THE FLASH Review: “Magenta”

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Harrison Wells is back! Things are starting to get back to normal on THE FLASH, well as far as normal in an alternate timeline can get anyways. “Magenta” is another episode that kept things moving forward in terms of character development and growth, while providing another metahuman of the week that was very unique. Family has always been a central theme in The Flash, and this week was no exception providing a fruitful version of that ongoing theme.

“Magenta” sees Barry (Grant Gustin) and Iris (Candice Patton) on a first date that’s horribly awkward. Luckily a bank robbery followed immediately by the portal at S.T.A.R. Labs opening from Earth-2 Harrison Wells (Tom Cavanagh) emerges with his daughter Jesse (Violett Beane) who is now a speedster. And just in time as Alchemy has set forth a teen girl named Frankie (Joey King) with her powered alter ego Magenta.

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Harry was missed and bringing Jesse back in tow was a real treat this week. Understandably, Harry is not happy that Jesse is now wanting to use her new found powers to help people. Wells recruits Team Flash to talk her out of it, but instead it ends up encouraging her more. I also loved how Wells (who also gave Barry an “I told you so” moment) knew immediately Barry messed up the timeline with Flashpoint when Cisco (Carlos Valdes) and Caitlin (Danielle Panabaker) mention the Speed Lab, but Barry hasn’t the slightest clue what they are talking about. Wells even had a good, funny Flashpoint burn on Barry near the climax. Hearing Wells say “Run Jesse. Run!” made me giddy. So far, Flashpoint has been an event that has invigorated the storytelling on this show for the better. And with that character moments and developments that make these characters richer including the villains.

Joey King’s performance with Frankie/Magenta was very good work. Making dissociative identity disorder an advantage to the character and story rather than feeling exploitive was something I have to give major credit to this week’s writers Judalina Neira & David Kob on doing so much more with the disorder than Heroes did in two seasons with their character Niki Sanders. Addressing that they are two different personalities within one person and identifying her unfortunate circumstances made the climax one of the show’s best so far. Frankie/Magenta also being a foster child and suffering abuse from a family member was handled with delicate care.

The Flash -- "Magenta" -- Image: FLA303b_0223b.jpg -- Pictured (L-R): Joey King as Frankie Kane and Tom Felton as Julian Albert -- Photo: Bettina Strauss/The CW -- © 2016 The CW Network, LLC. All rights reserved.

The family theme continues as Wally (Keiynan Lonsdale), who was also exposed to the blast that gave Jesse her powers in season two’s episode “Rupture”, is frustrated. Normally I would have a problem with characters acting so reckless and selfish, considering this is Barry’s M.O. I would think it would be tiring at this point. But, Wally, since he was introduced, has wanted to save people. And seeing how everyone, even Iris, has an important part to play on Team Flash, it’s understandable he would be jealous of Jesse. Especially hearing on how her powers manifested, I cannot say that I would not try the same thing Wally does by jumping in front of an oncoming truck. I know last episode they wouldn’t talk about whose powers manifested in Flashpoint or who was what, but I think it’s time Barry just tells Wally that it’s gonna happen that he becomes Kid Flash. I also understand watching Wally die in Flashpoint was devastating, as well as Joe (Jesse L. Martin) not wanting to have both of his sons running around putting themselves in harm’s way, but telling him the truth can only help things at this point.

I wonder if Tom Felton gets sick of playing a jerk ‘cause I sure am. Tom’s Julian Alpert quickly figures out that Frankie is the methahuman by crossing the husk of The Rival with a sample from Frankie, leading to him being a royal ass and confronting Frankie in the worst way possible. I don’t know what he expected to get out of the situation, but that was literally the worse way to go about getting a confession. At some point they’re gonna have to either make this character a full on villain or go ahead and tone Julian down by twenty notches. As it stands Julian is terribly one dimensional. I would kill to have at least a scene fleshing out his character with even the briefest background information.

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I really can’t wait to see Jesse in her costume as Jesse Quick. Having Barry have a partner in the field is needed. Honestly I wished this all happened sooner with Zoom and Reverse Flash as Barry desperately needed the help. It’ll be sad to see Jesse return to Earth-2 as that Earth’s Flash, but until then let’s enjoy her while we have her. And now that everyone’s powers are manifesting, it makes me wonder if Caitlin Snow will be good or evil as Killer Frost? When will Wally’s powers manifest? And will Wells stick around when Jesse leaves? Stay tuned true believers.

TB-TV-Grade-A

Season 3, Episode 3 (S03E03)
The Flash airs Tuesdays at 8PM on The CW

Read all of our reviews of The Flash here. 
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A lifelong film enthusiast since he can remember, Brandon is an indie filmmaker/screenwriter and freelance critic who resides in Trenton, NJ. Feel free to hit him up on Twitter to talk movies, shows, and music (especially hip-hop) .
Follow Brandon on Twitter: @bwood0824
Keep up with all of Brandon’s reviews here.

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