Could there be a worse time than when Barry is still recovering from his back being broken for Grodd to show up and kidnap Caitlin? (Well, probably, considering the threat of Zoom and everything, but still, it’s bad timing.) In the Tuesday, Nov. 17 episode of “The Flash,” 2×07, “Gorilla Warfare,” that’s exactly what happens, but fortunately, a visit from his father is just what the doctor (or rather, the reporter, in this case) orders.
With the team already down a man while Barry slowly moves around using a cane, it’s also horrible timing for Harry to decide that he’s going to leave this Earth behind and return home and take care of Zoom himself. Caitlin is the one who protests, refusing to let him leave when they could still use his help, considering all he knows about Zoom. But Harry argues that he came here to get The Flash’s help, and since that plan failed, there’s nothing left for him to do but return home and face Zoom himself. That’s a terrible plan, she points out (unnecessarily) to him because the speedster that seems more demon than anything else will just kill him. Instead, they come up with a better solution: figure out how to close the breaches so that Zoom can only cross between worlds through the one in S.T.A.R. Labs and trap him.
First, however, they have to deal with a bigger (for now) problem: Grodd is on the loose, killing lab techs and stealing drugs that treat a blood disease in the brain and vertigo. Grodd also takes Caitlin (after making her punch Cisco) to his new bell tower base. “Caitlin always kind,” Grodd remembers, revealing he needs her help to “repeat Grodd.” When she says she doesn’t know how to make more like him, he only gives her one option: “Learn.”
Thanks to an algorithm Harry created, they’re able to narrow down Grodd’s location to three bell towers, and with Harry’s help dressed as the Reverse Flash, the plan is for him to go in there and pretend to be “Father” and get Caitlin out of there. Before doing so, however, he has to be able to fool Grodd, and that means, as he practices his Dr. Wells impression, upping the creep factor a lot more, being more sincere and acting like he really loves him but has to kill him anyway, Cisco instructs Harry. The plan goes south when Grodd points out that “Father never ask, Father take,” but fortunately, there’s a plan B: inject Grodd with an overdose of the drugs he had stolen to shock his brain and give them all a chance to escape. It works.
They still have to deal with the fact that Grodd is out there, however, and that means doing something about him. Joe suggests killing him – after all, he’s killed people – but Caitlin argues that he’s just lonely and wants more of his kind. That’s where Harry comes in with a plan: send him through a breach to his world where there are more like him. In fact, he can figure out which breach to send him through (though the breaches on Earth-Two are in different places than their Earth). They have to lure him to the right spot, and that’s where The Flash comes in.
There’s just one problem with that, one that fortunately Henry (who’s been camping and fishing) is around to help him with, thanks to a call from Iris. Barry’s having flashbacks to what Zoom did to him, and it’s halting his recovery. “Zoom destroyed me,” Barry tells Joe. “He showed everyone in Central City what he did to me, that I’m powerless to stop him.” He feels that he failed in front of the people who rely on him to protect them and because of that, everyone sees The Flash as someone who isn’t strong enough to protect them.
“Sometimes you just have to slow down to get back to where you want to be,” Henry suggests. He admits that it was hard to watch what Zoom did to him, which Barry sees as Zoom showing that Central City’s “hero wasn’t good enough to stop him.” Henry knows what his son’s feeling, the shame of losing, the feeling that people don’t believe in him anymore. He felt the same thing during and after the trial, when friends and family believed that he would kill the woman he loved in front of their son. “I embraced it. Accepting it was the only way I could move forward. But I knew if I could survive that and learn to believe in myself again then I could survive anything,” he explained. “You know what lit that belief in me, Barry? You.”
Henry’s words are just what Barry needs to be ready to be The Flash again in time to lure Grodd to the breach, but when Grodd knocks him aside, he once again has flashbacks to what Zoom did to him. With Henry telling his son to conquer his fears and believe in himself, Barry is able to punch into the breach, and when Grodd comes out the other side, he’s in a place where he should fit right in: what looks like Gorilla City.
While Harry donned the Reverse Flash suit to help save Caitlin, that’s one suit no one wants to see again. However, Barry would love to figure out how to get it back in the ring first because that’s so much more convenient than a bag. Fortunately, Harry can help with that. He knows a thing or two about micro-technology.
Meanwhile, since Barry can’t tell Patty that he’s “staying off his feet” because he’s recovering from a broken back, he goes with the “nasty bug” excuse, which doesn’t work so well since he tells her prefers canned chicken noodle soup and Joe says he likes it homemade. After bringing his father to the bus station, he stops by his lab, where she’s been working, and admits that he wasn’t sick. Instead of telling her the truth, however, he says his father was in town and falls back on “some people can’t see past my father’s wrongful conviction,” which doesn’t go over so well with her because it makes it seem that she’s one of those people. He distracts her with a kiss, but really, how long can he keep his secret from her?
Finally, Cisco and Kendra’s first date is put on pause when, after she touches him, he vibes and sees her as Hawkgirl. He doesn’t get the full picture until they kiss later when he shows up to make it up to her an blames his running out on an emergency with the CCPD.
“The Flash” season 2 airs Tuesdays at 8 p.m. on the CW. What did you think of episode 7 “Gorilla Warfare”?