Back after the Christmas break, and with Legends of Tomorrow finally launched, the show is now able to focus on its own story and arcs without the side trips to establish the characters and back story for the spin-off.
Unfortunately, that means Barry’s personal relationship skills are on show, and that’s an area that the show has tended to struggle with. Despite revealing his id to pretty much anyone else at the drop of the hat, Barry struggles with the old comic book trope of avoiding revealing his secret identity to those he’s close to. This avenue is a difficult one for the show to navigate – much of last season had an increasing number of people learning his identity, whilst Iris remained in the dark. However once she was told, it pretty much put paid to the idea of them as a couple. So it’s perhaps not surprising that Barry is having nightmares.
Unfortunately, this manifests as a drag on the episode with the Patty scenes feeling like the end of an arc that was intended to last longer, but was then concluded at short notice. For now at least, Patty is gone, off to train as a CSI in Midway City – perhaps she will get to work with the Hawks occasionally.
This week’s bad guy is the Turtle, a villain perhaps better known as a Jay Garrick villain. Initially, Harry Wells is against investigating, but changes his mind when he learns that the Turtle’s power acts on others to drain their speed. This ability interests him as a way to get his daughter back from Zoom.
Following the revelation that he had a son he never knew about, Joe arranged a family meal with Wally, Iris and Barry. After Wally didn’t turn up, it turned out that his primary reason for coming to Central City was to race street cars as nobody would race him in Keystone. Wally’s passive-aggressive digs at Joe for pushing too hard to be a dad after years of not knowing feel a little clichéd. However, we are almost halfway through the season with a lot to get through, so hopefully it’ just a shorthand outline to avoid wasting time prior to Joe humanizing him.
Meanwhile, we learn that the removal of his powers means that Jay is dying. Although he says he has tried everything since arriving on Earth 1, Caitlin is confident that together they can find a solution. Nice timing, with a version of Eobard Thawne just arriving on Earth 1, though “when” might be an interesting question to answer.