Title: The Flash: “Grodd Friended Me” Review
Release Date: February 25th, 2020
Network: The CW
Genre: Superhero, Drama, Action
Last week, I noted that Barry’s lack of screentime had become noticeable. While I understand entirely that Grant Gustin’s time is shortchanged due to these monumental crossovers, it felt as if everyone was moving forward except the main star. Here, we see Barry deal with some of the big-time changes from Crisis on Infinite Earths.
In the past, The Flash used timeline changes like this to reinvigorate the series. Unfortunately, after a few episodes or less, the series would just return to its old status quo. For example, let’s take a look at season 2. The show used time-travel and turned Hartley Rathaway from antagonist to an ally of Team Flash. Then, the series quickly forgot Rathaway ever existed and he was never seen again. Don’t even get me started on baby Sara and Flashpoint.
Regardless, it was nice to see the status quo continue to be set for the Arrowverse going forward. And unlike the previous timeline changes we’ve seen on The Flash before, it looks like this timeline is going to stick around for good. So, Hartley’s back with some cool new abilities, and he’s back to being an antagonist for Team Flash. Hopefully, the creative people behind the show don’t forget about him again.
While Pied Piper’s return was fun, the real meat of the episode here is the stuff with Gorilla Grodd. Barry, getting stuck in a villain’s mind is something that has been done before; however, putting Barry in Grodd’s mind to better understand the villain’s motives somehow felt refreshing. I think it may be due to seeing both Barry and Grodd grow and somewhat come to an understanding. Grodd’s seen the error of his ways and wants to live a peaceful life among his kind. Barry, who at this point has become extremely skeptical of villains claiming to have changed, does not believe him (kinda rightfully so). That being said, even though Barry was in the right, he still came off as the villain in this scenario. That’s a new and exciting dynamic we haven’t really seen in the series. Well, unless you count season 3 with Savitar, but… let’s just forget about that.
On top of the interesting dynamic between Grodd and Barry, we also had one of the coolest action scenes in the series’ history. Gorilla Grodd becoming The Flash. This weird Firestorm-esque team-up was nothing short of epic and it led to one of the more smile-inducing fight scenes The Flash has had in quite some time. Will Grodd stay “good”? Maybe. Or maybe Grodd got a taste of the speed force and will return later in the season (or season 7) to become a speedster himself? I’m not sure, but the episode certainly set up that storyline for the future, if the writers decide to go down that path.
Moving on from awesome speedster gorilla fights (which is possibly the best thing I’ve ever written), all the other storylines were also interesting this week. It took a while mind you, but the new characters are really starting to grow on me. I liked the conversations between Kamilla, Chester, and Barry this week. Kamilla’s been a fairly consistent character, but Chester desperately needed a chance to shine, especially if the character does take on a more prominent role in the future. Don’t get me wrong, Chester is a great comedic character, and it was hysterical to see Killer Frost comment that it’s not like Chester got Barry killed, only to see Barry passed out on the floor moments later. It’s just that the character needed that big-time moment where he could buckle down and get (vaguely) serious. This was it.
The Mirrorverse continues to be another intriguing arc that just keeps on going week after week. Again, I’m pleasantly shocked to see that this hasn’t been resolved yet. Nonetheless, this was mainly to set up that Eva is not who she claims to be and that she’s been working with/controlling Mirror Iris this whole time. For anyone who has been reading this week to week, you would know that I theorized about this last episode and that I never get these predictions right. This is the first theory of any Arrowverse show that I actually guessed ahead of time.
But you don’t care about that, so let’s keep this ball rolling. Like last week, I thought Efrat Dor was great as Eva McCulloch. She pulls off the unhinged castaway role well and she crushed it in the brief time we saw Eva as a cold-hearted mastermind. It’ll be interesting to see what Mirror Iris is up to over the next few episodes and if Barry will ever figure out something is wrong.
Nash is still seeing Wells ghosts, this time with Sherloque Wells. So it appears that Harry is not alive like many online have theorized. We got more hints about Nash’s relationship with Allegra’s doppelganger on his Earth, which should be a boring story, but Tom Cavanagh can make just about anything work. That may have been enough on its own to keep the Nash storyline engaging, but the show didn’t stop there. In a terrifying vision, Nash once again comes face to face with Sherloque. The now-dead member of Team Flash states that “he’s coming” and his eyes start to turn red, signifying the return of a certain yellow-suited speedster villain who was sorely… sorely missed in Crisis on Infinite Earths. I would love to know Eobard’s excuse for missing out on Crisis, though. He told Barry he’d be there in the season 5 finale, after all.
Verdict: “Grodd Friended Me” was a fantastic episode of The Flash season 6 that potentially rivals the season’s best showings such as “The Last Temptation of Barry Allen” and “There Will Be Blood.” Now that Barry’s arc is moving along, everything is clicking with compelling storylines, fun action scenes, and little unneeded filler. That’s when The Flash is at its best.
- Gorilla Grodd
- Barry and Grodd's dynamic this episode
- Every storyline was clicking this week
- Tom Cavanagh can make anything work
- Eva's turn
- Some good one-liners
- Not mentioned in the review but I'm curious to see where Killer Frost's arc is going next. She had a good arc in season 6a. Right now, she's just giving people various pep-talks
- Barry let someone else figure out his "secret" identity