The Flash ‘Gorilla Warfare’
- Written by Aaron Helbing & Todd Helbing
- Directed by Dermott Downs
Barry races to rescue Caitlyn when Grodd kidnaps her; Cisco plans a date with the new barista at Jitters; Patty thinks Barry is hiding something.
Catch ‘The Flash’ on The CW network Tuesdays 8/7c and in the UK on Sky One Tuesdays at 8.
‘The Flash’ has been on a bit of a wild ride this season, after the breakout success of season one the writers have taken the show in new directions by bringing in a new layer of darkness to the show whilst retaining the humour that made its freshman run standout against sister show ‘Arrow’. The addition of Earth-2 to the franchise has opened up worlds (get it?!) of possibilities and over the last few episodes we’ve seen the boundaries of how far the show will go pushed to their limits.
‘Gorilla Warfare’ picks up roughly one week after the previous episode. When last we saw Barry had been beaten near to death by Zoom and awoke in a hospital bed unable to feel his legs. Promos for ‘Gorilla Warfare’ shied away from Barry being confined to Earth-1 Harrison Wells/Eobard Thawne’s wheelchair but much talk was made on forums around the resurgence of ‘the chair’ which may have been for the best considering very little was made of it in the episode itself.
Much of the episode is focussed on Barry’s struggles to regain his health but given that the series has already established he has rapid healing abilities there was no way this could have ramifications beyond an episode or two. Sadly it does still feel a little rushed with him back in costume for the final confrontation with Grodd but the episode does allow for some emotional scenes of Barry emoting in the chair and struggling to use the treadmill at S.T.A.R. Labs.
Fans of the comic-book-to-tv genre will be quite used to episodes where our heroes are broken and struggle to recover. Thankfully ‘Gorilla Warfare’ is a lot less drawn out than some previous examples however it does still fall in to many of the cliches that come along with it. The angry outbursts, the damsel in distress – in this case Caitlin – whose dire situation pushes the hero to get back to full strength.
With Barry so down in the dumps there was only one way to cheer him up… a guest spot by his dad. It’s a fleeting appearance by previous Flash John Wesley Shipp but as this season is focussing very much on the father figures past, present (and future?) in Barry’s life it made sense to have them all around him during his hour of need.
The supporting cast of ‘The Flash’ all have their moments to shine in ‘Gorilla Warfare’. The writers have found a great way to weave most of the characters in to the plot each week where other shows struggle to balance all their characters fairly.
What does make this episode stand out is the return of comic villain Grodd. Last seen back in season one Grodd was a major threat to The Flash so this was a near perfect time to bring him back. As always the CGI work on ‘The Flash’ is outstanding. This show looks amazing from week to week on a fraction of the budget of a Hollywood film. Grodd’s first scene also includes some standout stunt work which was particularly bloody even for this show. He makes for a great villain due his immense presence, he has more weight than many of the villains-of-the-week featured in previous episodes of the show and I would welcome further appearances by him in the future once he takes control of Gorilla City!
His motivations in this episode could be misconstrued as honourable, on the one hand he’s a lonely creature looking for companionship. On the other hand he may have been looking to build an army and take over Central City. I find the villains on ‘The Flash’ a lot more entertaining when they blur the lines and force morale dilemmas on the main characters.
Speaking of main characters Cisco got a break from his troubles of late, briefly, to spend some time with Kendra, working at Jitters she seemingly has no idea that in a matter of weeks she will be spinning off in to ‘DC’s Legends of Tomorrow’. Hoping to get some down time from his vibes unfortunately all it took was a little hand holding (and later kissing) from bring forth an ominous vision of things to come.
Both ‘The Flash’ and ‘Arrow’ have forgone some of their normally excellent storytelling to allow their respective seasons to be hijacked by the buildup to ‘Legends’. Whilst ‘Arrow’ has been able to move on now that Sara and Ray back from the dead ‘The Flash’ has seen Firestorm, Captain Cold and now Kendra all feature heavily through the first seven episodes of the season in readiness.
For all it’s cliches and pitfalls ‘Gorilla Warfare’ is still a solid episode in a season which is taking strides towards finding a strong voice for ‘The Flash’ in a speedily flooding market of comic related shows.