In Review: The Flash, Episode 21 “Grodd Lives”

Grodd gone wild, while Iris realizes she's been odd girl outed.

The Flash, Episode 21 “Grodd Lives” Broadcast May 5, 2015

Written by Grainne Godfree & Kai Yu Wu

Directed by Dermott Downs

“Previously on The Flash“, Eddie is about to propose to Iris and is then whisked away by the Reverse-Flash, and the title character tells Iris he’ll find her fiancée. A spark leaps between them as he dashes off, leaving her to realize he’s Barry. Now, watching the Flash speed off, Iris thinks, ‘Nothing will ever be the same again.’ The next day at the police station, Captain Singh is looking for Eddie, and Joe and Barry say he’s taking some personal time. Alone in his office, Iris comes in to tell Barry that the Reverse-Flash took Eddie. Barry feigns surprise and reaches out to touch her, but she recoils. She needles him that the Flash should be out looking for him. “I’m sure (the Flash) is doing everything he can to find him,” he says. She counters with, “Yeah. Well, I’m finding it pretty hard to trust the Flash right now.” He leaves the room with an unasked question on her lips. At the Central City branch of the U.S. Federal Reserve, gold bars are being moved into vans. A figure wearing a lot of armor walks on the scene and produces a rocket launcher. He fires at one of the vehicles, sending it in the air and knocking down several guards. At S.T.A.R. Labs, Barry finds Cisco repurposing all the spy cameras that Wells used to monitor everyone. A computer alarm goes off about the trouble at the gold reserve and Barry dashes off. The armored figure is firing a high powered rifle at the guards who return fire. The Flash appears between them. “You picked a bad day for this, pal,” says the Scarlet Speedster. Suddenly the hero gets violent visions of being operated on by doctors. He collapses to the ground, writhing in pain. His antagonist stoops forward, and then shakes himself as if awakening from a haze. The villain then goes rigid and runs off, leaving the Flash to say, “What was that?” Back at S.T.A.R. Labs, Caitlin clears Barry of any neurological damage. He can’t confirm if he was attacked by a metahuman. Allen postulates, “Maybe we both got whammied.” “Now you know how it feels,” adds Iris walking in, seeing Barry in his Flash suit. “Hi, Barry. Or should I say ‘Flash’?” Cue first commercial break.

Well, it’s out in the open right away–Iris knows, and this story wastes no time in having her confront everyone about being out of the loop. The problem is she gains no sympathy in her venting. She comes off as self-important and vain. Iris is unable to see anyone’s opinion on this, and I didn’t care if she felt hurt. I realize this is not due to Candice Patton’s action, but writers who do not know what to do with her. I honestly wanted someone to yell at her to shut up. She is a terrible character. The final conflict with Grodd provides an opportunity for her to contribute as Cisco and Caitlin do, but even when she was helping, the focus went to her, not Barry. Given how this character has been written, I don’t think there’s enough room in her self-centered life for anyone but herself, because that’s who the world revolves around. Barry can do so much better than this nagging character. On the positive side, Grodd was impressive. He has the same abilities as his comic book counterpart and used them to good effect. Speaking of good effects, the computer work done to make Grodd should be congratulated. He was a terrific effect, except for a momentary lapse when running down a hall. The return of a non-metahuman antagonist was great–I love that actor, and having Grodd speak through him was just awesome. There are a pair of scenes featuring the Thawnes, which has one of them giving rote prisoner dialogue, though the captor continued to impress. I don’t see how this episodes contributes to the Reverse-Flash’s plans, save in the final moments. Still, I never thought I’d see the day where Grodd would make it onto a live action television show.

The good: Carlos Valdes getting all the funny lines, Jesse L. Martin getting some juicy scenes before and after encountering Grodd, Tom Cavanagh being wonderfully smug and evil, good Grodd effects, and a C.H.U.D. shout out.

Fun lines: “Stop talking!”, “What happened to Eddie is your fault,” “Eiling-not-here,” “Caitlin-good,” “You and your movies,” “I-hurt-……,” “I-am-Grodd-fear-me,” “It’s your monkey,” “If I hadn’t seen Jurassic Park I wouldn’t be nearly as frightened right now,” “Tough question,” and “I have the key.”

The bad: Iris is at her most annoying and most of the episode revolves around her anger.

The final line: Grodd gone wild, while Iris realizes she’s been odd girl outed. Any scene without Iris was good, which, sadly, was only half the episode. There’s not enough simian action to entirely save this. Overall grade: B

Patrick Hayes was a contributor to the Comic Buyer's Guide for several years with "It's Bound to Happen!" and he's reviewed comics for TrekWeb and TrekCore. He's taught 8th graders English for 20 years and has taught high school English for five years and counting. He reads everything as often as he can, when not grading papers or looking up Star Trek, Star Wars, or Indiana Jones items online.
    2 Comments on this post.
  • Raissa Devereux (@RaissaDevereux)
    6 May 2015 at 2:42 pm -

    I totally agree. I don’t know where they went wrong with Iris, but I want to drop kick her. There’s a massive gulf between the character the writers think she is and who we have on the screen. What’s interesting is the fandom seems evenly split on her.

    Grodd, Wells, and Eiling were superb throughout.

  • Patrick Hayes
    7 May 2015 at 2:47 am -

    I thought I might have been too harsh on how Iris has been handled; thanks for confirming my feelings!

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