Tuesday's "Attack on Gorilla City" was the first part in a direct two-parter for The Flash that concludes next week with "Attack on Central City." Given that this week was the first half, it was pretty heavy on setup and getting things in line for the — hopefully — exciting climax. So, since we're essentially at halftime, let's take look at the winners and losers so far in this battle of man against gorilla.
All Grodd (David Sobolov) does is win. Set a trap to lure Harry (Tom Cavanagh) to Gorilla City? Win. Use that trap to lure Team Flash to Gorilla City? Win. Use Barry (Grant Gustin) to discredit Solovar (Keith David) in the eyes of the other gorillas? Half-win. (Solovar's not dead, which was the original plan). Convince the other gorillas to go and destroy an alternate Earth? Win. Have a back-up breach-creator in the form of Gypsy (Jessica Camacho)? Well, that's just sound strategic thinking, folks. Everything's coming up Grodd!
WINNER: Burgeoning romances
While their long-delayed reunion got off to a rocky start, Wally (Keiynan Lonsdale) and Jesse (Violett Beane) still managed to find their way back to one another. While Jesse was understandably distracted about Harry's kidnapping, she also seemed a bit upset that Wally hadn't made an Earth-to-Earth call to her to check in. (I don't recall her doing this, either, however). Making matters worse was that Wally now had powers and probably wouldn't be eager to leave Earth-1 for the art deco stylings of Earth-2. But with Harry rescued and some sound love advice from H.R., Jesse decided to stay on Earth-1. Because what this world really needs is three speedsters.
Also finding their way closer to one another were Caitlin (Danielle Panabaker) and Julian (Tom Felton). After getting drinks, Julian felt compelled enough to dress up in his old archaeological duds and join the Earth-2 expedition. It seems that Caitlin has, ironically, melted his icy heart a bit, and he is eager to be her suitor, especially if it means helping to keep her from going all Killer Frost. His idea of going for steaks because they're scared was just so adorable, y'all.
WINNER: Wells meeting Wells (and Tom Cavanagh in general)
Harry and H.R. meeting was pretty much all I wanted it to be. Harry was just flabbergasted that they went with H.R. and then further flummoxed by H.R.'s whole manner of being — <mimes a half bow in disbelief> "Francesco?" — and it's the best. But it also reaffirmed the central importance of Wells as an entity of the team. H.R. may be a fraud who can't even remember an ATM PIN — "All those numbers!" — but Team Flash can't operate without a Wells of some kind, and H.R. seems to be working out OK.
Cavanagh also won the ape-controlled performance battle between him and Carlos Valdes. While the ape-controlled Valdes just sort of did a slightly deeper voice, Cavanagh really dug deep and found his inner psychic gorilla that had been tortured and then flung into an unknown world.
LOSER: Gorilla City
And not just because it was manipulated into supporting a psychotic ape bent on world domination. Allowing for budgetary concerns to factor into reception is important, but everything about Gorilla City was pretty underwhelming. The practical set we were stuck in for most of the episode was a dungeon, and then the arena area was not the best CGI and green screening produced by the show. It wasn't Ringer's boat scene bad, but it wasn't great, either. The ape crowds weren't terribly well-rendered, and the actual fight between Barry and Solovar was decidedly dull in its budget-saving choreography. I'm hoping the show is pulling out all the stops for "Attack on Central City," or else this much-promoted two-parter is going to be something of a dud.
LOSER: Iris West
Well, so much for removing that particular domino from the Irispoint arrangement. It's unclear — shocking, I know, that something involving time travel in the Arrowverse is unclear — if the future can be altered by a series of small actions or just one big action. Admittedly, Team Flash doesn't know that, either, so they're betting on changing enough things and hoping some things, like tempting the fate of a gorilla attack on the city, will end up balancing out in the end. I sure hope so, for Iris' sake.
LOSER: Criminals who think they can rob banks in Central City without really cool guns
What were they even thinking? They must be the Earth-1 counterparts of those knuckleheads who knocked over a jewelry store on last night's Supergirl. At least Plunder had a rifle with all sorts of nifty anti-Flash ammunition loaded into it. These yahoos just had regular handguns with regular bullets. What good is that going to do them?
The Flash airs Tuesdays at 8/7c on The CW.
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