“Easy, killer,” says Thawne as Wells (Tom Cavanagh). “Thawne!” answers a confused Barry (Grant Gustin) who’s locked in a cage that seems to be in the past before the particle accelerator exploded in season six episode 13 of The CW’s The Flash.
The episode begins with an aerial shot of Central City. The camera travels all over different parts of the city before finally focusing on Barry who’s desperately searching for his parents’ graves after all the changes made during Crisis. He receives a call on the comms about a meta attack downtown and speeds off as The Flash to handle it.
When he arrives, he finds Hartley Rathaway (Andy Mientus) is back in villain mode as the Pied Piper and now a dedicated enemy of Team Flash. Hartley escapes from The Flash using his post-Crisis power: he can fly.
A little later at S.T.A.R. Labs, Barry asks Gideon for an update on all the changes in Central City post-crisis. The A.I. responds with 3.725 trillion changes.
Barry’s working on improving a piece of tech when Kamilla (Victoria Park) enters along with Chester P. Runk (Brandon McKnight) who becomes the latest to learn Barry is The Flash. As Chester geeks out, he starts to fiddle with (and try to improve) the piece of tech Barry was working on. Barry snaps, tells him to stop, and reminds him he’s not part of the team.
Chester, embarrassed, leaves to sulk and Kamilla gently suggests to Barry to go easy on Chester since he’s his idol.
Over in the mirror dimension, Iris (Candice Patton) and Eva (Efrat Dor) go over again what she was doing when she got trapped in the mirror dimension. Eva says she had just perfected her prototype machine. Iris encourages her to rebuild it to use it to escape.
Meanwhile, Nash is with Allegra (Kayla Compton) and wants her to use her powers to charge a device he’s made. Only Nash sees Sherloque Wells who tells him he’s a liar. Allegra reluctantly uses her powers but the device explodes.
While picking themselves – and the shattered pieces off the floor – off the ground, Allegra sees a photo of Nash’s that has him in it with a woman who looks just like her. Allegra becomes upset, yelling at him that it’s really creepy he never told her about the woman.
At S.T.A.R. Labs, Barry tries the device Chester messed with, gets knocked out, and falls to the floor. When he wakes, he finds himself locked in a cage and minus his powers. Caitlin (Danielle Panabaker) walks in smiling and starts to talk in a patronizing tone. He’s begging her to let him out because he doesn’t know what’s going on when Eobard Thawne – looking like Dr. Wells – shows up smiling. Barry thinks he’s somehow trapped in the past and swears to Thawne that whatever he’s up to he will find a way to stop him.
Mirror Iris visits Joe (Jesse L. Martin) and gets upset with him when he won’t give her the files he has on Joseph Carver. She quickly calms down and suggests they get lunch at noon. Joe agrees.
Back at S.T.A.R. Labs, Chester’s talking to Frost about Barry being upset with him. As they’re walking and talking, Frost enters the tech room to find Barry passed out on the floor. She quickly gets him up and onto a gurney.
Barry realizes something’s off after Thawne and Caitlin keep talking to him like he’s an animal. He glances into the water bowl and sees Gorilla Grodd. Barry quickly figures out he’s not back in time but trapped in Grodd’s mind in a mindscape.
It seems Chester tweaked the device and made it so strong that it allowed Grodd, who’s still locked up at ARGUS and in an induced coma to keep his telekinetic powers quiet, the ability to draw Barry into his mind.
Grodd (voiced by David Sobolov) tells Barry he wants him to know what it’s like to have nothing and that he still blames him for being in the coma. Barry, now angry, reminds Grodd of all the people he has hurt – innocent people he tried to mind control and hurt during his quest for power. “You got what you deserved,” says Barry.
Surprisingly, Grodd admits Barry’s right. It was his fault but says he’s sorry and to prove it he gives Barry back his powers and opens the cage door. Once out of the cage, Barry speeds punches Grodd and speeds off to find an exit from his mind.
Frost studies Barry’s brain waves and quickly realizes Barry and Grodd are linked together in a mindscape. She brings Chester and Kamilla up to speed on how it works and the dangers of it, warning Grodd’s mindscape can’t handle both consciousnesses and will crumble from the strain which will kill both Grodd and Barry.
Chester realizes it’s his fault because he tweaked the device and made it possible for Grodd’s brain to link with Barry’s. Chester walks off once again, feeling terrible. Frost immediately goes after him, explaining that everyone on the team at one time or another has made a mistake putting Barry in danger. Chester has to make up for it by helping to save Barry.
