“The Flash” returned tonight for a stellar spring premiere in episode 10, titled “Potential Energy.” This episode featured the debut of the villain named “Turtle,” Joe’s first rejection from newly discovered son Wally West, and some starting revelations about Harry Wells, Jay Garrick and the Reverse Flash.
First off, Wally (Keiynan Lonsdale) Joe (Jesse L. Martin) and Iris (Candice Patton) started spending time together. When Wally debuted on the winter finale of “The Flash,” fans wondered how long it would take Wally to warm up to the family he never knew he had. Would they be amicable right away, or would it take Wally time to adjust? Tonight’s episode answered that question very clearly: Wally is not ready to be a part of the West family, at least not yet. At the beginning of this episode Joe takes Wally to the precinct to introduce him to Captain Singh. Singh praises Joe for being one of the finest detectives in Central City, but Wally is not impressed. When Joe and Iris set up a dinner date to get to know Wally better, Wally completely blows them off. As it turns out, Wally is a drag racer. When Joe discovers Wally’s racing, he confronts him. Apparently no one in Ketystone will race Wally anymore, and he needs money to pay for his mom’s bills, so that’s why he came to Central City. Wally calls Joe out for being the only detective who didn’t know he had a son. Ouch. Joe offers to cover Francine’s medical bills, but Wally doesn’t want Joe’s money. At the end of the episode Wally tells Joe that he’s leaving Central City, and that he’s not sorry for racing. In classic Joe West fashion, Joe apologizes, telling Wally that he doesn’t want to rush their reconciliation. Maybe Wally will stick around a bit longer, now that the pressure is off. What’s fascinating about making Wally a drag racer, is that he loves to go fast, which is definitely a prerequisite for becoming a future speedster.
The villain in this episode was a metahuman Cisco (Carlos Valdes) aptly named “The Turtle.” Why did Cisco name him “The Turtle?” Because when he showed up, the world around became as slow as molasses. While “The Turtle” wasn’t a violent metahuman, like so many others Barry (Grant Gustin) has taken down before, he was a thief. He had an obsession with preserving that which someone loved the most. When Barry and Team Flash set a trap for “The Turtle,” Barry was frozen, unable to speed through the potential energy in the room. Each time Barry was stopped by the energy he would push harder and harder, to see if he could break through. Barry and Cisco wanted to trap “The Turtle” because they wanted to harness his powers as a way to stop Zoom. Unfortunately they got too close to him, which inadvertently put Patty (Shantel VanSanten) in his crosshairs. Once he knew The Flash had feelings for Patty, he took her, and attempted to preserve her for all time, like his wife. Thankfully Barry was able to speed through the energy and rescue Patty. “The Turtle” ended up in the particle accelerator prison, but he didn’t live very long once he was in there.
Speaking of Patty, Patty and Barry’s relationship has been progressing fairly quickly, considering the fact that Patty threw a metal boot on The Flash’s leg so she could kill Mark Mardon in the winter finale. For some reason Barry really likes her, and is willing to look past her vengeful tendencies. All things considered, they have been getting really close, and when the episode opened, Barry was having nightmares that Zoom was coming to kill Patty. Harry Wells (Tom Cavanagh) even warned Barry that if Zoom knew how much he cared for Patty, Patty would be in great danger. This warning came from Harry’s attempt to dissuade Barry from telling Patty his secret. Patty, who is a very intelligent woman, knows that Barry is hiding something from her. So Barry decides to tell her, but the night the he decides to, she’s kidnapped by “The Turtle.” Patty and Barry really can’t win, as something is always coming between them. At the end of the episode, after being kidnapped and almost killed, Patty decides to leave Central City and pursue her degree in forensics. It’s almost as if her quest for vengeance against metahumans was completed, once she knew Mark Mardon was behind bars. Even though Barry wanted to tell Patty, he never got the chance.
The episode concluded leaving some huge cliffhangers. First, Caitlin (Danielle Panabaker) discovered why Jay (Teddy Sears) stopped trying to get his speed back: Jay is dying. While they didn’t say what disease from which he was suffering, Caitlin did confront Jay about it, and he admitted that he had little time left to live. Second, Harry Wells, pledging to get his daughter Jesse back from Zoom, killed “The Turtle.” Whether he killed him to medically study him, to slow Zoom down, or he killed him so that Team Flash can’t slow Zoom down, either way, Eath-2 Doctor Wells is starting to look a lot like Earth-1 Doctor Wells. Third, the Reverse Flash (Matthew Letscher) came back! So many things happened in this episode and Zoom wasn’t even around to terrorize Barry. So what’s in store for Team Flash next week? Considering the episode is titled “The Reverse Flash Returns,” I have a feeling we’ll find out why this Reverse Flash is back in Barry’s time.