End of Summer

“I Am Grodd”

by COMALite J

An Adventure of the TV Flash

Remember the second Nightshade episode of the "Flash" TV show? When a stoolie remenisced with Nightshade about how Nightshade had put away some mobster in the Helltown area of Central City nicknamed “‘Gorilla’ Grodd,” I realized that the writers and producers couldn’t think of a way to bring in a Gorilla Grodd into the series in a way that would be acceptable to an adult TV-watching audience, yet wanted to have some sort of reference to him in the series as an “in-joke.” I wondered if perhaps there might have been a way to bring in an actual intelligent gorilla named Grodd as a character, as opposed to some human ganglord calling himself “Gorilla Grodd.”

In so doing, I realized that not only could Grodd be brought into the TV continuity, but his existence would in fact help tie the whole continuity of the TV series together, explaining such things as how Dr. Tina McGee knew so much about how to help Barry after his accident, and why she took such an interest in his case. It ties in with other episodes as well. My version of Grodd is not from a “Gorilla City,” and there is no King Solivar. Grodd is the only one of his kind. I believe this makes his motivation for doing what he does more acceptable to a TV audience.

I wrote it in the form of a “treatment,” which is not a full script but a preliminary intended to be edited into a shooting script later. I’ll go ahead and include the Prologue in this post, and if you want to see more, let me know. There are four Acts and an Epilogue after this Prologue. The only change needed to the TV Flash continuity that I know of is that in the conversation with Nightshade, the stoolie did not say the mobster’s name was ”Gorilla Grodd,” but some other mobster-type name (perhaps “The Top” which in mobster-speak would mean the top dog, or the top of the food chain, but would also be a Flash Rogue’s Gallery in-joke).


(Fade in on outside of S.T.A.R. Labs. Zoom in to a point on the exterior wall, then cut to Dr. Tina McGee’s office. She is seated behind her desk, looking at some papers. Also on her desk, in addition to the usual items one may find on a desk, is a photograph facing her which we cannot see at this time. Seated at the front of her desk and facing her is a young man of about eighteen. He seems to be somewhat nervous. He is slim, and has brown, straight hair. He is very well-groomed and quite pleasant- looking. [Casting suggestion: Wil Wheaton])

TINA: Well, this all seems to be in order, Cory. Your qualifications are outstanding, and you come highly recommended. I think this work-study program S.T.A.R. arranged with Keystone University will benefit us both, if the rest of the student assistants turn out to be as brilliant and dedicated as you.

CORY ADAMS: Thank you, Dr. McGee. Will I be your assistant?

TINA: I’m not sure where you’ll be assigned, but I certainly wouldn’t mind you working with me. Under one condition, that is.

CORY: Um, condition?

TINA: Yes. Don’t call me “Dr. McGee.” My name’s Tina.
(she puts the papers back into a folder and stands leans forward to shake Cory’s hand, but in the process her left hand hits the photo and knocks it over.)
(she starts to pick it up)

CORY: (looking at photothough it is upside-down to him)

TINA: What, this?

CORY: Not your typical nuclear family, you must admit. Is that your husband?

TINA: My — late husband, yes. He died a few years ago.

(Cut back to a shot showing both Tina and Cory.)

CORY: I’m so sorry. I shouldn’t have said…

TINA: Oh, no. It’s all right. The emotional pain is mostly gone, and it’s pleasant to think of the good times now and again.

CORY: And the baby — gorilla? Chimp?

(Cut to CU on Tina.)

TINA: Right the first time, Cory. My husband’s work was in enhancing human potential, through genetic engineering and other means. He had heard of the various experiments where an ape was raised as a human but still seemed to be somewhat inferior to an average human in intelligence, so he obtained an infant gorilla and subjected it to various treatments. We raised Grodd as if he were our own son, and —

CORY: “Grodd?”

TINA: Yes. Silly name, I know. The first day I saw him, he looked right at me and made this — growl — like a cross between a full-grown gorilla and a kitten, with a Cambridge-type accent. “Grrroowdd.” I couldn’t resist. Anyway, as he got older, he was obviously very intelligent — not only more intelligent than a normal gorilla, but even more so than a human child his age. Of course he couldn’t talk in words, since gorillas lack the facial musculature needed, but we and he used sign-language, which he picked up in less than a month. He learned to read when he was two, and even showed quite a talent on the piano. By this time, he was no longer an experiment to me. I loved him as I would’ve if he were my real son.
(Her face clouds at this point. Camera zooms back to include Cory in scene.)

CORY: So what happened to him?

TINA: At about age six, he began to — regress. By age eight, he was down to normal gorilla intelligence. We feared that the process had worn off. I wish that that were all it was. By nine, he had regressed to about the level of a typical reptile. It was apparent that the accelleration the process gave himwas burning out his neurons. He had a condition similar to Alzheimer’s, and there was nothing we could do. Soon, he was a complete vegetable. At that point, my husband — did what he — had to do. I don’t think I ever really forgave him for that, though I understood intellectually that it was for the best. A few years later my husband was — gone, too.

CORY: I — I don’t know what to say.

TINA: Thanks for asking. It helps to talk about it. We never published the results of our “experiment,” because by the time we saw how dramatic it was, Grodd had ceased to be an experiment and had become our son in our hearts. We couldn’t just treat him as a lab animal. And when he became — ill, it devastated us. My husband never recovered, but was determined to make his process safe as well as effective. He — died, doing that.

(At this point, the intercom buzzer sounds and Tina’s boss’s voice is heard [I forgot her name!].)

BOSS: Tina, do you have your recommendation on the work-study applicants?

TINA: I just finished interviewing the last, and most promising, applicant now.

BOSS: I need to see your report right away.

TINA: On my way.
(turns off intercom, gathers papers, and prepares to leave.)
(to Cory)
: This won’t take long. I think you made a good impression on her! Will you be OK ’till I get back?

CORY: Sure.

TINA: (walks to door)
Don’t touch anything.
(winks, then exits)

CORY: Okay — Mom.

(End of Prologue. Cut to opening title sequence.)

Continued next month.

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