[Review] The Flash (2014) Episode 3×14: “Attack On Central City”

George says I’m not allowed to make any more “Africa” jokes so this episode is just going to focus on the gorilla your dreams. Enjoy this recap of CW’s The Flash.

Ah, Valentine’s Day. Some view it as a romantic holiday and look forward to sharing it with someone special every year. Some view it as a cheap, exploitative money grab concocted by the Hallmark corporation. Either way you see it, I think we can all agree that it lends itself towards super-lame episodes of TV, second only to Christmas/holiday episodes in terms of emotional manipulation centered around a specific date or season.

Spoilers under the cut.

That’s not to say they can’t be successful, but The Flash doesn’t really start off on the right foot (Barry wants his first Valentine’s Day with Iris to be memorable so he overcompensates), then goes off a cliff (H.R. and his Friendship Day).

Jesse and Wally finally tell Harry she’s staying on Earth-1, and he reacts…atypically. One thing I really like is when they start working on Cisco’s gear to find Grodd, Harry takes Wally to work with him because he recognizes that he’s got talent as an engineer…and also to con Wally into thinking Harry’s dying so Jesse would leave with him, but you know, he at least lets Wally be something more than just another speedster. I mentioned Grodd, and yep, they figure out he’s on Earth after Cynthia Reynolds attacks Team Flash while controlled by the super-ape.

Oh, and he has an army of gorillas at his beck and call.

Joe gets mind-controlled after they figure out where Grodd’s going to come from, and it starts Barry down a dark path in his mind. Between Grodd nearly forcing Joe to kill himself and Iris’ imminent demise at the hands of Savitar, Barry believes the only way to halt Grodd is to kill him, that he’s shown too much mercy in the past. Iris and Harry individually course-correct him, but it’s the clearest sign yet that there is a dark side to Barry which could come out when push comes to shove.

Grodd’s plan to fire a nuke into Central City is thwarted, so he decides to invade. Barry counters by having Cisco get Cynthia to breach them to Earth-2, where they find Solovar and bring him to Earth-1. He challenges Grodd and wins back his throne. Barry convinces Solovar to spare Grodd and the gorillas go home while Grodd is taken to A.R.G.U.S.

After Harry returns to Earth-2, Iris comes home to find enough lit candles to set the apartment complex on fire, and Barry proposes with the ring his grandfather presumably carried out of World War II in his ass.

As far as Flash episodes go, it’s pretty mediocre. They spent most of their CGI budget last episode, so there’s a lot of storytelling sleight of hand to delay the titular invasion. The nuclear missile stuff that’s resolved by Flash pushing buttons super-fast, for example. The Solovar/Grodd fight is…not good, but understandable given how constrained a budget they had to be operating under at this point. I really did dig the moments when Harry was interacting with Team Flash, and it shows how much stronger a character Harry is than H.R.

As far as Valentine’s Day episodes go, it might well be the standard bearer. The holiday bookends the episode, but it doesn’t interfere with the plot or force the cast to play up to some very silly tropes.

Next time, Wally sees a ghost.

George Hatch can be found on Twitter at @Raeseti going ape about the Saints because seriously did you see that Falcons game last Sunday, it was amazing.

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