In the winter premiere of The Flash¬†season 2, “Potential Energy,” the team goes after a meta-human who can slow down time — something that is particularly troublesome for Barry since he is trying to become faster in order to defeat Zoom. Meanwhile, Iris and Joe kick off the new year by trying to connect with Wally, and Barry weighs the idea of telling Patty that he is The Flash.

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Team Flash vs. The Turtle

The team’s case of the week comes courtesy of Cisco as part of his strategy to focus on slowing down Zoom instead of helping Barry increase his speed. Cisco tells the team about a meta-human he has been tracking who can slow down everything around him — hence, why he is called ‘The Turtle.’ Cisco thinks if they can find this guy and figure out how his powers work, they can use them against Zoom.

The Turtle has been committing a series of robberies around the city, going after people’s most-cherished possessions. They figure out that his next target will be a press conference held at the CCPD to announce the recovery of some missing heirlooms. Barry gets to the press conference and locates The Turtle, but the meta’s powers slow Barry down long enough for The Turtle to escape.

Luckily for Team Flash, Central City Museum is hosting a black-tie event to showcase a famous painting, and The Turtle is sure to show. Caitlin and Jay attend the event with Barry and Patty, while Cisco and Harry stay outside to keep an eye out for The Turtle. Alas, things go sideways and Patty pulls her gun on The Turtle. He responds by dropping a chandelier on Patty, and Barry has to choose between saving her and going after The Turtle. Barry saves Patty, and The Turtle escapes with the painting.

Later that night, The Turtle tracks Patty back to her home and takes her hostage, assuming that The Flash’s decision to save her means she is important to him. Barry goes after them and eventually figures out how to overcome The Turtle’s powers. He defeats The Turtle and saves Patty, but she still has no idea who he really is.

Barry and Patty

While things between Barry and Patty are going well, Barry has been having nightmares of Zoom killing Patty. That, combined with keeping her from discovering his secret identity, has made Barry guarded around his girlfriend. This distance is not lost on Patty and she eventually seeks out Iris for advice. Patty wants to know what she can do to get Barry to open up to her. Iris gives Patty some sound advice, but Patty can tell that Barry is still holding something back. Yet, she is hopeful when Barry suggests they spend a romantic evening together.

Prior to his big date with Patty, Barry talks to Iris about the nightmares he has been having and shares his doubts about telling Patty that he is The Flash. Iris reminds Barry of how hurt she was that he kept the truth from her for so long and she suggests that if Barry wants a real future with Patty, he should stop keeping her in the dark. Barry decides to take Iris’ advice and tell Patty that he is The Flash.

When Team Flash makes a plan to go after The Turtle at the museum event, Barry decides to invite Patty along because he mistakenly believes that a night of crime-fighting is the perfect time to drop the big Flash bombshell. After getting conflicting advice from Cisco and Harry — Cisco thinks Barry should tell Patty the truth, while Harry believes Barry should keep Patty as far away from Zoom as possible — Barry actually comes close to telling Patty the truth. Unfortunately, The Turtle arrives just before Barry can make the big reveal and he makes a hasty exit to go after the meta. Though Patty survives The Turtle’s first attack, she is upset that Barry left her there alone and tells him to figure out what he really wants from their relationship.

After rescuing Patty and defeating The Turtle, Barry is once again ready to tell Patty the truth. But Barry is too late. Patty tells him that she is leaving Central City. She put off going to college so she could become a cop and catch her father’s killer, but now that she has done that, she needs to move on. She lets Barry know that she will be moving on from everything, including him.

As much as I hate seeing Barry with a broken heart, I cannot blame Patty for choosing to move on with her life. Since she knows nothing about Barry’s secret identity, she probably assumes that Barry is not ready to take their relationship to the next level and wants to save herself some heartbreak by ending things before she gets even more invested in a relationship with no future. I do not know if we will see Patty again, but if we do not, at least she is leaving the show alive and well, unlike Eddie and Ronnie.

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West Family Values

Though it is very understandable given Joe’s dedication to his family, he is rushing into things when it comes to bonding with his long-lost son. Joe takes Wally to the CCPD and introduces him as his son, even though Wally is clearly uncomfortable with that label. Iris does her best to lighten the mood, but Wally still makes a few digs about Joe’s skills as a detective before agreeing to attend a family dinner. Alas, Wally’s acceptance of the invite was clearly just a way to make a hasty exit and he does not show up to the family gathering.

Joe manages to track Wally down and discovers that Wally is drag-racing to make money to pay for his mom’s hospital bills. Joe offers to help out on the money front, but Wally is not interested, saying that he has been the man of the house for most of his life. I understand that Wally is going through a lot, what with his mother’s illness and discovering his connection to Joe and Iris, but he really should not be taking his frustration out on Joe. Joe and Iris were just as blindsided by Wally’s existence as he was by theirs, so they need to support each other through this weird time in their lives. (Here’s hoping we get more Iris-Wally scenes in the next few episodes, as she spent most of this episode dealing with the Barry-Patty situation.)

Wally drops by the house on his way out of town to pick up a sweater he left behind, and Joe takes the opportunity to apologize to Wally for pushing for a father-son bond when they are still just getting to know each other. Joe suggests they slow things down and Wally decides to stick around, at least for the time being.

Other Happenings

— Caitlin senses there is something going on with Jay, so she tests his DNA and discovers that he is dying. Poor Caitlin is determined to find a cure so she does not lose Jay like she lost Ronnie, but Jay says the only way to save him is to defeat Zoom so he can get his speed back.

— Harry is still planning to do whatever it takes to save his daughter, so he ends the episode by seemingly taking The Turtle’s powers to help him steal Barry’s speed for Zoom. Or, at least, I assume that is what he is doing. I suppose he could be planning to steal Zoom’s speed instead, but that seems risky given that Zoom is still holding his daughter hostage.

— In the episode’s closing scene, we get a glimpse of the supposedly dead Reverse Flash. Since he was erased from time when Eddie killed himself, are we dealing with the Earth-Two version of Reverse Flash or are there time-travel shenanigans at work? Could we be seeing the Reverse Flash at an earlier point in his timeline before Eddie erased him from existence?

What did you think of this episode of The Flash? Have we seen the last of Patty or will she make one more appearance before leaving town? Do you think Harry was right to caution Barry against telling Patty the truth or do you think Barry should have let her in on his secret? What is this mysterious illness Jay is suffering from? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section.

The Flash
airs Tuesday nights at 8pm on The CW.

(Image courtesy of The CW)