Primetime Series

iReview: The Flash – “Gorilla Warfare”

There's been a really big monkey loose in the bowels of Central City ever since the particle explosion that rocked the foundations of S.T.A.R. Labs and turned CSI Investigator Barry Allen (Grant Gustin) into the Scarlet Speedster. Along with the volley of metahumans that have since been springing up all over, Gorilla Grodd was also affected by the black matter that was released.

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Episode 7/Season 2 reintroduces one of the Flash’s more nefarious comic book villains and expands on Gorilla Grodd’s DC TV Universe origins.

There’s been a really big monkey loose in the bowels of Central City ever since the particle explosion that rocked the foundations of S.T.A.R. Labs and turned CSI Investigator Barry Allen (Grant Gustin) into the Scarlet Speedster. Along with the volley of metahumans that have since been springing up all over, Gorilla Grodd was also affected by the black matter that was released.

A product of the experiments that were being conducted on him while under the care of the now deceased Harrison Wells (Tom Cavanagh) and the military attempt to weaponize him, Grodd has built up some resentment towards humans. Now that he’s becoming much more than was ever intended — Grodd’s intelligence is increasing, so are his telepathic abilities — the creature is lonely.

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Gorilla Grodd returns to threaten the denizens of Central City, but what exactly is he after when he kidnaps one of the Flash’s best friends?

Reaching out to the only humans that he’s ever known, Grodd mind controls Caitlin Snow (Danielle Panabaker) and kidnaps the good doctor in an attempt to recruit her help in creating more enhanced gorillas like himself. Grodd doesn’t want to be alone in the world and imagines that unless Caitlin can recreate the experiment that made him, Grodd will always be an outsider.

Concerned for the safety of their friend, “Team Flash” comes up with a plan to rescue Caitlin from Grodd, but after Barry’s near-fatal confrontation with Zoom (previous episode) his connection to the “speed force” has been limited, and although Barry is physically healed, he’s lost his confidence. In order to get the young man back on his feet, Iris (Candice Patton) seeks out the only person that can truly heel Barry.

With the return of Dr. Henry Allen (John Wesley Shipp) to Central City Barry gets not only a full bill of health from his father, but also just the proper pep talk he needs to get himself back into the suit — with the clock ticking a plan is put in motion that requires the Earth-2 Harrison Wells to done the suit of the Reverse-Flash, impersonate Grodd’s former “father” and rescue Caitlin from the creature’s lair.

The group must them find a suitable place for Grodd, and after considerable investigation, Wells finds a breach back to Earth-2 that will land Grodd in the city of a “gorilla city”. Although Grodd is considerably stronger than the Flash, the hero is able to “punch” him through a breach that cannonballs him into the alternate earth. The hope is that Grodd will find peace among others just like him. The End.

The episode stands-out as one of this season’s most anticipated for two reasons: most notably the return of Gorilla Grodd. The famous Flash villain is perhaps one of his greatest adversaries in the comics, and made a wildly impressive first appearance last season. Grodd had been teased and easter-egged all through major components of the show’s print and press campaign, and even was “mentioned” in “The Pilot”.

This episode is also a stand-out because it reunites Barry with his dad. Henry Allen has been absent since Episode 1 of Season 2 after finally getting out of Iron Heights Prison. Henry leaves Central City in order to give Barry the room he needs to find himself and become a true hero, but many fans felt cheated by Henry’s sudden departure and have been asking when the character would return.

Now many are speculating the Henry Allen may in fact be hiding a secret! The Internet is buzzing with speculation that Henry may be actually Zoom, and even the actor who plays the character, John Wesley Shipp (the original Flash from the 1990’s CBS series) is staying clear of the controversy and now engaging with the theory on social networking, and just letting the story play out.

It would be a wonderful twist of fate if indeed the enemy that is out to destroy the Flash turns out to be someone very close to him, whether it’s a parallel version of a father figure or a dearly departed friend, the true of identity of the monster that is “Zoom” is at least for now a closely guarded secret on the set of The Flash.

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