Series Issues: The Flash 1×21 – Grodd Lives

(Source: The CW)

(Source: The CW)

Spoilers will zoom into view.

The Flash 1×21: Grodd Lives might have as its centrepiece the classic figure of the Flash’s telepathic gorilla nemesis but the enduring consequence from last week’s episode seems more relevant than ever: Iris West. Yes, Grodd is the main threat and he does appear fearsome, specially skulking in the shadows.

The way this episode goes is a straightforward diversion. The team run into an armored and armed figure that attacks armored trucks transporting gold. Flash’s first introduction to this Deathstroke wannabe is interrupted by what seems to be a telepathic attack capable of incapacitating him but also his foe. The second time around, the Flash manages to strike before being noticed and reveal the attacker as General Eiling, who has been missing for months and seems to be in a deep trance murmuring about being inhabited by Grodd.

As the additional challenge, Iris confronts Barry and the STAR Labs team about the Flash. Here’s the thing. She is right. Specially when she confronts Joe and lets him know that informing her might actually prepare her for what’s coming ahead. What I dislike here is the way they set up Iris as the accuser, to the point that she seems to be almost a second antagonist. She is far from that, and it’s up to Caitlin to vouch for her here.

Grodd is the result of experimentation, brought upon by General Eiling and later stopped by Dr. Harrison Wells aka Eobard Thawne. The explosion of the particle acceleration has evolved the gorilla into a meta-gorilla. Wells then liberated Grodd and is now aiming him like a weapon to distract Barry. Barry and Joe know this but they still have to go after Grodd, dragging a reluctant Cisco with them. Their sewer expedition ends badly as Grodd captures Joe and leaves Barry out of commission.

Cisco and Caitlin have to come up with something to keep Grodd out of Barry’s head, while Barry apologizes to Iris. The STAR Labs team comes up with a headset of sorts that has two features:

  1. It might have a slight chance of blocking Grodd’s telepathy
  2. It will fall off Barry’s head at the touch of a leaf

The next time make something Barry can wear under his cowl, people! Anyhow, Barry goes for the supersonic punch and Grodd grabs his arm and sends the Flash spinning. As he’s lying on the cold, hard ground he frantically manages to grab the headset and put it back on. That doesn’t protect him from Grodd smashing him through a wall and onto a tunnel with very nice train tracks. The headset has fallen off again. The Flash is being hammered by Grodd’s mental attack and a train is headed his way.

Iris is the one that intervenes as she does the classic “I believe in you” speech. Yes, I wanted Iris to become part of the team. This feels a little too cheesy because the only reason that Iris’ words get to Barry is because he’s in love with her. If I spoiled that for you, I have no words.

Meanwhile, Eobard Thawne has completed two tasks: first, he has revealed to Eddie that Iris marries Barry in the future and second he has completed a key that reveals a path that might take him back home.

Highs:

  • Iris is finally part of the team, and Caitlin is on her side. Iris is right about being more valuable as an informed asset than a naive bystander waiting to be a target.
  • Grodd is as a believable and powerful enemy to the Flash.
  • The fact that the Flash’s supersonic punch is not a infallible finishing move is a good thing. Barry should not be invincible.
  • General Eiling actually knows the Flash’s identity but as Barry states, he knows he might need him.

Lows:

  • Iris blaming Joe for Eddie getting kidnapped? Sounds to me like the showrunners almost want Iris to be hated.
  • Barry’s counter to Iris is that she has been “keeping secrets from me too” alluding to her feelings. You don’t presume other people’s feelings, Barry! Really patronizing move and accusation from a character that’s usually more grown up than that. Iris is not the bad guy here.
  • Yes, I wanted Iris to be part of the team but her help is to give Barry she believes in him. I draw hope from Iris starting to research Barry’s mother’s death. Don’t make Iris into a cheerleader, please.

That will do for now.

(Source: The CW)

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