‘The Flash’ Post-Show Analysis: Season 2, Episode 7: ‘Gorilla Warfare’
Welcome back to Up To Speed, in which Flash TV show veteran Dylan Todd and newbie Ziah Grace break down the latest episode of The Flash, dispense some Flash Facts, and talk about what works, what doesn’t, and where the series might be headed.
This week, Grodd is risen, Barry gets help from one of his dear old dads, and Cisco tries to date a hawkperson. 'Gorilla Warfare' was directed by Dermott Downs and written by Aaron Helbing and Todd Helbing.
Ziah: First off, let’s talk about the most important part of the episode: the title. 'Gorilla Warfare' is pretty good, but they really handicapped themselves by going with gorilla over Grodd in the pun department. They could’ve gone with 'An Angry Grodd', 'In Grodd We Mistrust', or 'A Grodd Somewhere'. What do you think?
Dylan: First off, you’re a sick man and you need to be locked up as soon as possible. Secondly, this episode was so good. After last week’s stunner, we seem to be on quite a roll on this show.
Ziah: Seriously, though, I was stunned by how good Grodd looked through this episode. For a network show on the CW, Grodd was on screen a lot, and looked pretty good! (Grood?) Between this and King Shark (who I’m still hoping gets a return), the show does pretty good with its special effects budget, week to week. What’d you think?
Dylan: Yeah, I agree. Like, there was never a time when I was like, “Holy cow! There is an actual gorilla on the television!” But it also looked legit enough that I wasn’t ever taken out of the moment. Overall, I really loved the episode. What do you think? What didn’t really work for you?
Ziah: I’m actually surprised you liked this episode so much! I think this might be our big disagreement episode. I thought that there was some phenomenal moments in the episode, but it felt weirdly... necessary? Like there was a sense that there were certain beats that needed to be hit this episode that felt strange to me in a way that Flash generally feels a bit more fluid. Iris and Joe talking about what it would be like if he had a son to set up Wally West, Cisco trusting, then becoming suspicious of Twells again, Cisco’s date with Iris, Flash getting reminded that he does matter… I don’t know. The pieces were there, and were great, but it felt stitched together for me.
Dylan: I don’t know. It worked for me. The main plot zipped along, with Grodd wanting to Rise of the Planet of the Apes the world while also leaning heavily on a King Kong homage with the Grodd/Caitlin relationship.
Ziah: Oh, nice catch on the King Kong reference. You’ve really got a Grodd-given talent for that.
Dylan: Grodd give me strength. The Twells thing was handled nicely, setting up what I imagine will be the week-to-week duty of the show: closing down the Breaches and whatever sort of metahuman refuse should happen to fall out while they do so. The Vibe/Hawkgirl romance was fun.
Ziah: Unfortunately, I really felt the episode dragged a lot when they had to lay the grounds for the upcoming crossovers. Cisco going on a date with soon-to-be Hawkgirl was cute, but it felt ham-fisted in a way that I don’t feel like Flash has been with plot points. Although it did lead to one high point where Cisco gave Caitlin a hard time for saying there was “no such thing” as a birdman. I guess she never watched Harvey Birdman or Birdman.
Dylan: Or met my podiatrist, Dr. James Birdman. The Hawkgirl stuff didn’t kill it for me, though I can see what you mean. This and Arrow both have had some valuable time eaten up by laying the groundwork for Legends of Tomorrow, to the point where I’m just ready for that to start so we can knock it off already and get down to the good stuff.
Ziah: Speaking of, while The Princess Bride is a phenomenal date movie, I can promise you that any girl her age has seen it. Subtle hint that she’s an alien? Also, Cisco, you really should have seen it by now, it’s pretty good.
Dylan: Dude has to have seen it by now. I mean, depending on the Hawk-origin that they decide to go with, there’s a chance she hasn’t seen it because she’s from another planet? Or a reincarnated Egyptian person or something? IDK, Hawkperson origins make my head hurt. At this point, I doubt he’d say anything to her about not having seen it out of fear of messing up his chances to (finally) touch that hawk-tush.
Ziah: Hawk-tush is this season’s Business Beanie.
Dylan: From your lips to the writer’s room’s ears. So hey! Henry Allen is back from his post-prison sabbatical, all rested and ready to dispense wisdom and fatherly pats on the shoulder. I’ve been squarely anti-Henry Allen in the past, but I actually… didn’t hate him in this episode? His chat with Barry was actually kind of touching, and with him not being the Sainted Prison Dad, I feel like there’s more opportunity to make him less a perfect person and more of a flawed human. I definitely thought him bragging about the camping/fishing trip he took without Barry was great. What did you think, Ziah?
Ziah: I sort of agree; I think Henry’s definitely at his best at this episode, but honestly, I kind of feel like Barry’s got enough dads. It’s like the Superman thing, where Jor-El isn’t really needed after the rocket. Barry’s dad isn’t really needed after giving Barry a reason to keep fighting, you know? I do like that Henry’s big reason for leaving town was to go fishing, though. That’s pretty great.
