I don’t think this week was a step backward for Flash, but I do think it was mostly a filler episode. There was no progress at all with the Zoom story arc. In fact, Zoom only appeared in Barry’s traumatic flashbacks of their confrontation. Grodd is always going to be exciting for comic book enthusiasts, and this episode set some things up that could be interesting for future arcs, but the showdown came out a little paint-by-numbers.
Barry’s dad coming back didn’t do much at all for the episode. His medical expertise wasn’t needed because Barry healed on his own, and the pep-talk didn’t offer anything surprising.
I still don’t mind Patty and Barry as a couple, but I don’t think their relationship can carry the show, and this episode relied on it as maybe the one thing that moved forward(ish). At this point, the more they push these “awkward” situations for Barry to talk himself out of with Patty, the less sense it makes for him to not just let her in on his secret. I mean, he did just peel his mask off in front of his ex-girlfriend, didn’t he?
All things considered, this episode did just enough to keep my attention, but nothing to fire me up for the next one. It didn’t ruin anything, but too many more like it, and the show will stagnate.
Well color me a comic book enthusiast, because I always like a Grodd show. Even though Gorilla Grodd—the CW does a great job with Grodd by the way—makes an appearance, “Gorilla Warfare” wasn’t as tight an episode as I would have liked. This may sound odd for the fastest man alive, but Flash shouldn’t speed through its stories. “Gorilla Warfare” should’ve been the second episode after Flash broke his back, not the next. I know, I know, the Flash heals quickly but “Gorilla Warfare” alludes to the year and a half Batman story arc Knightfall—oh no, I said Batman—but Flash zips through Knightfall in twenty minutes.
What’s worse is that we’re told rather than shown the Flash’s struggle to stand. If your ears blinked at the beginning of “Gorilla Warfare,” you probably missed that Barry had been recuperating for a week. Show us. Especially in a visual medium, show us. Now I’m not saying Barry has to be bed-ridden for months—that’d be boring and would betray his character’s healing factor—but showing us one episode where Barry struggles to stand, not just walk and run, would have provided weight to every other story thread “Gorilla Warfare” used: Henry’s presence would’ve been needed, we’d understand Patty’s unwillingness to believe Barry had the flu followed by a potential sinus infection, and you’d have an episode between two villains who could break Barry.
With a week after breaking its hero’s back Flash had a chance to pull a Prince Bride and have Team Flash defeat a lesser villain with the help of a Flash who can only muster enough strength to stand up during the final showdown, and Prince Bride physically showed up in this episode. (I guess I should’ve said spoiler alert for those of you who haven’t seen Prince Bride but if you haven’t, shame on you.)
Despite all this, I enjoyed “Gorilla Warfare.” I want to see more of Grodd, and Flash hinted at a return, but I don’t know if we’ll see the Great Grape Ape later this season.
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