TV Review: The Flash - Season 3 Episode 13 "Attack on Gorilla City"

EPISODE 13: "Attack on Gorilla City"

SYNOPSIS: When Jesse Quick informs the team that her father has been abducted, Barry, Caitlin, Cisco and Julian voyage to Earth-2 on a rescue mission to save Harry from Gorilla City. As they trek through the forest, Barry and the team are immediately captured and brought to Grodd. Grodd tells them he needs their help to stop Solovar, the leader of Gorilla City, as Solovar wants to invade Earth-1. Meanwhile, back on Earth-1, Jesse and Kid Flash hit the streets to stop a metahuman that can control gravity, with H.R. and Joe guiding them from S.T.A.R Labs.

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REVIEW: When the various CW superhero series cross over with one another, there is inevitably one show that ends up with a better entry than the others. Usually, this show has been the lucky series with Arrow or Supergirl getting short shrift. Tonight's part one of the two hour special "Gorilla City" episode ends up feeling like one of the lesser halves of a crossover event, setting up a lot of plot while the payof will all reside in the other hour. As much as I have enjoyed seeing Gorilla Grodd in his prior appearances on The Flash, this hour just feels like it spins in place for the entire duration and the closing stinger delivers the most promise, leaving us all to wait an entire week to see the episode that should have aired tonight. I will have to see what happens next week, but I have the strong feeling that there was no need for this story to be spread over two episodes.

Picking up from Jesse's return last week, the team quickly learns that Harrison Wells decoded a message that invited him to Gorilla City, a jungle metropolis on Earth-2 that is home to sentient primates and also where The Flash sent Gorilla Grodd last season. Wells' team were all found dead but he himself remained missing. Barry vowed to rescue Wells and brings with him Cisco (for his vibe ability), Caitlyn (for her connection to Grodd), and Julian because he has gone on expeditions before and owns a cheesy Indiana Jones-inspired outfit and a revolver. Julian's desire to visit a parallel world evokes how the audience feels watching this series but his motivation also lies in protecting Caitlyn and his budding romance with her. The team set out for Gorilla City all the while Jesse and Wally are left to protect Central City and deal with their own relationship problems now that Jesse has learned that Wally is a speedster, too.

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Arriving at Gorilla City, it does not take long before our heroes are captured and Grodd uses his abilities to dampen their meta-powers. Using Wells as a puppet, Grodd explains to the team that the ruler of Gorilla City is a white ape named Solovar who wants to use a breach to take over Earth-1. Grodd claims he wants to stop Solovar and will keep the apes on Earth-2 but Barry must be the one to fight. We are then treated to an arena battle between Solovar and Barry that features some truly bad CGI. I realize this series has a limited budget for effects but they have always done an admirable job with their results, including Grodd himself and King Shark. Still, the full scale, JOHN-CARTER-esque arena scene feels very low budget even if Barry's fighting skills are pretty cool. Using Reverse-Flash's hand of death, Barry manages to stop Solovar and win the fight. But, they soon realize that this was not the fair play they were promised.

Of course Grodd was lying! It was he that wanted to invade and destroy Central City all along! Preparing to use Cisco to cross over, the team devise that they only way they can get out is if one of them were to die. Caitlyn uses her Killer Frost abilities to freeze Barry long enough for Grodd to let him out of the cage. Barry then uses his speed to free his friends and they narrowly make it off Earth-2 and back home. Everyone safe and sound, Grodd is left without a way to get his invansion underway. This is a massive win for the team as Barry also saw a news headline in the future where Savitar kills Iris that mentioned gorillas on the loose. Believing they have changed the future, the team return to their lives: Jesse is reunited with her father (who also happens to see his doppelganger, H.R, and wonder why he is still there). Jesse and Wally also kiss and hope they can finally be together. Caitlyn and Julian go out for a steak dinner and Barry and Iris celebrate changing their fate just a little bit.

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But, as we should have all known off the bat, things will not be resolved that easily. In the previously montage at the start of the episode, scenes from Gypsy's appearance a few episodes ago was shown and yet she had not appeared in the hour. Why? Because they were saving her for the stinger scene! Remember, Gypsy and Cisco both have the ability to open breaches. We see Grodd, crowned as king of Gorilla City, with a catatonic Gypsy before him, as his stadium of soldier apes prepare for war. Namely, they are preparing to invade Earth-1 and keep the terrible future on track for Barry Allen and his friends. A look at next week shows all out war in Central City which means the only CGI will be the apes rather than the environment which should look a lot better than this week's episode.

Like I said to open this review, tonight's hour felt like all set up for what comes next week. There was very little in regards to character development this week with most of the time spent on our heroes pacing in a jail cell trying to break out of Grodd's grasp. That could easily have been fit into the first act of an episode with everything else coming in the second and third parts of the hour. As it stands, this was a very overlong introduction to a story that we were all able to figure out pretty easily. Maybe if this were presented as a two-hour event episode it may have worked better. While my opinion could change next week after seeing how this story ends, for now I have to judge this episode on it's own merits and it just did not work for me.


NEXT ON THE FLASH: "Attack on Central City" airs February 28th - 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.

Source: JoBlo.com



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