The Flash

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The first-half a a two-part event, “Attack on Gorilla City” finally offers the return of Grodd (David Sobolov). The arrival of Jesse (Violett Beane) on Earth-1 prompts Barry (Grant Gustin), Cisco (Carlos Valdes), Caitlin (Danielle Panabaker), and Julian (Tom Felton) to head to Earth-2 to rescue her father who is being held captive in Gorilla City. I’ve been waiting the better part of a year for Grodd’s return, and the episode doesn’t disappoint. Not only one of Barry’s strongest adversaries, Grodd is one of his smartest which is highlighted here in his manipulation of events leading Barry to cause the very event he was attempting to prevent.

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THE FLASH THEME SONG ACAPELLA

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“Dead or Alive” introduces another traveler from Earth-19 in collector, AKA bounty hunter, Gypsy (Jessica Camacho) who shows up on Earth-1 in search of H.R. Wells (Tom Cavanagh) who broke his Earth’s most important law in choosing to travel to a parallel world. Given that H.R.’s sentence is death, his friends attempt to stop Gypsy from leaving with him. Inspired by both a need to save a version of Harrison Wells and his obvious attraction to yet another deadly female, Cisco (Carlos Valdes) volunteers to fight, not realizing it’s a fight to the death with someone with his powers but far more experience using them.

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There’s a good episode at the heart of “Borrowing Problems from the Future,” it’s just unfortunate we have to wade through 20 minutes of Barry (Grant Gustin) being a complete dick to get to it. Troubled by seeing Iris (Candice Patton) killed by Savitar in the near-future, Barry struggles with how to try and prevent the events from coming to pass. His aggression gets taken out on Wally (Keiynan Lonsdale) who is finally allowed to strut his stuff as Kid Flash. Once all cards are on the table, “Borrowing Problems from the Future” can begin actually deal with (and attempt to change) the future while teasing us what else may be in store for the show during the second-half of this season.

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For its Christmasy mid-season finale The Flash pulls out all the stops and delivers the best episode of the season so far. Along with Barry (Grant Gustin) and company discover Julian‘s (Tom Felton) secret, the episode enlightens the viewers on who Savitar is and why it seems he’s targeted Barry. With Cisco (Carlos Valdes) and Barry burying the hatchet during the Invasion! crossover, here Barry and Julian are able to make peace as well, and finally all of Team Flash gets on-board with Wally joining the family business. God bless us, everyone! All that plus a guest-appearance from as Jay Garrick, and even a cameo from Mark Hamill, what more could you want for Christmas?

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The Invasion! crossover continues, focusing mainly on current and former Arrow cast members who are abducted by the Dominators and thrown into a virtual-reality world in which Oliver (Stephen Amell) and Thea‘s (Willa Holland) parents are still alive, Diggle (David Ramsey) is the Green Arrow, and Oliver is set to marry Laurel (Katie Cassidy). Haunted by memory flashes of their true lives, Oliver, Thea, Diggle, Ray (Brandon Routh), and Sara (Caity Lotz) come together to fight their way out of the fake reality and back into the real world where they wake up to discover they are aboard a Dominator mother ship in outer space.

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Now this is more like it. The big four-part crossover which was teased (but not actually begun) last night on Supergirl gets started here with the arrival of the Dominators on Earth. For those not familiar with the aliens, the Dominators were first introduced back in the 60s but made their most notable splash in DC Comics in 1989 as part of the Invasion! (good name) mini-series. Realizing he can’t stop the alien threat alone, Barry (Grant Gustin) enlists the help of Team Arrow (including the retired Thea), the Legends, and even hops universes to bring back Supergirl (Melissa Benoist). Although Barry doesn’t take naturally to leading, the team follows him… at least until they discover about Flashpoint whose effects continue to be discovered as one Legend learns he now has a loving daughter he has never met.

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As Alchemy reaches out to Wally (Keiynan Lonsdale) to embrace his Flashpoint life, the season takes a big turn. Wally will choose to help the group take down the villain, but not at the cost of the speed he so desperately desires. Caitlin‘s (Danielle Panabaker) powers will be revealed to the group. And Alchemy’s boss, the season’s true big bad, is revealed to be Savitar (i.e. yet another speedster). The episode is problematic in that its purpose is more to set-up what is to come than offer a strong standalone episode. The result is a metahuman shadow who is more of an afterthought than a legitimate threat while foreshadowing big changes for both Wally and Caitlin in the coming weeks.

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Monster attacks around the city by a beast that seems to appear and disappear at will force Barry (Grant Gustin) to work with Julian (Tom Felton) to investigate the cause. Initially believing the attacks are being caused by yet another out-of-control meta-human, Julian is forced to admit his error (and also his possible misjudgment of both the Flash and Barry). Since being introduced the character of Julian has been nothing but a thorn in Barry’s side, “Monster” begins to develop the character more deeply and get to the root of problem with meta-humans.

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“The New Rogues” introduces another classic Flash (Grant Gustin) villain in the Mirror Master (Grey Damon). Offering us flashbacks to Mirror Master’s origins, in which the thug is trapped within a mirror during the accelerator explosion, the episode allows for the limited return of Leonard Snart (Wentworth Miller). Although I prefer the classic take on the character, which we do get reference to in Harry (Tom Cavanagh) mentioning the Mirror Master of his Earth, it’s good to see another classic Flash villain introduced on the show.

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