Tuesday, February 21, 2017

"Attack On Gorilla City" Sets Up The Flash Team As Fools!

The Good: Special effects, Most of the acting, Jesse/Wally subplot
The Bad: Predictable plot, Character defects, Light on character development
The Basics: "Attack On Gorilla City" is an important set-up episode for The Flash, which puts Gorilla Grodd in the driver's seat and makes fools out of most of the main characters.

The Flash has had very few conceptual missteps in its two and a half year run, but one of the problematic aspects of the series has been its treatment of Gorilla Grodd. Last seen in the second season episode "Gorilla Warfare" (reviewed here!), Grodd was removed from the narrative of The Flash when, rather than use Grodd to help in their struggle against Zoom, Grodd was sent through a portal to an alternate universe. "Attack On Gorilla City" returns Grodd to the narrative as Barry is forced to journey to Earth-2 to confront the displaced gorilla.

"Attack On Gorilla City" is preceded by "Untouchable" (reviewed here!) and the prior episode climaxed with a portal opening and Jesse Quick appearing to ask Wally West for help. "Attack On Gorilla City" promised the chance for viewers to see the Earth-2 Harrison Wells again and the episode introduced Solovar to the television universe of The Flash, which is something fans of the book have been waiting for!

Two weeks after Harrison Wells went on an expedition into Gorilla City on Earth-2, Jesse Quick crosses over to Earth-1 to get the help of the Flash. Jesse Quick wants The Flash's help in saving Harrison Wells - who is the only member of the expedition team who is still alive - and Barry agrees because one of the headlines from the future he is trying to alter involves a gorilla attack. Barry, Cisco, and Dr. Snow prepare to go to Earth-2 and Julian Albert tags along. In Central City, Kid Flash and Jesse Quick speed off to stop a robbery and Jesse seems to recognize just how Wally West has changed in her absence.

Barry and his team walk into a trap and are captured. There, the Flash and Vibe's powers are dampened and Wells arrives - manipulated by Grodd. Grodd wants The Flash to overthrow the gorilla king, Solovar, who plans to wage a war on humankind on Earth-1. Solovar arrives at the cells and he refuses to let the Flash's team go. Barry steps up to fight Solovar in combat (the gorilla's justice) to try to save his friends.

"Attack On Gorilla City" affords the writers of The Flash a chance to poke fun at Tom Felton. There is an allusion to Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes (reviewed here!), which Felton was in. As well, the whole set-up for Harrison Wells in Gorilla City is very King Kong.

For a contrived parallel universe episode, "Attack On Gorilla City" has a fairly decent set-up. The idea that the evolved gorillas living in Earth-2's Gorilla City need Wells to open a breach is a good one. What makes little sense is Grodd's story; why the Earth-2 gorillas would want to wage war on Earth-1 before conquering their own Earth first makes no sense. Similarly off is Cisco's plan for The Flash in the combat. Cisco advises Barry to punch Solovar, but it takes a while for them to work up to the obvious solution to a giant telepathic Gorilla holding a massive metal shield; lightning throw.

Tom Cavanagh clearly has fun returning to the role of Harrison Wells after playing H.R. for so many episodes (and in "Attack On Gorilla City"). Unfortunately, Cavanagh is not able to hide his smirk while playing Harrison Wells as possessed by a gorilla.

The Jesse Quick and Kid Flash subplot in "Attack On Gorilla City" is fairly well-executed. The two characters have decent on-screen chemistry. "Attack On Gorilla City" has a decent balance of their scenes with the Earth-2 scenes. Their relationship-building is balanced nicely against The Flash's philosophical speech and combat.

The special effects in "Attack On Gorilla City" are exactly as good as one expects from The Flash. The combat scenes are excellent, but even the set designs and special effects for the setting are pretty impressive.

"Attack On Gorilla City" is a trap episode and part of the problem with the episode is that the traps are so obvious that it is astonishing how stupid the S.T.A.R. Labs team is by comparison. Despite the idiocy of the protagonists, "Attack On Gorilla City" manages to have good pacing, direction and plot development enough to set-up the next episode well.

For other works with Keith David, please be sure to visit my reviews of:
Rick And Morty - Season 2
Cloud Atlas
The Princess And The Frog
Mr. And Mrs. Smith
The Chronicles Of Riddick
Dark Fury
Requiem For A Dream
Pitch Black
Princess Mononoke
Gargoyles - Season 1
Robert A. Heinlein's "The Puppet Masters"

[Knowing that single episodes are an inefficient way to get episodes, it's worth looking into The Flash - The Complete Third Season on DVD or Blu-Ray, which is also a better economical choice than buying individual episodes. Read my review of the third season here!


For other television season and episode reviews, please visit my Television Review Index Page for an organized listing!

© 2017 W.L. Swarts. May not be reprinted without permission.
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