The Flash Review: “Potential Energy”

The Flash returns with a twist on the villain known as the Slowest Man Alive.

Title: “Potential Energy”

Director: Rob Hardy
Writers: Bryan Q. Miller

Grant Gustin as Barry Allen / The Flash
Aaron Douglas as Russell Glosson / The Turtle
Carlos Valdes as Cisco Ramon
John Wesley Shipp as Henry Allen
Danielle Panabaker as Caitlin Snow
Shantel VanSanten as Patty Spivot
Tom Cavanagh as Harrison Wells
Jesse L. Martin as Detective Joe West
Teddy Sears as Jay Garrick/The Flash
Candice Patton as Iris West
Keiynan Lonsdale as Wally West
Tony Todd as the Voice of Zoom
Patrick Sabongui as Captain David Singh
Andros Joseph as Turbo
Matt Letscher as Eobard Thawne / Reverse-Flash


Barry and Patti’s relationship comes to crisis, Jay and Caitlin’s intensifies, Joe tries to have one with his son, and Zoom looms.

Meanwhile, the team tries to track down the villain known as the Turtle, whose powers might assist them in the coming confrontation, and someone makes an unexpected return.

High Points

The episode took, perhaps, the silliest villain in the Rogues Gallery and made him work. He was even menacing. We’re also reminded of how intimidating Zoom can be, though it makes me wonder why (in world) he’s letting his plan unfold so slowly.

Low Points

The science was predictably bad, but at this point we can let that pass, in part. A bigger drag on this episode was the often ponderous and obvious discussions of relationship. The very scenes that should show the series’ heart turn it, in place, to the Slowest Ep Alive.

The Scores:

Originality: 2/6

Effects: 5/6

Acting: 5/6 The acting was generally good, despite some turgid writing of relationships. Jesse L. Martin and Shantel VanSanten stood out, and Teddy Sears has grown more impressive as the Jay Garrick Flash.

Story: 4/6 The stories held together. Some of the relationship drama, as I’ve noted, was heavy-handed. The Turtle, meanwhile, had to easiest lair to track in criminal history. One wonders if Wally is right about Central City detectives.

Emotional Response: 4/6

Production: 5/6

Overall: 5/6

In total, “Potential Energy” receives 30/42

3 replies on “The Flash Review: “Potential Energy””

  1. I dunno about letting the Bad Science pass. Heck, this was Bad SciFi. Turtle’s powers were incredibly inconsistent, changing between scenes. I mean, he slows everything down but can still shoot the chandelier (when in another scene his powers DO slow down bullets?) And then the chandelier falls down? But very, very slowly?….

    Also, I’m sorry, but since his power is NOT passive, Barry should’ve easily been able to run in, grab what’s her face, leave, come back, and punch what’s his face without the jerk even noticing.

    I’m also a bit upset over Barry’s “Oh I can run through your super molasses power with no explanation now” thing.

    • I assumed the Flash was moving so fast, with that running start, that he was able to make progress through the Turtle Zone. As for the rest…. Yeah, I just thought that the relationship handling has a bigger effect on the average viewer than the Bad Science. By now, the show’s science consists of equal parts Handwavium and Impossibilium. So be it. The human element should still be handled thoughtfully.

  2. The inconsistency of the non-TMNT Turtle Power bugged me a little but we didn’t get any great detail on how it worked so he could have had finer control than we were led to believe.

    I have a harder time believing Patty’s exit though, that seemed really awkwardly forced. The one time he doesn’t blab his identity freely, it still comes back to bite him.

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