For a show that is airing a winter premiere of all things, “The Flash” proved one thing above all else with Wednesday night’s all-new episode: It has some serious guts. “Potential Energy” has a boring episode title, but the story surrounding it was fittingly faced-paced even in spite of a villain known for slowing down time.
Let’s start with what seems to be the top story of the hour: Farewell Patty Spivot. At least she didn’t die, right? The more curious choice is that the writers opted for her to never realize that Barry was the Flash, as he never opted to tell her despite coming very close at one point. Had he said something, it’s very likely that she could be convinced to stay; yet, he saw a better life for her somewhere else where her life wouldn’t be in nearly as much jeopardy. The thing here is that wrapping her up by having her head off to CSI school is awfully convenient, and we have to assume not necessary permanently.
The truth is, we like the Patty character given that she’s supportive, ambitious, and never seemed unlikable even though the majority of viewers preferred to see Barry with Iris when the dust settled. We would have no problem with her returning someday in the same way that Linda Park did. She still had a great story even when the relationship was ever, so who is to say that Patty also could not figure it out?
Patty’s arc came to a close following a very-dangerous showdown with the Turtle, the hilarious “White Whale” if Cisco adversaries who had a rather unique power: Slowing down time. Interesting he seemed to be mostly there to tell the story of Patty’s eventual exit, and also Barry finding new ways to concentrate his speed. Sure, it would be nice if Dr. Wells figured out a way in which to capitalize on this in the battle against Zoom, but as we saw with him using the Turtle as an experiment near the end, he’s still focused on giving Barry the boost he needs so that Zoom can eventually take it from him … provided that it also allows him to have his daughter at the same time.
Interesting, Harry wasn’t the only person within STAR Labs to hide something. In what was a surprisingly-rude move, Jay Garrick has also been keeping it a secret that he is dying without the source of his power, which in turn is hurting Caitlin given that she’s lost one great love already. Killer Frost really can’t get her soon enough for her, as this character is being forced in some ways to be the significant other in mourning time and time again.
Just like secrets proved to be a theme, so did parent / child relationships. We’re not entirely sure what to make of this Wally West just yet, mostly because he’s proving to be somewhat cocky and also distant from the West family. Then again, it makes some sense since he, like The Flash, has been carrying the weight of the world. The difference is that his weight is drag-racing to support his mom Francine. He’s like Walter White but with cars!
In the end, “Potential Energy” was a very good if imperfect winter premiere for the show. Jay Garrick and Wally still need time to come to their full potential, and Caitlin needs something more to do this season; otherwise, this was fun, action-packed, and heartfelt right when it needed to be. Also, we want some sort of update that Patty has found a good life somewhere else. Grade: B+.
As you saw both at the end of this episode and the resulting promo, the Reverse-Flash is back! Head over here to read more about that, and click here if you are interested in getting some further TV scoop on everything we cover at CarterMatt, sent right to you via our CarterMatt Newsletter. (Photo: The CW.)