Spoilers ahead for "Attack on Central City," the latest episode of The CW's Flash!
The short version: Grodd attacks, but Barry brings Solivar to Earth-1 to do the fighting for him. Gorilla war averted! Jesse stays on Earth-1 with Wally, Gypsy lends a hand, Barry proposes and Savitar returns?!
The good: Make Barry Good Again, Harry vs. H.R., the cliffhangers
Barry Allen has had a tough go of things the past season or so, to the point that you really have to wonder whether the guy is even truly a hero. Most notably, after being repeatedly warned, he selfishly mucked in the time stream via Flashpoint for personal gain and screwed up countless lives — opening the door for the big bad currently threatening the entire season. Yes, it's hard to say what you might do in that situation, but Barry is The Flash. He's supposed to be better than us, at least to the point that he doesn't alter all of reality on a whim. That's not to say it's not an interesting theme to explore, it's just that it's been a while since we've been fully reminded what The Flash is supposed to stand for.
Thankfully, we got that tonight. Barry starts to question whether or not he should just kill Grodd to prevent the attack, so Iris and Harry give him clear reminders of what The Flash represents. He's not the Green Arrow, and he doesn't kill. Of course, it takes Barry a bit longer than everyone else to figure this out, but he gets there. Barry is finally getting back to the wholesome hero that made him so likable in the first place. It won't be an easy journey, but they took some big steps in this one. Keep it coming, because the world needs a few good heroes in this day and age.
Having Harry and H.R. in the same room was absolutely hilarious, and Tom Cavanagh did his best version of Tatiana Maslany to really showcase the differences in these characters on the fly. Harry is rough and gruff and hilariously despises H.R. On the other hand, H.R. doesn't really care and instead does as much as he can to purposefully piss off Harry. It's a great dynamic, and we'd love to see them explore this a bit more in the future. Too much might ruin it, but there's certainly room for a bit more of that hilarious snark. Oh, and Harry (seemingly) lying to Wally about dying was solid gold.
This episode was a twofer. First up, Barry proposes to Iris with a story about his grandfather and the history of the ring (cool, but still weirdly long, right?), and we're left to wonder how Iris will respond. Considering these characters are fated to be married, you kind of have to think she says yes. But still, cliffhanger! Then, all hell breaks loose when Wally pops out for some Big Belly Burger and runs straight into Savitar — somehow free of the Speed Force a whole lot earlier than anyone on Team Flash had expected.
Oh, and a cool Easter egg: Gypsy is meeting with Earth-19 speedster Accelerated Man before Cisco shows up. Neato!
The bad: The Grodd story itself, Cisco and Gypsy (sorta), the CGI-plosion
Look, Grodd is a big and silly story that shows just how far they can push the format with a show like The Flash. He's a fun character, and this was the biggest episode yet for the mind-controlling gorilla. But, eh, it seemed like they were stretching to really make this event into a two-parter. We didn't really explore Grodd in any further detail than we have in the past, and he really just seems to be a catalyst for a trip to the jungle. Grodd brings his entire army to Earth-1 (blowing most of the effects budget in the process) for the equivalent of a 30-second battle where Jesse and Wally just spin gorillas around in circles? Or something? Plus, why bring an army at all if your plan is to just nuke everyone?
On the effects side of things, you could tell they were trying their hardest during that Grodd vs. Solivar fight, but it still felt like a video game cutscene that's having trouble loading. Hey, an A for effort, but this just didn't really blow me away.
Gypsy made for a great character during her introduction a few weeks ago, but she seemed to get the short end of the stick in this one. Cisco seems to almost be trying a bit too hard with her, though it was great to see him finally get that kiss. Gypsy could be a really fun character, but take a little more care with how she’s utilized.
So, Jesse Quick is officially moving to Earth-1 now. She's been a great character, though you kind of worry this will just devolve into an ill-fitting relationship story. After inviting her to move here, Wally makes some weird faces like he might regret. Which is just really dumb. They've rushed this love connection a bit, but there's certainly some great chemistry there. Here's hoping they don't torpedo this one.
What is up with Savitar's return? The tease for next week seems to indicate that it was only a fleeting glimpse, but whatever's happening, they're obviously laying the groundwork to get him back on the board.
Line of the night:
"Two minutes? Ten seconds. Can you not even tell time?" - Harry
Up next: Does Iris say yes?!