Isn’t it convenient that the CGI gorilla doesn’t have to open his mouth or even be onscreen when he speaks?
Let’s cut right to the chase. In a gladiator type arena, Barry fought Solovar, an evil white super intelligent gorilla. It was pretty wild. A bunch of other things also happened in the episode, but they aren’t nearly as important. To run through them real quick; Jessie and Wally are dating, the Wells’ met, Caitlin and Julian are kind of dating, Wally is still a celebrity.
But to unpack the big fight, I thought it would be best to bring out something I only did once before: The Q&A Post! If it sounds like something Rob Bricken used to do, that’s because it is like something Rob Bricken used to do. Rob Bricken is great. Let’s get to it.
Questions are in bold.
Answers are not.
So who is Barry fighting?
Barry is fighting Solovar.
Do you mean Savitar?
Nope. Savitar isn’t in this episode. Solovar is a big white psychic gorilla.
Is Solovar pretty much Grodd?
He’s pretty much Grodd with two big differences. Solovar fights with gladiator weapons and is voiced by Keith David.
So Solovar is Grodd’s better in every way?
More or less.
Why is Barry fighting Solovar?
Well, Grodd took HR hostage in an attempt to convince Barry to come to Earth-2 and fight Solovar to stop the gorilla army from invading Earth-1.
That doesn’t seem like Grodd.
It doesn’t. Although if you only know Grodd from the CW show, you’ve only seen him twice, which is barely enough time to draw conclusions. The only people naive enough to trust the giant evil gorilla are first time watchers.
Don’t forget about Barry.
Right. First time watchers and Barry are the only people naive enough to trust the evil gorilla.
Does Barry make an attempt to reason with Solovar before the fight?
You’d think so, right? He does not. Solovar just says that he is planning to kill Barry’s friends and Barry says “We’ll see.”
But Barry always tries to reason with the villain.
Not this villain. Barry’s evil gorilla arch enemy told Barry that Solovar was bad and that is reason enough for Barry.
You said Solovar had gladiator weapons?
Does Barry have gladiator weapons?
Did he have the option to use them?
No idea. Barry seems pretty against killing Solovar so I guess no sword. Doesn’t explain the lack of shield.
So what is Barry’s strategy for fighting this armored gorilla?
He doesn’t have one.
Not even a basic strategy?
Nope. He is relying completely on Cisco to tell him what to do even though Cisco is in prison and even if Cisco had a front row seat, it would be really difficult to tell what’s happening during the fight. The stadium is huge. Jerryworld huge.
So what does Cisco tell Barry to do?
Cisco tells Barry to punch Solovar.
Does Julian cosign that advice?
And how does that go?
Poorly. Solovar predicts Barry’s move and uses his shield to toss Barry across the arena.
That shield is coming in pretty handy.
Tell me about it. Then Solovar goes for the kill with his spear.
What does Barry do now?
I think you mean, What does Cisco tell Barry to do?
What does Cisco tell Barry to do?
Cisco tells Barry to run away from the angry gorilla with the spear.
Brilliant. Does it work?
For a while. Barry runs around the edge of the Colosseum way more times than he needs to while the team comes up with another plan.
What is Solovar doing during all of this business?
Standing still as to not upset the CGI budget.
Smart. What does the team come up with?
Caitlin suggests a lightning throw.
That’s a good idea. Why can’t Barry come up with good ideas?
Well, this part is pretty consistent with what we know about Barry. Barry has Flash-nesia. Week to week, Barry completely forgets about which powers he has, especially when a power he forgot would be really useful. In this situation, throwing lightning at the gorilla is clearly a better idea than punching it but it still takes four very smart people two minutes to come to that conclusion. Pretty standard stuff.
So does the lightning throw work?
Of course not. Right as Barry is about to toss the lightning, Solovar leaps into the air and makes a cloud of sand that slowly makes its way towards the edge of the Colosseum, tripping Barry.
Why does he even bother?
I know. It seems like Barry is actually getting slower as the series goes on. First he couldn’t outrun robot bees. A couple of weeks ago, he can barely keep pace with a motorcycle. Now it’s dust. At this rate, next season’s big bad will be one of those glaciers that moves an inch every hundred years.
So Barry is out of options?
Yes. He can’t phase through Solovar, create a speed mirage, whip up a tornado, vibrate the earth to cause an earthquake, heat up, travel back in time, or run away.
Because Cisco didn’t tell him to.
Right. So it sounds like it is time for some incredibly contrived writing to give Barry a brilliant idea.
You are correct. And this time it comes from Julian because he hasn’t really done anything this episode besides wear his goofy costume and agree with people.
So Julian points out that Barry getting killed by a gorilla which will eventually also lead to Cisco, Caitlin, and Julian’s deaths is “quite the reversal of our fortune” which reminds Cisco of that one time when Reverse Flash murdered him.
- Kind of an understatement, Julian.
- Is it really a reversal of their fortune? Barry has been on his backfoot for the entire fight. The rest of the team is in jail. If anything, this is a logical progression of their (lack of) fortune.
- Is Barry really about to kill Solovar?
You’d think so, right? Because that’s what “doing a Reverse Flash” would mean. And Barry starts vibrating just his hand really quickly, like Reverse Flash does when he kills people. But, no. Doing a Reverse Flash is apparently just a vibrating punch.
Did the Reverse Flash do that?
Probably but he wasn’t known for it. That would be like calling wearing sneakers “pulling a Cisco”. I’m sure he wears sneakers sometimes, but it’s not what that phrase should mean.
And the Reverse Flash move beats Solovar?
One shot. On the ground. Might as well be dead. Barry didn’t want to kill him but it really seemed like this punch could have killed him. But it didn’t. Solovar lives. And then Barry gives a speech.
Yup. Now, listen. I love Grant Gustin. I think he’s a great Flash. I think he’s a better Barry Allen. He seems like an all around good guy. I do not blame the awkwardness of this speech on Grant but the speech is clearly the kind of ultra cheesy dialogue that only true masters can handle. Also the camera is on a merry-go-round during the speech.
What does Barry say?
Basically that he isn’t going to kill Solovar (even though Solovar is quite possibly already dying) to show “gorilla-kind” that some humans are capable of mercy.
And how do the gorillas respond?
Barry is shot with a dart and immediately falls asleep.
Are you kidding me?
The dart thing also happened earlier in the episode.
For fuck’s sake.
Yeah. But the fight was fun. The CGI was excellent. All in all, it was a pretty entertaining four minutes of television. Next week, the gorilla army, led by Grodd, is coming to Central City thanks to Gypsy for some reason. That episode promises to be equally ambitious, effects wise, and will probably have some consequences.
Man, Grodd should be the villain of this season.