Dec 24, 2019
FLASH: You Finally Made a Monkey out of Me
Previously on The Flash: Eddie didn’t get to propose to Iris because Harribard kidnapped him, and Iris knows Barry is the Flash.
Voiceover is by Iris this week: she’s musing on best friends and secrets and how nothing will be the same again now that she knows.
At the precinct, Joe and Barry are hovering around Eddie’s desk, and they tell Captain Singh that he’s taken some personal time. Meanwhile, several gold stores have been robbed recently, and Singh wants Barry to pick up the pace in the lab, also suggesting they ask Flash for help. As he leaves, Barry tells Joe that he’s looked all over the city for Eddie, to no avail.
Iris comes to confront Barry in the Worst Lab Ever, though she doesn’t come out and tell Barry that she knows. Barry tries to assure her that Flash is probably doing everything he can, but given she knows the Flash can’t be out looking while Barry is standing in front of her, it doesn’t do much good.
At Central City Gold Reserve, gold bars are being loaded into trucks that are going to get robbed, inevitably. Sure enough, a dude wearing body armor blows up one of the trucks.
At STARLS, Cisco is taking apart one of Harribard’s spy cameras – it’s perfectly good tech, he swears – when an alarm sounds at the Gold Reserve, and Barry takes off to investigate.
Body Armor Dude is still firing when Flash shows up, approaching him, but as he does, he gets hit with memories: a hospital, lots of syringes, and pain. Body armor guy seems affected too, though, because he’s bent over double, and as Barry peers up at him, he retreats.
Back at STARLS, Caitlin checks Barry over and declares him fit. Cisco sees that they both got hit on the security camera, but the team is at a loss for what could’ve caused it. Iris arrives then, apparently done playing coy, and she doesn’t look happy.
Cisco and Caitlin watch on camera and manage to convince themselves that it’s fair to listen in on Iris and Barry. She’s telling Barry that she’s not angry, she’s disappointed, and Barry has to admit that Eddie and Joe know too. He also tells her that Harrison is Reverse Flash and that he killed Nora. Iris thinks he and Joe both should stop trying to protect her.
Eddie is still tied to his chair when Harribard comes back to his lair. It’s still not clear what his evil plan is, and even Eddie’s taunting doesn’t get him to reveal it. When Eddie starts to say that he won’t get away with anything because Flash will stop him, Harribard speeds over to him and grabs his throat with glowy eyes and vibrate-y voice. Eddie stops talking.
At Central City Picture News, Iris is working late when Joe comes to visit. She’s not particularly interested in talking to Joe and, like me, thinks his “I was just trying to protect you!” excuse is wearing very thin. He whines that Reverse Flash is dangerous because he killed Nora and Mason, but the fact that Mason is dead is news to Iris since Joe had Eddie tell her he was off the grid in South America somewhere to protect her. Iris finally gets to say what I’ve been saying the whole time: that telling her would’ve kept her safer because she would be informed, she would know what was going on, and she could help. She tells Joe that Eddie’s kidnapping is on him.
At STARLS, Barry tells Cisco and Caitlin that the Gold Reserve is going to move the gold again, but this time they’re going inconspicuous…by using ice cream trucks. When children try to buy the ice cream, however, the friendly driver tells them they’re out, because the back is actually filled with gold bars and CCPD in SWAT attire (including Joe). The thief, however, is on to them, detonating some sort of mine as the truck drives over it and forcing it to a stop. Flash rushes in as a shootout ensues, and of course all the cops but Joe go down. He shoots a couple times but only slows the thief, and they engage in automatic weapon chicken until Barry arrives and throws the baddie aside. When they unmask the thief, though, his identity is a bit of a surprise: It’s General Eiling.
Eiling is in the metaprison, standing still and staring straight ahead – Caitlin says that he didn’t even flinch when she took Joe’s bullet out of his shoulder. Cisco exposits that according to Lyla of Team Arrow (adjunct), Eiling has been AWOL for three months, but ARGUS is covering for it. Joe tries to ask him questions, but he doesn’t answer until Barry speaks to him. He quickly IDs Barry as Flash, even out of uniform, and then states “Eiling bad” because it’s not Eiling, it’s a telepathic gorilla. Also, Caitlin is good, and Eiling hurt him so he hurt Eiling back. He says he’s Grodd, and while Barry and Joe look confused, Caitlin and Cisco look at each other.
Caitlin shows the team video of Grodd and tells them about Eiling’s experiments and Harrison shutting them down. They deduce that Grodd is controlling Eiling telepathically, and Joe is pretty sure it’s not a coincidence that mind-controlled Eiling shows up when they’re looking for Harrison. He thinks Harrison is using Grodd to distract them, and if they can find Grodd, they can find Harrison, which will lead them to—Eddie, says Iris, walking into STARLS like she owns the place, because she’s on Team Flash now, goddammit. GO IRIS.
Iris brings up a bunch of article she’d collected on strange happenings in the sewers, especially related to two workers who went missing. That gives them a place to start looking, so Barry, Joe, and Cisco head off to search for the telepathic sewer gorilla. What, Caitlin and Iris get out of it just because they’re girls?
