When it comes to the Flash Rogue Gallery, Gorilla Grodd is one of the coolest, as well as most imposing villains in the lot. Between his literal gorilla strength, intelligence, and mind control powers, he’s a threat not in the Flash can ignore. That being said, despite numerous attempts to supplant him as a major force in the CW Flash series, he hasn’t fared as well as other villains.
This was primarily due to story, timing, and use. But, when he got shoved into Gorilla City last season, it appeared things were turning around. “Attack On Gorilla” was easily the best use of Grodd so far, but it came at some unexpected costs.
Seeing Gorilla City in full was totally awesome, even if we could only see a few of the gorillas up close because of budget limitations. And the idea of the team coming together to save Harry was a good reason for them to cross the border. But once in Gorilla City, things devolved. First, there was Solivar, voiced by the amazing Keith David. In the comics, Solivar is seen as a very wise leader, and one who doesn’t mind staying away from human kind. But here, he’s seen as no better than Grodd. Yeah, we find out he actually doesn’t want to hurt humankind, but he still comes off as a royal jerk. Saying he’ll kill Barry and his friends, backhanding Grodd, he’s clearly not the wise and logical leader he was in the comics.
And then, despite Barry sparing his life in the arena, Grodd still becomes leader, and surprise, betrays them. How did they not see that coming? After all they had been through with Grodd?
Furthermore, much of the episode featured them in cells talking with mind controlled puppets that spoke for the gorillas. I get the CGI and budget limitations, but when Keith David speaks…I will listen, I don’t him to mind control Cisco to talk, it’s a waste of talent.
Also, the moment they escaped (that too, I had problems with…), you KNEW that Grodd had a plan B. Now, that plan B being Gypsy was a surprise (and one that better get explained…), but still, very telegraphed.
Oh, and then there was Wally and Jesse’s relationship issues…pass…
Although, Julian and Caitlin becoming closer was much better. And I like that Caitlin doesn’t want to pursue a relationship with the threat of Killer Frost still very much real.
I do want to note the battle between Solivar and Flash, it was very cool, and Solivar intelligence was on full display here as he continually foiled Flash. It was the highlight of the episode for me.
“Attack on Gorilla City”” was the best use of Grodd…but other characters failed to live up to the expecations. Hopefully, the second half of this arc will yield more impactful results.