The holiday break is over and no one is more happy than I am about that. Finding new things to watch is hard. It’s a commitment. And so it’s nice to get back into the groove of things with “The Flash,” a show I’ve thoroughly come to enjoy over the last few months. This’ll be my first recap and review of an episode since I started watching (binge-watching) it on Netflix in September. Let’s get started.
West Family 2.0: Season two, episode ten, titled “Potential Energy,” picks up right after the midseason finale. Joe and Iris are introducing Wally to their world. Joe is anxious, Iris seems excited, and Barry is being supportive, but not overstepping his boundaries yet, allowing time for the West’s time to get to know each other. It must be weird for both Wally and Barry, who will probably both vie for Joe’s attention at some point, but we’ll get to that when it happens.
Joe and Iris invite Wally for dinner and he doesn’t show up, leading to a heart-to-heart between Iris and Barry about Patty. Iris thinks he should tell her his secret, he’s not so sure. But Iris remembers what it’s like being lied to by someone she cares about, so Barry quickly changes his mind… until Wells gives him the Zoom will find out “who you care for, who you love, and who you live for and he will take them away from you” speech.
Joe finds out Wally is drag racing to help his mom financially and Wally doesn’t think Joe has the right to be a father to him since Wally is making due with his mom’s medical bills and whatnot. And Wally is bitter that Joe is a lousy detective, because he never looked for him. In all fairness, Joe never knew he existed. Anyway, Joe thinks they’re both moving too fast and decide, in the end, to slow things down a bit and start to get to know each other over dinner and not force their relationship.
Zoom Anxiety and the Turtle: Barry has been having nightmares about Zoom. Specifically, he’s been having nightmares about Zoom kidnapping Patty and throwing her off the roof. So he’s become so distant that Patty has to hit up Iris to talk to her about Barry. Patty wants to know how she can reach him and get him to open up to her, and of course Iris doesn’t spill his secret but she knows him well enough to know what the dilemma is. It’s nice that this season, both Barry and Iris have put aside their jealousy of the other’s significant other and moved into a better place. We’ve already been through the sort-of-love-triangle, so there’s no need to repeat that here. Things need to run their course naturally. And that’d exactly what happens in this episode.
Barry invites Patty to a fancy art show where they’ve set a trap for the meta-human of the week: The Turtle (the “meta-human-not-ninja-turtle”), whom Cisco has been tracking and intrigued by for a year and the only person who doesn’t know about it is Barry. On a side note, Cisco is so very pleased with himself about this particular name. He’s whipped out the sarcasm to battle anyone who argues.
The Turtle can slow time, which obviously proves to be an issue for The Flash. The Turtle, after seeing The Flash save Patty from a falling chandelier, kidnaps her from her home. After saving Patty, Barry claims they need to talk because Patty firmly stated earlier that she needs more from him since they’re moving away from the fun part of the relationship and into the getting closer stage. But before he can say anything meaningful, Patty tells him she’s leaving Central City. She got accepted into the forensics program at Midway University and pretty much ends the brief relationship they had. We knew this was coming but it still felt a bit abrupt and yet more natural than I thought it’d be.
But before he’s finally caught, Caitlin learns that Jay is sick because he lost his speed. It’s vague and will probably be fleshed out in the upcoming episode, but she vows to help him get his speed back because that’s the only thing that will help. There was a sweet moment when she tells Jay how hard it was for her to move on from her husband, Ronnie, and that Jay should’ve told her before. Lots of secrets being revealed in this episodes. (or almost revealed, in Barry’s case). Cisco and Harry continue bonding and I like their dynamic this year better than last year. The backstory on how Zoom got his name is both terrifying and makes him all the more intriguing as a villain. It’ll be interesting to finally find out who this guy is.
Outcome: The entire episode sets up new relationships, ends one that has ran its course, and brings some closer together. “Potential Energy” isn’t a spectacular episode, but it does exactly what it’s supposed to do and sets up some unexpected and new material for the show to move forward without being worried about playing second fiddle to the finally premiering “Legends of Tomorrow.” And as much as I did like Patty there for awhile, she was slowly starting to become just “the girlfriend” and she’s better than that. So her going off to study forensics is respectable, even if it comes slightly out of left field, but leaves room for more important characters to get more screen time.
Next week, Reverse-Flash returns! The Eobard Thawne-faced version of him. What does that bode for Team Flash?