[Review] The Flash (2014) Episode 3×03: “Magenta”

“We need a magnetic villain, what should we name her?” “Polaris?” “Taken.” “Magneto?” “She’s a girl, Frank.” “Magneta, then?” “Perfect! Cut, print–oh goddammit, Frank, what’s with the typo?” <--Probably how it went. Enjoy this week's recap of the CW's The Flash.

Spoilers under the cut.

Starting this week with Barry and Iris’ first date, you can see the inspiration from Peter David’s X-Factor, where he went into what life is like for Quicksilver. After agreeing to a no-Flash night, what they find out really quickly is that there is no such thing as a no-Flash night. Barry quickly stops a robbery and then the two are alerted to something happening at S.T.A.R. Labs. A breach has been opened and Cisco can’t close it. Fortunately (depending on how you look at it), it’s just Jesse and Harry. Oh, and Jesse has superspeed now.

So they go to the Speed Lab…wait, Speed Lab? Yeah, another change from Barry running roughshod over time. I love how fast Wells figures it out. I also love how Wally’s family notices just how crestfallen and jealous he is that Jesse got superspeed and he didn’t. Barry alludes to what happened to Wally in Flashpoint when telling Joe to keep an eye on Wally, and I just want to give praise to David Kob and Judalina Neira for making sure Team Flash hasn’t been as emotionally oblivious as they’re usually written.

Cut to the James apartment, where we see the abuse that finally causes Frankie Kane to give in to her Magenta personality and punish John James by throwing a streetlight through the window at him. The next morning, Joe is interviewing Frankie when she tells him she blacked out during the incident. He relays this to Barry and Julian, and Julian takes it upon himself to get her a new glass of water and takes the old one to test her DNA. Back at the Speed Lab, Harry tries to get Caitlin and Cisco to make Jesse slow down (so to speak) on developing her new powers and becoming a superhero. This goes well.

Joe tries to get Wally to come to terms with the fact that he’s probably not going to develop powers. At the CCPD, Julian runs his DNA test, decides Frankie is responsible for her stepfather’s condition, and confronts her. This goes well.

After Flash saves Julian and Magenta gets away, the team fills in Harry and Jesse on Dr. Alchemy and Flashpoint. Harry finally convinces Caitlin to talk to Jesse, but Jesse is having none of it and runs off after confronting Harry. Didn’t we go over this last season? Meanwhile, Magenta confronts Alchemy about Frankie still living in her brain, so Alchemy points her towards her stepdad, telling her to finish him off.

Wally finds Jesse, and they talk a little about how she got her powers, which involved her nearly being run over. So Wally tries to do the same thing. Smart.

After Jesse saves Wally’s dumb ass, Barry reams him out while Harry does the same to Jesse. Caitlin has had enough of Harry and tells him to accept and mentor Jesse rather than force her to stop using her abilities. Harry thinks about it, then goes to the Speed Lab and talks to Barry, who still can’t forgive himself for what he’s created. Huh, I wonder if that will be a theme later on this season? At the hospital, Iris confronts John James before figuring out that Frankie’s going to come for him. Unfortunately, Magenta decides that the hospital should see her favorite boat up close.

Barry gets to the hospital and runs in a figure eight to keep the tanker from squashing the hospital, but he can’t do anything else. Reluctantly, Harry sends Jesse Quick to assist. Once she has the tanker, Barry runs down and talks Frankie back to the surface of Magenta’s mind and convinces her to let go of the anger driving her. Back at S.T.A.R. Labs, Frankie tells them how her dreams of being Magenta led her to Alchemy. Since the only real damage she did was in self-defense, she’s being let go and her stepdad is being prosecuted. Harry finally lets his protectiveness go and gives Jesse her costume. Barry and Iris try to finish their date, but Barry gets called back to the CCPD by Joe, who shows him what happened to the Rival.

Good episode, and really sets up the rest of the season well.

George Hatch can be found on MySpace. Not. Actually, he’s on Twitter at @Raeseti.

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