I'm not sure which highly-anticipated event on The Flash I was looking forward to more. The debut of the long alluded to Gorilla Grodd or Iris finally realizing Barry is the Flash and letting him have it for lying to her all season. Luckily, we get both in 'Grodd Lives.'
First, there's a highly armored gold truck robber terrorizing Central City. It turns out, in classic Scooby-Doo fashion, to be General Eiling under the mask. Except he's not himself. He's under some spell, a psychic puppet to the whims of one Grodd. This discovery jogs the memories of Caitlin and Cisco about the old super-soldier experiments that pumped Grodd full of chemicals and must have altered his genetics and mind after the particle accelerator exploded - instant meta-gorilla.
STAR Labs is probably the least secure facility in Central City because anybody and everybody keep walking right through the front door. You'd think with a psychopath with super speed out there they'd at least lock the front door. Anyway, Iris walks in and she is not pleased. She knows Barry is the Flash and she wants answers. It's the moment we've been waiting for and it delivers. To the writers' credit, Iris doesn't let up on Barry, she doesn't take it easy as she very well shouldn't after being lied to and treated like a child incapable of making her own decisions. Joe and Barry both thought it would keep her safe if she didn't know, but then they allowed everyone around her to know. And it still didn't protect her since Harrison Wells/Eobard Thawne was revealed to be the Reverse Flash she's in more danger now than ever. So she lays into both Barry and her dad. It was a moment that was long overdue and she proved to be far more useful being in on the action. More on that later.
We get just some minor scenes with the Thawnes. Eddie is still tied-up and asking a bunch of questions. Tom Cavanagh is relishing his dastardly role with villainous glee. He practically twirls his mustache, metaphorically speaking. Whatever he's up to, and we assume it's big, will come to fruition during the season finale. He unleashes Grodd to keep Team Flash busy. Barry and the gang openly admit that Grodd is being used as a distraction. It's a distraction worth having when it involves a huge mind-controlling ape lurking in the sewers. CW spends every possible dime it can afford to provide its comic book shows with film-quality special effects and Grodd, for example, is very impressive.
Joe and Cisco felt the need to explore the sewers for this meta-powered gorilla on their own. It goes about as bad as you can imagine. Cisco mentions a lot of movie references and Jurassic Park was probably the most appropriate when Grodd's impending presence was seen in the ripples of a water puddle. Joe is quickly snatched up by Grodd in a terrifying scene. Grodd represents a more suspenseful almost horror-like element to the show. It's a welcome change of pace that shocks the audience a bit.
Barry comes to the rescue, but Grodd turns out to be more formidable that anyone thought. Not even The Flash's super-sonic punch was a match for the big ape who just caught his fist and tossed him aside like a used banana peel (Grodd hates bananas by the way). He pummels Barry with psychic images of his painful experiments that took place under Gen. Eiling, rendering the Scarlett Speedster distracted and in pain. Only the voice of Iris in his earpiece can spur Barry on to continue fighting. It was very Mickey-yelling-at-Rocky,"get up you son of a bitch," or something along those lines. It was a little cheesy but seeing Grodd get hit by a speeding train was well worth it.
It all boils down to the climatic showdown in the next two final episodes. 'Grodd Lives,' lived up to the hype even with so little of the big guy in the episode. I hope he'll be back next season more evolved and smarter like we've seen in the comics and cartoons. The best part is Iris finally knows Barry is The Flash and we can get past the nonsense of hiding the truth from poor, fragile little Iris. After all, she proves to be a valuable asset to Team Flash. There's still the relationship thing with Eddie but with Eobard spoiling his future plans that could change. The next two episodes should be exciting especially with the rumored backdoor pilot of the upcoming spin-off, Legends of Tomorrow, during the finale.
Check out another all-star team-up in the preview for next week's 'Rogue Air'
Reverse Flash vs. The Flash, Arrow and Firestorm...this is going to be fun. Don't miss the final 2 episodes of the season, beginning Tuesday at 8/7c!