We see the return of Grodd! What else is there to say? Let’s talk about the awesomeness that was last night’s episode of The Flash! Where we push the titular character aside and let the supporting cast shine. Spoilers ahoy!

“If Harry wants to go...bye.”

We open with Barry doing some physical therapy work, after the bomb last week in which he said he couldn’t feel his legs. He makes it six steps. Caityln is optimistic about his recovery rate.

Wells demands access to the breach room and the speed cannon, because it’s time for him to return to Earth-2, and do something about Zoom. Caityln wants him to stay, and defeat him on their earth. Cisco, and almost the rest of the team, is for him leaving.

Alarm bells ring, not for a meta-human attack, just a little reminder for Cisco that he has a date tonight. We get the runner up for the Cisco line of the night:

“I think we’re doing dinner and a movie...and then, I don’t know, maybe some breakfast.”

Barry, however, does not have a date. Patty calls to check up on him since he’s “sick”, but he declines her offer of “homemade chicken noodle soup from scratch” because he prefers the canned stuff.

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Caityln goes after Wells to convince him to stay, saying that the team can help him save his daughter. Wells said his plan of recruiting the Flash failed, and he had no other plan, other than to return and face him himself. Caityln says he’s lucky Cisco and Stein never figured out how to close the breaches, because then he’d be stuck. This gives him the brilliant idea of closing all the breaches except one, limiting the ways Zoom can travel between worlds.

Then we jump to Cisco on his date with Kendra Saunders. He gives the “it has everything” speech from The Princess Bride and hundreds of girls swoon at their televisions. Then he takes her hand and sees the vibe of Kendra as Hawkgirl and hundreds of geeks squee in delight.

Then Cisco has to bail on her after having the vibe, in obvious conflict.

Cisco isn’t the only one seeing things through. Over at Vaughan Pharmaceuticals, a Doctor Shore has some strange vision that causes him to break something out of a secure closet, and fight his way out to the street. Then he regains consciousness completely confused by his actions. Cue [helicopter rotors] and [guttural grunting]. (Seriously, always use subtitles on Hulu.) And Grodd knocks him 50 feet and kills him.

“Foolish Human...I am Grodd.”

Patty is on the scene at the murder, and has found some strange hairs. We also learn that Shore is the second dead tech in a week, and both techs had stolen a serum called Cortexin which is used to treat encephalopathy from the storage cooler prior to being murdered. Shore died from blunt force trauma to the head, and the sign with the point of impact is pretty high, therefore Patty knows there’s something not-human about the killer.

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Off topic, Patty asks about Barry, and Joe says he was just on his way to see him with some “homemade chicken noodle soup” because he hates that canned stuff. Secrets are fun.

We see Barry recovering and back on the treadmill at Star labs. When Joe says for him to push himself though, Barry has a flashback to the attack and falls down and off the treadmill.

Joe and Iris try to comfort Barry, but he says there’s nothing he can do. Then when Iris leaves, Barry confines in Joe. (I’m linking Eleggua’s article on the topic of Iris if you didn’t read it yet, because this is exactly the problem (s)he addresses and I agree with a lot of the points in the article.)

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Barry is struggling because the city he loves, loves and trusts the Flash. They gave him the key to the city, he’s supposed to be their hero. Yet Zoom came in and showed them all that the Flash is nothing compared to him. Barry feels like a failure. Joe just listens, not trying to fix it, because sometimes the best thing you can do is listen.

Meanwhile Cisco asks Caitlin if she has heard about a Birdman attacking the city. Obviously he didn’t make the connection that the vibes are connected to what he’s touching and he was touching Kendra at the time. Also, he thinks he saw a man with wings, not realizing she had a feminine figure. Seriously, isn’t he supposed to be a genius? Caitlin gets the same kind of vision that Dr. Shore had and punches Cisco and walks out.

Patty calls Joe let him know the cases are linked. The first victim also stole something before dying, a racetam drug. Both of the stolen drugs are nootropic drugs used to enhance intelligence. Joe immediately asks about the results on the hairs found at the crime scene. They’re gorilla hairs!

“You have talking gorillas on your Earth, too?”

