Hi! Welcome to my episode-by-episode recap of, and reaction to Justice League. There will be no spoilers beyond the current episode. As is my custom with recaps, I will give you a short summary recap followed by a long and unnecessarily helpfully detailed version. My reaction will follow at the end if you just want to scroll past all of the recap.
If you want to see my prior Justice League episode reviews, click HERE:
THE QUICK AND CLEAN SUMMARY:
Isotopes are stolen from a laboratory. When Flash and Lantern arrest the thieves, they have no memory of what they are doing or why. Further investigation leads Flash onto the trail of a talking gorilla. As he speaks to the gorilla, he is shot by some type of weapon and begins hallucinating. When he wakes up, he finds out that he has stolen the isotopes from the robbery he just stopped.
Lantern and Flash return to the scene of Flash’s gorilla encounter and meet said gorilla. His name is Solovar, the Chief of Security for the secret and highly advanced Gorilla City. He tells them that an evil gorilla with a mind control device, named Grodd, has escaped and that he is tracking him. When they catch up to Grodd, Lantern and Flash are too late. Grodd turns on his device as the episode ends.
THE EXTRA DUSTY RECAP:
A pair of archaeologists are conducting a dig. One of them finds a gorilla skull. Her partner notes that the skull is extremely old and tells her that it may be the greatest discovery in the history of mankind.
A few moments later, gorilla flying on flying motorcycles just appear out of thin air – as does a vast city behind them – firing weapons and noting the humans. Almost as quickly as they appeared, they vanish.
Flash is eating at a diner and talking to a couple of young attractive women sitting at an adjacent table. He is telling a story about how Solomon Grundy “thought he had the drop on me” but he says that he did not because “I’m the Flash. I’m the fastest man alive.” The two women repeat the line as he says it, as though they have heard it many times before.
Abruptly, a car flies toward the diner window from the outside. Flash rescues the two women he has been talking to before asking the drive if he is okay. The drive says a mad man ran him off the road. Flash zooms away to investigate. After he is gone, one of the women sarcastically points out to the other that she did not want to give him their phone number.
Flash chases a large truck as it crashes through cars on its way out of town. As he gives chase, they begin shooting at him. He avoids their fire until they run out of ammunition. As he speeds up to knock on the drivers’ side window and tell them to pull over, the drive tries to crash the truck into him. The truck topples over and falls off a bridge they are crossing. Flash speeds down and rescues the driver and passenger – running back upward on the bridge debris to solid ground above. Before the truck can land in the water, a green glow surrounds it.
Lantern asks Flash if he lost something. Flash replies that he was handling it and he asks Lantern why he is here. Lantern replies that he is responding to a call about the theft of radioactive isotopes. Flash says that this must be why the two men he is holding were in such a hurry. Just then, the drive groans as if in pain and asks where he is. Flash tells him and the other man, also now waking, that they hijacked a truck and drove it off a bridge. The driver seems surprised. Lantern uses his ring and pulls their IDs from their suit jacket pockets. He reads that both men are doctors who work at the laboratory from where the isotopes were stolen.
Flash and Lantern next visit the laboratory. A woman there that they speak with tells them that the two doctors were under enormous pressure as Lantern points out that they do not fit the profile of robbers. We see several caged primates in the facility. As Flash tries to give a gorilla a banana, the woman takes it from him and points at a sign that says “DO NOT FEED THE ANIMALS.”
Later, as Flash is buying more food to eat at a park, he and Lantern hear that there is a gorilla on the loose. Flash takes off alone and leaves Lantern to pay his food bill. The police are chasing it before Flash catches up. The gorilla evades net guns and then actual guns before commandeering a car from a park-goer and leaving in it. Flash is standing on a sidewalk as the gorilla drives by.
Flash: Now there’s something you don’t see every day.
When Flash catches up to the gorilla, he throws something in front of the car tires to cause it to wreck. After the wreck, he checks on the still living gorilla by placing his hand on the animal’s shoulder.
Gorilla: Get your stinking paws off of me you filthy human.
Flash: Say what?
The woman we met earlier at the laboratory is standing on the roof of an adjacent building. She fires a gigantic laser gun and it hits the Flash. He flashes back to the laboratory accident that gave him his powers. Then he begins to hallucinate. He imagines himself growing increasingly overweight, so much so that he can no longer run fast. In the hallucination, enormous mirrors emerges from beneath the ground in front of him.
In the mirror, his reflections interact with him – and also have differing appearances. The first of his reflections is tall and skinny, as if himself by stretched too far. A second version of himself sees the first reflection and laughs. However, the second version’s head begins to swell like a balloon filled with too much air. It yells in pain as his head explodes.