Dylan: I’m fine with them pulling him out of the cupboard every now and then, but yeah, he’s best in doses.
Ziah: Barry continues to be completely awful to Patty. This ending scene made me actually dislike Barry’s character. He has a completely perfect time to bring up why he’s the Flash, which, again, he literally just told his ex about for no reason last week, and he makes up a story about his criminal dad. There is no reason not to tell her about being Flash, and his refusal to do so at the actual perfect moment is pretty messed up.
Dylan: This is par for the course with Barry Allen, though. I’m more upset that for somebody who lies as much as he does, that he’s just awful at it. I totally thought he was going to come out with it and save us all some drama, but I should have known better. At least he’s not actively gaslighting Patty (yet) like he did to Iris last season. That was some unforgivable heinousness.
If I want to really pick at this episode, I’d have to say my least favorite part was that it was another episode that starts with Barry moping and trying to do everything himself and pushing away all his friends. Dude, just realize that you’re stronger together and let’s go, you know?
Ziah: Yeah, definitely. This should be the last time this plot point gets rehashed, because we’re really Grodd-damn tired of it at this point.
Dylan: Speaking of recycling bits, did you notice that this is the second plan in a row where the STAR Labs crew made somebody have to dress and act evil in order to fool the villain?
Ziah: Third! Don’t forget Barry being evil Barry in the Captain Cold episode.
Dylan: Oh dip! You’re absolutely right. So… next week Joe dresses up like Mirror Master, complete with Scottish accent?
Ziah: Yes, especially if Cisco has to pretend to be Earth-2 Vibe as well. I think the Flash writers have realized that they’ve got a good cast, and it’s fun to see them pretend to be evil, so I’m all for this becoming a pattern.
Dylan: As long as we don’t get a musical episode, I’m in.
Ziah: Speaking of things that instill a warm and fuzzy feeling in children and small animals; as much as I liked jerk-Twells, I do appreciate that with his secret (vibed) out, he’s coming around to the rest of the STARios. Putting him in the Reverse Flash suit and having him do his best Harrison Wells impersonation was pretty fun. What do you think?
Dylan: I’m on board with Nice Twells. I have to say, his plan to close all of the Breaches except the one in their basement seemed a little… stupid? Like, why not leave one open way out in the middle of nowhere instead of like in your house? Still, him bonding with Cisco and Caitlin was a nice touch.
Ziah: I mean, I guess. It’s probably easier to set up Science Traps when you don’t have to worry about raccoons messing with your chemical remodulator or whatever, so I see where he’s coming from.
Dylan: Joe has some good moments. His realization that Grodd is the guy who smashed that science guy’s skull on the wall is priceless, and him immediately going, “We should totally kill Grodd,” was so weird and great. He’s super-murder-y this season.
Ziah: I do love that the one villain they’re absolutely not going to kill is the serial killing psychic gorilla.
Dylan: Not only that, but they set him up with a legitimate city full of superpowered gorillas!
Ziah: They sent him to a farm upstate where he can run around with a lot of others just like him.
Dylan: Ziah! They sent him to Gorilla City! It’s a city full of superpowered gorillas! This is on a television program in the year 2015 AD. This show also features Hawkgirl and Vibe.
Ziah: I genuinely gasped. What an insane world we live in that these things are on television on a major network.
Dylan: It’s the #1 rated show on the network! It’s absolutely mind-boggling and I love it. But yeah, I liked the episode a lot. I liked that Barry’s plan to trick Grodd into the Breach was foiled and they had to rely on Caitlin’s Power of Love to get him to wind up being sucked butt-first into Earth-2. It was kind of a bummer that she had to trick him and not, say, just talk to him and tell him what the plan was, but what are you gonna do?
Ziah: Yeah, well, they know how to stick to a tried and true plan, I guess. Although, I thought for a second that Barry was going to go through the portal with him, and that would’ve been fantastic. Hopefully later this season, we get some more Earth-2 goodness.
Dylan: Well, we’re just now getting to the point of the season where they’re not having to re-pilot every episode to catch viewers who might have missed an episode or two at the beginning of the season, so I can only expect that things will get weirder as it progresses. We’ve already gone further down the rabbit hole that they had at this point in the first season. And it’s starting to spill over into Arrow! The most cartoonishly grim show on the CW has has to start upping its bananas game to keep up. It’s wonderful and I love it.
Ziah: Maybe Arrow and Flash can go on a road trip and learn about the real America.
Dylan: Would watch.
So it looks like we have a little break before we’re back in two weeks with an episode titled 'Legends of Today', which yo, if you thought this show as being held back by Legends of Tomorrow, just wait until next episode! I looked at the IMDB for it and this is what the cast list said:
Basically Everybody Who Has Ever Been On This Show Is Guest-Starring In This Episode Like Seriously Everybody.
So there’s that to look forward to. Until then, keep on Flashin’!