Even though they need to find Eddie and Wells, Team Flash has to deal with Gorilla Grodd first.
While the team is trying to figure out how to find Eddie, the city suffers a rash of gold robberies. The culprit is a man in a gold mask. When Barry goes to stop him, he’s hit by a psychic attack,which temporarily disables him. Cisco and Caitlin are at a loss to explain what happened when Barry gets back to STAR labs. After realizing that Barry is the Flash, Iris wastes no time in confirming her suspicions. She barges into the lab while he’s being checked on (because the lab apparently has no security) and confirms with her own eyes, that Barry is the Flash. That leads to the first of several “Iris is angry” conversations throughout the episode. Don’t worry though, she kind of gets over it by the end of the episode. First, though she lets Barry have it for lying to her for pretty much the past year. Later, she lays into her dad for his continuing to use the tired excuse of trying to keep her safe in order to justify his actions. She also blames him for not telling her how Barry really felt about her, which he points out wasn’t his secret to tell. Underlying all of this is her growing frustration that Eddie is still missing and no one seems to be able to do anything about it.
Eddie’s still being held by Wells who’s spending his time tinkering with a device that he says is his key to getting home. In the meantime he manages to take a huge dump all over Eddie’s life. When Eddie questions Wells about his relationship with him, he tells Eddie that he becomes the forgotten Thawne. In the future, Eddie’s career and life as a police man is viewed as a waste in a family that produces world leaders and captains of industry. He also reveals the future newspaper to him, which shows that Iris is fated to end up with Barry. He’s able to take his time doing this because he’s sent Gorilla Grodd after the Flash. Team Flash figures that out when they catch the man in the gold mask and discover it’s General Eiling. Eiling’s being controlled by Grodd’s psychic abilities and speaks directly to the Flash through his body.
Just to catch everyone up, Cisco and Caitlin review what’s happened with Grodd so far. He was a gorilla that was being kept in a lab as part of a project that Wells and Eiling were working on to develop soldiers with mental powers. When Wells saw how Eiling was experimenting on the animals, he cut ties with the project. When the particle accelerator went off, Grodd was in the facility, which likely led to the activation of all the serums that Eiling had injected him with. However, after the explosion, he escaped from the lab only to be raised in the sewers by Wells. After he found out about Barry, Eiling was kidnapped and given to Grodd by Wells, leading to his current mentally altered state. Barry, Joe and Cisco head out to try to find Grodd, but Barry is incapacitated by Grodd’s psychic attack and Joe is captured. Without Wells, Caitlin and Cisco are at a loss as to how to handle Grodd but they eventually come up with a head band that will deflect Grodd’s psychic attacks.
While protected with the headband, Barry tries to incapacitate Grodd in one shot by using the Super Sonic Punch. That plan doesn’t work out and Barry ends up trading blows with the giant Gorilla. When he gets punched through the wall into the path of an oncoming train, his headband comes off, leaving him susceptible to Grodd’s attack. Iris is able to talk to Barry over his communicator and break him out of a trance in time for him to get out of the way of the train and let it hit Grodd. He rescues Joe and brings him back to STAR where he can tell his daughter just how much she means to him and how he doesn’t want to fight with her. Barry and Iris also have a chance to patch things up later when he finds her at her favorite thinking spot. He apologizes again for lying to her but assures her that she’s always been a part of his life. He also renews his promise to get Eddie back.
- Cisco and his movies…again
I’m starting to think that the Flash writers are in some kind of race to see how many movie references they can fit into this show; and I love it.
- Grodd hate banana
Joe should’ve known better than to give a super intelligent Gorilla a banana. Jesse L. Martin did a great job of selling that scene, which can’t be easy when you’re acting against a giant CG animal. It was also impressive to see The Flash take on the challenge of featuring Grodd on the show.
- Harrison Wells no longer has a spoiler filter
Despite his insistence earlier to Barry about not revealing the future, Wells seems to have no qualms about revealing important things about the future to Eddie.
I hate this episode for making me remember/accept how important Iris is to the Flash. Barry does love the girl but, as the Flash, he needs her. In the context of the show, I would rather see Linda, Felicity or someone like that end up with Barry. However, this episode reminded me of the relationship that Iris and Barry have in the canon mythology. As the Flash, Barry has to deal with things that are supernatural and his very existence sometimes hinges on nothing more than his own will power. Actually, most speedsters face a point where they can either lose themselves in their power or stay grounded. For each of them to make their way back, they need an emotional anchor. As characters, Iris West has always been that anchor for other incarnations of Barry Allen. Now that she’s in on the secret she’s wasted no time in becoming that for this version of Barry Allen. I think that was the significance of Wells imparting to Barry that the only thing that could stand in his way is himself. To that end, Iris can be thought of as a kind of Barry-booster. When he doesn’t believe in himself, Iris will be the one to do it for him. It was also nice for Iris to fully uncover this on her own just so we know she has some level of competence. Of course, it might’ve been a little harder if anyone at STAR labs had remembered to lock their doors while the superhero is in the building with his mask off.
I loved having Wells as the double talking mentor for Barry. However, I don’t hate having him be a straight up villain either. I actually felt a little bad for Eddie after the way that Wells just bashed his entire future in front of him. I think this might be what starts the whole Thawne/Allen family feud. However, given Wells meticulous nature, I’m not sure that he’s not telling Eddie this stuff for a specific purpose. Maybe he’s trying to turn Eddie against Barry for his own purposes. With only a couple of episodes left in the season, I’m sure there’s something pretty fun planned for the showdown with Wells. As Eiling pointed out to Barry, they have a common enemy. When it comes down to it, Wells/Thawne doesn’t really have any allies outside of Grodd or the metahumans that he might force to serve him. That doesn’t make for great odds when things finally hit the fan.