Turtle Time | The Flash “Potential Energy” Review
The Flash is finally back with its midseason premiere, “Potential Energy.” The Flash has been one of those few shows that ramps up each and every episode, and thus far, the season hasn’t disappointed. We’ve been given some insane villain reveals, ridiculous action pieces and some quality relationship building, so does “Potential Energy” hold up to the lofty expectations the show has built?
This episode leaves me with a bit of a conundrum. While I genuinely enjoyed the relationship building scenes, especially the tension between Patty and Barry and Joe and Wally, I feel like the main baddie of this episode could have been done better or, more so, that he would have been more impactful throughout.
The latest villain, aptly named The Turtle, can create an energy field that sucks out all the kinetic energy; thus making everyone come to a halt. Or, in Barry’s case, go extremely slow. The STAR Labs crew, as they usually do, has to come up with a way to stop him. So, Barry decides to just….run fast. For some reason, this was the best that Barry could come up with. It’s a bit strange for a STAR Labs team that always has a unique way of solving a problem that he opts for the bruteforce method. While the idea was awful, I did enjoy the special effects that went into those scenes; although, that has been pretty status quo for the series up unto this point.
The crew eventually discovers that the Turtle intends to steal a prized painting at an art gala being held later that day. Since Barry can’t possibly blow off Patty again, he decides that the best course of action is to bring her along. Seriously? There comes a point where telling her would absolutely make sense and the possibility that Zoom would somehow find out can be minimized. But as was shown earlier in the episode, Barry can’t get past his nightmares of Zoom killing Patty to get to him.
The gala pretty much goes as you’d expect. Patty spots the Turtle stealing the painting and attempts to shoot him. Of course this doesn’t work, and Barry narrowly saves her from being smashed by a chandelier. This scene is actually more important than it appears at first glance since this shows Turtle that The Flash’s weakness is Patty. But, the excitement of a rescue doesn’t last long as shortly thereafter Patty is kidnapped.
I feel like The Turtle is every bit a throwaway character. But I thought they would at least come on with an inventive way to subdue the energy altering menace. But where the villain fell flat, the emotions between Patty and Barry piqued.
As much as I hate that Barry won’t tell Patty that he is The Flash, their chemistry onscreen is undeniable. The scene where she tells him that she’s done what she set out to do, capture the man that killed her father, and that she is going to go back to school, was certainly gut-wrenching. The only other on screen relationship that has equally as much weight is Joe and Wally.
Joe is the loveable dad of the show, and it’s genuinely tough to see Wally outright hate him. Wally’s resentment of his father is a bit misplaced considering Joe would have loved nothing more than to have known that he did have a son all along. Their relationship is oddly straight at times, though. Wally is so headstrong that even when he is being cordial, there’s still a slight jab at the end of what he says. They did loosely tie this up toward the end of the episode, which was nice to see because I don’t feel that they really need another long drawn out relationship in the show.
I’d be remiss not to mention the relationship between Caitlin and Jay; although, it felt like it was kind of put on the sideburner once again. They have a short scene where Jay cutely toasts with Caitlin back at STAR Labs since it got interrupted at the Gala, and then Caitlin takes his glass and tests his DNA. Apparently Jay is extremely ill, and, you guessed it, the only way for him to not die is to get his speed back. Caitlin sure has the worst luck with men ever.