Episode Title: Grodd Lives
Original Airdate: 5-5-15
It’s time for the a bit of a breather before next week ramps up to the season finale big superhero team up slash backdoor pilot for the officially-picked-up Legends of Tomorrow. Here we finally get a decent look at one of the most ridiculous sounding villains from the DC Universe: a massive gorilla with the ability to control people’s minds named Grodd. He also apparently knows martial arts, at least enough to casually deflect and redirect a supersonic punch. And there’s also a bit of the aftermath of Iris figuring out Barry’s secret and Eddie trying to get Eobord to start monologuing.
If this was a couple seasons down the line, this could easily be pointed at as when the show jumped the shark. But it’s exactly what Joe calls it out as being: a distraction. It’s not just a distraction for the team by Wells, but it’s also a distraction for the audience to set us up for the finale. There are several important moments scattered throughout the episode, but the actual scenes involving Grodd looked quite spectacular for a television show budget. I also quite like how they brought back Clancy Brown who was being controlled by Grodd and we get to hear him do his own Grodd voice before hearing Grodd’s voice in other people’s heads. At first, I thought he also did the voice of Grodd in other people’s heads, but it is another actor. The only real issue that I had with him was how he was dealt with and how he showed up at the end where he felt more like a teaser for the episode than an actual action sequence.
There was still plenty of nice character set up in this episode, especially with Iris finally figuring out that Barry is the Flash via static electricity rather than, you know actual investigative reporting skills. And while it’s initially handled in a very typical manner with the anger and betrayal at being lied to for so long, it comes at a particularly opportune time so that she can step into the STAR Labs team which is currently minus one Dr. Wells and add her own bit of expertise to the mix. Iris actually worked quite well in this episode, bringing her own character traits to the table and knowledge that she actually would have to help further the plot.
And I have to applaud the show with how it portrays the Eobord and Eddie relationship. There is just the slightest hint of familial obligation from Eobord, even though it’s set up so that he is mainly just protecting his own timeline. For his part, Eddie does his best to dig into Eobord to find out what his end game is, but there’s the right amount of arrogance and intelligence that prevents him from revealing his grand plan because there’s absolutely no reason for him to do that, aside from the typical trope that is the excuse to explain it to the audience. It’s also great to see Tom Cavanagh show off his darker side, as there is still hints of what we’ve come to know as Dr. Wells, but it’s mostly Eobord Thawne. And while I’m not entirely sure, I get the impression that they are actually inside of the particle accelerator. All in all, this was a nice little breath of air before the last two episodes of the season.