If there was a lesson for Team Flash to learn this week, it’s this: never trust a genius telepathic gorilla with a grudge. Also, winning a battle doesn’t mean you win the war.
But a short rewind to last week’s post-credit scene where Jesse Quick came barreling through a portal looking for help in getting Harry out after he’d been taken hostage by Grodd in Gorilla City. Barry, Cisco, Caitlin, and Julian (?!) volunteer for the mission and they head off to Earth-Two, leaving the city in the capable hands of the teen speedsters, Wally and Jesse. What could possibly go wrong?
In honesty, the important stuff all happens over on Earth-Two. Sorry, Wally, but you and Jesse’s love life isn’t what I’d call major material. Except, of course, if she decides to stay on Earth Prime to be with her man? No offense to the parallel Earth crossed lovers or anything but most of their time together is more in line with an episode of Dawson’s Creek than a superhero drama (full disclosure, I loved the Creek way back when) with Jesse feeling the hurts for Wally’s lack of communication. If anything, discovering that he has powers makes Jesse wonder if her speed was the only thing Wally liked about her. As it is, after some back and forth coupled with good advice from—who else—HR, Jesse has a choice to make: stay on Earth Prime or head back to Earth-Two with her dad. If the kiss they share is any indication, we may see Jesse for an extended period of time on the show. Not a bad thing at all—though maybe cut out just a smidge of the teen angst.
But you’re all here to find out about that trip to Gorilla City, am I right? Well, let’s just say that, not for the first (or second. Or third) time, Barry showcases his decided lack of awareness of his surroundings. Instead of using his speed to scope out the jungle, he and the others walk right into a tailor-made trap, tranq’d and caged by our favorite telepathically gifted gorilla…Grodd.
So what does Grodd want? Well, what any arch-fiend craves: Power. In this case, he wants Barry to take down Solovar, leader of Gorilla City and currently Grodd’s better. He promises that, if the Flash kills Solovar, Grodd will take over as leader and prevent the gorillas from making an incursion into Earth Prime. Not the greatest of deals for our heroes—they have very few options caged and temporarily de-powered as they are—so Barry challenges Solovar. The fight doesn’t last long (budget constraints and all that) but the special effects (throughout the episode really) shine as Barry and Solovar battle out in a massive coliseum. It takes two tries for Barry to take Solovar down but he finally does and though he doesn’t kill the king, his victory gives Grodd the opportunity to move in and fill the power vacuum. Does it come as any surprise that Mr. Grodd reveals that he was always thinking ahead? Turns out, it wasn’t Solovar that wanted to invade Earth Prime but the vindictive Grodd. All he needs now is for Cisco to open a portal for the Gorilla City army to go through.
Fear not, though, our white hats outsmart the genius Grodd with the “He’s dead” ploy. It works and offers Barry and the others a chance to escape, returning to Earth Prime to much fanfare. Well, not really but cross off another future prediction—the mess made by a gorilla invasion of Central City—and everyone enjoys the victory…
Except it isn’t. We return back to Gorilla City and King Grodd—now complete with his comic armor—addressing his horde. Grodd shows that, unlike many hack villains, he actually does think ahead, enslaving our second favorite Portal opener Gypsy to his will. The attack on Central City commences…in one week.
By no means a bad episode, if anything, “Attack on Gorilla City” seemed incomplete. Of course, part two comes at us next week which is part of the reason dangling plot points exist. In that regard, it felt as if there was more style than substance. True, HR offered another brilliant nugget of advice to Jesse but even her conversations with Wally seemed more filler than anything. Even if combining the two makes for a much better experience, part one should have been better. There was plenty to work with.
- We all knew the Jesse/Wally thing would be a part of this week but we also go to see Julian putting himself out there for Caitlin. I wouldn’t have pegged the two for a ‘ship, primarily due to Julian’s jerkish behavior—and that whole Dr. Alchemy thing—but, more than any character this season, Julian has shown a deeper side, one that I actually care about and want to see develop even more. So yes, a Caitlin ‘ship is on the horizon.
- “Where there’s life, there’s hope,” Barry tells this to the team as they look for a way out after Grodd reveals his plan. Those words aren’t relegated to this particular scene but the overall story of Season Three—saving Iris. They are trying to change as many future events as possible but, like Castiel and his angels battling Lilith for control of the Seals (Supernatural Season Four), you win some, you lose some. So long as Barry can keep the faith and lead the others to buy in, they may be able to rewrite the future.
- Grodd is definitely a genius and I loved seeing him enact his backup plan. But two things irked me: first, he was fooled quite easily into believing Barry to be dead. Secondly, if he was able to enslave Gypsy (and Harry earlier) why didn’t he do that to Cisco? Was he not powerful enough to take over Cisco but was Gypsy? Did he drug her? Small, somewhat insignificant questions but inquiring minds and all that…guess we’ll have to wait til next week.
The Flash: “Attack on Gorilla City”: