The Flash: 2.07 Gorilla Warfare
After last week's back-breaking (literally) showdown between Zoom and Flash, this episode of The Flash took things down a notch as Barry struggled with his recovery and the team were forced to defeat a returning Metahuman without the aid of Central City's superhero.
The scene with Zoom parading a broken Flash around the city were truly shocking so I appreciate that the episode took time to deal with those horrific events. Barry might have recovered from his broken back relatively - given his healing abilities - but it was the mental defeat that lasted longer. We've seen Barry somber before but here it worked and I liked that the one man who could get him out of that slump was his father.
It was nice to see John Wesley Shipp return; his Henry Allen slipping back into his role pre-incarceration as a doctor and father assessing Barry's recovery and encouraging him as only a father can. However as soon as the mission was done and Barry had donned the suit and defeated the villain off he was again to...well...I just don't know. I didn't buy his abrupt decision to leave Barry straight after being freed in the season two opener and I don't buy his decision to leave again. I don't see how he could be detrimental to Barry and the Flash; if anything his presence was helpful and we saw here with Joe that he had one friend left in Central City. I get that the show is trying to maintain a status quo and Shipp doesn't need to appear in every episode but his actions make no sense.
That grumble aside I still enjoyed the episode and having the returning mind-controlling Gorilla Grodd was fun. Sharkman aside, he's one of the most bonkers villains in the TV pantheon of The Flash villains. After last season's debut I was expecting something spectacular but I suspect the show is building to something and I am sure transporting him to the gorilla sanctuary in Earth 2 is going to bite them further down the line - intelligent gorilla henchmen perhaps?
What we did get was a semi-take on King Kong with Caitlin taking on the role of Ann Darrow. I think Danielle Panabaker has been a little wasted this season so it was nice to see her take the limelight as Grodd abducted her to his penthouse lair and demanded that she help engineer more gorillas like him. There were a couple of tender scenes as she faced and tried to sooth the giant gorilla and a certain amount of guilt too as she lured him into the trap designed to transport him away.
Harrison Wells too got to become an essential player in the ongoing story and while I didn't by his decision to help save Caitlin after just one talk, having Tom Cavanagh back in the Reverse Flash suit was awesome. There was a moment you could see a chill run down Cisco's spine as he got Wells to play the sinister version from this world and do the 'you're like a son to me speech' that the former Wells delivered before trying to kill him.
It was also an episode that developed the two new romantic relationships nicely. Cisco got his first vibe of Hawkman as he attempted his first date with Kendra and their eventual kiss revealed that she was a superhero too. His face as he realised that she was Hawkgirl (even if he doesn't know who this hero is yet) was priceless. Part awe, part wow she might become my girlfriend. Meanwhile Barry's recovery put a crimp in his relationship with Patty. When he finally came clean that he wasn't sick with flu I was expecting him to reveal the truth, something I think she would have handled well. His decision to deflect it onto his dad was a mistake that might cost him that relationship down the line.
Gorilla Warfare was a solid episode of The Flash and it was great to see Henry Allen and Grodd make returning appearances. The fact that both were dispatched in some form by the episode's end was frustrating and I hope we get more of the telepathic gorilla later this season. Perhaps its just me, but I don't feel that this season is firing in all cylinders yet - I am enjoying Arrow more - but hopefully all this buildup will be worth it as we near the mid-season point.