The Flash, S2 Ep10 – Potential Energy

The wait is over. The Flash has returned with brand new episodes. Kicking off the second half of The Flash‘s second season is an episode which pits Barry against a new villain with abilities able to match his. Referred to as The Turtle by Cisco, Russel Glosson, played by Battlestar Galactica alum Aaron Douglas, has the ability to slow down what’s around him and uses this to steal what he desires. When The Flash gets in the way of his plans, Patty Spivot becomes locked in The Turtle’s cross hairs.

Patty and Barry

Patty and Barry

The episode begins with Barry going on a date with Patty. Something begins to seem off when his flowers catch fire, due to him speeding to his date, and Patty doesn’t really seem to think much of it. Flowers don’t just burst into flames. Then Zoom comes out of nowhere and grabs Patty and throws her off a building. It’s pretty obvious when Zoom enters that this is all a dream. And it’s pretty obvious when he throws Patty off a roof that this dream is setting up a pretty tired superhero trope. We’ve seen Spider-Man, Batman, and even Arrow struggle with telling their loved ones the truth about their double life, and now The Flash gives us an episode focused entirely on this theme and the possible dangers that come with it.

Throughout the majority of the episode Barry can’t decide whether or not he should tell Patty the truth about him being The Flash. Iris tells Barry he should tell her the truth, especially if he’s serious about pursuing a lasting relationship with her. In actuality, Patty should learn the truth because she would become a valuable asset to Team Flash, which Cisco also points out. For a moment Barry is pretty gung-ho about telling Patty the truth, but it’s the words from Dr. Wells that make Barry question his decision. Wells feels that telling Patty the truth would only bring her closer to danger.

If there’s anything both Arrow and The Flash have proved during their time on the air it’s that keeping characters, especially loved ones, in the dark only places them in more danger. In season one Iris even rightfully criticized her father for not telling her the truth, since knowing the truth would make her more cautious and stay out of harm’s way. Barry should never listen to Wells’ words in this matter, knowing how much better things have been since Iris was let into his world.

Patty is only placed in danger when Barry, as The Flash, rescues Patty from The Turtle during an art exhibition. The Turtle sees how devoted The Flash was in saving her, realizing The Flash must have some attachment to her. From then on the episode makes Patty a damsel in distress and it’s up to Barry to save her from The Turtle.

Honestly, The Turtle wasn’t much of a villain. He definitely fits that villain-of-the-week persona the series had a lot of in the beginning. He’s simply a crazy meta-human who likes to steal stuff. That’s it. That being said, his ability to slow things down around him is a very cool and useful ability against a hero who is dependent on his speed. But Barry seems to power through The Turtle’s abilities all too easily and rescues Patty towards the end of the episode.

It would have been nice to see Patty be let in on the truth and join Team Flash as a true member, but unfortunately it seems this was her last episode as she is written off to pursue her dream of becoming a CI in Midway City. Barry was ready to tell her at the end of episode, hoping it would not only fix everything that has gone wrong in their relationship, but bring them closer together. All too quickly a pretty decent and strong character, who had a solid story arc in the first half of season two, is now gone and Barry is appropriately sad.

Any Caitlyn/Jay shipped out there?

Any Caitlyn/Jay shippers out there?

While the relationship story between Barry and Patty was and has been pretty by the numbers, “Potential Energy” offered some decent moments involving other characters. Like I said before, I did enjoy seeing The Turtle’s abilities on screen. Also, Caitlyn and Jay had some good moments as well. Caitlyn, being very enthusiastic about finding a way to return Jay’s super speed, discovers he is terminally ill and the only way for him to be cured is for him to get his speed back. I really like seeing these two together and Caitlyn definitely deserves some happiness, so hopefully by season’s end a solution to this problem becomes apparent.

I didn’t care much for the father-son moments between Joe and Wally. Wally was very resentful and angry towards his father for never being there, but considering how Joe’s relationship was with Wally’s mother we can’t really be mad at him. I guess it’s only natural for Wally to feel the way he does, but throughout the episode he just came off as annoying. I know some super fans out there might want to see Wally become the man he is in the comics, but at this point The Flash hasn’t given me much to get on his side. It’s only been two episodes since we’ve met him, though, so hopefully his character will get fleshed out a bit more later on.

While I’m glad to see The Flash make its return after its winter break, this week’s episode was just okay. There were some solid moments involving Caitlyn and Jay, some funny quips from Cisco as usual, and an underdeveloped, but visually amusing villain. Wells’ creep factor continues to rise as the episode concludes with him forcefully taking a sample from The Turtle, in the hopes of using his ability to find a way to take down Zoom. The episode’s main plot was still very generic and seemed to be just a way of simplifying Barry’s story by taking his romantic relationship with Patty out of the equation.

The stinger scene at the end was definitely a surprise as we see the Reverse-Flash is back, but definitely not the Reverse-Flash we know. Next week’s episode will tell us more about why this version of the Reverse-Flash is in present-day Earth-1 and what he plans on doing. Check out the trailer for “The Reverse-Flash Returns” below and feel free to let us know what you thought about “Potential Energy” in the comments.