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“Why do we fall, sir? So that we can learn to pick ourselves up.” If it isn’t, it should be one of the most iconic lines ever. The idea that failing is okay because it can help strengthen ourselves as long as we allow it to. And that was the big idea for this week’s episode of The Flash. Sure, we’ve seen Barry unsure of himself, but that’s when he’s had to deal with the unknown such as a new power or if he can defeat a meta-human. In this week’s episode, entitled, “Gorilla Warfare,” we watch as Barry struggles with something worse, something he knows – that Zoom beat him…bad. To add insult to injury, Zoom took him on a tour around Central City to show off his prize. The hero of Central City…defeated. Now the question is, can Barry overcome his problems? If not, is there someone out there who can help? Keep reading for more!

By law, this is the part where you need to be warned that this recap/review may or may not contain spoilers from last night’s episode. However, if you’ve made it this far, chances are that you know this and want to know details about last night’s episode. So, without further ado.

Recap

When we last left Barry Allen, he was stuck in bed without any feeling in his legs. A previous battle with Zoom had left him bloody and beaten, and not to mention slightly paralyzed. Thanks to his super speed, though, Barry was able to recover without any setbacks, physically. However, something else could be said for his current mental state. As we catch back up with the rest of the gang, everyone is still gathered around Barry helping him on his way to recovery. At this point, a week has gone by and recent tests show that he’s almost fully recovered. Yet, Barry is still wheeling himself around the lab in a wheelchair and walking with a cane.

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Meanwhile, Dr. Wells has left the lab in search of a way home since no one is willing to let him go through the breach in the lab. Why are they reluctant to help Wells you ask? With Barry out of commission, and Jay Garrick out of the picture, they have no one else to fall to if Zoom shows back up. However, Wells thinks he would do a better job back on his own Earth. Everyone else seems content with letting Wells walk, but Caitlin thinks that they need him. She eventually finds Wells at a bar and tell him that he’s still needed. After a quick chat, he comes up with a plan to capture Zoom. The idea is to close all the breaches except for the one in the lab, therefore, forcing Zoom to one spot that they can monitor.

The next day, Det. West and Patty meet each other at the latest crime scene in Central City. This is the second death of a lab tech that week and the second time specialized drugs have gone missing from the same lab the deaths occurred at. Strangely enough the only thing that was found at this scene were hair fibers scattered throughout the scene. Also, the cause of death was blunt force trauma.

Back at the lab, Barry is still working on getting his groove back. But something is still holding him back and neither Joe nor Iris can help. Finally, Joe presses Barry for an answer. It turns out that Barry has been his defeat by Zoom really get to him. The hero of Central City has been humiliated in front of everyone and he can’t get past it.

Just then, Joe gets a call from Patty to go over the evidence from the crime scene. They discovered that the drugs which were stolen help enhance brain function and the hairs that were found at the latest scene contained gorilla DNA. That could only mean one thing – Gorilla Grodd. Det. West had the same idea, and immediately told everyone at the lab. Cisco had also come into the lab and told everyone that Caitlin had been acting weird and had hit him. However, after hearing what Det. West had to say, Cisco realized that Caitlin had come under the control of Grodd and quickly took to the lab security system to find that Grodd had taken Caitlin.

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By now, Barry is at an all time low. Caitlin has been kidnapped by mind-controlling gorilla, and he’s still slouching in a wheelchair. Desperate times call for desperate measures. So Iris calls the one person she knows who can get Barry out of his slump – his father. And he does what father’s do best. The best piece of advice he gives to Barry is that “sometimes you just have to slow down to get where you want to be.” Leading up to his battle with Zoom, Barry had been anxious to fight him, fully believing that he had what it took to take Zoom down, but in the end, he didn’t. With his father back in town, hopes are that Barry can crawl out his slump.

Cisco eventually shows up with…the Reverse Flash? Oh wait, it’s actually Dr. Wells from Earth-2 in the Reverse Flash suit. It turns out that Cisco and Wells have come up with a plan to trick Grodd into thinking that the Reverse Flash is still alive. If you don’t remember, the original Harrison Wells was the “father” to Grodd. By tricking Grodd, they’re hoping to convince him to set Caitlin free. Of course, this is trouble because how do you get anything past a super intelligent gorilla? You don’t, but the crew is able to get Caitlin back.

