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There are spoilers in this review. Duh.

Grodd! I’m glad this is when they decided to address the character again, because it seems like thematically it is the right time for it. Barry’s struggling with his self-worth and ability to come back from his worst defeat at the hands of Zoom. Grodd isn’t really a villain at this point, just one of the many victims of the particle accelerator, and in his case he’s trying to survive. They handled his story pretty well. It also continues building the new version of Harrison Wells, and gives an early look at Hawkgirl’s design for Legends of Tomorrow. ¬†Overall a good bridge episode to the Arrow-Flash crossover coming up. Previously on The Flash, Barry got destroyed by Zoom. Beaten senseless, his back broken, and humiliated in front of the whole city. The others found out that Harrison Wells is driven by his fear for his daughter Jesse who is in Zoom’s hands. Also Barry’s father randomly disappeared after the first episode, which seemed pretty ridiculous at the time and I still side eye a little. Cisco is starting to embrace his new powers and met a pretty barista named Kendra. And Eobard Thawne had his brilliant pet monkey Grodd who gained supernatural mind control abilities and hid in the sewers for awhile.

Grodd is back and he’s specifically trying to get medications to keep his super intelligence. While he does get people killed in this pursuit, there is a certain amount of sympathy that the cast has for him, even if they know he needs to be stopped. Caitlin in particular was always kind to him and he remembers that. It doesn’t stop him from taking over her mind and bringing her to his lair. Caitlin tried to connect with Harrison earlier in the episode, and convince him not to immediately flee to Earth-2. He’s determined to fight Zoom and recognizes that getting their help didn’t help the threat at all. She thinks if he stays and they come up with a new plan, they have a better chance. This leads him to put his life on the line to help Caitlin after Grodd has her. He pretends to be Thawne long enough to get her out of there and Barry gets back the confidence he’d lost long enough to get Grodd through a portal. Interesting that the singularities open up to different worlds, this one to a Planet of the Apes kind of scenario. As a fan, I went GORILLA CITY as soon as I saw that place, and we’ll be seeing it again one day when Grodd takes over. His intelligence is only going to grow. But it was a humane way of handling the situation where everyone kind of won out of it, even Grodd will eventually. Although to be fair, they can’t be certain of that, since he’s never been socialized with other gorillas so this could’ve gone poorly for him too.

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Barry’s suffering from defeat and depression, even though his speed is back. It’s his mind that’s holding him back from getting back out there. Iris figures out that he needs his father, so Henry comes back to give Barry some encouragement and faith. It helps that he has Joe too, two good support systems, and all of his friends. I don’t blame Barry for struggling though, Zoom’s attack was ruthless and seeing him dragged around the city like that was rough. But he can’t give up. Also makes me side eye Jay Garrick YET AGAIN for just abandoning everyone to their fate. He said he wasn’t going to help Barry get himself killed, but Barry did it anyway, and Jay might’ve been able to at least help. It’s weird to me that Joe blames Harrison yet again for this. Yes it’s his plan, but Barry still agrees to do it and wants to stop Zoom, they’re all on the same side. I get Harrison looks like the enemy and it’s hard to get past that, but Joe should be more of an adult about this. He has a weird pettiness at times. He also makes a weird remark about how he wishes he had a son, watching Barry and Henry. I get they just want to set up Wally West’s eventual part on the show, but I get twitchy whenever people indicate a father’s greatest delight is to have his special son. Like Iris is pretty awesome, Joe. Appreciate the child you have.

Cisco goes out with Kendra and has a vision of someone with angel wings (Hawk wings, to be exact). He runs off at first to deal with his vision, but later when they have their first kiss he sees that it’s her. My question is if she already has the wings? I can’t tell if it’s just hidden or if that’s something that she’ll get in the show to start off Legends of Tomorrow. I get the sense she already has them, hmm. The Hawkgirl/Hawkman storyline is an intricate one and I’m not sure yet how they’re going to handle it, but I’m looking forward to it. Barry also connects a little more with Patty, who starts to get suspicious ¬†of him since he drops off the face of the planet to heal. She wants him to be honest with her, and he lies to her face, so that’s awesome. I really hate this constant “we must protect people from the secret!” nonsense. I feel like it was already overdone last season, so I had to eyeroll at it here again. I get he might need to get to know her better before that bomb is dropped, but he just told Linda and that went well. Patty will probably be even nicer about it, since she’s a Flash fan. Also I want to note that I like what they’re doing with Harrison Wells. He’s an interesting character and I like that he’s sharp tongued. It really puts some space between him and Thawne. I’m excited about the crossover!

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