The Flash Season 2, Episode 10 “Potential Energy”
Bechdel-Wallace Score: 2/3
Shukla Score: 3/3
Russo Score: 0/3
There was no LGBTQ representation in this episode. There are three recurring persons of color on the show, and two of them had at least one scene in this episode where they were talking (not about race). The episode did a little better than most on representing women, by having at least one scene where two women were talking to each other, but they were discussing a man. I awarded the episode three out of five kittens, because it would have taken a lot of furry cuteness to pull me away from what was obviously going to be an important Barry/Patty episode (see, I’m not always an anti-shipper). I made them crying kittens because, well, because I am sad about the state of the Barry/Patty romance at the end of the episode.
Low points: Battlestar Galactica fans will recognize actor Aaron Douglas, both because of his face and because he is once again portraying a character who is horrendously violent towards women. Two things in this episode, and the season in general, that are troubleshome to me: (1) nobody has figured out that Harry is there to do Zoom’s bidding and (2) Patty hasn’t figured out that Barry is the Flash. Why are these two things so bothersome? Because I don’t enjoy when plots of moving forward based on people being stupid and/or lying. In this case, we are asked to believe that the Flash team hasn’t figured out that Harry is working to save his daughter and is thus not loyal to the team and, even worse, that Patty is too stupid to realize that her boyfriend is the Flash, despite Barry repeatedly disappearing right before a red-suited man of the exact same height and build shows up. I hope both problems are fixed promptly, otherwise the entire back half of the season is going to suffer. (To be fair, the WTF-Patty-would-know problem has probably been solved now, but not in a good way!) Also, hey, again and again I know I have said this, but it would be great if they gave Iris more to do.
Highlights: The Joe and Wally relationship development was really sweet. It is fun to watch them be so alienated from, while being so similar to, each other. I think it is some great work by the writers, actors, and directors all on developing the West family this season. And of course the scenes with Barry and Patty – even when Patty is being unbelievably clueless about Barry being the Flash – is a highlight just because the actors have really fantastic chemistry. Cisco, as always, had the best lines. This week I think his Wrath of Khan reference was the best moment in the whole hour (and no he was not quoting Shakespeare – he was clearly quoting Khan, quoting Shakespeare). I am really enjoying the dynamic between Cisco and Harry.
Dad edits: The nightmare Barry has at the beginning of the episode was a bit harsh, but it was also a dream so I allowed it. I am bothered by how hastily Patty (and in other episodes, Joe) just whip out their handguns and start shooting at people. While meta-humans may be able to protect themselves, one has to wonder how many regular folks the CCPD guns down without due process. These folks need retraining in conflict de-escalation. So anyway, yeah, I had to point out to my son that people should not be shot for stealing.