As I sat down to watch The Flash’s “Attack on Gorilla City: Party 1” last night, fate intervened in the form of a faulty sump pump. With his basement flooded, my brother suddenly needed a place to crash for the night. The Flash would have to wait. I had an air mattress to inflate, and some tidying up to do. Frankly, though, I welcomed the excuse to stop watching. My brother’s call for help came when I was halfway through the episode, and I was stunned at how much I just wanted it to be over already. The only thing “Gorilla City” had given me to work with in its first 20 minutes was the sight of Tom Fenton more or less cosplaying as Indiana Jones.
And as fun as the Indiana-related jokes were it wasn’t enough to hold my interest. That’s probably to be expected because I have never been the biggest fan of Flash’s Gorilla Grodd episodes. Even with all of the Silver Age camp The Flash trots on a weekly basis a giant, psychic CGI gorilla is too wide a turn into pure comic book goofiness for me. Entertainment Weekly once joked of Daredevil: Season 1 that it was finally a superhero show which felt like it was designed for adults, thus characterizing all of the CW superhero shows as more kid-friendly TV. That never feels more true to me than when I am watching one of Flash’s Gorilla Grodd hours.
To be fair to the show, they have been patiently building up to “Attack on Gorilla City” for two and a half seasons now, and I’ve witnessed firsthand at conventions the degree to which the hardcore fans have been demanding that Grodd finally get his chance to emulate the Planet of the Apes-esque ambitions of his comic book counterpart. If you’re going to do a show about The Flash you’re going to have to eventually tackle that storyline, and here it is, presented to us in two parts:
In part 1, Barry (fighting on behalf of the quickly captured Caitlin, Cisco, Julian and Harry) is easily tricked into assisting in Grodd’s power grab on his new gorilla planet, and in part 2 (airing next week) we’ll see what happens when Grodd brings his new army to Central City. So, yeah, the gorillas will invade the city, and it’s kind of Barry’s fault. Jeez, Barry and pals are proving to be quite terrible at erasing items off the big “change the future, save the Iris” board, still tripped up by such common time travel pitfalls as a causality paradox. It’s too harsh to say they’ve learned from their time travel experiences, but it’s fair to say they haven’t learned as much as they should have.
I reluctantly came back and finished “Attack on Gorilla City” much later in the night, and regret that I had not been keeping count of the number of times Jessy hung a lantern over the absolute absurdity of her “Wally essentially wants me to move in with him, i.e., relocate to Earth1” storyline by saying something along the lines of, “Maybe I can focus more on that once my dad’s safe and not being held captive by a psychotic gorilla.” Are the stakes on this show so low that not only was Jessy not allowed to participate her own father’s rescue she was then sidelined for the entire episode to deal with the bizarrely over aggressive romantic advances of her kind of, sort of, maybe, not really boyfriend, forcing her to be literally the only one paying any lip service to the possibility of her father dying or being hurt? In truth, though, noting just how many times Jessy played the “I’m kind of busy right now, what with my dad possibly being dead and all” card was the most enjoyable part of the episode for me.
- Still hate the Caitlin/Killer Frost multiple personality metaphor they’re running with, but I like that Caitlin is at least putting up a bit of fight against Julian’s attempted courtship of her. It’s not that I think they’re a bad or good potential couple. It’s more that after the last 2 seasons Caitlin should be reluctant to rush into another relationship, and she has a lot to deal with while keeping her powers in check right now. I like that the writers are honoring that, even if she can’t bring herself to turn down a steak dinner with a friend who clearly wants to be more than juts friends.
- Exactly how smart is Grodd? He’s smarter than the average gorilla, sure, but is his intelligence limited enough that he wouldn’t know to check a human’s pulse instead of just checking the temperature of their skin? I genuinely don’t know.
- Maybe this is the Agents of SHIELD LMD storyline influencing me, but when Grodd simply tossed Barry aside and then somehow allowed them to all escape just in the nick of time I was positive the episode was heading for a last-minute twist where we’d discover Barry was now under Grodd’s control ala the way he controlled Harry earlier. I didn’t know if that made any sense, if Grodd’s psychic control over others can truly stretch that far, but I was just waiting for Barry to turn on Iris at the end and somehow trick Cisco into opening a portal.
- So, do college credits transfer from Earth to Earth like they would school to school, or is Jesse just screwed? Wait. Is she in college? Wally is.
- I’m assuming Joe and Iris’ almost complete absence here is likely a result of scheduling concerns, as in maybe they were already busy filming their scenes for Part 2.