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THE FLASH Recap: Barry Confronts the “Attack on Gorilla City”

THE FLASH Recap: Barry Confronts the “Attack on Gorilla City”

Editor’s note: This post contains spoilers for the latest episode of The Flash! Proceed with caution, speedsters. For reals, if you haven’t yet watched this week’s episode, “Attack on Gorilla City,” we highly suggest you do so before proceeding. Okay? We good? Let’s go.

Valentine’s Day may have been last week, but you’d never know it from The Flash, which features several romantic — or potentially romantic — pairings in “Attack on Gorilla City.” That they’re set against a full-scale invasion by an army of hyper-intelligent telepathic talking gorillas is just icing on the cake.

Of all the characters and concepts featured in the last two-and-a-half years of The Flash, Grodd continues to be the most appealing. Never mind that he can’t fully compete with the CG simians of the Planet of the Apes movies, the mere fact that the show would even try to do something with one of the most endearing tropes of DC’s Silver Age is reason enough to applaud. That the script and cast play Grodd’s episodes completely straight, much less make them involving, when they could so quickly descend into camp farce, is downright worthy of cheers.

Though it’s probably unfair to make the comparison, I’m sure Tom Hiddleston and Brie Larson will win a lot of well-deserved praise for their performances in the upcoming Kong: Skull Island, but as fine actors as they are, I can guarantee the film won’t require them to listen to a talking ape and communicate with him as they would a rational adult human being. But this chapter of Grodd’s story, “Attack on Gorilla City,” true to its title, introduces an entire city of talking musclebound monkeys. Sure most of them are present only in CG establishing shots, with Solovar being the only really new character introduced, but still. Veteran character actor Keith David lends his finely weathered vocals to the ape ruler, and he comes off every bit as creepy as Grodd. Perhaps more so, given that we’re less familiar with him and his motives.

The Flash -- "Attack on Gorilla City" -- FLA313_00108.jpg -- Pictured: Grodd (voiced by David Sobolov) -- Photo: The CW -- © 2017 The CW Network, LLC. All rights reserved.

A little cheating takes place by having Grodd sometimes communicate through the show’s human characters, predominantly Tom Cavanagh’s Harry (used as bait to lure Team Flash to Earth Two so Grodd can open a portal and invade Earth One via Cisco’s breaches). It’s a clever move, since I’m hard-pressed to think of another actor on the show capable of delivering Grodd’s dialogue in such an uncanny impersonation of Grodd’s voice.

But the emotional heart of “Attack on Gorilla City” comes from its would-be lovers. Jesse believes Wally’s new powers have caused him to lose interest in her, and thinks her own powers attracted his literal love of speed. Obviously, the girl needs to work on her self-esteem, since she seems to feel she’s of no greater value to the boy she professes to love than a sports car.

But it’s Julian who really wins us over, when he gallantly dons Pitfall Harry attire and joins the mission to Earth Two in a secret attempt to protect Caitlin from herself, lest Gorilla City should somehow cause her to release Killer Frost. These actions further exploration of her character when it’s revealed that in trying to avoid turning into her unfeeling counterpart she’s ironically begun closing herself off to feelings.

I’m a little unsure of the episode’s overall logic, of how stopping an invasion of super-gorillas will protect Iris from being killed by Savitar. But so far the ride’s been enough fun to make me stop caring. And next week promises more sexual tension when Gypsy joins the Fray, leading to an inevitable reunion with Cisco. Will they be forced to destroy each other again? And can Cait lend a hand without going full Frost? See you in seven!

The Flash -- "Attack on Gorilla City" -- FLA313a_0022b.jpg -- Pictured (L-R): Danielle Panabaker as Caitlin Snow and Tom Felton as Julian Albert -- Photo: Katie Yu/The CW -- © 2017 The CW Network, LLC. All rights reserved

Accelerated Particles:

— “Where are you going? Are you going to Planet of the Apes?” Fun fact: Tom Felton appeared in Rise of the Planet of the Apes.

— “Welcome to the jungle, baby.”

— “Speedster versus super-gorilla. Best worst video game ever.”

— So why exactly did Grodd drag Barry out of his cage? Did he really care where his corpse rots?”

— After all the Indiana Jone jibes at Julian, my favorite moment this week is when he silently extends an elbow to Cait, just like Indy did to Marion at the end of Raiders of the Lost Ark.

What did you think of this week’s episode? Let me know in the comments below or on Twitter (@JMaCabre).

Images: The CW

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