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TV Review: The Flash - Season 3 Episode 14 "Attack on Central City"

03.01.2017

EPISODE 14: "Attack on Central City"

SYNOPSIS: When Grodd and his army of gorillas bring the battle to Earth-1, The Flash and team must find a way to stop them before they destroy Central City. Gypsy returns to join the fight. Meanwhile, Jesse Quick decides she wants to stay with Wally on Earth-1.

The Flash, The CW, DC Comics, Superhero, Comic Book, TV Review

REVIEW: Just as I predicted, tonight's episode of The Flash was a rousing success. Compared to all of the setup and exposition last week, tonight's hour was heads and tails improved and felt like vintage speedster action from the first season of the series. Tonight's episode managed to balance several subplots, mainly minor in nature, while addressing both the season long narrative regarding Iris' fate at the hands of Savitar as well as giving Grodd and his gorilla army some nice screen time. It is just a shame that the ending doesn't quite live up to the two part build-up that precedes it. Still, I welcome the final round of eight episodes along with the nice easter eggs peppered into "Attack on Central City". Plus, we had two Harrison Wells in the same scenes which gave actor Tom Cavanaugh a nice showcase for his comedic and dramatic talents.

After their "victory" over Grodd and his army last week, the team is in good spirits. Barry surprises Iris with breakfast and flowers so she reciprocates with morning sex, always a nice trade-off in my opinion. At STAR Labs, H.R. has decked out the building in Friendsday decorations (the Earth-19 equivalent of Valentine's Day). With everyone feeling romantic, this gives Jesse and Wally the courage to tell Harry that she plans to move to Earth-1 permanently. Harry is shockingly accepting of the news at first but we soon learn that he is terminally ill. He begs Wally to keep this knowledge a secret but Wally eventually tells Jesse who calls her father on his bullshit. For a split second, I was torn between seeing Harry have a serious arc dealing with his mortality, but his douchebag decision to lie has bearing on the rest of tonight's episode. No sooner has everyone shared their Friendsday gifts that Gypsy shows up and knocks out Cisco and Barry with Harry using a weapon to knock her out.

When Gypsy awakens, we learn she had no control over her actions as she was tracking a fugitive and ended up in Gorilla CIty. The team then needs to prepare to face Grodd and his army without Gypsy who refuses to join in the fight. As we have seen multiple times in recent episodes, Barry continues to face the inability to change the future which forces him to face Iris' death. Barry contemplates killing Grodd to stop destiny once and for all. He even cites Oliver Queen as someone who kills when necessary. Iris and Harry both give Barry good advice about not succumbing to anger or vengeance with Harry citing his own lies and actions as being stepping stones to do worse and worse things. What this episode presents, aside from Harry's repeated rips on H.W. for being a moron, is how much I miss having a Harrison Wells who serves as a true mentor character. With his help technologically this episode as well as his good advice, Harry is a character I wish stayed on this season.

Using Cisco's vibes, Barry and the team track Grodd's future location to a bridge that leads directly into Central City. They arrive but there are no gorillas. Instead, Grodd controls Joe West and has him almost shoot himself in the head, leading to a very cool slow motion save by The Flash as he pulls Joe away in the nick of time. In reality, this was all a ruse so Grodd could control a general and gain access to nuclear weapons to launch at Central City. When an alarm trips, Barry rushes to the army base and uses his speed to try entering 90,000 possible five digit codes to disable the missiles. With two seconds to spare, he manages to save the day. Barry then makes his final decision to not kill Grodd and sends Cisco to find Gypsy. On Earth-19, we get a fleeting glimpse of that universe's Flash, who has a hood and a scarf over his face exactly as he appears in the comics. Cisco convines Gypsy to help and they make their way back to Earth-1.

The Flash, The CW, DC Comics, Superhero, Comic Book, TV Review

Barry, Jesse, and Wally fight Grodd and his army briefly but it is mainly a stalling technique until Cisco and Gypsy arrive with a fully armored Solivar. The White Ape wants his own vengeance and begins to fight Grodd. Unlike the shoddy effects last week, seeing these two duke it out on the rooftops of Central City is actually well done. Eventually, Grodd falls and Barry stops Solivar from killing him. Instead, Solivar and his army return to Earth-2 and Barry has Laila and ARGUS imprison Grodd. There is even a nice nod to a potential future fight between Grodd and King Shark which I would love to see. Harry bids farewell to his daughter as she elects to stay with Wally on Earth-1 and Cisco gets confirmation that Gypsy has feelings for him before she returns to Earth-19. I continually hope for Cisco to get a romantic win and tonight was a nice step. Barry also makes a big decision and proposes marriage to Iris citing that even if he cannot change the future, he wants to be with her as he loves her. It is a nice little scene that could have done with some more fanfare, but I have a feeling something bigger is coming.

In the stinger scene, Wally and Jesse make out before she makes a request for some Big Belly Burger. As a doting boyfriend, Wally speeds over but before he can enter he sees Savitar appear and rush towards him. Now, I could be totally wrong here, but I am getting the distinct impression that Wally's connection to Savitar is going to be vital for the final push this season. I doubt they will actually kill of Iris or even Wally but I am starting to think they will kill off Jesse. She is the most disposable castmember right now (or Julian, who was absent visiting family this week) and her death could spark a dark turn for Wally next season. That theorizing is exactly why I liked this episode. It managed to progress the narrative just enough to keep the wheels moving while still telling a nice standalone story. After all of the build-up for a big Flash/Grodd showdown, I was disappointed that it ended up being such a mediocre little fight between two CGI apes, but overall this was a fun episode that shows that The CW can do some decent work with limited budget.

EPISODE GRADE:

NEXT ON THE FLASH: "The Wrath of Savitar" airs March 7th - While training with Barry, Wally starts to have visions of Savitar, which he hides from the team. A dangerous secret threatens Barry and Iris' happiness.

Source: JoBlo.com

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