The first half of the long-awaited Gorilla City two-parter really stands alone, though it sets up next week.

Let’s gear up for some gorilla warfare.

Title: “Attack on Gorilla City, Part One”

Cast and Crew
Director: Dermott Downs
Writers: Aaron Helbing, David Kob, Andrew Kreisberg, et al.

Grant Gustin as Barry Allen / The Flash
Candice Patton as Iris West
Danielle Panabaker as Caitlin Snow
Carlos Valdes as Cisco Ramon / Vibe
Keiynan Lonsdale as Wally West / Kid Flash
Tom Cavanagh as H.R. Wells / Harrison Wells
Jesse L. Martin as Joe West
Keith David as Solovar (voice)
David Sobolov as Gorilla Grodd (voice)
Tom Felton as Julian Albert
Violett Beane as Jesse Wells / Jesse Quick
Jessica Camacho as Gypsy
Sir Not-Appearing-in-this-Ep as tramp
Arpad Balogh as thief

Premise

Jesse Quick seeks help for her father, who is being held captive in Gorilla City. While she inexplicably stays behind with Wally, The Flash leads a Team to save him.

High Points

The last few minutes tease an episode that might resemble what I was hoping for this week.

Perhaps we’ll get it next week.

Low Points

Why does Barry take along people who have comparatively little to contribute (Julian brings nothing but his outfit, and they don’t intend for Caitlin to use her powers), while insisting that Jesse Quick remain behind? I know the writers want to get Jesse and Wally together, but they could do so in a way that isn’t ludicrously forced. Two speedsters on the Team really would have, well, sped things along, especially if they didn’t act like idiots in the face of adversity.

Actually, much of the episode unfolds according to things the writers wanted to see, rather than anything that would happen, given the circumstances. “Comic book heroes vs Gorillas” opens the door to camp, but it doesn’t excuse bad writing, unless the show wants to become, overtly, a parody.

The Scores:

Originality: 2/6

Effects: 4/6 They try something very hard here, given the limitations of the budget. One or two CGI gorillas, especially in dark light, look pretty good. When the episode has to do crowds, the show becomes a videogame. The limited budget for CGI also means the prison has no guards, which helps with the inevitable escape.

Acting: 5/6

Story: 3/6 The premise is good. Both Grodd’s overall plan and the Team’s planning make very little sense. The fastest man alive, meanwhile, has time to realize he’s in a trap, but not enough time to dodge a blow-dart.

Emotional Response: 4/6 Despite some really awkward writing and plotting, the episode frequently manages to be fun.

Production: 5/6

Overall: 4/6 I like that The Flash is unabashedly a comic-book show, and I recognize the inherent silliness of an episode involving psychic gorillas. It still needs, in its context, to make sense.

In total, “Attack on Gorilla City, Part One” receives 27/42

Additional Comments

1. This episode plays Solovar as a villain, which makes me wonder if there’s a Gorilla City hiding on Earth-1, with a more familiar and noble version of the character.

2. The episode features some expected allusions and lampshades. They kept most of the Planet of the Apes references from being too obvious, referenced King Kong, spouted dialogue made hilarious because of the word, “gorillas,” and acknowledged that Earth-2’s African jungles don’t look much like Earth-1’s.

(They look, predictably enough, like B.C. forest).

3. For fun, take anything you’ve said recently, and replace a noun with “gorillas,” or add “by/with/for gorillas” to the end. Try not to laugh.