The Flash: 2.10 Potential Energy
Season one of The Flash was arguably a great season, capturing the fun and thrills of its comic-book origins. But for me season two hasn't felt like it is firing on all cylinders despite some great moments. The alternate worlds story-arc has opened up many fantastic possibilities (and a cross-over with Supergirl later this season) and Zoom's brutal takedown of the Flash and the cross-over with Arrow have been brilliant but had the magic been there? Sort of.
And 'sort of magic' is how I would describe the mid-season opener. Aaron Douglas's Turtle, with his abilities to suck the energy from the room and slow down time proved to be a great foil for Barry, even if there was little to him despite his abilities. It was amusing that everyone was aware of this metahuman despite Barry and his plan to freeze Patty and put her in a glass box for display was suitably creepy.
There was also a lot of scene-setting after the show's return. Keiynan Lonsdale made a good impression as Wally West, the wayward son of Joe; fans of the Flash will know there is a lot more to come from him, but I like that he, Joe and Iris weren't all happy families by the end. It's a longer game the producers are playing and there is a lot more still come before then.
Like the return of the Eobard Thawne, aka the Reverse-Flash; Barry already has Zoom to deal with so having his old nemesis return from the dead looks set to raise the stakes further and made for a great cliff-hanger to the episode. And with Harrison Wells forced to work for Zoom to save his daughter, including killing he Turtle after his capture and stealing his blood, his betrayal is sure to be keenly felt in the weeks ahead. Unless of course he has stolen the blood to use against Zoom. The show has certainly given us a rather different but still engaging of the man who was Barry's mentor in season one.
And then there was Patty. I think Shantel VanSanten has been one of the brightest additions to season two and I much prefer Patty and Barry than the inevitable Iris and Barry pairing. The episode began with a standard dream fakeout; Zoom killing Patty, leading Barry to agonise over whether to tell her the truth. I groaned with despair when he told Iris he couldn't but at least she was quick to remind him that she wished he had told her that he was the Flash last year. And despite a potential prophetic warning from Harrison he soon came round to believing what we could all see already; she could be a great addition to team Flash.
But then her capture by Turtle changed everything and before he could finally open up she chose a different path. Season two has already seen her journey come full circle after she captured her father's killer - Mark Mardon / Weather Wizard - in the previous episode. The only thing keeping her in Central City was Barry and his secrets cost him his relationship. I hope her decision to leave and train in forensics won't mean this is the last we have seen for her because there is wonderful chemistry between these two.
Potential Energy was a fun season opener with a great metahuman foil for the Flash even if the man behind the Turtle didn't have much character. The episode's main role was to tease bigger things and bring a seeming end to the pairing of Patty and Barry, something I hope isn't a permanent fixture in the show. It wasn't perfect but then I suspect bigger things are just around the corner...