I strongly believe this season will be more enjoyed on a second viewing, perhaps during a bingewatch after the entire season is over. The problem with us watching it now week in week out is that we already know so much about the upcoming Legends spinoff and yet the show is obliged to set it up as something completely new and unexpected, which sucks the fun right out of watching this.
The introduction of Hawkgirl wasn’t entirely bad, but it was just too convenient and predictable. Cisco has probably had the most growth on this show so far, so it’s nice to see the writers treat him with some respect and give him a solid storyline. Nevertheless, him “vibing” Kendra, his new love interest, wasn’t exciting or unexpected at all, especially since she won’t stay on this show for long, seeing as how she has spinoff duties to fulfill elsewhere (see, I hate that I know that).
The major storyline involving Grodd’s return should have had a greater impact as well, especially since the telepathic psychic gorilla left a terrorizing impression the last time we saw him. The CGI is still incredible for a TV budget and terrifyingly on-point as always, but perhaps the lack of a proper, thrilling action scene proved to be disappointing. I wanted a more exciting Flash/Grodd face-off instead of the anticlimactic scenes we got that included the still-dreadful-this-season Caitlin. But I guess the show wanted to really shake up the status quo by leaving Barry at STAR Labs for once, an attempt which failed miserably at upping the stakes or even entertaining us.
Harrison Wells back in the Reverse Flash suit was undeniably the best thing about this hour. His voice going from a terribly fake Wells to a terrifying depiction of last year’s villain was bone-chilling to watch, and Cisco nailed his reaction to that scene quite perfectly. I’m hopeful the show still has a few tricks up its sleeve regarding this subplot because Tom Cavanaugh deserves some truly great material. The more conniving and ruthless he gets, the better.
– Barry’s dad made a brief return to give Barry some fatherly advice (like he wasn’t getting enough of that from Joe).
– I’m so sick of Barry lying to Patty about being The Flash. It’s such an old, unnecessary trope that isn’t even logical here anymore. I mean, even Linda Park knows his secret, so why shouldn’t Patty?
– I’m also starting to find Barry’s monologues about not being the “protector” of Central City old and derivative. The fact that he always needs a pep talk from someone else is cringe-worthy and lame. Get your own shit together, dude.
– On a completely surprising note, I’ve grown to love Cisco this season. His hilarious one-liners are a hoot, and I especially loved his scenes with Harry as they practice on fooling Grodd into believing Harry is Reverse Flash.
– Appreciated the camerawork during Caitlin and Grodd’s scenes where it felt like it was hovering over her head, giving the gorilla some much more importance, size-wise.
– Earth 2 has already proven to be the much more fun, interesting earth. An Atlantis AND a Gorilla City? My goodness, sign me up!
– I did actually feel bad for Grodd and I like that the show didn’t kill him. It does worry me, though: is this show unwilling to let go of any of its villains?
– The Flash ring makes another appearance! Very cool, guys.
– The internet had to fill me in on that ending, but I’m glad to see the show appreciate its source material so much that it’s willing to include Gorilla City! I am literally waiting for Central City to be invaded by gorillas anytime soon.
– No new episode next week, but prepare yourselves for a 2-hour crossover event with Arrow the following week!
Red Blurs & One-Liners
Harry: I am continually amazed by the similarities of our two worlds.
Joe: You got talking gorillas on your earth too?
Harry: Oh yeah.
Joe: Phew, remind me never to go there.
Cisco: Oh snap, metahuman attack! Nope, nope. My bad. That is just an alert. For me.
Cisco: Let’s just try it again. This time, up the creep factor, like a lot more. And make it a little more sincere. Like you really love me, but you’re gonna have to kill me anyway.
Harry: Cisco… In many ways, you’ve shown me what it’s like to have a son.
Cisco: Yup, that’s the one. Here you go.
Not the thrilling hour I expected this week. Setting up the upcoming spinoff has had many ill effects on this show, but at least Grodd is still frightening and awesome.