: Grodd making a slow-mo grab for Flash, then getting pancaked by a subway train. A bit anticlimactic, but still hilarious.
With how movie savvy Cisco is, I’m surprised he only managed to make four references.
Next week, Oliver Sa-Him returns, as does Firestorm. Hopefully this is as awesome as the promos are selling it to be.