Flash: Attack on Gorilla City

“Best worst videogame ever.”

Well, at least part of that quote is correct.

“Attack on Gorilla City” is the story of four humans with innumerable advanced degrees who travel to an alternate-dimension Africa wearing knitted hats and parkas, but don’t bring any food. Not even an energy bar. Luckily, alternate-dimension Africa is really Canada, so everyone’s clothes were appropriate. Except for Julian, whose clothes were so colonial I expected him to carry a gin and tonic and start calling people “pukka sahib.”

It’s not a surprise that Africa is really Canada—a fact our heroes never figure out—since the sentient gorillas probably like the healthcare system and tax breaks for filming. Heck, they probably have a crush on Trudeau. (Who doesn’t have a crush on Trudeau?)

Thank you, BBC, for this lovely photo of Trudeau and pandas.

But “Attack on Gorilla City” is also the story of a race of superintelligent, superbig gorillas, at least one of whom has psychic powers. I know this because all the characters spend a lot of time talking about how smart Grodd is: “He’s always one step ahead.” I think someone said that. Possibly multiple someones, but I’m not inclined to rewatch the episode, so I’m just guessing.

It is a surprise that our four humans with innumerable advanced degrees are so quickly captured, contained, and disempowered. It is also a letdown. For most of this episode, the actors looked like they were straining to care about their fate, struggling to communicate urgency, and wishing they had a gin and tonic. Or at least an energy bar.

It is also a surprise that the superintelligent Grodd fell for the second-oldest trick in the book (dead prisoner—and I’m not going to tell you what the first-oldest trick is), since he’s always one step ahead, except when he’s one step behind.

Just like Caitlin is always afraid of losing control of her powers, and so she can’t use them, except when she has to use them, and she maintains control of her powers just fine. Perhaps a gin and tonic would have upped the ante a bit more. (Caitlin will bring the ice!)

“Attack on Gorilla City” is an episode in which a character brings attention to the fact that they’re bringing the gun, then promptly loses it. It’s an episode in which the epic showdown in the arena left me wishing I could think of good jokes about David and Goliath, the Mountain and the Viper, or at least Gladiator, which is known as Sweaty Men on Earth-19.

“Attack on Gorilla City” is not a good episode of The Flash.

That makes me sad, because I like The Flash. If you’re reading these reviews as I write them, you know I’m catching up on Season Three during the summer hiatus. That means that I’m not tapped into the fandom’s pulse; what little I know is from the Agents of DOUX writers’ room, where everyone seemed unexcited by this season, and various corners of the internet, where I saw the phrase “Barry Allen is the worst” more often than I would like.

But I like this season, although it lacks the shine of Season One, and I know comics fans like Grodd. As a result, I can only assume that either this review, or the episode itself, is a huge disappointment.

For which I would recommend a good gin and tonic. Or this:


Flashpoints:

• I did like HR and Jesse chatting about her love life.

• If Africa isn’t cold in that dimension, does that mean that Central City is extra-chilly?

• It’s nice to see Gypsy again. I look forward to future sparkage between her and Cisco.

One and a half out of four Indianas.

Josie Kafka is a full-time cat servant and part-time rogue demon hunter. (What's a rogue demon?)

2 comments:

Billie Doux said...

Josie, you made me want a gin and tonic. :)

I know that there are many Grodd fans, but I just don't get it. Maybe Grodd just doesn't translate well from the Flash comic to the Berlanti-verse screen.

Patryk said...

We are still do not live in times when full-CGI characters work on weekly TV shows. Only stuff like Rocket Raccon and Groot work because the budgets of those films is throught the roof. So I guess that's why the Grodd wpisodes fall flat. Otherwise a Gorille who ca mind control you would be pretty terryfing.

That's also why the threat of a CGI gorilla army invasion can't be taken seriously. :)

I agree on Caitlyn and her strange use of powers. She can even summon snow for a festive xmas without going all Killer Frost on everyone. I guess the long seasons are taking a toll on the writers.