The Flash "Potential Energy" (Midseason Premiere REVIEW)
Written By Jacob Chimilar (@sweetlows)
After over a month away The Flash has returned with a brand new episode. This time around we start things off with the one thing every superhero fears, the person they care about most being killed at the hands of their arch enemy. Those two being Spivot and Zoom. Thankfully this is all just a big scary dream for Barry. Barry is now sleeping in the same bed as Patty so she is startled awake by Barry's bad dreams as well but in typical Barry fashion he refuses to talk about it. Patty looking for answers turns to Iris on how to handle Barry's inability to share what is on his mind. They talk it out and agree that she should just tell him that whatever it is she can handle it. Meanwhile Barry, sensing that someday Patty will know about him as The Flash so he might as well tell her sooner than later.
This becomes the basic premise of the episode, a couple struggling to find the right words to say to each other. Elsewhere we are given a “new” villain in “The Turtle” who is really only new to Barry and us the viewer as Cisco has been tracking him for a while and he has told literally everyone but Barry about him. He has the ability to slow down everyone around him by converting all kinetic energy in to potential energy with pulse waves allowing him to appear to move fast to those caught in those waves. He also is prone to stealing antiquities of great personal value. One such item is being held at an art opening and it is likely that The Turtle will be on hand to steal it. Barry finally deciding it was time to tell Patty about his life as The Flash decides that is the perfect time to spring the surprise on her.
However things dont exactly go according to plan, much to Barry's dismay. As is the case with most villains Barry faces the first time, he gets his butt readily handed to him, not being able to power through The Turtle's pulse waves. He does however manage to save Patty from a falling chandelier and immediately exiting the event. Patty, not knowing he is the flash still, thinks Barry out right ditched her . Things are not looking so great for Barry. The Turtle actually takes The Flash's heroics as a sign that he cares about Patty and kidnaps her. She is shown his evil lair which just so happens to be the museum his wife ran before she died and since the explosion had been abandoned. He had her stuffed and mounted in a glass case so she could be with him forever. Creepy stuff... and now he is going to do the same to Patty.
The gang figures out that he is keeping all his prizes in the abandoned museum and Barry races to save Patty before she gets turned into another museum piece. After some number crunching it turns out that Barry only has a small window between pulses to get past The Turtle, a mere 2/10th of a second. His first try is unsuccessful so he retreats and tries again, but this time while still getting stuck in the pulse pushes through and knocks The Turtle out and saves Patty. Once returned to STAR Labs he is put away in the holding cell and Dr.Wells takes a blood sample from him in an attempt to find a way to use his abilities to slow people down to help defeat Zoom.
Meanwhile, despite Barry's best efforts to tell the truth about who he is, Patty drops the bomb on him saying she is moving away to Midway City to work on her forensics degree which she turned down the acceptance letter for years ago but now that she has gotten justice for her father can go back and complete. Barry, star struck watches her leave and doesn't tell her about him. He was so close yet so far. Poor Barry.
Joe is having problems of his own. His son Wally is avoiding him. He invited him over for dinner but didn't show and later finds him drag racing to win cars to help pay for his mom's medical bills. Joe offers to help pay for it but Wally turns him down saying that since he wouldn't be the man of the house it was up to Wally to fill that role. It's there they sort of go their separate ways. That is until Wally knocks on Joe's door to apologise and the two share a nice plate of Chinese food.
Overall it was a solid start to the second half of the season. Lots of character drama, sprinkles of humour, and a relatively decent villain that could prove of use further down the road, even if it's just the DNA that is the useful bit. Things just keep chugging along for The Flash, it'll be interesting to see how Barry handles this relationship blow and how the rest of the team helps keep his head in the game, Wells especially could pose a greater threat now than ever with Barry being emotional compromised. Only time will tell!