The Flash Zoom-In: Potential Energy (2×10)
So I’ll be honest, the midseason finale of The Flash didn’t leave me aching to see what happens next like the midseason finale of Arrow did. Besides the inclusion of the adorable Patty Spivot, this season of The Flash has been hit or miss for me with the villains playing a huge role in the episodes that I’ve rated highly. While this second half of season two kicks off with an interesting villain in that I hadn’t heard of before now, the rest of the episode was poorly written and left me feeling angry at some of my favorite characters. At this point, I am actually glad I wasn’t hyped to watch this midseason premiere, because if I had been I would have left even more disappointed.
Warning: SPOILERS will follow!
1. The episode begins with an intense dream sequence that felt super real at first. We get a super cute #PattyBarry moment that quickly gets interrupted by Zoom; the ultimate cock block from the ultimate villain. I was almost disappointed when this sequence turned out to be a dream. I would have loved to see Barry sans uniform run down a building to save Patty, for her to realize that he was The Flash and he had saved her… but no. They decide to twist up that plotline throughout this whole episode in a sequence of follies and bad writing. While I like Patty being in the dark about Barry’s alter ego, if Barry is going to continue to act like the worst boyfriend in the world while lying horribly to Patty, I’d rather her to find out. It’s hard to remember that Barry is socially awkward and probably has never had a girlfriend in his life (which my colleagues who are obsessed with Grant Gustin most certainly wouldn’t buy), but when Barry lies to Patty it’s so frustrating because there’s no way she would buy any of it. During his fancy date with Patty, who was looking gorgeous by the way, he just straight up stops dancing with her and says “Sorry I gotta go” and expects a smart policewoman like Patty to be okay with that. Sure he wasn’t thinking straight, but his responses to her being angry with him later is what baffled me. After he goes to Patty’s house to apologize and she delivers him an ultimatum, he just leaves?! He doesn’t stay and try and talk it out? He doesn’t just tell her he’s The Flash? No. He leaves so that she can immediately be kidnapped by The Turtle who somehow figured out that The Flash cares for her more than anyone else by how he saved her at the party. This is super lazy writing folks. Top it off with the plot device of Patty deciding to leave Central City for a few years, and you’ve got one fuming #PattyBarry fan. I honestly am going to care so much less about The Flash once Patty is out of the picture. I’m still going to watch because of the amazing The Flash side of the show, but now the Barry side of the show is seriously going to be lacking. Honestly, if I were Patty, I would have left several episodes ago after one of the other times Barry ditched her for no reason.
2. Hey everyone Wally West is here! You know the guy you’ve all been wishing would have been cast as The Flash instead of Barry? I haven’t read much of Wally West in the comics, but I did know that he was kind of a punk before becoming the hero he is destined to become. What I don’t care for is his Kylo Ren-like attitude that switches between angry and emo all the time. I get why he’s got those feelings considering his life story but I feel like we haven’t even gotten a chance to see Joe, Iris and Wally even sit down and talk yet before the “you’re not my dad” fireworks began to go off. All we get is them walking around the police station pointing at stuff and Wally immediately starts with the “obviously a good detective” sarcastic crap. The thing is… we all know that Joe is seriously the best dad in the CW Universe, and we also have seen how much remorse he has for not knowing about Wally, so for me this makes Wally just seem like a dick. So immediately he’s on the wrong side of me to begin with, but then they turn him into Johnny Storm from the new F4ntastic movie and that makes me check out on Wally for this episode. I get that he’s supposed to be a ne’er-do-well at first, but they could have written his character in a much better way. I’d rather them have made Wally seem like he was eager to get to know Joe and Iris, being super sweet to them while hiding his true self. It would have made this rebel side of him more of a reveal and less Johnny Storm. I hope after eating some Kung Pao Chicken that Wally will just stop and take a moment to hear Joe out so he can realize that he’s as good a person as we viewers know he is.
