Fencing, fighting, torture, revenge, giants, monsters, chases, escapes, true love and miracles. The Flash has it all, well… except for the fencing part. Defeated and broken at the hands of Zoom Barry struggles to walk again as chemical plants are being robbed by a dark and mysterious foe. A giant, hairy, eight foot foe. That’s right folks as the not so subtle title implies, this week sees the return of fan favourite Gorilla Grodd.
It’s a testament to the show that they can now have a giant ape be accepted as your average villain without audiences even batting an eyelid and once again the standards of television special effects boggles the mind. Seeing a gorilla leap down a city street, up scaffolding and across roof tops, in pursuit of a superhero no less, is pure comic book delight. Grodd kidnaps Caitlyn in attempt to build an army of intelligent Gorilla’s with her help and in the process he is both fearsome and yet sympathetic. Are his intentions sinister or is he alone and just looking for company, it is never quite clear but in his darker moments his telepathic control over people again comes across as sudden and creepy.
Cisco continues to mature, taking new crush Kendra out on a date to see The Princess Bride no less (point to Cisco there) only to vibe off her and witness something very strange indeed. A winged figure, like an angel or maybe more like a hawk. At first Cisco is frightened by it but by the end of the episode comes to accept that maybe the new lady in his life is more than he bargained for and she’s going to be a good thing for not just him but the future of the world as a whole. Here we get the first glimpse of actress Ciara Renee in her full Hawkgirl costume and so far it looks quite impressive, can’t wait to see here in action.
This week Wells takes initiative and puts himself in the forefront of the battle against Zoom and his breachers offering to take on Grodd by pretending to be Earth 1 Wells. I loved the subtle way that even though it’s the same actor the Reverse Flash outfit looked too big on Cavanagh, loose fitting everywhere. Softening up by the end of the episode he comes to accept that he needs to work with the gang rather than against them. I must admit it did seem like a bit of a waste to have Barry paralysed with a broken back at the end of last week’s episode only for him to be almost completely healed and on the last stages of physiotherapy before this episodes even begins. The writers continue to want to have these big revelations but then they don’t commit to it wrapping them up neatly by the end of the next episode which again is what they’ve done here.
And what would the show be without their weekly heart to heart, this episode manages to do another amazing job. With Barry mentally unable to overcome his defeat in front of the entire city Iris brings Barry’s Father in for some sage advice. The two share a few beautifully heartfelt scenes about the importance of forgiveness and believing in yourself. The chemistry between the two actors is stellar and the return of Shipp as Henry may even add fuel to the fan theory that Zoom may actually be Earth 2’s Henry Allen; a welcome idea if I ever heard one.
In one of the greatest end stingers yet, after luring Grodd safely out of the city of Earth 1 he lands in the middle of a jungle on Earth 2. Seeing him in the light of day as beams of light shine down through the tree tops was crazy impressive was a gift alone but even better than that, the camera pans around and we see a cliff faces carved in to the shape of a gorillas and an entire civilisation of ape’s; the first hint in the show of the comics fabled Gorilla City. Grodd gives a roar of approval and… cut to black. This show isn’t monkeying around.
Review by Dylan Boaden.