The Flash 02.07 ‘Gorilla Warfare’ is a solid episode that helps bring us down from the intensity of last week’s beatdown at the hands of Zoom. The Flash was dragged through the city and humiliated at every turn by the Monster Truck known as Zoom. This week we find Barry halfway healed from his back breaking thanks to his heightened healing factor, but his spirit is still damaged and our hero has lost faith in himself. Luckily for him Team Flash is on the job and everyone comes together to help him recover.
The episode opens with the team gathered to discuss Barry’s health and congratulate him on six whole steps. Joe and company are supportive but Barry is being hard on himself because all he can see is his own failings. As a man that had to practice walking again after an accident, it was something that hit really close to home for me. When you are destroyed all you can think about is how far behind you are and how much ground you still need to cover. It’s wonderful to see Barry grappling with this so frustratingly realistically.
HW2 announces his desire to return to his Earth and while Cisco is happy to see him go, only Caitlin attempts to convince him to stay. She has a point, without Jay, and with Barry laid up, HW2 is their best resource on Zoom intel. An alert on Cisco’s phone alerts the team to his impending date with Kendra Saunders from Jitters. The always hopeful Cisco references breakfast, and Joe’s laugh is priceless. Barry takes a call from Patty in the other room, where we learn that he has been claiming to be sick the entire week. The man refuses home made chicken soup, this double life is coming at a serious price.
HW2 is at a local bar working on a Breach map to help him determine the best route home, when Caitlin arrives to implore him to join the team. Caitlin accidentally gives HW2 an idea in the form of closing the Breaches. If they can close all the breaches but the one at S.T.A.R. Labs then they can set a trap for Zoom.
Cisco and Kendra are on their date to the movies to see The Princess Bride, but when Cisco touches Kendra’s hand. He is treated to a vision of a winged person, that he mistakenly assumes to be a man. Seriously, with that keister? Tsk Tsk Cisco, those hips don’t lie. Cisco cancels the date and runs back to the Lab to share his vision.
A scientist at a local lab is possessed by the mental powers of Grodd and runs from his lab with a cannister of chemicals. In the alley way he comes to his senses and is face to face with Grodd, who kills him with one punch and absconds with the chemicals.
Later at the crime scene we find Patty covering for Barry who is still out sick. She lets Joe know that a chemical for treating encephalitis was stolen and that the scientist died from blunt force trauma when his head hit the wall 20 feet above the street.
Barry is running on the Cosmic Treadmill, but only at normal human speeds. In his mind he is haunted with images of the beating he got from Zoom. This whole episode gave me Rocky IV flashbacks, Rocky was haunted by the memory of Drago killing Creed, and he needed to get the eye of the tiger to meet the challenge. Barry needs the eye of the tiger. He asks Iris to leave and he confesses to Joe that all he sees now is someone not strong enough to protect the city, and that is all anyone else sees.
Cisco asks Caitlin if she has heard anything about a birdman on the loose in Central City, but Grodd seizes control of her in mid conversation and she punches Cisco. She steps right over him and he rushes to tell Barry what happen. Joe receives a call from Patty and she confirms hair from the crime scene is Gorilla hair. The boys realize that Grodd is back but they are too late to stop him from kidnapping Caitlin.
The guys decide to track Grodd, and Joe tells Barry to use his brain instead of beating himself up about his legs.
The show has really stepped up the Grodd effects this time around and we are treated to entire scenes of the character interacting with the flesh and blood cast.
Back at the Lab, Barry is getting up to superhuman speed, but he is still haunted by his defeat. Enter Henry to cheer his son. Iris and Joe hug as he congratulates his daughter for finding Henry and bringing him to inspire Barry. With all the very obvious photographic clues that Henry “Crow’s Feet” Allen of Earth-2 is Zoom, I’m sad to see the writers didn’t go with my idea, but I’m looking forward to soooo many tears.
Cisco fills HW2 in on the Grodd backstory and HW2 shows him an algorithm that shows the most likely places Grodd can be found.
Henry is a doctor and he reviews his son’s medical charts with compassion and amazement. We learn that Henry was in Granite Peak camping. Apparently, Henry Allen of Earth-1 also enjoys fishing. Cisco tells Barry and Henry that they know where Grodd is and that they have a plan. Barry is shocked to see HW2 in the Reverse-Flash suit, and puts him in a choke hold. Henry is a little bit more in control, in fact almost toooooo calm when he comes face to face with the duplicate of the man that killed his wife. I think my Zoom infiltrating the team idea is happening.
Cisco and HW2 have located the tower where Grodd is holding Caitlin. Cisco gives HW2 some anti mind control earplugs and in a super creepy exchange he coaches HW2 on how to sound like The Reverse-Flash using the dialogue from the scene where Cisco was murdered.
Henry is curious if this is how the team always works, smh, he’s snooping. But if he is Zoom then the speech he gives Barry is masterful. Barry is stewing in the shame of his loss. Henry remembers the trial and watching everyone lose faith in him and knowing that when people see him they see a murderer. Henry Allen knows what it is like to be destroyed. But Barry gave him hope because he never stopped believing, and now Henry is back to return that hope, and no monster can take it away.
Caitlin is in Grodd’s hideout proposing an experiment to help create more Grodds, when HW2 enters and addresses Grodd in the guise of his Father. Grodd doesn’t buy it because Father never asks, Father commands. Cisco saves Caitlin and HW2 distracts Grodd long enough to knock him unconscious so everyone can escape.
Caitlin patches up HW2, and we can see that she is slowly gaining favor and building a bond with this complicated man. Girl has got Earth-2 fever, first Jay now HW2. Joe wants to kill Grodd because he is a danger to the public. But Caitlin wants to spare him because he has been a tool of The Reverse-Flash. Grodd is lonely and he wants a family. Cisco is quick to point out, “One telepathic Grape Ape is enough.” HW2 lets the team know that there is a wildlife reserve on Earth-2 where they can send Grodd.
Henry says Barry is up to the task of luring Grodd to the Breach. Caitlin and Barry lure Grodd out into the city and the chase begins. Grodd almost gets the drop on Barry near the breach. A fight ensues and Barry hesitates when memories of his beating at the hands of Zoom distracts him. Grodd begins to crush Barry under his foot, but Caitlin convinces him to trust her and enter the circle. Barry races past the opening Breach and saves Caitlin. Grodd is resisting the pull of the Breach and after a pep talk from Henry, Barry Knocks Grodd into the Breach with a supersonic punch.
The whole West/Allen family shares photos and memories of the life that Henry missed. Hugs are exchanged and Barry takes his Father to the bus. Joe wonders what life would have been like without Barry and what it would be like to have a son of his own. Iris looks guilty, and I hope she reaches out to Bio-Mom and gets to the bottom of her brother situation.
Barry meets up with Patty at the forensics lab and he patches up with her and kissing ensues. Cisco returns to Jitters with a gift basket of chocolates and flowers. Kendra accepts his apology and they kiss. Cisco immediately vibes and realizes that Kendra is the winged woman. he decides to play it cool and hang out and see about that breakfast.
The last shot of the episode shows Grodd on Earth-2 in the Ape dominated science reserve of classic Golden Age DC. He takes a look at his kingdom, he was finally there, this is how he became the Fresh Prince of Ape World. Seriously, did no one consider that it might be a bad idea to drop a misanthropic ape with mind control powers into a situation where he could raise an army? I’m just hoping the next time we see Grodd, he is king and bent on world domination.
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