At the lab, while everyone is out doing their thing, Barry and his dad finally have that talk. Here we find out that Barry is shameful of his defeat by Zoom. He’s been concerned this entire time by what everyone now thinks of him. However, his dad recalls the troubles he went through after being convicted of killing his wife. His advice to Barry was that the only thing that really matters is what Barry believes in himself. But how do you move past such a defeat? By embracing it, his dad tells him. To accept it, move on, and know that if you survive it, you can survive anything.

With that new, found confidence Barry is able to suit back up and help with the Grodd problem. Their new plan is to send Grodd to a place on Earth-2 where he can be with others of his kind (according to Wells). The team sets up the Speed Cannon at one of the breaches and The Flash speed punches him through the portal.

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The episode ends with a scene that many fans of the comic book would recognize. After Grodd comes out of the portal on the other side, he comes across a huge settlement. In the distance are large statues of apes. Is this Planet of The Apes? No, it’s Gorilla City.

Review

At some point, there will be a bad episode, but this wasn’t it. Watching Barry get beaten last week was a real bummer, but it was something that the character needed. A smack to the back of the head could have also sufficed. Up to this point, Jay Garrick has done nothing but campaign that Zoom is the worst thing to happen to his world. A man stopped at nothing but to be the best and only speedster on his world which means he has nothing to lose and a lot to gain. A man like this is extremely dangerous. Yet, Barry felt that because he had his team to back him up that he could take Zoom down. The thing is, when he finally did take on Zoom, he didn’t really have his team. If you recall, Zoom caught Barry off guard when he had Linda Park on top of the lab. When Zoom dropped her, Barry lost his edge. At this point, Zoom has the advantage.

Ideally, you want a bad guy like this to come to you, on your terms. And that’s what this episode set up. Wells’ idea to close every breach but one allows the team to gain the opportunity to have Zoom come to them, on their terms.

This episode was nothing like The Dark Knight because that movie is in a league of it’s own. In comparison, though, the two had a lot in common this week. The idea of taking your failures and using them to your advantage is becoming somewhat of a cliché nowadays. They work, though, especially when you apply it to a superhero – someone who feels the pressure of the world on their shoulders. Sure, the idea is a cliché, but it’s how the character overcomes that problem that audiences can buy into. And on this week’s episode, bringing back Barry’s dad was the right move. Once he did his job, he was gone. This was also smart. Parental issues used to be taboo, but in today’s society, it seems like everyone has problems, and that’s okay. Those families just deal with them. So, this episode really connected in many ways.

Finally, about that Gorilla Grodd (David Sobolov). It’s always great to see an iconic character, good or bad, show up in these superhero themes television shows. The reason a lot of them don’t show up is because sometimes their story lines are just too complex for the small screen. You can only fit so much into a 45 minute block. On the big screen you have more time and in the comics, you’re only limited by how much paper you have and the ink in your pen. So, to see someone like Grodd is a special thing. And they did the best they could with his story given the amount of time they had. How about that final scene? It looks like fans will be getting more of Grodd (and maybe friends) in the future.

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So is there anywhere in which the show failed? Well, of course fans would like to see more of Grodd, but that’s something that is defined by time. Barry’s dad, though, is still a bit of a mystery. What does he do with all his free time? There’s no way he’s been camping this whole time. Is there? If that’s the case, then it’s a waste. Hopefully, there will be a chance to really see what’s going on here. Any ideas out there?

Overall, this was another good episode of The Flash. And so far, it feels to be on pace with the previous episodes as far as ups and downs go.

Gorilla Warfare” overall grade – A

There is no preview for next week’s episode of The Flash as the show goes on a Thanksgiving hiatus. The next time the show will be new again is with the Legends of Today episode! That episode airs December 1st. Okay, there’s a preview. Check it out!

Category: reviews, TV

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