The Flash: Gorilla Warfare Review

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By: Ashley Binion (@ashleybinion)

“Gorilla Warfare” marked the return of two characters: Henry Allen and Grodd.

Warning: Spoilers ahead.

Much like “Family of Rogues,” this episode had an overarching theme of fatherhood. Even though Gorilla Grodd made his return to The Flash, that’s not what made the episode compelling. It was the character work. Watching Barry navigate his three father figures: Henry’s return, Joe longing for a son of his own, and Earth-2 Wells pretending to be the Reverse-Flash was quite compelling. With Barry being sidelined due to his temporary paralysis, this was the perfect opportunity to do a character-driven episode.

With Barry paralyzed at the end of the previous episode, “Enter Zoom,” this episode starts off with the speedster stuck in Well’s wheelchair. Because he can’t go out and save people, he was in a dark place. So, the only way to get him to snap out of it was a visit from Henry. I’m glad they didn’t keep John Wesley Shipp away for too long. Henry and his relationship with Barry is such a great emotional center for the series. I just wish his role had changed now that he’s out of prison. Sadly it seems like his role is staying the same. He comes in once in a while to give Barry the pep talk he needs to figure out the problem of the week. No matter how emotionally satisfying these scenes are, it feels like a waste of the character and the portrayer.

Wells had some good character moments in the episode. He’s still trying to place himself into Team Flash, something he gave up doing at the very beginning of the episode, but then was convinced to stay in our Earth. Seeing Wells in the Reverse-Flash costume triggered Barry and rightfully so. It was hilarious seeing Wells try and do an impersonation of Eobard, and fail miserably, to only then scarily nail it the second time he tried. It would be so ironic if Wells were the one to invent Flash’s famous ring.

Gorilla Grodd has yet to fully reach his potential as a villain, which is the point of the gorilla’s origin story. I loved the motivation for his kidnapping of Caitlin. He’s alone in the world and wants others like him. This allows for the character to be sympathetic, which is hard because he’s a gorilla. The whole kidnapping, even down to what Caitlin was wearing, was very King Kong inspired.

The special effects are phenomenal. Just when I don’t think they could make Grodd look any better, they do. Even though it’s just a CGI gorilla, it’s amazing how well they can get the character to emote. And look at that Gorilla City! I can’t believe the series actually went there. However, I don’t expect to see it again. There’s no way they have enough money to have that many CGI gorillas running around.

With the little they’ve done with Patty, I’ve really liked. Clearly Patty’s smart. We’ve seen her put together that Barry was blind during their date and that he wasn’t really sick during this episode. However, I don’t like that they are making her blind to the fact that there is something up with Barry. Either the series needs to show her becoming more suspicious about Barry and eventually figuring out who he is on her own or they need to tell her. It’s not like they’re keeping it from her because they want to keep her safe, which was the reason Iris was kept in the dark for the majority of last season. Patty is a detective with the police department and can take care of herself. Hopefully Barry’s secret identity is revealed soon.

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars


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