In the first half of this special Flash: Gorilla City two-parter, the showrunners gave us a taste of what Super Gorilla Grodd was like in the Silver Age of comics, but this time we see just how dangerous Grodd can be these days. We’ve seen Gorilla City, meet me after the extradimensional jump for my thoughts about “Attack on Central City.” Can The Flash survive?
We open on a Valentine’s Day morning with Barry and Iris. All is good as far as they know. They’ve defeated Grodd on Earth-Two and saved that world’s Harrison Wells. They have no idea that Grodd has plans and a way to retaliate, so yes, all is good. At S.T.A.R. Labs, H.R. is decorating for what is known on his world as Friends Day. Harry Wells is not amused.
The dueling Welles do not get along and Harry, as well as many of us here in the audience have yet to see what the Earth-19 Wells brings to the table. I loved Harry spitting in H.R.’s coffee. Props to Tom Cavanaugh for playing the dual roles, sometimes I forget he’s the same person. It’s startling the difference between the two. And if nothing else, the Friends Day celebration prompts Wally and Jesse to tell Harry she’s staying.
The Return of Gypsy
While it was nice to see Caitlin giving Cisco a love pep talk, I was not thrilled when it turned down the Gypsy road (and I don’t mean the cool Cinderella song from back in the day). I mean at least the Golden Glider showed interest in Cisco, Gypsy was just forced and ridiculous. Either way, the conversation opened the door for Gypsy’s coincidental reappearance, and attack on Team Flash, as the real action of this episode begins.
This time Team Flash is ready for her. Both Flash and Cisco know her weakness, and Harry is no slouch either. She’s in a cell in the Pipeline in no time. She also doesn’t remember coming to Earth-One or attacking the team. It becomes far too apparent Gypsy has been mind controlled by Grodd. As we break for commercial, we see Grodd and his army on a hill overlooking Central City. The fact that the city is on a plain in the comics doesn’t dispel the power of the visual.
Modern and Dangerous
Amidst the showrunners trying to push a Cisco/Vixen romance, and Harry trying to selfishly and cruelly convince Wally he’s dying, Team Flash tries to determine what Grodd’s plan is. When the Flashes and police mobilize, we get a distraction that shows how truly dangerous Grodd is. He controls Joe and makes him try to kill himself. It’s a chilling scene, but as I said, distraction.
Grodd is ultimately after bigger fish than that simple a revenge. He’s after nukes. As I said, last episode we saw the Silver Age Grodd, now we see the terror of the Modern Age version. To get this info, Harry wires Joe up to a big science helmet. Jesse L. Martin is great playing scared here as he was with a gun to his head. The Flash disarming the nukes scene was predictable but oh so intense. I did love the Weird Al mention as well as the earlier Luke Starkiller shout out. The mind boggles at what the Star Wars of Earth-19 could be like.
Interlude on Earth-19
This is the most intriguing scene of the episode. With the nukes grounded, Grodd and his army are going to attack Central City by more conventional means – gorilla rampage. So Cisco uses his Vibe powers to track down Gypsy and ask for her help again. Eventually she does break down to help Cisco bring a special guest to the final party. However, that’s not the meat of this encounter.
When Cisco arrives on Earth-19, Gypsy is talking to a man in a red aviator costume with a scarf over his face. She’s showing him pictures of a woman, presumably her target, and then he speeds off. This is the Accelerated Man, that world’s Flash, from the Gotham by Gaslight comics. This is too cool. How long before he teams up with our Flash?
Showdown and Squee
There is more than a bit of comic book fanboy squee in the scene of three Flashes in an old fashioned western street showdown with an army of gorillas. Although the CGI involved makes the gorillas’ footfalls a bit awkward and their numbers sparse, I loved it and really shouldn’t complain. The monkey action as well as the speedster action is awesome. This fanboy was happy.
What I really wasn’t happy about was the fact Flash and company didn’t really defeat Grodd. It is Solovar, brought to Earth-One by Vibe and Gypsy who takes him down. Not what I wanted to see. We all wanted to see Flash vs. Grodd. All of us. Things tie up nicely after that, perhaps too nicely. Grodd goes to A.R.G.U.S., the other gorillas and Harry back to Earth-Two, and Gypsy to Earth-19.
Once the gorillas are out of the way, it just wouldn’t be a CW superhero TV show without a to-be-continued and a stinger. This time we have Barry and Iris together again as we had in the opening. Barry is subtle, not as overcompensating as he was in the morning with the Valentine’s stuff, but this time he has an ace up his sleeve – he’s proposing. With his grandmother’s ring that Joe had been holding for him, he asks Iris to marry him, and she says yes. But wait, do I sense a Barry-ism at work here? Did Iris have an engagement ring in the future vision? Is this Barry’s way of securing the future not happen as seen, and save Iris’ life? Not a good start to a marriage.
Our stinger has Kid Flash attacked by Savitar, but how? Well, that to be continued next time of course, but I have a few ideas. It stands to reason that Savitar might have a special connection to Wally, after all, Savitar did indirectly, through Doctor Alchemy, create Kid Flash from the Flashpoint reality. Maybe that’s where Savitar is hiding – in the minds of those he created?
This episode and the one before it were fun, even with their flaws. Any time we get to see Grodd is a good time, and maybe after the reference made at the end, maybe a match-up with King Shark next time? And we’ve also seen that a smart Wells is preferable to an idiot Wells – why couldn’t we keep the good one? The good outweighed the bad this time, and made for a fun event. When The Flash is good, it’s really good. Let’s hope it stays this way.
Next: The Wrath of Savitar!