Catching Up: The Flash Episode 313, "Attack on Gorilla City"

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Attack on Gorilla City

In the previous episode, we ended with the arrival of Jesse Quick (VIOLETT BEANE) from Earth 2 with the message that her father, Harrison Wells (TOM CAVANAGH) had been kidnapped by Grodd and taken to Gorilla City. So now we know that Gorilla City is on Earth 2. He was invited there via a mathematical cryptogram (apparently Grodd is taking notes on how Team Flash recruits other Wellses from across the multiverse), but the team that accompanied him went missing, and all searchers found were their bones.

That's all it takes for Barry Allen (GRANT GUSTIN) to suit up and prepare to hop over to Earth 2 to save his friend. Cisco (CARLOS VALDES) and Caitlin (DANIELLE PANABAKER) agree to accompany him, and new Team Flash member Julian Albert (TOM FELTON) isn't going to be left out of a chance to see the multiverse, particularly one that's Planet of the Apes, so he arrives fully decked out in Indiana Jones gear. Barry assures Jesse that Grodd went to a lot of trouble to get Harry to Gorilla City, so Harry is probably okay.He also ponders if rescuing Harry will change the future, given one of the headlines of the 52 Chalkboard referencing the city's recovery after a gorilla attack.

Upon arrival on Earth 2 (right into Africa, so Cisco's vibe powers are good across dimensions and across distance with pretty good accuracy), Gorilla City is an imposing place with giant gorilla statues. Barry posits that perhaps Grodd needs Harry to open a breach to Earth 1, not realizing that he brought one of the best breachers with him in Cisco Ramon. They try to home in on Harry's wrist communicator, and ultimately find it laying on the ground, next to a huge gorilla footprint.

Yeah, we knew that.  Subdued by gorillas, Team Flash wakes up in cages, where neither Flash nor Cisco's powers function. Harrison Wells enters, but they quickly learn that he is being controlled by Grodd, who is speaking through him. Grodd says he needs Flash to defeat Solovar, because he is planning on invading "First Earth" out of fear of humans. (Why he wouldn't invade human cities on his own Earth should have been the team's first question). Solovar will kill them all in the arena -- but if Flash can defeat Grodd, then the gorillas will lose faith in him and install Grodd as the leader, and Grodd can save his old home.

He also has some coastal property in Arizona he'd like to sell if they're interested.

Solovar does indeed challenge them in the arena, and Flash volunteers to be the sole champion for the team. You wouldn't think super speed would have such trouble against Solovar, but apparently he's got some Wonder Woman warrior tricks he can pull out. Flash has to borrow a trick from his worst enemy to win the day, but he refuses to kill Solovar. He delivers a rousing speech to the gorillas that humans are not a threat and don't want war. That's when Grodd orders Flash put down, with a tranquilizer dart that must be pretty powerful for his metabolism not to burn right through it.

Barry awakens back in his cage, and learns Grodd is now in charge, as planned. But he also learns Grodd lied to him (surprise, surprise!) and that Solovar had no plans for war. But now that a human has defeated Solovar, the gorillas truly fear humans, and are ready to strike preemptively. They just need a breach to Earth 1, and for that, they need Cisco.

Cisco has a plan for foiling Grodd's scheme: he can die. No opener, no invasion. As the team argues about Caitlin using her cold powers on him to accomplish this (and Caitlin and Julian refusing to accept it), Flash actually agrees with Cisco. But not in the way he originally stated it. The team call Grodd back, and Flash lays apparently dead on the floor. Caitlin tells Grodd that his injuries sustained in his fight with Solovar caught up with him. He's cold to the touch when Grodd touches him, and Grodd drags his "corpse" out of the cage and throws it on a pile of bleached bones, claiming he didn't need Flash anymore anyway. That's when Flash vibrates, thaws, and opens the cages for all his friends, including the revived Harrison Wells. They race into the jungle, pursued by gorillas, and Cisco opens a portal home, which closes just in time to leave a frustrated Grodd behind.

While all this has been going on, Wally (KEIYNAN LONSDALE) has been trying to figure out why Jesse is so standoffish to him. She's been that way since learning Wally had become a speedster, and apparently has this odd idea that it interferes with their relationship, because Wally seems so complete now. Together they foil a very mundane bank robbery, and I'm really not digging the cocky Kid Flash who basks in the adulation of fans. Ultimately, H.R. (also Cavanagh) urges Jesse to follow her heart and tell her father what she really wants to do, which is to stay on Earth 1 with Wally.

All seems well, and the headline seems to be something that can't come true now. Except in the stinger, we learn Grodd has another way of breaching Earth 1: Gypsy (JESSICA CAMACHO)! And he's got an army of armored gorillas in formation ready to attack.

So why did he need Vibe if he had Gypsy as a backup plan? Why did Jesse act so oddly the whole episode, because her explanations don't make sense. The best part of the episode was Grodd and H.R. -- and when H.R. is the best part of an episode, something misfired.

Here's hoping that part two next week, "Attack on Central City," gets things back on track.

Grade: 
3.5 / 5.0