Cisco runs to Barry asking if he’s seen Caitlin who he says was acting weird. Joe comes running in shouting “GRODD, Grodd is back.” They put two and two together about Grodd mind controlling Caitlin and pull up the live feed from the surveillance cameras. We see [dramatic music] Caitlin walk out of the building, followed by Grodd. Everyone runs after them both, but are too late.

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Joe, Wells, and Cisco have a good long discussion to figure out Grodds plan while Barry sulks in his wheelchair. Joe fills them in on the prior murders and the missing drugs. They figure out that Grodd likely wants Doctor Snow, the scientist, for something involving those two drugs and that she’s likely alive for now. They plan to try and figure out where Grodd has been sighted to find his current location since he gave up his bachelor pad in the sewers.

Caitlin awakes to [eerie music] is a badly lit lair of some sort. Grodd tells Caitlin she was always kind, and that he brought her here to help him discover how he became Grodd. Caitlin tells him it was because of the particle accelerator explosion.

Grodd: “Repeat”

Caitlin: “Repeat?”

Grodd: “Need to repeat Grodd”

Caitlin: “You want me to make more like you? I don’t know how to do that.”

Grodd: “Learn.”

“Sometimes you just got to slow down, to get back to where you want to be.”

Barry is motivated to work harder to regain his speed, and just when he needs encouragement Henry returns after Iris gave him a call, because Barry has two amazing fathers.

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On the science side, Cisco explains Grodds origins to Wells about how the other Wells helped to create and manipulate him. Wells shrugs it off and unveils his algorithm to find Grodd’s location based on past places he’s been and they find likely possibilities of his location pretty quickly.

On the emotional side, Henry looks at Barry’s medical chart and x-rays and says that he’s all healed up, and doesn’t even need physical therapy. Henry also drops the location of where he’s been - Granite Peak National Park where he’s spent a lot of time fishing. (For non-comic readers it is literally right outside Central City.) Cisco rushes in to let him know they’ve narrowed down Grodd’s location.

Cisco line of the night, “He upgraded from a bachelor pad to a penthouse, like a baller.”

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They have a plan. Reverse Flash shows up, Barry freaks and instantly pins him to the Wall before Cisco can should “that’s the other Wells.” Cisco wants to convince Grodd that that this Wells is the same Wells that was his ‘father’ then maybe he can convince Grodd to let Caitlin go. Cisco has some anti-mind control earbuds, but if they fail Wells could be through, because Barry isn’t ready to be his extraction team just yet.

To get Wells into character, Cisco coaches him through the “creepy yet sincere” speech Wells gave him right before he killed him in the alternate timeline. Maniacal geek laughter. He eventually nails it and Cisco gives him the thumbs up.

“No more monsters can take that from us.”

Back at Star Labs, Henry and Barry have a heart to heart. Henry points out that, physically, Barry is completely healed. Barry repeats the “the city saw I wasn’t good enough” speech he gave to Joe. Unlike Joe, however, Henry gives advice saying what Barry is going through is similar to what he endured after he was on trial for murdering his mother, that it didn’t matter that it wasn’t true, all this family and friends were horrified by ‘what he’d done’.

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Henry’s pretty emotional and, despite it not working for the show, it made sense that he would want to leave town following his exoneration. Everyone lost faith in him. Barry asked how he got passed it, and he said to embrace it and believe in himself and that Barry believing in him is what gave him that hope.

We see Caitlin walking Grodd through what the experiments did to him, and nervously explaining that maybe they can duplicate it using the drugs without the need of a particle accelerator explosion.

That’s when Wells arrives. He calls Grodd buddy a lot to reassure him that it’s really him, that he didn’t die, just left for a bit. He says that now that he’s back they don’t need Caitlin, and asks if she can leave, please.

The ‘please’ of course reveals that it’s not the Wells Grodd knew.

“Father never ask. Father take.”

Caitlin tries to run, but Grodd stops her telepathically before slamming Wells strongly in the wall demanding he tell him who he really is. Cisco gets in and slips some buds into Caitlin’s ears releasing her from Grodd’s telepathic control. Barry then tells them the best way to defeat Grodd is with the drugs he stole with an overdose.

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Wells tries to be assertive and regain Grodd’s trust. He mentions the promise he made him, that he was meant for bigger things. Then he stabs him in the leg with several drug filled syringes. The team retreats quickly after that.

“You didn’t see what I saw.”