The search party uses flares as bread crumbs to mark their trail as Caitlin tracks them from STARLS. Iris confronts her about lying, too, but she is glad that Ronnie is actually a metahuman and not dead.
In the sewers, we learn Joe is afraid of gorillas, which is a fair thing to be afraid of, and they find some cave paintings of stick figures and words…and, eventually, equations, because apparently he’s still getting smarter. Joe wonders if getting smarter means Grodd is getting bigger, too, but they don’t see him yet, just hear him further down the tunnel. Grodd hits Barry with another memory whammy and he passes out, and then Joe is abducted deeper into the sewer.
Joe wakes up in some sort of sewer maintenance room. He manages to drag himself up and pull his gun, but Grodd approaches, huge and dark. Being telepathic, he makes Joe pull the gun on himself, even as Joe pleads for help. But then Grodd has him toss the weapon away instead, intoning that Father hates guns. Also, that banana Joe has? Grodd fucking hates bananas, Joe. God, way to stereotype.
At STARLS, Cisco and Barry are okay, but obviously Joe is missing. Barry is ready to search every inch of the sewers himself, but Caitlin warns that he’s just going to get knocked out by another psychic blast if he actually finds them. Barry suggests they build him some tech to keep Grodd out of his head, but Cisco and Caitlin look dubious. Cisco hesitantly suggests that maybe Harrison could’ve come up with something. Iris is a little incensed because, as she points out, every day they come up with a way to save people, but now that it’s Eddie and Joe they’re stuck?
As Iris leaves, Barry follows, but she’s angry that Joe was even with them in the first place. Barry says it’s not his fault, though, and even Barry not telling Iris is not his fault. And really, that’s what she’s angry about, that Barry has kept this secret from her for so long. Aaaand then he ruins it by comparing him lying about being the Flash to her refusing to admit her feelings for him – which she doesn’t consciously know about. Nice.
In Harribard’s lair, Eddie continues the taunting. He tells him he’s not as smart as he thinks he is and teases him about the name “Eobard,” but Harribard swears that the Thawne bloodline is very distinguished, of course, except for Eddie himself, who Harribard claims has a spectacularly uneventful career as a detective and doesn’t marry Iris. Harribard even shows him the Iris West-Allen byline on the future-paper as proof. Eddie seems a little stunned by that revelation.
At STARLS, Cisco and Caitlin have come up with some anti-telepathy tech, though they don’t know yet if it works. Time for field-testing, though! Barry shot Grodd with an ineffective tranq, but it had a tracker in it that just came online. Flash races off to the rescue.
Cisco is using the city’s computer system to release some sort of steam into the tunnels, driving Grodd to a specific point where Barry can use a supersonic punch to take him out. And Grodd is up for the challenge—he catches Barry’s hand and flips him around, because Grodd is a giant gorilla. Luckily the tech is working, and Grodd can’t get into Barry’s head. But he also shows no injury from Barry’s speed punches, and Grodd throws him through a wall, knocking the headset off, so there’s another psychic whammy. To make matters worse, Grodd has thrown Barry into a subway system and a train is coming. Iris gets on comms to try and talk Barry out of his paralysis. It works, of course—Barry remembers Iris instead of Grodd’s pain, and he gets off the tracks before the train comes through. But there’s still Grodd, who leaps at him, only to get hit by a second train.
Wait, what? That worked? This gorilla is like four times the size of a normal gorilla, and the train didn’t even flinch at hitting him? He could catch Barry running at supersonic speeds and a train worked? Yeah, okay. Anyway, Barry gets back to Joe and speeds him home.
Barry goes to see Eiling in the metaprison, to let him go because he’s free of Grodd’s mind control. He tells Eiling he’ll get what’s coming to him, but Eiling thinks he’s in the right to hunt down the metas. Barry insists they’re not all dangerous, and Eiling points out that no matter what Barry thinks of his methods, they have a common enemy now, and they will probably need each other to take out Harribard.
Caitlin patches up Joe, who has a few broken ribs. Cisco wants to know if Grodd likes King Kong or Planet of the Apes better, but Joe neglected to ask that. He and Iris have a good conversation about Joe being overprotective, and hopefully the show will represent that better in the future.
Caitlin thinks it’s good that they didn’t catch Grodd, because where on earth would they put him? They muse over why Grodd didn’t kill Joe and decide it was all a distraction for whatever Harribard’s planning. But the take-home message is that they didn’t need Harrison to beat Grodd and rescue Joe: the three (four, says Caitlin) of them did it themselves.
Later, Iris and Barry chat on the rooftop where Iris first met Flash. She thinks she doesn’t know him anymore, but he points out that she was the reason he was able to resist Grodd. He says she’s always been there to pick him up, even when she didn’t know what was going on. Iris admits that she has been thinking about her and Barry, but she loves Eddie, so she’s not going to keep thinking about it. But she doesn’t know what will happen after Eddie comes back.
Grodd, meanwhile, is King Kong-ing himself up a nearby building and leaping off.
In his lair, Harribard has built…something. The key, he says, and doesn’t tell Eddie his evil plan when Eddie asks what it’s the key to. But when he crawls up from his lair into the particle accelerator, because he’s been in the STARLS building the whole time, and plugs in his “key?” All the lights come on. Time to go home, says Harribard.