Chester tells Frost a story about when he was a kid and he messed up a school project but told his teacher he could fix it. The teacher answered, “In the real world people like us don’t get second chances,” referring to them being African Americans.
Frost says to Chester, “I understand some of the stuff we do in here has nothing to do with the real world, but I’m offering you a second chance because you deserve one. We all do.”
Back in Grodd’s mind, Barry – now in The Flash suit – finds the exit but discovers it’s being guarded by the Gorilla Solovar. Barry tries to explain that he needs to leave, but Solovar replies that he’s the gatekeeper and won’t allow anyone to leave. Barry tries to fight the big gorilla but loses and has to race away.
Over in the mirror dimension, Iris and Eva argue about using her prototype to try to escape. Eva finally uses the machine and sticks out her arms through the mirror. They go through but get seriously burned. Iris, shocked and upset, asks why she did that if she knew it would happen. Eva says she needed to show Iris so she would believe her.
In Grodd’s mindscape, the gorilla finds Barry and tells him he knows how life has changed post-crisis and that he has changed too. All he wants is to go to Gorilla City (now on this Earth) and live in peace. However, he needs Barry’s help or they will both die.
What Grodd says strikes home with Barry who realizes he’s been trying to hold onto the past and how things were instead of moving forward. Barry tells Grodd that in order to get past Solovar, they need to team up.
Meanwhile at Joe’s office, Mirror Iris has used the time when she knows Joe’s out to sneak onto his computer. She downloads his files on Carver.
Grodd and Barry fuse together in the mindscape (it’s a very cool scene) and go up against Solovar. It’s possible to take him down because now Grodd is able to use The Flash’s powers to fight.
Frost finally connects with Barry’s mind and after learning Barry and Grodd are fighting as a team, she warns him that he and Grodd can’t stay fused together when they exit the mindscape or they will both die. They have to separate at just the right time, down to the millisecond.
Chester suggests they use Gideon for that because the A.I. will be able to calculate it perfectly.
After a lengthy fight, Grodd and The Flash are able to defeat Solovar. With Team Flash’s assistance, they exit and separate from each other’s minds at just the right millisecond.
“You’re back,” says a smiling Frost as Barry sits up. He returns her smile and says, “Yeah, I’m back.”
The next day Frost tells Barry that Grodd has been given probation and is being tracked by ARGUS. For now he’s free and headed to Gorilla City. She leaves saying she wants to check in with the people at ARGUS to make sure they give Grodd a real chance.
Barry has a heart-to-heart with Chester and apologizes for being short with him the other day. He acknowledges it was Chester’s idea and work with Gideon that helped him survive the mindscape. Chester tells Barry he did some checking and he found the gravesite where Barry’s parents are buried. That’s when an alert goes off about another meta attack. Barry asks Chester if he’s up to working with him on the comms, and an eager Chester jumps on the opportunity.
Iris wraps Eva’s arm wounds while Eva explains she had to show her what would happen. When she worked with her colleagues they always doubted her theories and demanded proof. Iris reveals she believes her before heading off to get more wraps for Eva’s arms.
After she’s gone, Eva’s demeanor dramatically changes. She looks through the mirror and sees Mirror Iris whose arms have the same burns. “What did you do to us?” asks Mirror Iris. “I bought us some time,” replies Eva.
The final scene shows Nash headed to talk to Allegra at The Citizen in an attempt to work things out. Before he can meet with her, Sherloque Wells appears, turns him around, and in a menacing voice (complete with glowing red evil speedster eyes) says, “He is coming.”
The Flash Season 6 Episode 13 Review:
Engaging, action-packed, and featuring some great CGI, season six episode 13 titled “Grodd Friended Me” has The Flash going up against Gorilla Grodd once more before eventually teaming up with the former villain to save himself and the giant telekinetic gorilla who just wants to live in peace. The writers, cast, and special effects crew have brought the show back on track to the kind of excitement, drama, tone, and action that’s been missing for the last two episodes.
The most impressive element of the episode is the excellent use of CGI bringing back to life Grodd and his nemesis, Solovar. The big fight scene in the forest where The Flash merges with Grodd to let him use his powers is exciting and superbly executed for the small screen.
With Nash warned “he is coming,” it looks like Team Flash is once again going to go up against the most dangerous villain they have ever had to fight, The Reverse Flash…Eobard Thawne.
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