Last time was “Attack on Gorilla City,” although there was no real attack. Now comes the sequel, “Attack on Central City,” in which Grodd returns the visit Barry and company paid last time. Although Grodd’s nowhere near as considerate a guest. Gorillas aren’t known for their etiquette, after all.
In Central City, Valentines Day is coming, and Barry makes a special breakfast for Iris. I’m not sure how speed helps with cooking. The oven, stove, what have you doesn’t go any faster because Barry can. HR, meanwhile, is decorating STAR with his usual holiday enthusiasm. Harrison Wells is responding with his usual Grinch/Scrooge-like attitude. Wells really doesn’t care for HR, which I can sort of understand. Wells is brilliant, and HR is all style over substance. I can see that grating on Wells.
After some conversation, most of which involves mocking HR’s decorations, the team moves on to other things. Jesse and Wally are going to see Wells and tell him about her decision to move to Earth 1 and be with Wally. Wells is weirdly intense for a few minutes, and says, “OK.” It’s not really like him, and no one is quite convinced. Cisco and Caitlin talk about their love lives, or lack of same. On cue, Gypsy appears from one of her rifts and starts blasting everyone. Wells gets her from behind with one of his energy weapons and then asks, “Who the hell is this?”
A very confused Gypsy wakes up in the Pipeline later, and demonstrates that the power damping cells are still working. The last thing she remembers is tracking down a target on Earth 2, and then she ran afoul of Grodd’s mental powers. The team quickly works out that this means Grodd must be on their Earth already, which we see in the next shot. Grodd and his army stands on the mountains, looking down on Central City. I’m not sure what mountains these are supposed to be in the mid-West, but that’s one of the perils of filming up in Vancouver I guess.
Barry is understandably very worried about Grodd being back and on the loose. The team gets a few ideas, and Wells grabs Wally to work on Cisco’s Vibe gear to let them get a better peek a the future. Occasionally, someone remembers that Wally is studying to be an engineer. In this case, it’s a chance for Wells to try and slip a guilt trip on Wally about Jesse. Cisco appeals to Gypsy for help with Grodd, and she refuses. But since she’s back under her own control, Cisco lets her go. One odd point: a few times they talk around Gypsy hunting down a fugitive from he world on Earth 2. The person is never named or shown. They’re either setting up a plot thread for the future or being lazy writers. Plus ignoring the whole bit about if she’s turning someone in for going from one Earth to another, she’s handing them over to be killed, and everyone seems fine with this.
There’s a lot of build up to the anticipated gorilla attack, with team Flash, CCPD SWAT, and the STAR crew monitoring. Grodd, however, is too damn clever, and turns up elsewhere. Let’s just say he hasn’t forgotten the cruel general that was part of Grodd becoming who he is, and that some other military guys pay the price. Grodd does take over Joe and almost gets him to kill himself as a further distraction.
In the wake of Joe being taken over, the team gets an idea of how to use that to their advantage. While the science nerds go to make a new toy, Barry wonders if he’s going to have to kill Grodd to stop him, and Iris tries to talk him out of that. Wally hints that maybe Jesse shouldn’t move to be with him after all. Fortunately, she figures out what’s going on and storms off to deal with it.
In the midst of fitting Joe with a helmet to try and tap in to Grodd’s connection, Jesse comes in and lays in to Wells. It’s funny- Wells is at his most ruthless when it comes to Jesse, but she’s also the only one I’ve noticed who can make him look sheepish. Despite the distractions, Joe manages to get enough information from Grodd via the link to sketch the man Grodd’s going after, who proves to be a general in charge of nuclear weapons.
Barry works out on a punching bag, destroying it. Wells comes in, and Barry talks about possibly having to kill Grodd. Wells rips into him, calling that idiotic, and, in his own way, tells Barry he looks up to him and that there’s always another way. So pretty much everyone agrees Barry killing his foes is a bad plan. Now if Green Arrow would just get that memo…
After a weird aside about HR’s Earth’s version of Weird Al, they figure out exactly what Grodd’s up to. Barry races off to try and shut down a missile launcher. There’s a tense last minute bit of Flash decoding the kill code. Nuclear weapons make for high stakes, but it’s not but so exciting watching someone type on a keypad, even at superspeed.
A furious Grodd leads his army charging out of the woods they’ve been hiding in, somehow not being seen by anyone. The speedsters get ready to face them down, and Vibe goes for help. He tries to persuade Gypsy to help them out, and she looks scared. Like I said, Grodd can be a vicious enemy.
The speedsters and gorillas have a massive fight. I guess it took the gorillas a while to get down to the city, since it was day when they left the woods and the fight happens at night. Team Flash doesn’t do too well, but then Gypsy and Vibe show up with Solovar, former king of Gorilla City. Solovar challenges Grodd for leadership, and wins. Flash convinces Solovar to spare Grodd, and they ship Grodd off to ARGUS. Solovar leads his gorillas back to Gorilla City on Earth 2. The only problem with this is last week they mentioned several times that when you lose in Gorilla City, they kill you. Why would Grodd, already ruthless on his own, leave a challenger alive against tradition?
There’s more Cisco and Gypsy flirting before she goes home. Iris and Joe leave to deal with their lives, and Wells finally goes back to his own Earth. I’m not sure why, since Jesse has always been his big concern, but off he goes. Iris and Barry have another romantic meal, while Jesse and Wally watch Casablanca. She then sends him out for Big Belly Burger, and Wally gets a really nasty surprise to end the episode.
What I liked: I really enjoy Grodd’s appearances. He’s a brutal, smart, villain who is a good match for almost any hero. The two versions of Harrison Wells running around were an entertaining study in contrasts. I like the Vibe/Gypsy romance, if that’s what you want to call it.
What I didn’t: There’s the usual shared world problem. If I had a huge force attacking my city, I’d be getting help from my friends and allies, like Green Arrow and company. And, “They didn’t have time to get there.” doesn’t hold up when there are three speedsters on the scene. I don’t know why Solovar was alive, when they went to such lengths to show he shouldn’t have been last week. I’m also not sure why Gypsy knew where he was. I mentioned the mountains issue.
It was a good episode. As I said, I always enjoy it when Grodd shows up. I’ll go 3.5 for this one, flaws and all.