Things were looking very grim for our heroes in the last episode of “The Flash.” In the aftermath of a mad plan that had Linda Park masquerading as her Earth-Two doppelgänger Dr. Light, Barry lost the use of his legs in frantic combat. Humiliated and beaten in front of Central City, things get worse when Super Gorilla Grodd returns. Meet me after the simian leap for my review of “Gorilla Warfare.”
We open on both a somber and quite casual note this episode, kind of misleading from the events of the last episode. Zoom beat the Flash soundly and bloodily, and the paraded him through the city so everyone knew that their hero was effectively Zoom’s bitch. This was a miserable humiliating defeat, but you would never know it for the casualness of Team Flash at S.T.A.R. Labs this evening.
Barry is slowly healing, but still healing because of his speed. One would guess that without his powers, these injuries would have left him dead or paralyzed. Barry’s psychological injuries are harder to fix however. Wells on the other hand, wants to go home, most likely to find his daughter Jesse, who he now knows is alive. Caitlin convinces him to stay. She seems to have a thing for these Earth-Two guys, eh? First Jay, and now Harry as Cisco calls him. Together, Caitlin and Wells work on a plan to close all the portals, save the one at S.T.A.R.
While all this misery and Sturm und Drang is going on, Cisco seems more concerned about his date with the new barista at Jitters. Her name is Kendra Saunders and comics folks will know her better as Hawkgirl, or at least the most recent version of Hawkgirl. You see, what I tell you folks here may not match up with what they do on the show. I wish I could be more precise, but comic book continuity being what it is, there have been many versions of the character – in fact, most comic book readers believe Hawkgirl/woman and Hawkman to have the most convoluted continuities out there.
Effectively there are certain ingredients in Hawkgirl’s backstory that are always the same. Amongst the myriad origins that include ancient astronauts and alien police, there is always the theme of reincarnation and eternal love. Like Barry and Iris in the comics, Hawkman and Hawkgirl have a love that survives life and death, time and space. Depending on what origin the showrunners use, this could be very interesting, but we don’t have all the puzzle pieces yet. The bottom line is that on their date to see The Princess Bride, Cisco vibed on her, seeing a ‘bird man’ or ‘angel.’ Based on the special effects we see for only seconds, I can’t wait.
We know that Grodd has been on the loose, but on the sly, since he escaped at the end of “Grodd Lives.” He shows up again here, collecting intelligence enhancing drugs by mind-controlling scientists then killing them. Finally the Super Gorilla kidnaps Caitlin, who had been kind to him before the particle accelerator accident changed him. He wants her to help him make more of him, to “repeat Grodd.” Creating an army of super-intelligent apes and other animals is a tactic Grodd has used often in the comics.
His appearance is still awesome and a special effects bonanza (or should that be bananza?), but it feels a little less than last season’s appearance. Perhaps seeing Grodd in broad daylight as opposed to dark sewers changes his look, or maybe the showrunners spent too much CGI money on King Shark. Either way, Grodd looks amazing, and menacing, and I want more.
Whereas the evil Earth-One Harrison Wells was a long game planner, the Earth-Two Harry Wells seems to be more in the mode of a mad scientist, planning by the seat of his pants, and taking risks like vitamins. His mad science solution to the Grodd problem? Why, dress up like the Reverse-Flash and try to order him around like a lab experiment while doing his best E-1 Harrison Wells impersonation.
How does Wells know that his counterpart promised Grodd the city? Is this like him knowing what a speed mirage was back in “The Darkness and The Light“? This Wells may not be evil, but he still has secrets. I’m still not buying the obvious and saying he’s Zoom, I’m pretty sure that’s the Earth-Two Henry Allen.
Finally a way to shove Grodd through a breach to a specific point on Earth-Two is found. Apparently each breach, while just all over Central City on Earth-One, lead to various points around the globe on Earth-Two. The one Grodd went through leads to a city where other lab experiment apes live. I’ll bet you a Flash ring it’s called Gorilla City. Speaking of rings, we may have seen the origin of putting Flash’s costume in the ring as in the comics.
Iris does something, ahem, I mean something right in this episode as she brings deadbeat dad Henry Allen back to give Barry pep talks and snap him out of his funk. The encouragement works, but don’t think I didn’t notice that Henry and Zoom have not appeared at the same time… He of course bails again for who knows where at the end of the episode. Why don’t the powers-that-be want John Wesley Shipp around? It’s not like there’s a “Dawson’s Creek” reunion on the horizon.
Barry has been lying to Patty for all this time, and doing a worse job of it than Clark Kent with Lois Lane. From the perspective of the viewer, one just can’t help but wonder why he just doesn’t tell Patty that he’s the Flash. Everyone else on the show knows, right? And didn’t they bring Eddie into the circle when he was Joe’s partner? She’s not that dumb, and to have her make up with Barry when she catches him lying just denigrates her character. Following suit, Cisco, in a nice nod to Say Anything, complete with Peter Gabriel, makes up with Kendra, similarly not letting on about what he knows. Oh, these Flash men…
Next: This year’s big “Arrow” crossover event!