3. Now that we know Harry is going to help Zoom steal The Flash’s speed, we see him slowly turning into what Harrison Wells was in season one. Throughout the episode he’s absorbed in his trying to work out how to steal The Flash’s powers for Zoom and doesn’t seem to be able to crack the code. We have to remember that Harrison from season one was actually Eobard Thawne from the future, and that Harrison has knowledge and tech from the future to steal Barry’s speed. Harry is in a whole different universe several decades too early for that kind of tech and so he’s going to have to figure something else out. I did enjoy the steak out scene between Cisco and Harry though. Cisco offering to “vibe” anytime Harry wants to know how his daughter is doing really showed a lot of compassion on Cisco’s part; it was a very sweet moment. At the end though, we really do see Harry begin to act like the season one Harrison as he begins to take “samples” or what I can only assume are the same parts of the brains from Team Flash’s prisoners that Sylar took from his super powered victims throughout the show Heroes. This is crazy because we get to verify that Harry truly is on the path to helping Zoom. Soon he’s going to cross a line that he probably won’t ever be able to come back from.
4. Jay Garrick is sick. Great. I’m glad we got to see him in all of his glory before killing him off. Well… it’s a bit more complicated than that as Jay’s sickness adds another stake to the need to defeat Zoom. Without Jay’s speed, that allows his body to rapidly heal and keep the sickness at bay, he will slowly die. While I still find his relationship with Caitlin super weird and too fast (even though he doesn’t have speed force… get it?), I still feel like Jay is being wasted big time in this season. I was wanting to see Jay the mentor again, like we saw in a past episode with the teaching of the Thunder Bolt throw. I really haven’t invested in the relationship between Caitlin and Jay, mainly because Jay comes from Earth-2 and Caitlin just like Ronnie like ten episodes ago. I imagine that Jay will turn out just fine, because killing him off after he hasn’t done a thing wouldn’t leave a huge impact. So with my brand of thinking, this sickness plot point is moot. The only thing it could possibly affect is the whole Caitlin/Killer Frost story arc. We already know from previews and news that Killer Frost is Caitlin’s Earth-2 counterpart, so if Jay dies and Caitlin sees this evil version of herself, it could play out later. Hell maybe it’ll be Caitlin who dies and Jay will have to deal with evil Caitlin afterwards. For now this plotline is pretty boring, but it could be heading somewhere.
The end of this episode did what the midseason finale should have done and got me a bit hyped for the next episode titled The Reverse-Flash Returns. I was almost unsure if we were seeing the flashback we kept seeing last season from Reverse-Flash’s time travel to the past, but then he asked Gideon where the hell he was and it made it clear that this was new. While non-comic book readers may be confused by this, I was excited and I’ll explain why Thawne is still alive. Thawne is a super tricky villain because he time travels a lot more than we were shown in season one. You have to go back and imagine that episode 2×11 takes place (to Thawne) before the premiere of The Flash in season one. I’d actually love for this episode to be the episode where Thawne meets Barry for the first time, and it seems from the promo like it will be, but it still leaves a bit of a question. This is most likely one of Thawne’s first attempts to travel back in time far enough to kill Nora Allen. He missed the time he was trying to reach by a few decades and he’s probably going to have some of the speedforce issues we saw him have back in the season one flashbacks as well. So this Eobard has yet to travel back far enough to where he needs to kill Nora and steal Harrison Well’s identity. So why is this version of Thawne going back in time if not to kill Nora? He has to already know who Barry is unless his first attempt at time traveling for fun went worse than it did for Barry. This next episode will be fun mainly because Eobard may or may not have as big a vendetta against Barry as Barry has against him at this point. I honestly can’t wait to see Reverse-Flash again and I highly hope that Zoom will make an appearance as well. I just want to see what Zoom’s reaction to another evil speedster would be. Keep your fingers crossed!
Check out the preview for next week’s episode of The Flash titled The Reverse-Flash Returns and tell me what you think!
This week, the clear winner in my personal competition between Arrow and The Flash episode, was Arrow. The Flash ended its best romance to date while Arrow strengthened #Olicity. There’s no way watching The Flash slowly run towards The Turtle could come close to watching Green Arrow beat the hell out of a dozen ghosts trying to find Damien Darhk. Arrow was on a whole other level this week. The Flash will definitely compete next week though! Check out this week’s Arrow Re-Nocked: Blood Debts (4×10) for Sarah Belmont’s guest spot writing in the column!