Thursday, 19 November 2015

Flash 'Gorilla Warfare' Review

After last weeks impressive Zoom centric episode it was going to be hard to compete, luckily The Flash had something up it's sleeve, everyone's favourite psychic Gorilla, Grodd.

Just like in the first season Grodd is very impressive, with so much phenomenal effects work going into giving the villain life.  That work doesn't just extend to making Grodd realistic though, this time round he's able to show a broad range of expression and emotion through both is face and body movement.  The result is a fully CG bad guy that actually has more depth and range of emotion that some of the other villains on the show.

Last years 'Grodd Lives' was nominated for an Emmy due to it's impressive visual effects work, and I certainly wouldn't be surprised if this episode is received the same way.

Despite Grodd's return to the Flash universe being a big deal it still feels like the character is still in the process of being set up to be the villain we know and love from the comics.  This episode was used as a healing process for Barry, for him to get over the beating he received from Zoom and build his nerve into getting back into the suit.

Whilst there's nothing wrong with showing our hero emotionally and psychologically shaken after his showdown with Zoom (and who could blame him for that) it feels like an under use of Grodd's potential.  At least the episode started Grodd down the path to bigger and greater things, transporting him to Earth-2 to Gorilla City.  I'm hoping that he'll be back for season three more as the Grodd we've read in the comics, and introducing Solivar would be cool too.

Elsewhere the episode was spent showing us the recovery of Barry Allen, who after receiving massive spinal trauma last episode began this one already walking.  I know it's one of the benefits of Flash's powers that he heals exceptionally quickly, but the show runners could have at least had him recovering for more than half an episode.

His incapacitation though was a good way of bringing John Wesley Shipp's Henry back to the show after several weeks away.  Whilst it's a shame he isn't around more, the brief times we are given him he's always a pleasure to watch, not just for his great acting but for the joy of seeing both Flash's on screen together.

We were also given a small tease for next weeks Arrow/Flash crossover when Cisco went on a date with Kendra Saunders.  Using his 'vibe' he was able to see a flash of Hawkgirl.  Yes, we might only have to wait a week to finally get to see her fully, but this brief tease was a great way of building excitement as the CW have been very sparse on showing her in action so far.

The stand out for the episode has to go to Tom Cavanagh for the way he played Harrison 'Harry' Wells.  After a couple of weeks of being something of a grumpy arse hole it finally feels like Harry has started to find a place in the team, he's realising that they are his best way of getting his daughter back and he's slowly starting to warm to them, so much so that he put himself in danger to save Caitlyn after Grodd kidnapping her.

It was these scenes that really show how good Cavanagh is in the role.  Even when wearing the Reverse Flash suit it was very clear that Harry Wells is not the Harrison Wells (well, Eobard Thawn really) that we knew from season one.  Yes, sometimes he might seem creepy and cold, but he's really playing it differently now.

'Gorilla Warfare' was a good follow-up episode to last weeks, plus a great way of carrying on Grodd's story.  Add into that the fact that we got to see Gorilla City on TV, which is something I never thought I'd see.  With the mention of Atlantis a few weeks ago and the cameo of King Shark maybe Earth-2 is the shows way of experimenting with the wackier side of DC's back catalogue, and I hope we get even more amazing things in the future.


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