Flash next imagines himself as a marionette. He runs. High above him, floating scissors cut the strings holding him and he begins to fall. As the marionette lands on the ground it breaks apart. Suddenly the marionette is Flash as his normal self, but still lying face down on the street. He gets up slowly but begins to yell out in pain as first his hands, then his head, and finally the rest of his body become that of a gorilla.
Flash wakes up from the hallucination. He is on the ground in a prison cell. A police detective approaches the now awake Flash.
Detective: You Justice League hotshots think that you can do whatever you want. Not in my city.
The detective takes Flash to view some police footage from earlier in the day. He shows Flash a video of himself stealing the isotopes from the truck impounded by the police, after the robbery that he and Lantern stopped earlier. He and another detective begin interrogating him via the “good cop bad cop routine.” Lantern enters, puts paperwork in front of the Detective who has been referring to Flash as a lowlife, and leaves with him. Lantern points out that if Flash were really guilty they could not have successfully held him with only a pair of handcuffs.
To make the point, Flash takes them off and follows Lantern out. Outside, Lantern slaps Flash in the back of the head and asks what he was thinking. Flash says that he could go back inside if he wants the third degree. Lantern asks him the last thing he remembers and Flash replies that he remembers stopping the gorilla’s car and that it talked to him. Lantern is incredulous.
Flash: We’ve both god a Martian’s phone number on our speed dial. I think I deserve the benefit of the doubt here.
Lantern agrees to check it out but insists that they go together this time. At the scene of the earlier car crash, Lantern is able to use his ring to find gorilla footprints. They follow the prints together into a tunnel. Inside they find the talking gorilla from earlier. The gorilla beats his chest at them before Lantern fires a blast from his ring at him. The gorilla gets up and asks if that was really necessary. Lantern looks at Flash, acknowledges that he really can talk, and asks who he is.
The gorilla introduces himself as Solovar, the Chief of Security for Gorilla City. Flash asks him about Gorilla City and Solovar explains that apes have lived safe from humanity for thousands of years. He explains that a power mad genius named Grodd tried to conquer their city with advanced mind control technology. Solovar explains that they thwarted Grodd’s plot but failed to prevent his escape. Solovar explains that they discovered later that Grodd stole Gorilla City’s security plan and has sworn vengeance on the entire city. Flash asks if that is why Solovar is here and he says yes.
Lantern interjects that mind control explains the isotope robberies and Flash’s memory loss. Solovar says that Grodd needs the isotopes to power his devices. He adds that his investigation has uncovered that Gross has been carrying on an email correspondence with a Dr. Sarah Corwin. He shows Flash and Lantern her picture and they learn that she is the woman they spoke with earlier at the laboratory.
Lantern suggests that they should call the others. Flash says that they do not need the others to catch one gorilla. He speeds away as Solovar yells at him to wait. Lantern asks him why he wanted Flash to wait and Solovar presents him with a head band to protect them from Grodd’s mind control ray.
In the laboratory, Flash confronts Dr. Corwin and asks her where Grodd is. She feigns ignorance. He presses he rand a gorilla fist emerges from the shadows and punches Flash in the face. Grodd reveals himself to a now unconscious Flash and says that was for the banana and that he hates bananas.
Lantern and Solovar arrive. Grodd turns Flash against Lantern and Solovar and a fight erupts. The fight allows Grodd and Dr. Corwin to escape. Lantern is able to ultimately knock the Flash unconscious with a punch to the face.
Lantern: Sorry kid. Had no choice.
When he and Solovar catch up with Grodd in a different part of the laboratory, the mad genius gorilla has just turned on an energy device of some kind that overwhelms Lantern’s ability to contain it with his ring. We see a glow spread from the lab and outward across the city. Grodd tells them that he has a city to destroy before leaving.
As the episode ends, we see a ring of bare flattened earth the size of a city.
TO BE CONTINUED
We get a glimpse of Flash’s origin story here. Just a glimpse, though. We are also introduced to Gorilla City.
As DC Comics things go, Gorilla City has always seemed like one of the stranger stories to me. There is a city of gorillas more advanced than humans who have evaded human notice for thousands of years due to their superior technology. Why are they content to stay in a small city? Why hide and not subjugate? In a world with Lex Luthor, how have humans not managed to catch up yet?
We learn a little bit more about Flash’s private life. Apparently he has a hard time with the ladies and hits on them, at diners, and in costume, by telling them about his superhero exploits. There’s something very sad about all of that.
In case you did not recognize the voice of Grodd… it’s none other than Powers Boothe! Part one here is pretty thin on story details so I do not really have much to add except…
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