I Am…Grodd | The Flash “Grodd Lives” Review
The latest episode of The Flash, “Grodd Lives,” gives us our first in-depth look with Grodd. And what a look it was. My fears of the CW creating an entirely CGI gorilla were, for the most part, unfounded, as the show did a decent job of creating Grodd. Sure, it was easy to tell that it was obviously CGI, but it wasn’t jarring enough to detract from the episode. What I wasn’t expecting, though, was how deeply interesting of a character Grodd actually is.
We first meet Grodd, well his conscience anyway, when The Flash confronts “Goldfinger;” the thief that’s been targeting gold bars. It just so happens that Eiling is the man behind the mask. While seemingly coming out of no where, we learn that it isn’t the Eiling we remember. He knows about everyone at STAR Labs, and most importantly that Barry is The Flash. After the team realizes they aren’t dealing with Eiling, Barry questions him, and the answers are hair-raising. We find that Grodd is using some form of telepathy to speak through Eiling. The lines, “I am Grodd, fear me!,” matches just about every moment from the season thus far. It’s easily up there with the Reverse Flash reveal. After the team comes to grasp with what they are dealing with, the STAR Labs crew explains that Eiling was trying to create a super soldier of sorts and that, combined with the particle accelerator explosion, created Grodd.
Other than the Reverse Flash, who is strangely absent in the majority of the episode, Grodd is by far Barry’s greatest threat. When Cisco, Barry and Joe first go into the sewers to track Grodd, they fail spectacularly. The team finds drawings that show Grodd is evolving, just what the team needed. On top of that, Grodd knocks out Barry and takes Joe prisoner. While Joe is imprisoned, Grodd uses his telepathy to force Joe to point the gun at himself, but luckily, doesn’t force him to pull the trigger. This is interesting to note because it enforces the belief that Wells is using Grodd to divert their attention of his actual plan.
The team regroups and decides that the best way to go after Grodd is the same way they went up against Girder, with a superman punch. They use the pipes to funnel Grodd toward Barry in hopes that he could knock him out with a Superman punch. Grodd was having none of it and simply threw him around. Shortly thereafter, Grodd breaks through Cisco’s anti-telepathy device, and Barry is essentially paralyzed on train tracks with a train rapidly approaching. And guess who saves the day? Iris!
Iris is that character that is so easy to hate. She comes off as a bit annoying and overbearing, but considering everyone else knows about Barry’s secret, it’s understanding. Throughout the episode, she gets into it with just about everyone and rightfully so. However, I do see where people may be turned off by the way she acts. This episode is her breakthrough in the show. Her suspicions from the previous episode are confirmed that Barry is indeed The Flash. They argue throughout the episode as to why and how Barry could keep such a big secret from her. In all honestly, I don’t understand why she wasn’t told sooner either. It would make sense for her to know and, most importantly, that she would be able to keep the big secret. They’ve been friends growing up, and Joe was Barry’s pseudo-dad after his own father was imprisoned. Alas, she does get a redeeming role in this episode.
Back to The Flash in front of an oncoming train. Barry is getting beat down by Grodd, and Grodd is using telepathy to paralyze Barry right in front of an oncoming train. Everything goes silent, and Iris tells Barry to listen to her voice. It’s one of the better non-action scenes of the first season. At the last minute, he dodges Grodd, and Grodd gets hit by the train.
As for the other plotline going on, the Reverse Flash and Eddie continually bicker and argue, and it’s pretty meh. There is a nice scene where Wells explains that Eddie is the only Thawne that got lost in history and had no real significance. He even goes as far as showing Eddie the newspaper article from the future with the Iris West-Allen byline. The dynamic is a bit weird, and it’s clear Wells has his mind on something much greater than Eddie Thawne. In the final scene Wells says he finds the “key” and says it’s time to go home. Could Wells finally have the means to return to his time?