Flash Five-Point Review: Gorilla Warfare
1. This episode is why Henry Allen should never have left in the first place. So Joe's pep talks aren't enough to talk Barry through the extensive, Arrow-like ass-kicking he got in "Enter Zoom", so we called back John Wesley Shipp's character to help him get over the mental block he has from using his powers. It makes sense on a few levels, and they even explain why Henry left at all--the town still probably sees him as the guy who murdered his wife in front of his own son--but...ugh. Having the black guy adopt the white kid for once earned this show some points, but if you're just going to hand things over to Barry's "real" dad when things get tough, it's slightly for naught, don't you think?
And I'm not trying to levy any claims of racism at Flash--they've actually done a fantastic job of using a multi-racial, diverse cast of people. This is as much a problem with the adopted dad aspect of the show as anything else.
Sidenote: There's a little-known mini-arc in the comics where Wally West (who was The One, True Flash at the time) loses his ability to walk temporarily...and he built a suit out of pure speed that basically acted as an exoskeleton to keep him moving until his body healed. I was really hoping they would go down that path, but I guess despite all the time-travel and alternate world stuff, we're still a little far from doing something as comic book-y as that. Plus the Speed Force as a concept is still on the fringe of being acknowledged right now, and something I'd guess we'd see dealt with in the third season.
2. *sighs* Can we talk about Caitlin for a moment? You'd think, with Barry basically going from a CSI to risking his life in the field against enemies several times more dangerous than anything a cop will ever go against on a weekly basis, he'd be the one to need a mentor the most. But it's clearly Caitlin. She's bounced from smart, older guy to smart, older guy and so far the consequences of her actions have, at the least, created a new supervillain.
I'm saying this to ask: why is she so desperate to keep Earth-2 Wells around? His plan to defeat Zoom basically consisted of: throw Barry at him and hope something good happens, and the result of that plan left Flash crippled. If his connection to the speed force weren't so powerful Barry had Wolverine-like regeneration powers, the show would literally be over--or we'd have to introduce Wally West a LOT faster. What I'm saying is, he's not exactly proven to be as useful as Earth-1 Wells, and THAT guy was trying to kill Barry. When he said he was leaving, they should've just let him exit stage left immediately.
3. Cisco continues to be the most charming part of Flash, as the date with Kendra Saunders finally happens...or, well...almost happens. First off, Cisco may have come up with the perfect "first date" movie: any girl that doesn't enjoy The Princess Bride probably isn't worth a second date. Second, Kendra's a saint. Though the audience knows about Cisco's powers, she certainly didn't, so the fact that he got a "vibe" off her and just ran off like a goof wasn't just weird, it didn't even make sense. Normally he sees something super-threatening that immediately demands attention. This time? Just a person with angel wings. Why run off?
Still, I applaud the Flash writers for folding in all the work for Legends of Tomorrow so organically. Over on Arrow they're summoning characters from different networks to get all their pieces in place. Here it makes so much sense it can just be the C plot for an episode, which is..puzzling. I presume the writer's rooms for both series are the same, and that they got the same amount of warning, so I'm a tad lost as to Arrow's basically breaking themselves to get it all done.
4. So this episode featured the return of Grodd, and even though he's not quite the guy I want him to be yet, I love that this show is gradually building up a real Rogues Gallery for Barry. On Arrow Oliver basically has Malcolm, Deathstroke (who's not apart of the cast and thus won't appear regularly), and whoever he's facing for the season, and everyone else gets murked either the episode they appear, or a few episodes later. Flash feels more like an actual superhero--with recurring villains that for the most part get away for believable reasons.
In any case, Grodd's plan to make more of himself eventually lead to the introduction of something I thought they would leave by the wayside once we learned his origin: Gorilla City!!! It's such an absurd, ridiculous concept...and they've apparently resigned Earth-2 to be the place where all those things happen. So far we know it has Atlantis (and Aquaman apparently), and now it's got Gorilla City too. It makes sense--they don't have to show it often, so you can leave the truly fantastical elements there. They still "exist" for comic book geeks like me, but it's also logical that you're not going to see it much. Most likely for the best too, since from what I saw of Gorilla City, they were pretty much out of CGI budget.
And about that "Grodd's not the guy I want him to be" thing? This episode even did its job taking care of that, giving Grodd a mega-dose of the chemicals that created him in the first place. If I had to guess, the next time we see him he'll be far more intelligent and basically run Gorilla City, so hopefully Barry grows a lot between now and the next time they clash.
5. As of this episode, I honestly feel sorry for Patty. Normally I'm not a fan of telling anyone your secret identity that isn't actively helping out with your Hero Work, but...after he told Linda about it for seemingly no reason other than "eh, why not?", I spent most of this episode screaming at the television to just tell her and be done with it. And since he didn't, but instead chose to lie to her not once, but MULTIPLE times over the episode, I think nearly everyone can see the sparks that are their future failed relationship from here in the past.
Not that I think it'd go over well when he TELLS her. She's a cop who barely knows him (even if she does have a crush) and he's running an illegal prison which I'm still hoping SOMEONE takes him to task for before the series ends.
Next week: A break. But the week after that is the crossover--the point at which Flash truly took off last season while Arrow started to self-destruct. Let's hope they both survive.