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THE FLASH Review: Dads Come to the Rescue in “Gorilla Warfare”

By on November 18, 2015
the flash

Pictured: Grant Gustin as Barry Allen -- Photo: Cate Cameron/The CW

By Justin Carter

After last week’s heavy episode, The Flash takes a breather for the team to get their bearings now that Zoom’s made himself truly known. And what better way to take a breather than have a giant, telepathic gorilla show up? That’s right, folks, Gorilla Grodd is back for round two with the Scarlet Speedster!

Well, not quite. The big lug’s second appearance is less about getting revenge on Team Flash than it is using his mind powers to control scientists into stealing the materials he needs to create more hyper-intelligent primates like him, and Caitlin is nabbed because she was nice to him pre-accelerator explosion. (And also because she’s in a white dress and the show needed a King Kong reference.)

Compared to his debut from last year, this Grodd feels like he’s inching more towards how he’s normally portrayed in the comics. Even when he’s putting on his best sad face, Grodd just generally feels more like an actual thing that exists. The decision to show him from the front instead of mostly obscuring him in shadow like last time around helps sell the realism (well, as real as you can get) and makes it possible to actually feel for him.

Of course, having Grodd show up again means that his dear old dad Harrison Wells will need to turn up too. Daddy issues end up being a running theme throughout the episode. Aside from the requisite and well appreciated stuff with Barry and Joe, Harry dons the Reverse Flash suit to try and get Grodd to release Caitlin. It’s great to watch, because Tom Cavanaugh playing a dick playing his old evil self actually ends up being pretty effective, and for a moment, the sight of him in the yellow suit delivering ominous lines while the music plays makes you forget this is the “good” version of Wells doing the talking. Harry gets a fair amount of stuff to do here, and part of that is due to Caitlin. It’s clear that she’s the person he dislikes the least, and the dynamic between them is interesting enough that I’m able to buy that he sees his actual daughter in her enough to stick around with the rest of the team.

Also making a return on the parental front is the OG Flash himself, John Wesley Shipp. Exactly what he’s been doing since he got out of jail is summed up with the word “camping,” but he’s willing to pop back into Barry’s life to give his son the push he needs to put his suit back on. His spine is healed up, but his spirit is broken after Zoom made him look like a fool in public, and who better to give him a pick me up than the guy who had no one in his corner except his son for over a decade?

The delivery of the lines are on the nose (“Conquer your fears and believe in yourself!” may be this year’s “I think that lightning bolt chose you”), but it gets the job done and leads to a fun end chase through the city and Grodd struggling to not get sucked into a breach. Fortunately for Grodd, said breach ends up taking him to an area in Earth-2 filled with a city of hyper-intelligent apes. Unfortunately for us, that’s what closes an excellent episode, meaning that development probably won’t come to the screen until next year…

Additional Notes

  • Cisco goes out on his date with Kendra, and ends up vibing her, seeing her in battle armor with wings. Oh, and during the episode, a trailer for the Flash/Arrow crossover “Heroes Join Forces” that’s popping up after the Thanksgiving break. That certainly has to be a coincidence, right?
  • Barry is still giving Patty the runaround about his secret identity, which makes no sense to me. She’s a cop and is clearly going to keep digging into the metahuman problems Central City’s going through. Best to drop that bomb right now before it splits you up, Bar.
  • Whoever came up with the title for this episode deserves a raise.
  • I really hope CW ups their budget so we can see a bunch of CG apes tear crap up next year. Why tease it if you aren’t gonna pay it off down the line?!
  • Flash will be taking next week off for Thansgiving. See you in two weeks!

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