The Flash Recap And Review – Season 1, Episode 21: Grodd Lives


When I was a kid, if you told me there was an issue of The Flash with both Reverse-Flash and Gorilla Grodd in it, that would be an automatic must-buy, the kind of book that would go right to the top of my read pile.

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Will tonight’s episode of The Flash, “Grodd Lives,” have the same kind of effect? Yeah, I kind of think it will. Let’s get into it …

Not-So-Fast Recap: Iris does the voiceover tonight, asking a rhetorical question about what you would do if you had a friend with a secret that would change everything forever.

Captain Singh wants to know where Eddie Thawne is, and Barry Allen and Joe West both cover for him. There’s been a rash of gold robberies, and Singh wants all hands on deck. He’s actually been taken by the Reverse-Flash, of course, and Joe tells Barry to keep up his search.

Iris also wants Eddie to be found, seeing as he’s her boyfriend and all. She confides in Barry about the man in yellow kidnapping Eddie — something he already knows, of course — and wonders if the Flash is doing all he can. She’s finding it hard to trust the Flash right now. This is kind of awkward.

So about that gold … another shipment is attacked by a dude in some serious body armor.

At S.T.A.R. Labs, Cisco is busy working to repurpose the cameras Wells was using to spy on everyone. He gets a call about the Gold Reserve being hit, and Barry zooms into action as the Flash. Unfortunately, when he tries to stop the robber, some weird mental feedback drops him to the ground — and the armored guy too.

Caitlin Snow gives Barry a clean bill of brain health, but things take a decidedly surprising twist when Iris walks in. Oh yeah, she knows.

After Cisco and Caitlin justify listening on them, we hear Barry and Iris have the discussion you knew was coming. How did she know? When she touched the Flash, she felt a jolt of electricity that she had only experienced before when Barry was in his coma. She’s not angry, she’s disappointed, and she’s also shocked to find out that Wells is the Reverse-Flash. Barry explains that Joe and him were only trying to protect her, but Iris responds that it might be time for them both to stop.

It’s okay Iris. Eddie is fine, for the moment. Wells just isn’t feeding him much. Eddie tries goading his distant relative about the Flash stopping him, but he’s told in no uncertain terms to stop talking.

So many convos. Now it’s time for Joe and Iris to talk, with Joe admitting he was wrong, and Iris asking whether or not knowing would have been safer than being kept in the dark. She makes it clear she blames her dad for what’s happened to Eddie, and I suppose she’s at least partially correct.

More gold is on the move to Coast City (comic reference!), and this time, they try transporting it in an ice cream truck. That doesn’t stop the armored dude from taking it out with a mine, and just when it appears Joe is going to have to shoot it out with the bandit, Flash arrives to take him out. No mental whammy this time. They unmask him to find … Mr. Wilson? Sorry, that was a Scooby-Doo flashback. No, it’s General Eiling. Hey, at least Grodd didn’t eat him.

But what’s wrong with him? The science gang can’t figure it out, at least until he starts speaking in a weird tone of voice. Is he possessed? Well, he tells them that Eiling isn’t there, only Grodd. What is a Grodd?

Caitlin and Cisco know, telling Barry about Eiling’s experiments to give soldiers telepathic and telekinetic powers. Grodd escaped when the particle accelerator accident happened, which raises the obvious question about whether they are now dealing with a meta-gorilla. Brain scans suggest Grodd is controlling Eiling somehow, and Joe suspects Wells is using the gorilla to distract them.

Iris thinks she might be able to help, offering her prior research into strange reports from the Central City sewers. Barry, Joe and a reluctant Cisco decide to head down to investigate. Why is Barry not in costume? Got me.

That gives Iris and Caitlin a moment to have a girl talk, and Caitlin comes clean about Ronnie. You know, the whole Firestorm thing.

Meanwhile, the sewer search uncovers some writing, and Barry theorizes that Grodd is evolving and getting smarter. Maybe larger too, by the sound of it. Barry tries using a tranq dart but gets KOed by a telekinetic attack, and Joe gets kidnapped by Grodd. That didn’t go well.

Yeah, Grodd is really, really huge now, and he’s terrorizing Joe with his telepathic powers. Oh, and he hates bananas. Don’t ever offer him one of those.

Barry asks his S.T.A.R. Labs buddies if they can build him something to counteract Grodd’s powers, but they aren’t sure. As she’s wont to do, Iris goes off on them for being able to save everyone but her dad. Barry goes after her, of course, and he tells her to be mad at him, not Joe. Oh, the feels.

We check back in with Eddie, who still thinks it’s a good idea to taunt Wells. Excuse me, Eobard. The future Thawne taunts right back, explaining to Eddie that while the Thawne name is revered in his time, Eddie is the rare exception who turns out to be a loser. Really relishing the chance to twist the mental knife, Wells shows Eddie the paper from the future with the Iris West-Allen byline, proving he doesn’t even get the girl.

C&C are able to whip up an anti-telepathy headpiece that Barry can wear over his cowl. They have a bead on Grodd thanks to the tracker in the tranq dart, and Cisco suggests a supersonic punch. Ah, but Grodd stops it easily, and super-speed punches don’t affect him either. Flash gets thrown through a wall, breaking his anti-Grodd tech in the process. The gorilla moves in with another psychic attack, and Flash is paralyzed on the train tracks. Yes, there’s a train coming.

With his friends unable to talk him out of Grodd’s control, Iris gets on the mic and tells Barry to focus on her. Filled with happy thoughts of the woman he loves, Barry moves at the last minute. Grodd tries leaping across the tracks at Flash, but he unwittingly catches the next train. Get it? Sorry, I couldn’t help myself.

Eiling is released, and while he knows Barry is the Flash, the general explains that since Wells gave him to Grodd, they have a common enemy for the time being. He leaves to hunt Grodd, so we head to check on Joe, who has several broken ribs. Cisco has some silly questions about Grodd, but Joe wants to talk to his daughter. Iris asks her dad to trust her enough to always tell her the truth. Also, there are tears involved.

In a post-game recap at S.T.A.R. Labs, Barry says that Grodd called Wells father, proving that the Reverse-Flash was indeed using the gorilla as a distraction. On the bright side, the three of them were enough to stop Grodd and save Joe, to which Caitlin points out it was actually the four of them.

On the rooftop where she first met the Flash, Iris gets a visit from Barry. More feelings are exchanged, with Barry saying he couldn’t be the Flash without her, and Iris admitting that she’s been thinking about him. But she can’t right now, because the man she loves and lives with is still missing. Barry promises he’ll bring Eddie back. And after that? Iris says she doesn’t know. We switch quickly to another part of the city to find Grodd is still on the loose.

Now for that final scene you knew was coming. Eobard tells Eddie he now has the key. He climbs a ladder and inserts a weird cylinder into a waiting machine that lights up a long tunnel. Time to go home, he says to no one in particular.

Favorite Moment: Not too many wisecracks or Cisco moments in this one, but I did like Barry reluctantly calling one of his previous foes the Rainbow Raider when they were discussing psychic attacks. There’s no fighting it!

Final Thought: Only two episodes left, and it’s hard to figure what will fill the penultimate installment while we wait for the final showdown. This series has been pretty well paced, so we have to trust that the closing bits will be no different. Bonus points for Grodd not being totally defeated in just one episode, as he’s a villain that should be a big enough threat that he can’t be beaten so easily. Nicely done.

Next: Previously on The Flash: our recap of The Trap

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