Episode Title: “Potential Energy”
Starring: Grant Gustin, Candice Patton, Danielle Panabaker, Carlos Valdes, Jesse L. Martin, Tom Cavanagh, Shantel VanSanten
Directed By: Rob Hardy
The Flash returns from its Winter break with a solid, although not particularly noteworthy episode. The team decides that they have been going the wrong route in trying to stop Zoom. Rather than continue to try and increase Barry’s speed (which is what Zoom wants), they instead look for a new way to slow Zoom down. Cisco has been tracking a metahuman who has the ability to produce a field which slows down everyone around him to a standstill, allowing him to be able to pull off thefts essentially invisible.
The team sets up a trap at an art gallery premiere, hoping to catch The Turtle. However, even the Flash finds himself slowed to a crawl and forced to rescue Patti when Turtle causes a large chandelier to drop from the ceiling on top of her. Seeing how much the Flash cares for Patty, the Turtle turns the tables and kidnaps her in order to use her as bait to kill him. Ultimately, Barry’s reluctance to share his secret with patty forces her to make a life changing decision.
Elsewhere, Joe is looking forward to getting to know Wally West, the son he never knew he had. But when the young man fails to show up for dinner at Joe’s house, the detective tracks him down to find him racing on the streets of Central City for pink slips. Wally is hostile towards Joe although they eventually decide to take their new relationship as father and son slowly.
The Turtle was a different kind of villain for The Flash. Rather than operating in the open like so many of his previous villains, he would rather remain quiet and unseen. He doesn’t come out into the open until he is discovered by The Flash. It’s an interesting new strategy in the war on Zoom.
The whole Barry/Patty love angle was far less interesting. It seems that half of Central City already knows that Barry is the Flash so his reluctance to reveal himself to her was silly. And the fact is that we have already been through this angle previously with Iris so it felt warmed over. Patty’s decision at the end is likely for the best.
The angle between Joe and Wally also seemed forced. When we saw Wally last he was this seemingly innocent and shy young man who showed up on Joe’s doorstep on Christmas Eve. Now he is this cocky, smart-mouthed punk who’s street racing for money. Huh? It’s a little hard to buy the conflict between the two when Joe only recently discovered his existence.
I was also a bit disappointed that there wasn’t any kind of lead in for the Legends of Tomorrow series that begins this week.