This week on The Flash, the team visited Gorilla City in dramatic fashion and my biggest thought afterward was, what did I just watch? For a television show, I have always thought that The Flash has some impressive and immersive visuals but this week was a complete flop. Whether it was the videogame-looking panoramas of Gorilla City or the clearly animated gorillas themselves, the whole thing was unsettling. I’ve said before that I can’t knock the show for having a television budget, but they should also know their limitations and not try and push things.
The last episode ended with Jesse Quick returning to Earth-1 to warn Team Flash that her father had been captured by Gorilla Grodd. To get Wells back, Barry, Cisco, Caitlin, and Julian traveled to the remote city on Earth-2. When they arrived they quickly realized that it was a trap and they were all quickly captured and thrown into holding cells by Grodd. As it turned out, Grodd’s plan was to have Barry defeat the Gorilla City leader, Solovar, in a tournament style face off so he could become the leader of the apes. What’s worse is Grodd then planned to lead an attack on Central City and humankind.
In theory, this seems like a compelling story and nice shakeup to what has been a pretty stale season thus far. However, this week’s episode was poorly executed and in general, nothing really happened. Much of the episode was spent watching Team Flash talk about what they were going to do while sitting in a dungeon cell. No matter how good these characters are, no one wants to watch 30 minutes of uninspired dialog. Though, I did enjoy how the writers had Grodd take control of Well’s body and speak to Team Flash through him. It was a creative idea and saved us from having to look at a fake gorilla that much more. It also made me appreciate Tom Cavanagh as an actor even more as his versatility was on full display.
The events of this week’s episode were supposed to culminate in an epic battle between Barry and Solovar but it ended up being anything but epic. Like many of the showdowns on The Flash, it was short and lacked any kind of suspense. First off, I’ve seen video games with better graphics than the terrible gorilla filled colosseum in this week’s episode. But again, I’m not going to knock the show too much for budget constraints. What really got to me was the battle itself. I think there were about three or four punches traded between the two and the whole fight lasted about a minute and a half. And to top it all off, it only took one punch to the stomach for Barry to defeat Solovar. To say I was disappointed would be an understatement.
While in general I was disappointed with the execution of this week’s episode of The Flash, I still need to applaud the writers for switching things up. For the most part, this season has been stale and repetitive so it was nice to get away from the usual Savitar drama. This week also saw some great moments from its characters, whether it was the return of Wells, Julian’s funny one-liners, Cisco’s usual quirkiness, or H.R.’s fatherly moments. If there is one thing I have learned from watching this show, it’s no matter how bad an episode is, there will always be redeeming factors that still make it a watchable and enjoyable hour of television.