The home stretch has begun for the first season of The Flash. I think “Grodd Lives” is easily one of the best episodes this season. We get to see what Team Flash is becoming “Post Wells.” We also start to see what season 2 may look like.
***** SPOILER ALERT *****
I loved that very quickly the dangling question of Iris West knowing that Barry Allen is the Flash very quickly came up. In fact I would say her relationships with both Barry and Joe were central to this episode. Much like Eddie, a few episodes ago, this episode brought Iris into Team Flash. Though, with her, there was a lot of baggage that came with it. Iris is the last one to know Barry’s secret, both he and her Dad chose this to “protect her.” I really found myself rooting for Iris this week, as she demands truth from those she loves the most.
There was so much packed into this evening’s episode. I have been waiting for the Grodd episode since the first time we saw his cage. I also wanted to see how The Flash was going tell Grodd’s origin story since it would have to be so very different from the comics. I will say that The Flash continues to live up to its reputation, and more. Watching Grodd make Joe angle his gun at himself was one of the most intense scenes I have watched of this show. Points to Jesse L. Martin who killed it! He so pulled me into that scene with him. I have said for a while that the show can’t get rid of Tom Cavanagh because of how good an actor he is, last night Jesse L. Martin showed The Flash is full of amazingly talented people.
I was also very satisfied that Grodd was more than simply the meta of the week. Grodd is connected to Eobard and to the military’s General Eiling. Originally, Grodd was part of an experiment for the military to create super soldiers. Wells ended the testing, but when the particle accelerator explosion occurred, the chemicals within Grodd transformed him into the meta-gorilla we saw. I am hoping he becomes a Big Bad in later seasons. Grodd’s telepathy nullifies the speed force. Connect this with his super strength, telekinesis and intellect and Grodd could be the most powerful enemy Barry has faced, even more dangerous than Eobard.
The first fight between Grodd and Team Flash left Barry unconscious and Joe kidnapped, taken by Grodd. This really jolted the team on how reliable they were going to be without Dr. Wells to coach or mentor them. The second time I watched the episode, watching Barry brought me back to something Oliver Queen said in the pilot episode, Barry can inspire people. While he has started to do this as the Flash, I believe the rest of this season and the beginning of next take Barry’s journey to inspire Team Flash as well as Central City.
Barry needed something to protect him from Grodd’s telepathy. Though both Cisco and Caitlin were less sure of themselves without Wells, they continued to be by Barry’s side… together, Team Flash. They also created a head device protecting the Flash from Grodd’s telepathic attacks. Even with it though, the best Barry could do was go toe to toe with him. His attacks had little to no effect on Grodd. The meta-gorilla was prepared for the speedster.
One of the things I like about The Flash is that sometimes it’s not about the battle, it’s about the rescue. The Flash didn’t best Grodd. At the end of the episode, Grodd wasn’t captured. Instead the mission was about finding Joe and bringing him home, safe. Team Flash succeeded with the mission, with help from their newest member. The protective device was damaged during the fight with Grodd, so Barry was susceptible to Grodd’s telepathic powers again. Iris was able to get into Barry’s head to have him tap into his feelings for her to remember who he was, and to remember the mission.
I know some people are going hate on Iris, but I am glad she’s part of the team. To me she makes as much sense if not more than Eddie Thawne. I also didn’t agree with Barry and Joe’s explanation for NOT telling her. Team Flash is about family, about being the best you can, doing what you can to help one another. Iris is part of Team Flash, as Barry said she has been the whole time inside of him, even if she didn’t know it. Still I am glad she is officially part of the team.
Speaking of Team Flash, Eddie was kidnapped last episode by Eobard. There was foreshadowing this week between Eobard and Eddie. The Reverse Flash gave glimpses of the future nudging Eddie to start his journey to the dark side. Telling Eddie how Barry will marry Iris, how his life will be without significance. Eobard was playing Eddie during their scenes, preparing Eddie for what will be a much darker season two.
Even with this episode being one of the best ones to date, I am already excited to see what happens next week, as Barry goes speedster to speedster with Eobard, with a little help from his friends. Firestorm and Oliver Queen guest star next week in “Rogue Air.” It looks amazing!