“I know I’m moving pretty fast, but stop me if you’ve heard this before: boy meets girl. Happens every day…except this boy was struck by lighting and became the fastest man alive. So, nothing is ever that simple.”
If Barry’s got one thing right, it’s how things are never too simple. As with Arrow, just when things are getting good with the hero and his gal, it’s time to throw a wrench in the spanner. And oh, does ‘Potential Energy’ do that in spades.
While Barry’s nightmares about Zoom are distracting him from Patty, Iris and Joe seem to making headway with Wally. Sure, the guy’s a bit quiet and somewhat aloof but it’s going pretty well, right? Until it’s not.
As the two new relationships are in a state of suspended animation, Cisco has a plan to slow down Zoom: the Turtle. This newest meta is one who can slow time and, after the Flash has his first run-in with the new threat, we get versed in his power. Russell Glosson, a small time thief, has the ability to transfer kinetic energy into himself, leaving everyone around him in a state of potential energy. Barry’s speed, while not immunizing him to the effects, does allow him to perceive the Turtle’s actions. Now it’s just a matter of figuring out just how to nullify said powers.
Back to the personal relationships, Joe gets his first disappointment when Wally doesn’t show for dinner and Iris, fresh off her girl chat with Patty, lets Barry know that “one day, you’re gonna have to tell her the truth.” Barry decides now is as good as ever and puts the whole ‘two-birds, one stone’ action in place when he invites her to an art exhibit of the Crystal Ball, a famous painting recovered from Markovia. It’s something worth more than money and, based on its uniqueness falls right in line when the Turtle’s MO of stealing items of personal value.
Barry tells Cisco and Kaitlin his plan and, while Ciso’s down with it, Kaitlin’s not so sure. But it’s Wells who gives Barry some pause when he says not to tell her. “If Zoom finds out who you care for,” Wells goes on, “who you love, who you live for, he’ll take them from you.”
At the party, Barry and Patty dance with our speedster ready to tell his girlie the truth but that’s when the Turtle strikes. It’s here when things get turned on their head. Once again the Turtle takes the advantage but, unlike before, we find that he’s not just some petty criminal as he drops a chandelier on Patty’s head and it’s only Barry’s speed that prevents her from getting squashed. Barry’s not so lucky though and he’s KO’d. Kaitlin and Jay, his back up at the party, haul his unconscious form out of dodge but his disappearance does cause a few issues with Patty. For only the second time since she’s been in his life, Barry sees the pissed off side of Ms. Spivot. He hesitates telling her when the truth would have put her at ease. Instead, she’s lays down the law: decide what he wants or kick rocks.
While the two lovebirds are going through their troubles, Joe discovers that Wally’s not as okay with the whole “new dad, new family” dynamic as he originally seemed to be. In fact,
the young street racer—for that’s why Wally’s in town—is quite belligerent with his pops and the two part on less than amicable terms.
As everyone is dealing with personal issues, Turtle makes a surprise visit to Patty because he wants to take “the thing most precious to the Flash”. Of course, his taking of our favorite peppy detective occurs before Barry returns to Patty’s ready to apologize. He sees the evidence of struggle (a trio of bullets) and calls an emergency meeting with the gang at Star Labs.
“It’s a waste of time,” Russell Glosson, aka Turtle tells the trussed up Patty, “saving people. They take everything for granted.” Nothing more than a criminal beforehand, we finally get Glosson’s motivation. After his wife threatened to leave him, he decided to keep her for good—as a trophy. He’s ready to do the same to Patty but in comes Barry. It’s touch and go for a minute but somehow Barry overcomes Turtle’s ‘slow pulse’. Another bad guy put in the Pipeline.
The day won, there’s not much to celebrate. Despite Joe and Wally meeting on a bit of tenuous footing, Kaitlin discovers that Jay is sick, Patty drops the bomb that she’s leaving Central City. Again, as are characters deal with their personal relationships in the foreground, Wells continues his work in the background, eventually taking a sample from Glosson in his war to beat Zoom and save his daughter.
The final kicker of all…the Reverse Flash returns, with no idea of where, or when, he is.
- Say it ain’t so, Patty! We knew there were going to be complications in Barry’s ship with the ever petty detective Spivot but for her to up and leave our hero and Central City behind?! It’s a blow to Barry and the show as Patty was that bright, shining light that brought out the best in our speedster. It will be very interesting to see how Barry handles her absence which, as a fan, I hope is a temporary circumstance.
- Wells continues to work behind the scenes on a way to defeat Zoom. His story of Zoom’s slaughter of 15 CCPD officers on Earth-two was a very sobering piece of reality. Sure, we’ve heard how bad he is but there’s never been a number placed on his evil. Something tells me that Wells’ story of Zoom’s true identity is subtle hint to the monster behind the mask.
- There have been so many instances of Jay Garrick being an unlikeable character but now we find out he’s sick. Does that change the narrative? Not to me though I admit I do empathize a bit more with his plight now. It will be key to find out just how the gang works to help Jay regain his powers and save his life because, going against Zoom, they’ll need all hands on deck.
- The Joe/Wally dynamic so far, has been well crafted. It seemed to perfect Wally’s initial behavior but he finally showed his frustration and anger with Joe not being there for him. A speed racer using his wins to pay Francine’s medical bills, Wally has the rebellious teen with that chip on his shoulder down to a tee. It was a good thing to find father and son waving the white flag. The growth of their familial bonds and Wally’s potential to become a speedster as well (if we’re going by the comics) is another great storyline for a season two chugging along like the fastest man alive.