5:23 pm EST, February 26, 2020

‘The Flash’ season 6, episode 13 review: Owning Grodd’s past

The Flash season 6, episode 13 may be the only Grodd episode I've ever enjoyed.

On The Flash season 6, episode 13, Barry ends up stuck in Gorilla Grodd’s mindscape (his prison at A.R.G.U.S.), leaving Kamilla, Chester, and Frost to save him before the entire simulation breaks and they’re both lost forever.

The Flash season 6, episode 13 may have been the first Grodd episode of the entire series that I’ve actually enjoyed? I’m shocked to say that, but it was refreshing to see Grodd undergo some change and work alongside Barry, rather than being an incessant villain season after season.

Plus, with Iris still stuck in the mirrorverse, we’re slowly figuring out how things are progressing, which is beginning to be quite an interesting story, especially with Eva’s true colors slowly coming out.

‘The Flash’ season 6, episode 13 review

After the last two episodes, which I was not the biggest fan of, The Flash season 6, episode 13 felt like a significant recovery. With Grodd, I was hesitant to think I would enjoy the episode, but surprisingly, I did. That doesn’t mean I didn’t still think there were issues, but it felt like the show is finally starting to get back on track in the post-Crisis world.

It felt like forever since Barry was at the center of an episode, so it was lovely to see our resident speedster begin to deal with the changes to this world following the crisis. Even little things, like the location of his parents’ graves moving, are so emotionally significant, it’s ridiculous that it took literally three full episodes before any changes were even talked about, much less explored.

After the last two episodes, this is a wonderful step up in quality and content. I would’ve loved to have seen even more of Iris in the mirrorverse, but seeing Barry take the lead again after some time was completely necessary. I hope the rest of the season keeps Barry in the spotlight (and, let’s be real, I don’t ever need another Ralph-centric episode like the last).

Grodd and Flash

Changing things up on The Flash season 6, episode 13, we saw Barry and Grodd work as a team, which was surprisingly cool, especially when the two merged and Grodd took on Barry’s powers (also, I see where their special effects budget went this season). It’s fascinating how Grodd remembers the former multi-verse and used the changes in the world to reflect on all he’s done wrong, hoping to live life happily. I hope, for better or for worse, this is an ending point for Grodd. Visiting the villain every season really isn’t necessary, and this would be a nice way to end his story after all of the mischief he’s caused. And how many more ways can they come up with to stop Grodd?

For Barry, finding his footing in the new universe with the help of Gorilla Grodd was perfectly unexpected. I think Barry needed a shock like that, a villain changing their ways, to really cement this new universe and how different things are. (Though I’m surprised Barry seemed to have no recollection of Hartley being evil in the first timeline and good in the post-Flashpoint timeline, just to turn evil again… continuity error?)

I really hope to see more Earth-Prime changes through Barry’s eyes as the season goes on. Like I said before, the little things can even be devastating, so what other parts of Barry’s life (or the others’ lives) have changed because the universe merged? It’s an interesting thought, but it looks like something that will flop again, just like it did back with Flashpoint a few years ago.

Um… New Team Flash?

While I loved seeing Frost take charge at Star Labs, I really don’t understand why the focus on Chester, Kamilla, and Allegra was necessary. I understand they feel like they need a new Wells every season, but this one is so unattached to Team Flash, it makes zero sense why they chose to keep him around. Chester and Kamilla are both new, and Kamilla already has a role on Team Citizen, so why are they taking time away from the main characters? We’ve seen five seconds of Caitlin all season, and while Frost had a decent story on this episode, it was clearly a role meant for Caitlin. Meanwhile, Cisco and Ralph have each been in one episode of this half of the season.

Allegra’s been in every episode since “Crisis on Infinite Earths,” which is incredibly annoying and she’s taking time away from the characters we actually want to watch make progress with their lives. Having such a big cast is ridiculous because people like Cisco, who has been there from the start, and Ralph have to be written off to make room when it makes absolutely no sense why Kamilla, who doesn’t have the skill set or familiarity with Barry’s powers, is on comms.

Chester’s story about second chances was quite powerful and what made me thankful to see this story play out, but aside from that, he reminded me of Gary on Legends of Tomorrow, a self-insert for the writers to geek out about being near superheroes. If they want to actually write powerful stories with Chester and not make him Cisco 2.0., I’m fine with that. Otherwise, no thank you.

As for Frost, my favorite part of the episode was seeing her step up as the leader during this fiasco. Her deep conversation with Chester, giving Nash advice, keeping everyone calm and figuring out the problem and solution when it came to Barry, it really showed just how much she’s grow, even just this season alone. She stayed calm, used her and Caitlin’s shared knowledge, and was instrumental in saving the day (all without her powers, too).

Mirrorverse

Obviously the most exciting part of The Flash season 6, episode 13 was the final moments, where we learned that Eva was playing Iris and was responsible for Mirror Iris being in the real world… and that they are physically linked. It was kind of obvious that Eva wasn’t who she appeared to be on the last episode, but it’s clearly much deeper than we’ve suspected, and now I’m curious about what she’s really been up to for the last six years. Eva is obviously the one who pulled Iris into the mirror, but why? Why was the sheet over the mirror, and did Joseph Carver trap her there because she was a threat to him/others?

Iris realizing that everything wasn’t quite as she seems proves just how clever she really is, and seeing her figure out the truth about Eva is what I’m looking forward to over these next few episodes. How will she escape? When will she escape? I’m kind of surprised she’s still stuck in the mirrorverse, though I’m sure it’s only a matter of time now… (Who wants to bet that, somehow, Allegra will be the key to getting her out, since she has to be more involved with everything and everyone than even Cecile?)

The Flash season 6, episode 13

‘The Flash’ season 6, episode 13 final thoughts

If The Flash keeps this up, and puts the focus back on the characters that matter, it’s entirely possible that the second half of this season could turn out to tell a better story than we’ve seen from The Flash in years. The Flash season 6, episode 13 is another step forward toward setting that up, but with only nine episodes left this season, they really need to pick up the pace and stop focusing on unnecessary weekly villains (which has consistently been the worst part of this show).

Connecting everyone to Black Hole is smart, but we’re really going to need to see a connection between Barry and this organization that isn’t just all about Iris. Though, I suppose, the writers are going to use Iris and Sue being involved to wrap Barry and Ralph into this, leaving Cisco, Joe, and Caitlin/Frost out but including Allegra because, I mean, why acknowledge the characters that helped your show get off of the ground?

The Flash returns Tuesday, March 10 at 8 p.m. ET on The CW!

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