I was really curious as to why the writers had Barry’s dad leave at the very beginning of the season. It felt like something done to accommodate the unavailability of John Wesley Shipp. That doesn’t seem to be the case as Henry Allen is back for this week’s adventure, and I’m kind of mad that he’s not sticking around. Shipp’s scenes with Grant Gustin are some of the best of the episode, and having Barry’s dad in the Flash command center felt all kinds of right. I’m hoping Henry’s absence has some narrative reasoning behind it (we’ve already discussed the possibility of his Earth-2 counterpart being Zoom in prior comments sections), because if it doesn’t, it feels like the show is wasting a great character.
But you don’t care about father/son stuff this week, unless the son is a telepathic gorilla and the father is a playacting Earth-2 Dr. Wells. Grodd makes his triumphant return and I continue to be amazed at the VFX team behind his creation. While certainly not photo-real, it’s still an impressive feat to pull off on a network show like this.
I really like how this episode reinforced the sympathy we feel for Grodd. He just wants to have other gorillas to pal around with, bringing to mind the loneliness of the Creature in Bride of Frankenstein. Of course, the real horror movie referenced here is King Kong, with Grodd whisking Caitlin away to the top of a tower. Heck, she’s even in full Fay Wray attire for this episode! The Flash isn’t always known for its subtlety, but it makes up for that with loads of nerdy charm. The King Kong stuff definitely fulfilled that quota.
One thing that this episode has really brought ot the forefront is Patty’s position as this season’s Iris: kept in the dark about Barry’s identity for what seems like no other reason than to have that “I can’t reveal my secret identity to you” storyline. Patty is obviously incredibly smart, and I’m willing to wager that she will detect the identity of The Flash before Barry chooses to reveal it to her, and that may be the wedge that drives them apart.
As far as random little bits of fun this week, I adored Harry having to act like Dr. Wells and practicing like Cisco. Although, you think there would have been a better way to reveal that plan than showing up in the Reverse-Flash costume. Not Cisco’s brightest moment. However, I am intrigued to see how he deals with the knowledge that his new girlfriend is flippin’ Hawkgirl. How do you broach that subject?
This was a really great episode this week even though it didn’t further the Zoom storyline at all. Seeing as how we have a week off and the returning crossover episode looks to be the last big setup for Legends of Tomorrow, I hoping the following episode hits the ground running (*groan*) on the overarching story. I’m dying to know what happened with that evil bastard.
Favorite moment: I’m honestly at a loss this week. There were too many to choose from. Grodd’s command to Caitlin, “Learn,” gave me a giddy chill. Barry’s flying punch to Grodd’s chest made me audibly cheer. But I think the objectively best thing this week was frickin’ Gorilla City!
Unfavorite moment: The whole “chicken soup” deception with Patty. It was clunky and further perturbed me about Patty’s position on the show. If she’s gonna be stuck like this for a while, have her take some singular initiative when it comes to hunting meta-humans. Joe tells her to drop a case and she doesn’t, leading to her discovering some new revelation for the audience. I really like Patty and don’t ant her to fall into a rut like Iris did for a big chunk of season one. But, to the show’s credit, they brought Iris around to a great place in the end, so I’m confident Patty is destined for a similar fate.
Next Episode: Legends of Today