“Welcome to the jungle, baby.”
The very words uttered by Cisco Ramone (Carlos Valdes) this week ushered in what was one of the most visually striking episodes of The Flash’s run so far and it also promised the return of one of the most formidable villains to have made an appearance in the life of the speedster – comic book or television. The notion of Grodd making a return was certain to excite fans and this clearly reverberated to the show’s producers, and as a result spawned a special two-part edition of ‘Gorilla City’, with the opening half having come to us via a fitting return from both Harrison Wells (Tom Cavanagh) and his daughter Jesse (Violet Beane), now in full speedster guise as Jessie Quick. With her father captured by Grodd in Gorilla City, Earth Two’s hero would call upon her Earth One friends to help save him and stepping forward this week was Barry, Caitlin, Cisco and the newly-adventurous Julian, with the latter looking to keep tabs on Caitlin and her ongoing struggle with the dark Killer Frost powers brewing inside her.
With the quartet otherwise engaged in other-Earth activities, this would leave Joe, Iris, Wally and Jesse with the task of holding the fort in Central City. Inevitably, trouble would come their way in the form of some bank robbers but that was the least of their issues, with Wally and Jessie’s relationship seemingly hitting a bump in the road and the pair having to discuss just how their new lives of being heroes has affected them.
As we witnessed Team Flash split across two dimensions this week, it gave the show time to focus on certain individuals in the show who sometimes wouldn’t normally carry the limelight. Most notably, it gave us a chance to catch up with the relationship of Wally and Jesse, with the pair clearly still adapting to their newfound abilities and the responsibility that comes with them. While it’s clear that both enjoy the fact that they’re now speedsters, it was great to see just how it had affected their own personal lives and their connection with one another. Wally’s rather blasé attitude to the status of being a hero is nicely balanced out by Jessie and now that she’s decided to stay on Earth-One it’ll make for a nice dynamic within the expanding team.
Elsewhere, Gorilla City proved to be a massive hit, with the visual aspect turned up a notch in presenting this vast landscape very much in the same vein as The Planet of the Apes (a hilarious reference to the films from none other than star of one of the recent iterations, Tom Felton). Here we found ourselves in a land dominated with lush greenery and magnificent structures that completely did the show’s SFX team justice. It’s amazing to see just how far the show has come in terms of its visuals and the sight of Gorilla City, along with Barry’s showdown with leader Solovar – the sheer scope of the gladiator arena captured with the utmost brilliance.
With the episode closing on an inevitably exciting cliffhanger paving the way for part two of the Grodd story, The Flash has reached a point where it has undoubtedly upped its game and we expect next week’s could be just as epic.
The Flash airs on The CW on Tuesdays.