Way back in episode 1, we saw an empty cage labelled Grodd that looked like it had been ripped apart. Since then, we’ve had the odd tease of an intelligent ape down in the sewers beneath Central City. With the show living within the constraints of a TV budget on the CW, the expectation of much more Grodd than that seemed unlikely. However, despite the such limitations, Grodd is realised pretty well, and whilst his time on-screen is restricted, and he’s generally seen in dark sewers, his presence is felt throughout the episode.
Last week, Iris deduced Barry’s identity and finally joined the rest of the regular cast in being privy to the secret. Given her entitlement issues, it’s perhaps an understatement to say she was a bit unhappy. A few weeks ago she was effectively blackmailing Eddie into telling someone else’s secret because she really wanted to know; and now she knows, it appears she’s moving on to blame everyone for it remaining a secret from her for so long.
However, that aside, in some ways, this episode is almost a filler before the finale gets going, with Grodd’s activities set in motion to distract the police and Team Flash from going after Wells. Certainly if it were any other show, this episode would have been just a run-of-the-mill episode as a pause before the 2-part finale. But because it’s the Flash and has been knocking them out of the park for much of the season, we get a giant talking gorilla as the bad guy.
Wells doesn’t have a great deal to do this week, essentially just lighting Grodd’s blue touch-paper to keep Team Flash busy whilst he gets on with other things. With the 2-part finale being centred on the Reverse Flash, this is understandable, and allows the focus to sit firmly on Grodd.
Some episodes back, Wells threw General Eiling into Grodd’s sewer, giving a decent impression of a banana. However, it seems that Grodd actually dislikes the yellow fruit, and wasn’t peckish that day so is now mentally controlling Eiling into robbing Central City gold. To investigate, Barry heads into the sewers with Joe and Cisco, with Joe being captured. Despite his speed, Grodd is able to sense Barry’s attack and sends him flying. It turns out that Grodd was a test subject in Eiling and Wells’ super soldier programme, and gained heightened intelligence and enormous mental powers as a result.
The outcome of the battle is perhaps a little clichéd, revolving in part about Barry hearing Iris’ voice. That said, of Flash’s Rogues Gallery, the giant gorilla with mind powers was perhaps the least likely to make the transition to TV, so this is one more box ticked.