Back at the lab after everyone is patched up, they discuss the need for a final solution to the Grodd problem. Joe and Barry are okay with killing him after how many people he’s killed. Caitlin, despite being the one kidnapped by him, disagrees. She believes that he’s lonely and sad and just wants apes like him.

“One telepathic Grape Ape is more than enough for this city.”

Wells has a plan though. When he was planning on escaping to his own world using the breeches, he notices something. While the breaches in our world are scattered, they’re not in his world and there’s a pattern. He knows the perfect breach to send Grodd through to get him to as close to home as he’s ever going to get.

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Henry volunteers the Flash to lure him through the breach. However, it’s Caitlin that calls him out of the tower. Flash says if he wants Caitlin, he has to catch him. Flash lures Grodd to the breach, where Wells spray painted the target zone. He freezes though, with a flashback to his encounter with Zoom, and Grodd gets in a good hit and immobilized the Flash under his giant ape foot.

Caitlin steps up. She says the Flash was only trying to protect her, because they didn’t know what he wanted, but now she does. “I can give you what you want. I can give you a home.” Grodd leaves Barry gasping and coughing and walks towards Caitlin, stepping into the circle.

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Flash uses his speed to get Caitlin out of the circle just as Cisco fires the speed cannon at Grodd. Grodd almost gets free before the Flash gets a pep talk from dear old dad to conquer his fears, and he uses his speed to kGrodd into the breach and dunk out of the way.

“There are no words.”

Back at Star Labs the team is staring at the suit, and admitting that something good finally came out of it. Before they destroy it, however, Barry suggests that Cisco figures out how to get it back into the ring. Wells says he can help, because he knows a bit about microtechnology.

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Caitlin asks Wells where exactly they sent Grodd on his earth. He tells her it was a refuge where gorillas subjected to lab experiments can roam freely. Cisco wonders why the breaches open up in different places (an excellent point) and Wells just knows that they have to figure out how to close them. Caitlin gives the teamwork can accomplish anything speech.

Afterwards Henry is welcomed to the West household where he catches up on photos from Barry’s childhood. He also thanks Iris for reaching out to him, and thanks Joe for taking such good care of his son for all those years. Before they leave, Joe tells Barry that Patty is a smart girl and isn’t buying his whole ‘sick story’.

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After Barry leaves to take his dad to the hospital, things get a bit foreshadowy at the West Residence. Joe says that he loves Barry like a son, and it’s weird when he’s reminded that he isn’t his real son. Iris reassures him, with some odd wording, that he would’ve been just as great with his son as he was with Barry.

Barry eventually goes to see Patty, who lets him know right away he’s not buying the sick story, so he fesses up to not being sick. Barry tells a half truth, that the reason he was away was because his dad was in town and even though he was exonerated, many still see him as a murderer. Patty says that if they’re going to have a relationship that they have to have more trust.

Cue romantic kissing and “In Your Eyes” by Peter Gabriel.

Then we see Cisco waiting for Kendra outside Jitters holding a gift basket holding both flowers and chocolate, since he didn’t know what she liked. Unfortunately, she’s allergic to chocolate and thinks flowers are a waste of money. Not.

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Cisco apologizes for running out on her, with another half truth, that he had an emergency with the CCPD that called him away. He did download all the Princess Bride on a digital movie projector so they can still have their date. As she leans in to kiss him, he has another clearer vibe. This time I think he realizes who is under those hawk wings.

Then we get to see where Grodd ended up. [Grandiose music] IT’S GORILLA CITY, BITCHES!

Assorted Musings

  • Why did none of you point out I’ve been spelling Caitlin wrong this whole time? I feel like an idiot.
  • Flash Ring soon? Awesome.
  • Definitely interested in seeing how they’re going to play Hawkgirl with a romantic interest Cisco and his Vibes. Though it’s obviously not a slow-play.
  • I feel like Iris is evolving as a character (she’s the one that brought back Henry) and is getting no recognition for it.
  • Henry took to seeing Wells again way to cool if you ask me.
  • Barry in wheelchair, Wells suiting up to take down the bad guy. I thought it was funny.
  • Henry was great in this episode, and they rushed him off again too quickly.
  • So who wants to place bets on which happens first: Barry tells her, or Patty figures out his secret?

Next time: It’s time for the Crossover event!