We get so many fun things in this episode that’s it’s hard to know where to start…but without hitting spoilers too early, let’s note that this episode has some elements of both King Kong (to be expected) and The Hunchback of Notre Dame (not so expected but very cool). Barry is trying to heal after Zoom’s attack last episode, but will he heal in time to deal with…Grodd? More about that after the jump.
SOME SPOILERS AHEAD
Grodd has been mind-controlling scientists at various labs, to gather serums that seems to have widely different purposes…but all have the impact of increasing intelligence. Grodd is lonely and wants to have more apes like himself. With his version of Wells dead, he turns to the one person who was kind to him, Caitlin Snow.
Grodd kidnaps Caitlin and takes her to a bell tower, where he has stored all the various drugs. He wants her help, but without another particle accelerator accident she’s not sure how to make this work. Meanwhile, the STAR Labs team tries to track her down and save her.
There’s only two problems here. Wells is ready to go home to Earth Two and fight Zoom on his own just as the team needs him here. And, Barry may be healing physically but mentally has given up after being publicly humiliated by Zoom. Thankfully, Caitlin has convinced Wells to stay, at least for now. And, Barry has help from the one person who can understand the public loss of trust Barry feels…his father Henry!
This is a perfect time for Henry Allen to reappear, for a number of reasons. Henry is a physician, remember, and knows that Barry has managed to heal physically. More important, Henry had to endure during his trial the very loss of trust and faith that Barry has just experienced. Barry’s faith got Henry through his tough times in prison, and now Henry can return that favor in part through his faith in what Barry can do as The Flash.
Before we get to the final battle (at least for tonight) with Grodd, we get a bit of an Easter Egg in the reappearance of the Man in the Yellow Suit! Okay, not quite the Man in the Yellow Suit, but rather Earth Two Wells wearing a spare copy of the uniform that Cisco found in the time vault. This was an attempt to distract Grodd and save Caitlin, and it works…in a way, but not as smoothly as they had planned.
In the end, they find a way to send Grodd to Earth Two. They use Caitlin as bait, and a renewed Flash to strike the key blow that sends Grodd on his way. Still, by this point in the show the fearsome Grodd manages to come across as a somewhat sympathetic character. The facial expression on this CG character at the time of his exit from Earth One was almost heartbreaking. The only part of Grodd’s appearance that was a little jarring was the lack of any attempt to have him “speak” – in one respect it makes sense, as Grodd communicates telepathically. However, it’s still odd to focus on a face that has almost no movement while we hear his “voice”. That being said, Grodd’s overall CG appearance is well-crafted. I have no idea what the CG budget is for this series, but they don’t seem to be skimping on effects.
The big Easter Egg comes at the end of the episode, with the introduction on Earth Two of…Gorilla City! I’m really hoping we revisit this before long.
NOTES: We get a foreshadowing of LEGENDS OF TOMORROW through Cisco’s date with Kendra, as he “vibes” visions of Hawkman…and later Hawkgirl when he is with her. Poor Cisco, you know this won’t end well. That being said, Cisco Ramon is a favorite character for this reviewer – it is amazing to see what Carlos Valdes has done with Vibe. And, I’m finally on board with the “here again, gone again” storyline for Henry Allen – he was used perfectly in this episode, for reasons that make absolute sense to the plot. Finally, we see Patty realizing once again that there is something not right in the stories Barry is feeding her – he will have to come clean before long, but it’s good to see this strung along for just a bit longer. The chemistry between these characters continues to be a great part of the show.
SUMMARY: This was a great reappearance for Grodd, with everything that could be hoped for – he appeared both sympathetic and fearsome, emotionally vulnerable yet amazingly powerful, with a resolution that leaves him available for the future while bringing in a critical part of the Flash mythos. The appearance of Henry was a great moment, as was the reappearance of that yellow suit (which may lead to Barry finally getting his own ring). It was also good to see the resolution of “Barry can’t feel his legs” handled well within just the one episode – it would have been tough to have that go multiple episodes, and the way this was handled allowed Barry to grow a bit more as character. Overall, another great episode of THE FLASH.
Now, what do YOU think? Please leave your comments below!